The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

Typescript copy of extracts from letters from J.P. Mills to Mrs Pamela Mills (in England), 1936

caption: Fishing camp on the Dikhu; comments on British constitutional crisis and on Naga medals
medium: letters
person: King George VSimpson/ Mrs W.King Edward VIIIFurer-Haimendorf/ C.Thakan/ of LitimWilliams/ Maj.Smith/ Mr.Ngaku
location: Dikhu R. Mokokchung
date: 12.12.1936
person: Mills/ J.P.
date: 1936
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Mills Ms.
text: (30) Camp Dikhu River
text: December 12th, 1936
text: The last time I went down to a fishing camp I heard of King George's death. Today came the papers with the news of the constitutional crisis over Mrs. Simpson. We are all utterly miserable. We've no news yet of what finally happened, whether the King abdicated, or whether he gave the woman up. It is not easy to gauge public feeling properly from the many extracts in the "Statesman" but here I think we would prefer him to abdicate: his reputation will be so terribly damaged in any case. Curiously enough, I feel this more than I did King George's death in some ways.
text: I stayed behind with the Baron to call on Thakan, Chief of Litim, a very old friend. He seemed in the prime of life when I was very young and S.D.O. Mokokchung. Now he is shrivelled and almost blind. He just sits in front of my tent and watches me. He says that to see me is like seeing one who comes back from the dead, and that he will never see me again!
text: This is only a fishing camp for Williams. He got 7 or 8, and we are on a very pleasant fish diet. Smith is very annoyed that no one has given him any presents! All my things are going to the Museum I collect for, and the Baron's presumably to Vienna.
text: Such a lovely camp down here. It is such a pity the news has cast a gloom over us all. It's an old haunt of mine with a fine orange tree and the most delicious oranges grown from the pip of an orange eaten by me years ago.
text: Ngaku came along to the mess shed after "Retreat" and we had a long talk. The show has gone off very well, and though we took no heads, everyone will get their ornaments.
text: I like to think when I die there will be Nagas wearing ornaments I have helped them to win. Even the Christians I have with me are going to put them on - after all they are no more heathen than medals gained in war!
text: Best of all, I've kept my record of not losing a coolie. It's the last show I shall ever lead and I am glad it has all ended well.
text: Tomorrow we cross into British Territory and climb the long hill to Mokokchung, passing the welcoming villages on the way.