The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Twenty-seven. Return to Nagaland
caption: celebration and speeches at local school
medium: books
person: Kikon Lhota
ethnicgroup: Konyaks
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 1970
text: During my stay at the district headquarters I also had an opportunity to take part in a celebration in the local high school. There happened to be "Teachers' Day," and this occasion was marked by speeches, songs, dances, and various games. The high school is a modern and well equipped building, and the teachers were nearly all outsiders from other parts of India. Kikon Lhota asked me to give an address to the assembled teachers and children, and it would have been rude to decline this request. So (237) I spoke of my admiration for Naga culture and the desirability of retaining its valuable features side by side with the technological innovations of modern times. Yet, in the life of the school there seemed to be little room for any expression of local traditions. The girls were dressed in spotless white frocks, such as might be seen in any convent school in the world, and the boys wore blue shirts and white shirts. Most surprisingly, the tune of a song sung by primary school children was that of "God Save the Queen." The only concession to Naga taste was a pseudo head-hunting dance performed as part of the games by a small group of boys, but the costumes and hats, partly made of paper, were far from authentic.