The Naga peoples' struggle for creative integration: The competing moral visions of ali-rongsen (cultural economy) and sen (monetized economy)
CONTENTS TABLES vi ABBREVIATIONS vii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ix CHAPTER ONE: LOCATING THE CONTEXT AND ARGUMENT OF THE PRESENT STUDY 1 Introduction 1 Section One: The Historical Context of Encounter and Social Change 5 Section Two: Locating the Contemporary Context 20 Section Three: The Competing Moral Visions of Ali-rongsen and Sen: The Problem and the Argument 26 Section Four: Defining Key Terms and Clarifying the Approach of the Dissertation 50 Section Five: Brief Literature Review of Ali-rongsen's and Sen's Competing Moral Visions 72 CHAPTER TWO: THE MORAL VISION OF ALI-RONGSEN: CULTURAL ECONOMY 84 Introduction 84 Ali-rongsen's Foundational Social System: Semi-village Republics 92 Ali-rongsen's View of Naga Peoplehood: Cultural Integrity and Political Sovereignty 107 Ali-rongsen's Economic Framework: Cultural Economy 112 Ali-rongsen's Primary Social Institutions: Locally-embedded Institutions 133 Ali-rongsen's Set of Social Practices: Multi-dimensional Social Practices 138 Ali-rongsen's Pervasive Cultural Values: Person-community Durability and Reciprocity 147 in
Chapter Summary , 151 CHAPTER THREE: THE MORAL VISION OF SEN: MONETIZED ECONOMY... 153 Introduction 153 Sen's Foundational Social System: The Indian Nation-state System and Baptist Polity 155 Sen's View of Naga Peoplehood: India's and God's Sovereignty over the Naga People 164 Sen's Economic Framework: Monetized Economy and Spiritualization of Sen 175 Sen's Primary Economic institutions: Centralized Economic Institutions and Semi-Spiritual Institutions 206 Sen's Set of Economic Practices: Homogenous Economic Practices and Giving Tenia 217 Sen's Pervasive Economic Values: Individual Durability, Accumulation, and the Christian Virtue of Giving Tenia 226 Chapter Summary 234 CHAPTER FOUR: INTEGRATING VISION: AO NAGA PAN-RELATIONAL BEING 236 Introduction 236 Section One: Ideological Factors Perpetuating the Competition between Ali-rongsen and Sen 237 Section Two: The Need for Constructing an Indigenous Theory of AKSA 241 Section Three: The Moral Trilemma caused by Ali-rongsen's and Sen's Competing Moral Visions 259 Section Four: The Pervasive Features of AKSA 280 Section Five: The Fundamental Integrating Principles of AKSA 284 Chapter Summary 319 iv
CHAPTER FIVE: AKSA INTEGRATING THE COMPETING MORAL VISIONS OF ALI-RONGSEN AND SEN: NAGA CULTURAL-MONETIZED ECONOMY 320 Introduction 320 Section One: The Pervasive Features of a Naga Cultural-monetized Economy 323 Section Two: The Fundamental Integrating Principles of Naga Cultural-monetized Economy 328 Section Three: An Ethical Assessment of Naga Cultural-monetized Economy 77 Chapter Summary 389 EPILOGUE: IMPLICATIONS OF THE PRESENT STUDY FOR FUTURE RESEARCH 390 Introduction 390 Concluding Thoughts 398 APPENDICES 400 GLOSSARY 405 BIBLIOGRAPHY 408 v
TABLES Table 1 A Summary of the Foundational Social Systems of Ali-rongsen and Sen Table 2 A Summary of Ali-rongsen's and Sen's View of Naga Peoplehood Table 3 A Summary of the Economic Framework of Ali-rongsen and Sen Table 4 A Summary of the Social and Economic Institutions of Ali-rongsen and Sen Table 5 A Summary of the Social and Economic Practices of Ali-rongsen and Sen Table 6 A Summary of the Cultural and Economic Values of Ali-rongsen and Sen Table 7 Fundamental Tensions in the Moral Visions of Ali-rongsen and Sen Table 8 Key Tensions in Ali-rongsen's and Sen's Foundational Social Systems Table 9 Key Tensions in Ali-rongsen's and Sen's View of Naga Peoplehood Table 10 Key Tensions in Ali-rongsen's and Sen's Economic Framework Table 11 Key Tensions in Ali-rongsen's and Sen's Institutions Table 12 Key Tensions in Ali-rongsen's and Sen's Practices Table 13 Key Tensions in Ali-rongsen's and Sen's Values Table 14 A Naga Cultural-monetized Economic Life-world VI
