The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - extracts on Nagas from 'Assam Administration Report'

caption: Naga Hills
caption: Relations with Tributary States and Frontier Affairs
caption: development of internal trade due to settled government
medium: reports
date: 1884
date: 1885
text: There has been a marked development of internal trade, and considerable improvement has been effected in the opening up of communications.
text: A new feature in the commerce of the Naga Hills has been established during the year, namely, the commencement of a trade in lime from the Nambor Forest. A cart-road has been made connecting this place with the Dimapur and Golaghat road. The lime obtained from this source will, it is hoped, be able to compete with lime now imported from Sylhet by the circuitous route via Goalundo.
text: The introduction of a settled Government into the Naga Hills has been followed by the development of trade, the cessation of intervillage wards, an extension of cultivation, and marked improvement in the condition of the poorer classes. A taste for the luxuries of civilisation has also been engendered, and Angami Nagas now invest in umbrellas, tobacco, and sugar. The great demand for labour has caused a large sum of money to pass into the possession of the inhabitants of the district, and this has been invested in cattle and in the opening out of new land, all tending to the increase of general prosperity.
text: The year 1884-85 was favourable with respect to the general health of the district and the majority of the crops. Prior to the introduction of British administration, a great difference existed between the wealthy owners of terraced cultivation and those who had to eke out an existence by jhuming or by working on the fields of their more opulent neighbours. Wealth was power; and, as might was right, no poor man could rest secure, even in the possession of his small property. The slightest pretext was sufficient, and the weaker party found himself deprived of his land and reduced to a condition little superior to that of a slave. The fact that this state of affairs has been relegated to the past is now well known, even to the inhabitants of the most remote villages, and no Angami hesitates to lodge a formal complaint at Kohima whenever he has been the victim of oppression. The security to life and the improved condition of the main arteries of communication have rendered trading excursions possible throughout the year, and the Angami has taken advantage of these new conditions to turn over his capital a greater number of times.