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: views on whether times were improving
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyaks
location: Wakching
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 1970
text: In the course of my stay in Wakching I asked many of my old friends whether they thought that during the past thirty years or so their condition had changed for the better or for the worse. When I had asked the same question in the previously unadministered villages, such as Shangnyu or Tang, most people had welcomed the greater security they enjoyed since the suppression of feuds and head-hunting, but in Wakching, where people had been safe from raids even in 1936, there had been little change in the degree of security, and opinions on the desirability of change were by no means unanimous. Many villagers thought there had been improvements, such as better medical facilities and the easy accessibility to many useful material goods, but others maintained that life had been easier in the old days because there were fewer rules and people could do what they liked. One middle-aged man, in particular, was outspoken in the assertion that the Konyaks wanted to be left alone and would not mind if all officials, and with them schools, hospitals, roads, and electricity disappeared and the whole modern development came to a standstill.