ABBREVIATIONS ABAM ADB ABCC AFSPA AKSA ANCSU AR APOs AS ATC ASC ASN AWC AWO AYO BSF BODA CBI CRPF CTC ENPO ENSF EUUN FC FGI GSDP GOI IAEC LADP IAF ICSC ILP JFNGD KCCI LEP LKM MDoNER NBCC NDC NDO NEC NEFA NEI NGA Ao Baptist Arogo Mungdang Asian Development Bank Ao Baptist Churches Convention (the English term for ABAM) The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 Ajak Kulemi Sendakteba Aliba All Nagaland College Students' Union The Assam Rifles The Ao Public Organizations Ao Senden Ao Tribal Council Ao Students' Conference Anthropological Society of Nagaland Ao Womens' Council Angami Women's Organization Angami Youth Organization The Border Security Force Border Area Development Agency Central Bureau Intelligence The Central Reserve Police Force Clark Theological College Eastern Nagaland Peoples' Organization Eastern Naga Students' Federation Educated Unemployed Union Nagaland Finance Commission Federal Government of India Gross State Domestic Product Government of India Indian Army's Eastern Command Local Area Development Program The Indian Armed Forces Indigenous Cultural Society Centre Inner Line Permit Joint Forum of Nagaland Goanboras and Dobashis Kohima Chambers of Commerce and Industries Look East Policy Langpangkong Kaketshir Mungdang The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region Nagaland Baptist Churches' Council National Development Council Nagaland Development Outreach The North Eastern Council North East Frontier Agency North-East India Nagaland Geoscientist Association Vll
NISC NLCPR NMA NMM NNC-Adino NNC-Federal NNC-Senka NPMHR NSCN-Unification NSCN-IM NSCN-K NSCS NSCW NSF NSH NWUM OTS PC PR RBI SPS SGN SSGE TBA UNC UNCM UN-IWGIA UNPO UT's vc VDB VEC VEMB VHC VTB WB WEC WM Naga International Support Center Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources Naga Mothers' Association Nagaland Missionary Movement Naga National Council-Adino Naga National Council-Federal Naga National Council-Senka Naga People's Movement for Human Rights National Socialist Council of Nagaland National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isaac/Muivah National Socialist Council of Nagaland Non-Special Category States Nagaland State Commission for Women Naga Students' Federation Naga Shisa Hoho Naga Women's Union Manipur Oriental Theological Seminary Planning Commission Public Relations Reserve Bank of India Special Category States State Government of Nagaland Salaried State Government Employees Tribe-based Baptist associations United Naga Council United Naga Council Manipur United Nations-International Working Group on Indigenous Affairs Unrepresented Nations' Peoples Organization Union Territories Village Council Village Development Boards Village Education Committee Village Electricity Management Boards Village Health Committee Village Tourism Board World Bank Ward Education Committee Watsu Mungdang (Ao Women's Conference) Vl l l
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS For the Naga indigenous peoples, it takes the entire village and tribe to raise a person. My humble study process involves years of interaction and the spiritual blessing of ancestors and grandparents some of whom are no longer alive, my siblings, nieces and nephews. In addition, neighbors, church members, friends, colleagues, teachers, mentors, journeyers, along with God's love and grace, have enriched and helped me toward completing this dissertation. For this, I remain indebted and grateful. I want to begin by thanking God and the Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) for providing me the rare opportunity to pursue a Master of Theology degree and a Doctorate in Philosophy, along with a Presidential scholarship and a doctoral fellowship. My dissertation advisor, Dr. Mark L. Taylor, showed extraordinary commitment in shepherding me throughout the dissertation writing process. His critical insights have helped me to boldly embrace the notion of pan-relational being that I developed here in this dissertation. I thank him for giving me the freedom to explore my intellectual imagination while always insisting that I sharpen my analytical skills. My sincere gratitude to Dr. Max L. Stackhouse, who served as the chair of my dissertation committee until his retirement in the Spring of 2007. He has played a key role in shaping my study program and research agendas. His intellectual generosity and enormous pastoral sensitivity during his time at Princeton Seminary were invaluable. I extend my gratitude to Dr. Peter J. Paris and Dr. Richard F. Young who also served as members of my dissertation committee. They have shown a special interest in my work and have made this dissertation stronger, allowing me to draw from the disciplines of Social Ethics and the History of Religions. I am particularly thankful to Dr. Paris for his ix
