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: journey back to Mokokchung
caption: treatment of the Nagas by the Japanese
medium: diaries
person: Jakai/ of Phek
date: 9.9.1947
person: Archer/ Mildred
date: 9.7.1947-4.12.1947
text: Opinions vary about the Japs and their treatment of the Nagas. The headmaster of the school here told us that the Japs occupied his village for a week, requisitioned food through the headmen and paid for it in Jap money. He says the Japs never interfered with Naga women. He felt far more bitterly about the I.N.A. men who accompanied the Japs as interpreters. 'They treated us like dirt', he said. 'It will be like that if the plainsmen rule us.' His attitude to the Indian officers reminded me of an Angami in Kohima who complained, 'I worked as a road contractor. The Indian officers made me many promises but they never kept them. They only wanted bribes. The Pathans and the Sikhs were the worst. How can we stand against the plainsmen?'
text: But other villages have different opinions. Old Jakai, the interpreter of Phek, blurted out, 'They are not men, they are devils,' and he pointed to the cracked skulls of two of (72) his finest mithan that were hanging on his house front. 'The Japanese killed everything', he continued. 'They killed our pigs, our fowls, our cattle. They killed more than they could eat and all the carcasses lay rotting.' They even killed the fish by throwing bombs and hand-grenades into the rivers.