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: A steep climb; influenza epidemic at Nachangjaul; Christians - Ancients conflict at Chota Arkap
medium: tours
person: Khosak clan/ of Nachangjaul
ethnicgroup: Kuki <Kolang
location: Chhota Arkap (Chota Arkap) Lungchung Jenam Nachangjaul Baladhan
date: 14.3.1927
person: Betts/ UrsulaMills/ J.P.
date: 3.1927
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: 14th.
text: To Chota Arkap 7 miles. Down through Lungchung, a small Kolang village to Jenam. Thence up to Nachangjaul, also Kolang. The path was about as steep as a path possibly could be, and both hands and feet were kept busy. In one place we even had to go up a ladder. Nachangjaul has been very badly hit by the recent influenza epidemic and there were more new graves than a village of fourteen houses ought to contain. I saw another of the peculiar wooden figures put up by the Khosak clan. Suitably refreshed by rice beer after our long climb we walked round the corner straight into a large deputation of mission converts from Chota Arkap, suitably dhotied, coated and chemised. They had set up plantain trees after the manner of plains men and greeted us with a quavering chant, which after some time we recognised as "God save the King" sung flat.
text: Our camp was between Nachangjaul and Chota Arkap, and after lunch we walked up to the latter village. I asked them (17) why they dressed and behaved in such a ridiculous way and they replied that they had thrown away all Kuki customs and had taken to plains customs. I pointed out to them that plains customs had nothing whatever to do with Christianity and indicated, I trust with some clearness, the error of their ways. They were a sour lot and would say little. Finally they showed clearly how entirely superficial their Christianity was by calmly asking if I would drive Nachangjaul further away from them. The two villages used to be one, but the Christians succeeded in making life so unbearable for those who declined to abandon the religion of their fore-fathers that the Ancients departed and settled in their present site nearly half a mile down the hill. Not content with having rooted them once the Christians now wish to do so again giving as their reasons (1) that they do not like having unbelievers living so near them (2) that they do not like the cattle and goats of Heathen. This preposterous request was, of course, refused, and they were told that if they did not like living near Nachangjaul they could go and live somewhere else.
text: [UGB: Chota Arkap were equally bumtious in 1943.]
text: The noise like heavy guns we heard at Baladhan is audible here too.