role as a kind supportive teacher and in guiding me dedicatedly throughout my doctoral study program. Many other professors from the seminary have contributed to the success of my doctoral program and dissertation for which I am thankful. Dr. Richard Fenn, Dr. Nancy Duff, Dr. Richard Osmer, Dr. Venzel VanHuysteen, Dr. Kathleen McVey, and Dr. Elsie McKee have contributed invaluable insights. I am also grateful to Princeton University professors: Dr. Rena Lederman and Dr. John Borneman in the department of anthropology, and Dr. Smitu Kothari and Dr. Nagaraj Rayaprolu at the Woodrow Wilson School. I am grateful to another group of people, my friends and professors, who supported my study plans in the USA: Dr. Kiran Sebastian, Dr. Samson Prabhakar, Dr. Sathianathan Clarke, Dr. M. P. Joseph, Dr. Lalsangkima Pachuau, Dr. A. Wati Longchar, Dr. M. Rongsen, Dr. Takatemjen, Dr. Atula Longkumer, and Cyble Soans. I am also indebted to Dr. Katharine Sakenfeld, Director of PhD Studies, and Betty Angelucci in the PhD Studies Office, who extended special support throughout my program of studies. I am grateful to all the Princeton Seminary Library staff led by Dr. Stephen Crocco, and in particular Kate Skrebutenas, Don Vorp, and Betsy Soans. I would also like to thank the Princeton University libraries. I need to thank Lisa Powell, who took pains in working with me so closely to bring the first draft of the dissertation to a readable form. Thanks to Daniel Escher and Israel Durham who showed special interest in editing my work. I appreciate all of their patience and kindness in helping me translate the Naga worldview to North American readers in English. Special thanks to Dr. Nimi Wariboko for playing the role of a mentor, friend, and a dear brother, particularly when I was writing the dissertation. I am indebted to the x
following people who have read and engaged my work several times: Tiatoshi Longkumer, Meren Longchar, and my wife Renemsongla Ozukum. Even as I submit this dissertation, there are friends who are reading sections of it. Advance thanks to Dr. A. Wati Longchar, Mangyang Imsong, Atula Jamir, Imli Jamir, Walunir Tzudir, and Akum Longhead. In addition, my friends, such as Dr. Bruno Linhares, Alice Yafeh, Elvis Alves, and Edip Aydin, have encouraged and supported me consistently throughout the course of my doctoral program. Christopher Conway, Dr. Jacob Cherian, Dr. Peter Henry, Dr. Chip Hardwick, and Temsuwati Kechu, I owe special thanks for your help during my comprehensive exams during the 2005-2006 academic year. Some many of my colleagues in the PhD program have fostered wonderful conversations and extended collegial support during my course work from 2003-2005: Samuel J. Logan, Jonathan Walton, Lawrence Stratton, Yuki Shimata, Raimundo Paretto, Regina Langley, Christina Busman, Elias Shang-Jen Chen, Tommy Casarez, Kirk Nolan, and Hyun-So Kim. My gratitude goes to the following colleagues in the PhD program: Nathan Heib, SeongSek Heo, Yaw Edu-Bekoe, Nicole Kirk, John Fleet, Carmen Maer, Jonathan Seitz, Sun-young Kim, Sarah Zhang, Hyung-Jin Park, Seng-kong Tan, Ron Choong, Stephen Kamalesh, and Laseng Dingrin. I also want to thank the following friends, students, and members of the larger PTS family: Keun-joo Christine Pae, Erine Hasinoff, Shirvahna Gobin, Sarah Anderson and Paulson Rajarigam, Adrienne Daniels Paris, Jean Stackhouse, Kenneth Henke, Samuel Olson, Joseph Kramp, Hani and Lucy Kostandi, Manoj and Kalpana Shrestha, Kenneth Hencke, Samuel Olson, Reggie Abraham, Chang-woo Lee, Rebbeca Montgomery, Sanno Thuan, Emmanuel Lalfelkima, Edward Buri, Chubarenla Lima, Laura Testa, Johnson Thomaskutty, James Elisha, Ninu xi
