The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

Typescript - J.P. Mills, Tour Diary, November to December 1936

caption: Ao population increase, but no move to terraced cultivation; Christian concerts' burial customs
medium: tours
ethnicgroup: Ao
location: Saoching (Longchang) Mubongchukit Chami Ungma
date: 15.12.1936
person: Mills/ J.P.
date: 11.1936-12.1936
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: 15th Dec.
text: To Longchang - 15 miles. I am very much struck by the great increase in population in the Ao villages I went through. The pressure on the land is already great, and the time is not far distant when it will be serious. But Aos do not as yet show any signs of taking to terraced cultivation; they will not change their attitudes till they suffer real privation.
text: Mubongchukit still reverence the ancient daos they keep at the root of a tree outside the village, but one has been lost, and there are only five. Chami, from which Ungma once took 100 heads, followed by 100 daos and 100 head of cattle as reparations, has increased to over 20 houses. Two stalwarts still keep up the old ceremonies. The magnificent banyan tree is well looked after, and tendrils are being guided down to the ground in hollow bamboos to form new stems.
text: Longchang has increased to about 400 houses. The 80 households who refuse to become Baptists are regarded as the aristocrats of the village. Baptists' graves here are dreadful sights. All sorts of things are hung above them, from tawdry mirrors to tattered remnants of English primers. The inscriptions have advanced from Ao through English to in memoriam, but the local knowledge of Latin stops there. There are two mango trees here, bearing fruit, grown from the stones of mangoes I ate here long ago.