The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

letters from J.P. Mills to Henry Balfour

caption: Lhota objects arrived at Pitt-Rivers museum; Lhota spelling, grammar and pronunciation; comparison with Ao
medium: letters
person: Balfour/ Henry
ethnicgroup: LhotaAo
location: Lungsa (Nungsa) Kohima Mokokchung
date: 6.6.1920
person: Mills/ J.P.
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Mills Ms.
text: Mokokchung,
text: Naga Hills,
text: Assam.
text: June 6th, 1920.
text: Dear Mr. Balfour,
text: I was delighted to get your letter of May 9th this morning and to know that my first two cases of things have arrived. Please disregard my recent letters of enquiry which crossed yours in the post. I will put native names in block letters in future, but they will probably all have to be revised. Lhota spelling is most difficult. Until I wrote down some folk tales the only guide was a very bad grammar by a missionary in a small missionary school book in which the same word is often spelt in different ways on the same page. It is also extremely hard to hear what Lhotas say. There is a dark blue cloth with light blue lines which I have spelt NUNGPENSU. It ought to be LUNGPENSGU I think. The word for 'stone' from which the cloth takes its name is pronounced something between LUNG and NUNG. The Ao word is distinctly LONG. A big Lhota village derived from the same word is written NUNGSA in Kohima and LONGSA in Mokokchung, so you can see the room there is for confusion. Gradually as I go on I am working out derivations and getting things straight...
text: Yours sincerely
text: J.P. Mills