Hoineilhing Sitlhou, Deconstructing Colonial Ethnography: An Analysis of Missionary Writings on North East India, New Delhi: Ruby Press, 2017
Reviewed by Ngamtinlun Touthang
Deconstructing Colonial Ethnography: An Analysis of Missionary Writings on North East India by Hoineilhing Sitlhou is an attempt to critically analyse the writings of protestant Christian Missionaries in North East India during the 19th-20th centuries. The western missionaries along with the colonial administrators left rich written lit- eratures on local cultures, society and history which continue to play an important role in defining the history of the people of North East, especially tribal communi- ties. Earlier writings on Christian missionaries, especially by Christian writers, fo- cused mainly on how western missionaries arrived and spread the gospel in the North East, a region largely occupied by, as they termed it, ‘barbaric’, ‘savage’ and ‘uncivilised’ tribes. Local church leaders often compared the coming of Christianity as the arrival of ‘light’ to this dark world. Missionaries were considered God sent to save the ‘heathen’ people of North East.