The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: trip to Tamenglong
caption: Chapter one. The Beginning
caption: Mr. Jeffery's views on the hill men contrasted with those of other Europeans
medium: books
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: It was a new world, too, in another way. Jeffery had a friendly, tolerant liking for the hillmen. At any rate, he saw them as human beings. If their world differed from his, he was prepared to recognize theirs as a distinct entity, complete in itself, and respect it as such. There was a great difference here between his view and Imphal's, which, at least on the non-administrative side, inclined to be strongly European, and poked fun at anyone, of whatever race, whose standards were not exactly its own. It is an understandable reaction, perhaps, in a small group of people isolated, surrounded and pressed in upon all sides by the strong tides of native life, by cultures and standards quite other than those to which they must conform on their eventual return home. There are those so detached from the world, saints so supported by an inner strength, that they can move untroubled through half the conflicting cultures of the globe; but the ordinary mortal has only his small props and stays of precept and custom to sustain him, and when they crack under outside pressure, he can but close the ranks and defend the shell bravely.