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: inter-tribal marriages
medium: diaries
person: ImlongHopongki
date: 10.10.1947
person: Archer/ Mildred
date: 9.7.1947-4.12.1947
text: 10 October. Mokokchung.
text: Since coming back from tour there has been a whirl of social visits. One day Imlong, the biggest shopkeeper in Mokokchung came with part of his family. He is a Chang married to a comely Ao. She herself is a village woman, but her daughters are being brought up as 'college girls'. The two eldest are later to go to college in Shillong.
text: Another day Hopongki, the Sangtam shopkeeper came with his wife and a flock of jolly children. He too has married an Ao. It seems that although the Nagas are hostile to outsiders in general, they have a very weak sense of the tribe in their marriage customs. There is no objection to a Naga of one tribe marrying a girl from another. Nor do they mind a Naga marrying a non-Naga. At the doctor's house the other day, I found that his Ao maid had married his Bengali bearer. But the village was insisting that the Bengali must stay in the Naga Hills, the girl was not allowed to go to the plains with him. This, however, has led to a deadlock for under the rules no plainsman can settle in a Naga village. Compared with the anxious insistence of Santals, Mundas and Hos on their tribal integrity, Naga laxity is little short of astonishing.