The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript - J.H. Hutton tour diary in the Naga Hills

caption: conflict between Christians and ancients; cloths
medium: tours
location: Aichisagami Sheyepu Sotoemi
date: 15.7.1934
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 9.6.1934-30.7.1934
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 15th To Aichisagami. Christianity has reached the New Sema Road. In Sheyepu there are several converts, the original ones having been called in as an experiment when every known form of puja failed to cure the dying chief. The Christians had no better success (possibly being dipped hastened his end) but once having got a footing have been tenacious of it. In Sotoemi they were called in to inhabit a patch of haunted ground, and ejected again when they shied off, but they had meanwhile made a convert or two. The question of the patterns of clothes is giving trouble. Certain patterns are only worn by householders who have performed certain social ceremonies and by their unmarried sons, when the boy marries he ceases to wear the cloth until he has qualified for it. The pattern is very popular and Christians have started wearing it without qualification, which has scandalized the ancients. Both sides came to me about it. I ruled that Ancients had the right of it, but that provided some recognizable alteration was made in the pattern no exception would be taken to Christians wearing similar ones. I suggested a red cross in the middle of the black ground which was accepted without demur by those present.