The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript - J.P. Mills, tour diary, January 1928

caption: Problems caused by opium use amongst staff at Haflong; to Hokai; new year festival rituals
medium: notestours
ethnicgroup: Lhota
location: Hokai Haflong Robi R.
date: 18.1.1928
person: Mills/ J.P.
date: 1.1928
refnum: (from): J.P.Mills and others, "Tour Diaries and Administrative Notes from the North Cachar Hills, Assam. 1928-1940. Unpublished Government Papers" at SOAS Library, London. Pam. Assam B 314349.
text: 18th Jan. To Hokai. 6 miles. 9-20 - 12.0. The opium sodden staff at Haflong is absolutely useless. Not only were they very late themselves, but they are so despicably weak that they could not produce our local coolies till we had waited nearly an hour and a half for them. The worst is the senior man, the interpreter. It is not fair to ask any Subdivisional Officer to run a Sub-division with such a staff, for good administration in the Hills depends almost entirely on good dobashis. I have already expressed myself strongly in inspection notes, and I trust Government will give favourable consideration to definite proposals to increase and strengthen the dobashi staff of this Cinderella of Subdivisions. We got off at last, crossed the Robi stream and had a fair climb up the other side. The village is Naga and has two good 'deka changs' with really amazing collections of fire-wood in front of them. The new year festival is just over, at which little darts are thrown at a conventionalised wooden figure of a man. A hit means good crops. About as obvious a remnant of human sacrifice as one could find, and a close parallel to the Lhota 'opya.' (Margin note: It is only fair to say that the interpreter pulled himself together in a wonderful way during the tour.)
text: Hokai contains no christians, and the village will allow no preaching.