The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book : Return to the Naked Nagas (1939;1976)

caption: Chapter Two. Feasts Of Merit
caption: preparing for fieldwork - learning Assamese
medium: books
person: NlamoMills
ethnicgroup: Angami
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: Once again Mills came to the rescue. He found Nlamo, a young Lhota Naga, to teach me Assamese. Nlamo was about twenty years old and had attained the dream of all mission-trained boys -- he had been sent to the high school in Shillong. But to his great grief his talents were forced to lie fallow, for there was as yet little scope for educated Nagas. Some had found employment as clerks or village schoolmasters, and there were even some Naga doctors (21) and compounders, but the number of available posts was small compared to that of applicants, all eager to find jobs in Government service. Nlamo spoke besides his mother-tongue Assamese, Hindustani, Bengali, Ao, and a passable English, and so it was perhaps understandable that he did not relish the idea of going back to his village and growing rice for the rest of his life. Giving Assamese lessons seemed to him an admirable occupation and curiously enough he proved far more efficient than my learned Assamese teacher in London.