chapter  3
26 Pages

The British Colonization of the Nagas

To sum up, the roles of printing, gunpowder and compass as facilitators of the projects of colonization are best summarized by Fuller when she wrote:

Henry Balfour in his presidential address to the British Folklore Society, noted above, stated unambiguously that bringing progress or civilization to ‘primitive’ people was not simply a responsibility but the White person’s right as well. Balfour had just returned from a three-month visit to the Naga Hills in 1922, and his address was replete with his concerns for the welfare of the ‘primitive’ Nagas.1 One concern was ‘rescuing a very interesting people from inclusion in the category of “dwindling populations” and “moribund races”’ (Balfour 1923: 21). Then he reminded his fellow folklorists of their responsibility and challenged them saying, ‘Our conscientious aim is to raise the savage to a higher level … by evolution, not by revolution’ (ibid.).