Chandy, Mati Moros, Takatani, Mitsuyo, Peter Chen, David Lai, Mary Carol Perrott, Clifford Bell, Scott Haile, George Gellespie, and Charlotte Fletcher. I am most grateful to the online Naga newspapers such as Morung Express, Nagaland Page, Nagaland Post, and to the website www.kuknalim.com. I would like extend my gratitude to the following friends near and afar for making our life meaningful while studying at Princeton: Dr. Susan D-Souza, Sean D'Souza, Angel and John Beeson, Marie K. Wilson, the Rev. James P. and Pamela Morton, Samantha Freitas, Rev. Ellen Frost, Craig and Flora Boyer, Ben and Wendy Koenig, Rev. John and Aruna Desai, Doren, Damen and Thaja Thangjam, Eyingbeni Humtsoe, and Imsula Longchar. I also want to thank the following ecumenical institutions and friends: Luciano Kovacs, WSCF-NAR, New York; Dinesh Suna, CASA-India, Sunita Suna WSCF-Asia Pacific, Rev. Awala Longkumer, NCC-India, Masao Koide and Cynthia Yuen, WSCF-AP, Kathy and George Todd, WSCF-NAR Trustees, New York; Inbaraj Jeykumar, SCMI Bangalore, Max Ediger, ICF-Asia Pacific, Rev. Chloe Breyer and Matthew Weiner, the ICNY, NY, and Rev. Walu Walling, ABAM, Nagaland. I am also grateful to the following members of the extended Naga family in the USA: Rev. Dr. Mar Imsong, Bendangla, Tali Jamir, Asola Pongen, Lovily and Khetoshi Chishi, Dr. Abraham Lotha, I. Narola Ao, Imna Imchen, Athisu Mao, Dr. Temsula Chenth, Beth and Joshua Loren, Rev. Dr. David and Dr. Helene Slessarev-Jamir, Rev. Ajungla and Rev. Melind Sojwal, Dr. Thenzolo Thong, and Dolly Kikon. Thanks to the following people for supporting our family during the fifth and sixth year of my study program: members of the Crestwood Christian Church Disciples of Christ, Lexington, KY; John Backer of the Church World Service, New York, NY; xii
Rev. James Vijayakumar, Area Executive of Southern Asia, Common Global Ministries of the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). My sincere gratitude to PTS Chapel Minister Janice Ammon for her pastoral ministry with our family and the following administrative staff: Mary Munn, Theresa Williams, Doris Croch, and Matthew Spina. I want to thank the staff in the following seminary departments for giving me campus student employment: Speer Library Circulation Desk, Special Collections, Barth Studies, Facilities, Duplicating, and the Computer Lab. I extend my sincere gratitude to Dr. E. Obiri Addo for giving me the opportunity to do my Optional Practical Training with the First Presbyterian Church of Irvington, NJ. I want to give my sincere thanks to Pastor and Rev. Dr. Louis Ao and Aienla Ao, and the church members for giving us the opportunity to worship with the Grace Community Fellowship in Edison, NJ. I also want to thank the Westerley Road Church at Princeton, NJ for the fellowship we had with them. My gratitude to Pastor Matthew Ristuccia, Elise Fiuczybski, Ross Wagner, Jane Neuwrith, and Mimi Tsai, to name a few. I would like to thank all my family members in Nagaland, India for their trust and continued prayers during my study in Princeton. My dissertation would not have been completed if Luiz and Joselita Nascimento had not adopted us as family members. I am grateful to them for their love and special care for my son Lenir Kechu. I remain indebted to them in many ways. Thanks to our wonderful otsu (grandmother) Kathryn G. Boyer for surrounding our family with endless love and support, who made our stay in Princeton so happy and full of care. Of course, to my little boy Lenir Kechu the miracle of God's love and assurance, for being my source of inspiration and for bringing joy during moments of discouragement. I will no longer say goodnight prayers only by xiii
phone. Finally, to my wife Renemsongla Ozukum who is the main reason for the success of this dissertation. Her dedication, prayer, support, and humor have added much energy during the writing process. She has patiently gone through so many different experiences and difficult circumstances with me. Above all, I want to thank her for being a great conversation partner, and for journeying and teaching me the meaning of pan-relational being in real life. She is the best example of the philosophy of pan-relational being that is offered here in this dissertation. I thank God and the spirit of pan-relational being for blessing, hope, and sustenance.
