Jan 21, 2014

Nagalim: Book On The Nagas Published

UK based Ashgate Publishing, has published a book on the Nagas. The author of the book, a Naga, examines the effects of colonization and proselytization on the Naga Culture. 

Below is an article by The Morung Express:

A book on the Nagas, titled “Progress and Its Impact on the Nagas: A Clash of Worldviews,” has just been released by Ashgate Publishing, an academic book and journal publisher based in the United Kingdom.

A press release issued by Ashgate Publishing, United Kingdom stated that Progress, the book contends, is a modern Western notion that life is always improving and advancing toward an ideal state. It is a vital modern concept, which underlies geographic explorations and scientific and technological inventions as well as the desire to harness nature in order to increase human beings’ ease and comfort. With the advent of Western colonization and to the great detriment of the colonized, the notion of progress began to perniciously and pervasively permeate across non-Western cultures.

The book details the effects of colonization and proselytization on the Nagas and their culture. In it, the author argues that the interaction between the Nagas and the West has resulted in the gradual demise of the Naga culture. As such, it is almost a cliché to assert that since the colonial and missionary contact, the long evolved Naga traditional values are being replaced by Western values and practices. The author is a Naga who consciously brings this ethnic identity and cultural experience to bear on his theoretical analyses. Overall, the writer intends to provide a counter-narrative that refutes the meta-narrative that currently defines the Nagas and their culture in the academia.

The author, Tezenlo Thong, received his Ph.D. in Religious and Theological Studies from the University of Denver and the Iliff School of Theology. Dr. Thong has previously published scholarly articles on the Nagas, including “Civilized Colonizers and Barbaric Colonized: Reclaiming Naga Identity by Demythologizing Colonial Portraits” (History and Anthropology) and “‘To Raise the Savage to a Higher Level’: The Westernization of the Nagas and their Culture” (Modern Asian Studies).