Hutton Lectures Tour of Zeliangrong

8th - 15th December, 2014 | Nagaland


The Kohima Institute, in coordination with the Government of Nagaland and Zeliangrong communities in Assam, Manipur and Nagaland went on a seven-day tour, from 8th to 15th December, for the purpose of sharing old photographs recently unearthed at the Cambridge MAA that are likely of interest to the communities visited. In conjunction with the Hutton Lectures, held on the 3rd and 4th December in Kohima, the Kohima Institute organised the seven-day tour keeping in mind the approaching January 2015 Centenary celebrations of Rani Gaidinliu’s birth. Tour organisers requested that participants keep in mind the possibility of a simple edited book on the communities visited, incorporating their observations and interactions recorded during the tour.

In coordination with Dr Arkotong Longkumer of Edinburgh University who is an authority on the Haraka movement, as well as Dr Roland Platz of the Berlin Ethnological Museum, Dr Vibha Joshi of Oxford University and Tubingen University, Dr Mark Elliott, Senior Curator at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge University, Mr Akshaya Tankha, visual anthropologist at Toronto University, and photographer and visual anthropologist Mr Edward Moon-Little of Oxford University, the envisioned publication would develop linkages between contemporary observation and rare archival materials from collections in the UK and Europe. Michael Heneise, co-coordinator of the tour along with Mr Elu Ndang and Mr Kekhrie Yhome, directed the project, including coordinating interviews, gathering archival material, and working closely with local scholars and community leaders in the towns and villages visited during the tour. Production of the book would be funded by the Kohima Institute, and income from sales would go toward future expeditions aimed at forging ties between local communities and higher learning.

Given limited seats (three SUVs), priority was given to scholars traveling from abroad. Eight scholars in total, including five international scholars, and four guides, traveled on 8th December beginning in Dimapur, and included stops in Haflong, Binakandi, Asalu, Hangrun, Laisong, Peren, Zenui, and Makhel before returning to Kohima on the 15th.