CHAPTER ONE LOCATING THE CONTEXT AND ARGUMENT OF THE PRESENT STUDY INTRODUCTION Naga people in the Nagaland state inhabit the North East Region (NEI)1 of India. The Ao people is one the sixteen Naga tribes. Naga people have employed a variety of strategies both to retain their cultural-political ways of life and creatively absorb new external forms of socio-cultural institutions that are not their own. This creates enormous challenges as well as offers them the opportunities for a process of creative integration. Naga people exemplify ingenuity in the preservation of certain tribal practices and institutions while adapting in order to do so. These patterns and practices include: engaging in a struggle for political independence from the Government of India (GOI), experimenting with modern democracy through the State Government of Nagaland (SGN), practicing a mixed economic life, pursuing modern formal education, and adopting the faith and polity of Baptist, Roman Catholic, Revivalist, and Pentecostal Christianity. This dissertation studies contemporary Naga peoples' struggle to creatively integrate the competing moral visions of ali-rongsen (indigenous cultural economy) and sen (monetized economy) as defined by the Ao Naga indigenous philosophy of ajak 1 NEI is a commonly used term in India. 2 Unless necessary for making explicit references to or drawing comparisons between the GOI and the SGN, I will be using the term "government" or "state" in referring to both the GOI and the SGN. My explicit use of the GOI refers to the constitutional form of government, federal form of governance, and Central Government of India. In some contexts, I use the term GOI interchangeably with other terms such as the Indian Union, the center, and India. My choice of these interchangeable terms depends mostly on the subject and context of discussion. 31 am aware that these are all loaded terms indicating various levels of social processes and changes. I am using them here only to indicate the levels of social change that shape and inform the contemporary Naga context. 1
2 kulemi sendakteba aliba. A direct translation of this is "living together in interrelationship with all of the life-world," which I capture in the abbreviated phrase "pan-relational being." I will show how the Naga people engage and perceive the world and human existence from the perspective of this pan-relational being, particularly as it mediates and integrates the moral tensions between cultural and monetized economy. In Nagaland, the indigenous cultural economy is primarily practiced by the tribe (semi- village republics, pan-Ao and pan-Naga tribes). The monetized economy is predominantly pursued by the state (the government of India, the state government of Nagaland) and the Church (the Naga Baptist Churches Council). I will be referring to the entities of the tribe, the state, and the Church as "three-fold institutions." This chapter lays out the general context and the argument of the dissertation and it is divided into five sections. Because of the background necessary for understanding ali-rongsen and sen in Section One, I will provide a brief historical background of encounters between the Naga tribes and British colonialism, the American Baptist missionaries, and the various forces of the government.4 In Section Two, I will present a brief ethnographic background of the contemporary cultural and political setting of the ^ ft 7 Ao village, pan-Ao tribe and the pan-Naga tribes. As will be explained later, 4 Most of the materials presented in Section One may appear familiar to Naga readers and particularly to an informed Ao Naga reader. However, this section will serve as crucial background information for non-Naga readers. 5 Terms such as "Ao village," "Ao villages" and "village" represent the localized identity of the Ao people. Throughout this dissertation, I will be using these terms interchangeably in discussing the micro and local aspect of identity limited within the confines of a village. 6 "Pan-Ao tribe" or "Ao tribe" is a level of identity above the Ao village. It refers to the Ao tribe as a whole or a generalized Ao identity. Pan-Ao tribe is formed out of a union of all the villages among the Ao people. I call the associations at the level of the pan-Ao tribe "pan-Ao tribal institutions," "pan-Ao Naga organizations," and "pan-Ao organizations."
