The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

letters from J.P. Mills to Henry Balfour

caption: Role of government and missions; lost wax casting and syphoning explained
medium: letters
person: Balfour/ Henry
ethnicgroup: Kuki
date: 18.10.1924
person: Mills/ J.P.
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Mills Ms.
text: Kohima
text: Oct. 18th 1924
text: My dear Balfour,
text: ...I suppose what Indians one sees are deplorable people. When will Governments (and missions) learn sense? As someone put it, missions treat native boys as little Englishmen who happen to be born brown. The only thing is to keep pegging away. I have written an Appendix on mission work, and the Bishop is keen to get it printed separately and distributed by the S.P.G. The American Baps will foam when they see it.
text: Now for your questions about the specimens I sent. With the cire perdue specimens I sent (1) some grass seed (2) some rice husks (3) some earth from a white ants' nest, (4) some clay. The point is this. The grass seed and white ant earth is mixed and kneaded and laid on the wax core. It thus forms the inner layer of the mould. The outer layer is clay and rice husks. Apparently the double mould does not crack as a single mould would. I hope the wax core arrived unbroken. Is there anything needed to complete the specimens?
text: Now for the syphon. I enclose a very rough sketch. The object is to get clear liquor from below the thick layer of husks etc in A. You start it with a suck at the B end. Kukis, unlike Nagas, use rice husks in making 'madhu', so that the syphon is required to get a clear drink. The long stick with a comb-like end in the wooden "mithan horn" belongs to the "horn". With it the drinker keeps his madhu continually stirred so that he loses none of the sediment, which is considered very nice in some "pita madhu" i.e. drink made with coarsely ground rice...
text: Yours ever,
text: J.P. Mills