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.
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
Routledge's Vitality of Indigenous Religions series offers an exciting cluster of research monographs, drawing together volumes from leading international scholars across a wide range of disciplinary perspectives. Indigenous religions are vital and empowering for many thousands of indigenous peoples globally, and dialogue with, and consideration of, these diverse religious life-ways promises to challenge and refine the methodologies of a number of academic disciplines, whilst greatly enhancing understandings of the world.
This series explores the development of contemporary indigenous religions from traditional, ancestral precursors, but the characteristic contribution of the series is its focus on their living and current manifestations. Devoted to the contemporary expression, experience and understanding of particular indigenous peoples and their religions, books address key issues which include: the sacredness of land, exile from lands, diasporic survival and diversification, the indigenization of Christianity and other missionary religions, sacred language, and re-vitalization movements. Proving of particular value to academics, graduates, postgraduates and higher level undergraduate readers worldwide, this series holds obvious attraction to scholars of Native American studies, Maori studies, African studies and offers invaluable contributions to religious studies, sociology, anthropology, geography and other related subject areas.