The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript - memoir of time in the Naga Hills as a Deputy Commissioner, 1919-1920

caption: tour with Mills in Ao country
caption: description of Mukokchung
medium: articles
ethnicgroup: Ao
location: Mokokchung (Mukokchung)
person: Cantlie/ Keith
date: 1919-1920
form: private collection
refnum: loaned by Dr Audrey Cantlie
text: Mukokchung with its tiny office and Court, hospital, dispensary, school and bazar was a centre of a strange world to a Deputy Commissioner from Kohima. It was in the Ao country but the subdivision contained most of the Semas whose language nobody understood until Hutton produced his book published in 1920 but not available until I had left the Naga Hills. In the bazar were to be seen transfrontier Phoms, Konyaks, Sangtems, Changs and Semas, each distinct in dress, come to buy iron sold in strips imported from Calcutta or old tea, garden hoes, or salt or cotton or knives. The books of Hutton and of Mills stress how long it took to acquire information so Deputy Commissioners at Kohima must have been able to get to know very little about any tribe except Angamis and some acquaintances with Kacha Nagas. About Kukis they knew less as Shaw did not publish his book till 1928 and most Kukis lived in Manipur. One guesses that the District remained quiet as the Angamis, the most important tribe, were handled with discretion and as much Home Rule as possible given to the villages.