3 according to the Naga hohof the apex body of pan-Naga organizations (PNOs) in Nagaland, there are currently more than sixty-one9 Naga tribes that inhabit the four states10 of the NEI and parts of eastern Myanmar. In Section Three, I will discuss the problem and argument of this dissertation: the notions of ali-rongsen and sen among the Naga people. It will also lay out the objectives, significance, and approach of the dissertation. Finally, in Section Four, I will provide a brief background and analysis of the literature related to cultural economy and monetized economy. Before taking up the leading sections in this chapter, I would like to quickly clarify what I mean by the terms Naga, tribe, indigenous, and clan. Terms: Naga, Tribe, Indigenous, and Clan The word "Naga" is a generic term used to describe the "different but more or less allied cultures" of about sixty tribes that inhabit the NEI and eastern Myanmar.11 Nagas12 7 "Pan-Naga tribe," "pan-Naga tribes," "Naga tribe," and "Naga" are levels higher than the pan-Ao tribe or tribe. Throughout this dissertation, I will be using these terms in reference to the entire Naga tribes. These are umbrella terms that provide a generalized Naga identity for all the tribes in the state of Nagaland. The tribal institutions at the level of the pan-Naga tribe are interchangeably called "pan-Naga tribal organization," "pan-Naga tribal institutions," "Naga tribal organization," and "Naga tribal institutions." 8 This information is based on the documentation provided by the Naga hoho, the apex body of the pan-Naga tribe. The Naga hoho is constituted by all the tribal councils in Nagaland. The term "pan-Naga organization" is used here to refer to organizations that bring together the Naga tribes in Nagaland under a common front. There are many pan-Naga organizations in Nagaland and I describe the significant ones in Chapter Two. The word hoho is an emic term referring to the form of Naga governance. In particular, it is a term that is rooted in the social system of the semi-village republics. It gained currency as a tribal political term as a result of the NNM. The Naga national workers started using the term since the declaration of "free Nagaland" in 1954. 9 See Naga hoho, White Paper (Kohima, 2002), 56-57. 10 These four states of the NEI are Nagaland, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and Manipur. 11 See R. Vashum, Nagas' Right to Self Determination (New Delhi: Mittal Publications, 2000), 12-13. 12 The exact origin and meaning of the term Naga remains unclear. However, it is generally agreed, both in popular and academic literature, that Naga means "with pierced ears."
4 consider themselves a group of tribal or indigenous peoples. They identify themselves as Nagas on the basis of the following commonalities: Tibeto-Burman13 mongoloid ethnic heritage, migration history, bio-ancestral lineage, tribal village institutions and social practices, tribal religions, occupation and settlement in predominantly hilly and mountainous landscapes, oral tradition, customary law, food habits, and semi-subsistent agrarian life, et al.14 In the context of the government, the term "tribe" guarantees certain positive reservations and privileges to a "scheduled tribe."15 When used in this sense, the term "tribe" is best understood as an imposed and ascribed term from the government of India. The other usage of the term "tribe" falls under the emic category,1 where it represents a tribe's cultural and political way of life. The following literature provides helpful historical background on the Nagas: Panger Imchen, Ancient Ao Naga Religion and Culture (New Delhi: Har-Anand Publication, 1993); Lingam Luithui and Nandita Haskar, Nagaland File (New Delhi: Lancer International, 1984); Bendangangshi, Glimpses of Naga History (Mokokchung, Nagaland: Supongwati Ao, 2000); Visier Sanyu, A History of Nagas and Nagaland: Dynamics of Oral Tradition in Village Formation (New Delhi: Common Wealth Publishers, 1996); Charles Chasie, The Naga Imbroglio: A Personal Perspective (Guwahati: Charles Chasie, 2000, Second edition). 131 am aware that the term "Tibeto-Burman" used for the purpose of ethnic classification tends to lump distinct cultures and ethnicities under a general category. Although certain general classifications are necessary, the use of the term itself becomes hegemonic when it tries to use the term itself as the norm for defining peoples and cultures. It is agreed today that the standardization of cultures and ethnic groups serves the project of promoting and consolidating colonial knowledge/control. Similarly, this practice was employed by the modern nation-states like India in defining the category of "schedules tribes." I cannot outline these points due to lack of space. 14 On Naga culture and history, see the following: N. Talitemjen Jamir and A Lanunungsang, Naga Society and Culture: A Case Study of the Ao Naga Society and Culture (Nagaland, India: Nagaland University Tribal Research Centre, 2005); Panger Imchen, Ancient Ao Naga Religion and Culture; William Carlson Smith, The Ao Naga Tibe of Assam (New Delhi: Mittal Publications, 2002 ). 15 K. Thanzauva, "Is 'Tribal' a Redeemable Term?" in In Search of Identity and Tribal Theology: A Tribute to Dr. Renty Keitzar, edited by A. Wati Longchar (Jorhat, India: Tribal Study Centre, 2000), 8-16; Brighstar Jones Syiemlieh, "The Viability of the Term 'Tribe' in the Light of Postmodernity," in In Search of Identity and Tribal Theology, 17-28.
