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: leaving the Naga Hills
medium: diaries
person: KahutuZehoviAohukyuRivhemo
date: 4.12.1947
person: Archer/ Mildred
date: 9.7.1947-4.12.1947
text: 4 December. In the Assam Mail.
text: Once again the train moves down the long valley between the tea-gardens and the heavy jungle. The copper reeds are now wastes of silver plumes shining in the still brown pools. As we run towards the sunset, red and orange behind the black paper-cut silhouettes of coconut and bamboo, the Naga Hills fade softly into the deep blue sky behind us and a solitary star shines above them. The sky is quiet and peaceful but the small land I am leaving is full of apprehension and unrest. The placid routine of life where changes come gradually has suddenly been convulsed.
text: It is exactly five months since the train brought me up the Brahmaputra valley and I wondered how independence would (163) affect the Naga Hills. Now I am going down that same valley and watching the Nagas begin their struggle. As the red-cloaked interpreters, Kahutu, Zehovi, Aohukyu and Rivhemo, waved goodbye to me from the railway platform, I felt full of fear for these simple and friendly people and wondered what the future held. Would India confuse nationalism with uniformity and slowly reduce them to a depressed unhappy caste? Or would the Government swiftly reach some sensible settlement which would allow them to remain Nagas and preserve their own vivid way of life?