The term ’progress’ 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 cultures. This book details the impact of the notion of progress on the Nagas and their culture. The interaction between the Nagas and the West, beginning with British military conquest and followed by American missionary intrusion, has resulted in the gradual demise of Naga culture. It is almost a cliché to assert that since the colonial contact, the long evolved Naga traditional values are being replaced by Western values. Consequences are still being felt in the lack of sense of direction and confusion among the Nagas today. Just like other Indigenous Peoples, whose history is characterized by traumatic cultural turmoil because of colonial interference, the Nagas have long been engaged in self-shame, self-negation and self-sabotage.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1 The Notion of Progress in Perspective 2 The Notion of Progress – Its Application and Ramifications 3 The British Colonization of the Nagas 4 The American Missionization of the Nagas 5 Colonial Portrait and the Colonizing of the Mind 6 The Notion of Progress and Contemporary Nagas Conclusion: The Future Lies in the Past
Tezenlo Thong received his PhD degree in Religious and Theological Studies from the University of Denver and the Iliff School of Theology. His academic interests include indigenous cultures and religious traditions and colonization, proselytization and their impact on cultures at the periphery.