The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

letters from J.P. Mills to Henry Balfour

caption: Lhota language and pronunciation; collection of objects, especially Ao cloths, sent to Pitt-Rivers museum
medium: letters
person: Balfour/ HenryHutton/ J.H.
ethnicgroup: Lhota <LiyeLhota <NdrungAo
location: Lungsa (Nungsa) Diyung R. (Doyang R.) Kohima
date: 15.2.1921
person: Mills/ J.P.
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Mills Ms.
text: Mokokchung,
text: Naga Hills,
text: Assam.
text: Camp Themokedima.
text: Feb. 15th, 1921.
text: Dear Mr. Balfour,
text: I am sending back the list you sent with your last letter. One or two names I have not been able to identify. I shall have to see the labels myself. NUNGSA is a stone. The word is pronounced something between LUNGSA and NUNGSA. I prefer LUNGSA, as LUNG, not NUNG, is the root of the word for stone in allied languages and the village gets its name from a flat rock (OLUNG ='stone', and OSA ='platform'). Lhotas North of the Doyang are called LIYE, and those South 'NDRUNG. There are slight differences in custom and considerable differences in dress.
text: I have sent another small box down to Calcutta to be shipped to you containing various things such as three stone implements and a bundle of Ao skirts. I am getting together a few Ao cloths as Hutton hardly touched them. You will see that the patterns on the skirts differ both according to the 'gennas' done and the clan of the women - the latter most unusual among Nagas. I have also sent specimens for an exhibit of bark thread cloth manufacture. I am trying to get some stone celts, but the trouble is that it is genna for most Nagas to pick them up. I have also got a few specimens of the old Ao iron currency.
text: One box I sent contained specimens of imitation ornaments. Evidently it has not turned up yet.
text: I am on my way in to Kohima to spend ten days with Hutton. The place will hum with anthropology shop! He is writing a note on the origin of the Nagas and vetting my little monograph of the Lhotas. If ever I get back here I am going to tackle the Aos, a tribe with most complicated customs which vary in a bewildering way from village to village...
text: Yours sincerely,
text: J.P. Mills