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: visit to Yongyimti
caption: tour in Chang country
caption: Phoms accept Government rule
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: ChangPhom
location: Yongyimti
date: 20.10.1947
person: Archer/ Mildred
date: 9.7.1947-4.12.1947
text: On reaching camp we found a crowd of wild-looking Phoms from over the frontier waiting to meet Bill. The Phoms are yet another Naga tribe which lives in the 'control' area and is not administered. They were wearing red cloaks with a central band patterned in red and white. Their hair was cut like other Nagas but they had a long top knot which hung down in a tress on to the shoulder or was looped up in a knot. On their chests were great blue tattoos like ostrich plumes - the mark of the head-taker.
text: The leading men of seven villages had come in and each laid a warrior's helmet or a plumed dao at Bill's feet - a sign that his village was willing to take orders from Government. It was clear that they had heard nothing about the political changes in India or Naga aspirations. But they had heard rumours that a new subdivision was to be started in the Chang country at Tuensang and that their villages were to be brought into the administered area. Bill confirmed this rumour and explained what it would mean. All raids must cease, for the first three years they were to pay only a nominal sum as house-tax and in return Government would improve the paths, start schools and set up a hospital and courts at Tuensang. All the Phoms seemed pleased; they said that there was little trouble in their area nowadays and that all of them wished to come under Government. 'The days of head-taking are over,' one said. 'All that we now want is peace.'