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Call for papers for 2018 Hutton Lectures will be out in February.

New Kohima Institute Building was inaugurated on 2nd December, 2017.

New publications with Highlander Books: "Nagas in the 21st Century" edited by Jelle JP Wouters and Michael Heneise; and "Exploring Democracy in Nagaland: Tribes, Traditions, and Tensions" edited by Jelle JP Wouters and Zhoto Tunyi. Please visit for more information.


The title of this book; ‘Nagas in the 21st Century’, is both an adaptation and a (modest) self-proclaimed sequel to Verrier Elwin’s (1969) iconic Nagas in the Nineteenth Century. In this anthology, Elwin introduces and brings together a collection of administrative reports, tour diaries, and ethnographic descriptions on Naga tribes, all written in the 19th century. During the colonial era Naga tribes turned into an ethnological hotbed, even a cradle of British social anthropology. Back then, writings on Nagas were many, varied and colorful, and included rituals and religion, political structures and sentiments, taboos and omens, dress and ornaments, funeral customs, head-hunting, monolithic cultures, and so on. This ubiquity of colonial accounts, however, contrasts starkly with the scant material generated during the post-colonial period. In fact, as a corollary of the protracted Indo-Naga conflict scholars working on Nagas now grapple with a decades-wide ethnographic void. This, however, is now starting to change. The contributors to this edited volume take Elwin’s anthology, or other colonial sources, as a point of reference, and then link these texts to their own areas of research, offering critiques, comparisons, and contrasts as they proceed. Taken together, the chapters aim to offer a set of insights and new departures into the study of contemporary Naga society.

Highlander Books [] is an independent international academic publisher of monographs and edited volumes in the humanities and social sciences. Carrying the imprimatur of The Highlander, a distinguished community of scholars in highland Asia, Highlander Books is dedicated to the highest academic standards through the scholarly appraisal of its editorial team and worldwide community of reviewers. Its chosen programme of publications includes:

Anthropology • Film, Media & Cultural Studies • History • Indigenous Studies • Language & Linguistics • Literary Studies • Music • Philosophy • Politics • Religious Studies


The Kohima Institute hosted its 5th Annual Hutton Lectures on 2nd December in the new Kohima Institute building. Renown Naga author and poet Easterine Kire gave a wonderful presentation fresh off the plane from receiving the Book of the Year Award for fiction at the Tata Literature Live Awards 2017 with her book ‘Son of the Thundercloud’. Dr Peter J. Matthews, one of the world's great ethnobotanists, then delivered this year's Hutton Lecture on the taro plant, and the significance of Zomia as a possible region of origin prior to its global spread. We also saw the launch of Highlander Books ( by Dr Michael Heneise, as well as Highlander's first publication: 'Nagas in the 21st Century', edited by Wouters and Heneise. Special thanks to Dharamsing Teron for joining Dr Heneise in unveiling this first book. Many thanks also to Dr Manas Bordoloi for offering to transport the books all the way from Guwahati. Finally, we are grateful to Mrs Asanuo Heneise and Miss Fifi Savino Yhome for helping with the book stalls; to Dr Viketoulie Pienyü for organising the refreshments; and Yirmiyan Arthur and Kekhrie Yhome for treating the crowd to an unforgettable post-lecture dinner.

Passing Things On.pdf


2014, Passing Things On: Ancestors and Genealogies in Northeast India (Hutton Lectures Series, Volume I) edited by Michael Heneise, with Iliyana Angelova, Subhadra Mitra Channa, Mark Elliott, Edward Moon-Little, Meripeni Ngully, Iris Odyuo and Dharamsing Teron, Published by Heritage Publishing House, Dimapur, India.

In this volume we gather local and international scholars engaging the ‘field’ and the ‘archive’ to interrogate objects and a few of anthropology’s own ancestors. In this way, fresh insights are gained that enrich our understanding of colonial history, the motivations of its many actors, and what it means for ethnographic collections, contemporary expressions and communities of origin.

To purchase a copy please visit or the publisher's Facebook page

The Kohima Institute is a charitable public trust, registered in Nagaland, India. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all material is copyright © The Kohima Institute 2018.