5 My identification of the Nagas as a group of "indigenous"17 peoples is based on the recognition of the Naga tribes by the government and at the international level by organizations such as the United Nations-International Working Group on Indigenous Affairs (UN-IWGIA) and the Unrepresented Nations' Peoples Organization (UNPO). Finally, unlike the popular association of "clan" as a conglomeration formed out of different ethnicities, the understanding of clan among the Ao Nagas is limited within the context of the village.18 For the Ao Nagas, clan is the basis through which a common ancestry and ali ownership is identified. There are different levels of obligation and loyalty among the Ao Nagas. Naga loyalty begins first with blood and kin ties, then moves to relationships based on endogamous marriage, then to the clan, and finally to the tribe as a whole. I want to note here that the nature of priorities and obligations associated with being a clan member change depending on the context of social relationships. SECTION ONE: THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF ENCOUNTER AND SOCIAL CHANGE [Ijinstitutions, vocabulary, scholarship, imagery, doctrines, even colonial bureaucracies and colonial styles.. .supported the construction of the 'colonized other.'19 The above comment by Edward Said regarding the construction of "orientalism" applies also to the Naga experience of colonial forces. No researcher is spared the onus of presenting an account of the history of social change when the focus of the study For an explanation of the emic use of the term tribal, see Journal of South Asia, Special Issue, North East India: 2007. 171 employ the designation "indigenous" and "tribal" interchangeably although I prefer using the term indigenous in place of the term "traditional." For a discussion of the Nagas as a group of indigenous people, see IWGIA, Naga Nation and its Struggle Against Genocide, IWGIA Document 56 (Copenhagen: IWGIA, 1986). 181 discuss the institution of clans in Chapter Two. 19 Edward Said, Orientalism (Vintage Books: London, 1978), 2.
6 concerns the encounter and exchange between different political, social, and religious forces. This responsibility is particularly true when it comes to the history and representation of indigenous tribal peoples, such as the Ao Nagas and the other Naga tribes. To this end, I will provide the emic (internal) and etic (external) views of encounter and social change as it concerns the Naga people. Nagas: Through the Colonial, Missionary, and Indian Eyes The accounts of the first contact between the Nagas and outside forces exist, at best, as documents written to serve the interest of British colonial expansionism, American Baptist missionary activity, and the post-British Indian strategy of integration, assimilation, and military domination. Therefore, it is not possible to get a clear picture of the past, and even the current struggles of the Nagas, without engaging in a reconstructive reading of the colonial ethnographic monographs, missionary history, and the documents and policies of the Indian government. Although a detailed analysis of the documents is beyond the scope of this dissertation, I will flesh out the general thematic nature of contact and change that pertain to my treatment of ali-rongsen and sen. 201 have benefited from the PhD Seminar offered by Dr. Richard Young, Critical Issues in the Study of Religions, Spring 2007 in developing the distinction between emic and etic views. See also, Marvin Harris, "History and Significance of Emic/Etic Distinction," in Annual Review of Anthropology (1976): 329-350. 21 An important issue with regard to this has been the ideological conditioning of outsiders which prevented them from documenting the consequences and changes brought about by the external forces. I am unable to discuss this important point due to the limitation of space, but I bring this matter up wherever necessary. 221 am more concerned about presenting a thematic historical narrative than a discussion of all the historical and factual details that are involved.