The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript 'Journey to Nagaland', by Mildred Archer. An account of six months spent in the Naga Hills in 1947

caption: Butler's tour diary
caption: head-taking
medium: diaries
person: Butler/ JohnPawsey/ Charles
date: 1870-187527.8.1947
person: Archer/ Mildred
date: 9.7.1947-4.12.1947
text: In Butler's time, the main problem was head-taking in areas just across the border and his comments strike an oddly contemporary note. Just as today the Deputy Commissioner presses Government to pass orders quickly and to pursue a vigorous policy, so Butler scoffed at the order 'to religiously abstain from interference.' 'If we want the tribes to be at peace', he writes, 'we must run the risk of having to use force to get it'. 'Now that we have firmly established ourselves in these Hills, I am afraid the non-interference policy, so excellent in theory, will fail in practice.' He complains that 'in British territory, we allow murder and rapine to stalk unchecked through the length and breadth of the land because we are loath to spend a few hundreds.'