The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book : 'Konyak Nagas' by Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, (1969)

caption: Chapter Five. Present and Future
caption: Wanchu Nagas in NEFA, culture preserved
medium: books
person: Elwin/ Verrier
ethnicgroup: Wanchu
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York105:3
text: A picture totally different from the disturbed conditions in Nagaland is presented by the Tirap district. This district borders on the Konyak area and includes some 23,395 Wanchus, who are virtually indistinguishable from the Konyaks of the Thendu group and maintain marriage relations with the chiefly houses of some of the principal Thendu villages. Unlike the Naga Hills district, Tirap was never incorporated in the state of Assam, for when British rule drew to an end, this area became part of the North East Frontier Agency, which has always been under the control of the central government. Here, a policy well attuned to the needs and aspirations of the tribesmen was mapped out by a well- known anthropologist, the late Verrier Elwin, who, until his death in 1964, held the appointment of tribal advisor to the administration of the North East Frontier Agency. He inspired the members of the Indian Frontier Administrative Service with a tolerant and sympathetic approach to the culture and way of life of the hill tribes. The effectiveness of his influence was partly due to the wholehearted backing which prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru gave to the policy of preserving as much as possible of the tribesmen's cultural heritage, while at the same time developing their economy and gradually enabling them to come to terms with the modern world.