NAGA, n.p. The name applied to an extensive group of unci vilised clans of warlike and vindictive character in the eastern part of the hill country which divides Assam Proper (or the valley of the Brahmaputra) from Kachar and the basin of the Surma. A part of these hills was formed into a British district, now under Assam, in 1867, but a great body of the Naga clans is still independent. The etymology of the name is disputed ; some identifying it with the Naga or Snake Aborigines, who are so prominent in the legends and sculptures of the Buddhists. But it is, perhaps, more probable that the word is used in the sense of ‘naked’ (Skt. nagna, Hind. nanga, Beng. nengta, &c.), which, curiously enou gh, is that which Ptolemy attributes to the name, and which the spelling of Shihabuddin also indicates. [The word is also used for a class of ascetics of the Dadupanthi sect, whose head-quarters are at Jaypur.]

c. A.D. 50.—“ [Greek Text] Kai mecri tou Maiandrou, . . . Nagga logai d shmalia gumnwn kosmoV.”—Ptol. VII. ii. 18.

c. 1662.—“The Rájah had first intended to fly to the Nágá Hills, but from fear of our army the Nágás1 would not afford him an asylum. ‘The Nágás live in the southern mountains of Asám, have a light brown complexion, are well built, but treacherous. In number they equal the helpers of Yagog and Magog, and resemble, in hardiness and physical strength the ’Adis (an ancient Arabian tribe). They go about naked like beasts.…Some of their chiefs came to see the Nawáb. They wore dark hip-clothes (lung), ornamented with cowries, and round about their heads they wore a belt of boar’s tusks, allowing their black hair to hand down their neck.’”—Shihábuddín Tálísh, tr. by Prof. Blochmann, in J. As. Soc. Beng., xli. Pt. i. p. 84. [See Plate xvi. of Dalton’s Descriptive Ethnology of Bengal; Journ. Anthrop. Inst. xxvi. 161 seqq.]

1883.—A correspondent of the “Indian Agriculturist” (Calcutta), of Sept. 1, dates from the Naga Hills, which he calls “Noga, from Nok, not Naga,…”an assertion which one is not bound to accept. “One on the Spot” is not bound to know the etymology of a name several thousand years old.

[Of the ascetic class:

[1879.—“The Nágás of Jaipur are a sect of militant devotees belonging to the Dádú Panthi sect, who are enrolled in regiments to serve the State ; they are vowed to celibacy and to arms, and constitute a sort of military order in the sect.”—Rajputana Gazetteer, ii. 147.]

NAGAREE, s. Hind. from Skt. nagari. The proper Sanskrit character, meaning literally ‘of the city’ ; and often called deva-nagari, ‘the divine city character.’

[1623.—“An antique character…us’d by the Brachmans, who in distinction from other vulgar Characters…call it Nagheri.”—P. della Valle, Hak. Soc. i. 75.

[1781.—“The Shanskrit alphabet…is now called Diewnagar, or the Language of Angels.…”—Halhed, Code, Intro. xxiii.]

[c. 1805.—“As you sometimes see Mr. Wilkins, who was the inventor of printing with Bengal and Nagree types.…”—Letter of Colebrooke, in Life, 227.]

NAIB, s. Hind. from Ar. nayab, a deputy ; (see also under NABOB).

[c. 1610.—In the Maldives, “Of these are constituted thirteen provinces, over each of which is a chief called a Naybe.”—Pyrard de Laval, Hak. Soc. i. 198.]

1682.—“Before the expiration of this time we were overtaken by ye Caddie’s Neip, ye Meerbar’s (see MEARBAR) deputy, and ye Dutch Director’s Vakill (see VAKEEL) (by the way it is observable ye Dutch omit no opportunity to do us all the prejudice that lyes in their power).”—Hedges, Diary, Oct. 11 ; [Hak. Soc. i. 35].

1765.—“…this person was appointed Niab, or deputy governor of Orissa.”—Holwell, Hist. Events, i. 53.

[1856.—“The Naib gave me letters to the chiefs of several encampments, charging them to provide me with horses.”—Ferrier, Caravan Journeys, 237.]

NAIK, NAIQUE, &c. s. Hind. nayak. A term which occurs in nearly all the vernacular languages ; from Skt. nayaka, ‘a leader, chief, general.’ The word is used in several applications among older writers (Portuguese) referring to the south and west of India, as meaning a native captain or headman of some sort (a). It is also a title of honour among Hindus in the Deccan (b). It is again the name of a Telugu caste, whence the general name of the Kings of Vijayanagara (A.D. 1325–1674), and of the Lords of

  By PanEris using Melati.

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