The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

Typescript, J.P. Mills, Tour Diary, March 1927, with comments by Ursula Betts, 1986

caption: Beliefs regarding pipal trees; assessment for revenue; small degree of deculturation
medium: tours
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ Prof
ethnicgroup: MerwangmaiKuki
location: Delengwajungling (Delengwateling)
date: 5.3.1927
person: Betts/ UrsulaMills/ J.P.
date: 3.1927
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: I noticed a number of fine "pipal" trees on the march. Merwangmai Nagas will not cut them down. If they want one felled to clear some land they lease the land to a Kuki, and he fells it after a ceremony, hands back the land when he has cropped it. The Subdivisional Officer checked the Mauzadar's (6) figures for assessed houses and remissions in each village we went through. The numbers were everywhere correct, but in Delengwateling widows were officially granted remission but were paying the Semkhor Mauzadar Rs. 1/8/- a year each "for his trouble". The Subdivisional Officer will deal faithfully with the gentleman.
text: I was pleasantly surprised at the entire lack of denationalisation I saw everywhere. Though these Nagas live so near the railway I saw no one who was not in his own dress, and even foreign utensils were rare. The Welsh Mission are attempting to change all this, but have so far been remarkable unsuccessful.
text: [UGB: This was still true in 1940-6 and from what Professor Haimendorf told me a few years ago, is still much the same. At the time I was there, the Welsh Mission had made no headway among the Nagas.]