The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book - 'Naga Path', by Ursula Graham Bower, published John Murray 1950

caption: Chapter one. The Beginning
caption: British colonial administration
medium: books
person: MillsPawsey
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: Under British administration the Naga country and the other Assam hill-tracts formed " excluded areas " excluded, that is, from the control of the Provincial Legislature and left in the hands of the Governor. The object of this was neither repression nor the artificial preservation of primitive cultures; it was designed to protect the hillman from exploitation, to reduce to a minimum the bureaucracy with which he had to contend, and to cushion him against the impact of civilization until he was educated to withstand it alone. Should anyone doubt the propriety of withholding the benefits of civilization for even a short time, may I point out that prostitution and venereal disease are unknown to the untouched tribes but are the first blessings imported by the higher races.
text: The administration of hill districts was a very personal matter, depending almost entirely upon the individual officer and his influence. It called for men with integrity, tact, infinite patience and real devotion to their often obstreperous charges. Speaking as one who has seen the process of government from a worm's eye view and not from a coign of vantage in official circles, I should like to pay tribute to the remarkably high standard attained. The district of Naga Hills in particular was fortunate in its officers, and under such men as Hutton, Mills and Pawsey it enjoyed a long period of just and sympathetic control to which Naga loyalty and co-operation in two wars are a tribute.