The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - extracts from 'Descriptive Ethnography of Bengal' on Nagas by E.T. Dalton

caption: Section 6. The Nagas of Upper Asam
caption: communication and cultivation: paths; terracing; destruction of trees by ringing and burning
medium: articles
person: Dalton/ E.T.
date: 1872
text: The communications between friendly villages in the interior of the Naga Hills are admirably kept up. The paths are of course steep and difficult, but considerable engineering skill is sometimes shown in zig-zagging and bridging them. Much of the cultivation in the villages is of a permanent character, terraced and irrigated, but the glorious forest are very wantonly destroyed for the dry crops. They appear to have no superstitious dread of the sylvan deities like the Abors to restrain them. The trees are not cut down, but they are tortured by the ringing process till they are leafless and dry, then set fire to, and the cleared ground, scraped and sown, yields sufficient crops for a year or two.