John Henry Hutton obtained his DSc degree (1924) from the University of Oxford, UK. His area of specialization was anthropology. He was an Honorary Fellow, St Catherine’s College, Cambridge, UK (1951); a Member, Anthropological Institute (sometime President), Folklore Society of England (1939-42), and Asiatic Society; an Honorary Member of Anthropologische Gesellschaft (Vienna) and Frazer Lecturer, Oxford (1938).
Academic and Research Achievements: Hutton was a reputed anthropologist having contributed to the anthropology of Eastern India, particularly, on the Angami Nagas and Sema Nagas. He worked in Naga Hills for twenty years and studied the racial traits and their languages, habitat and affinities of the tribe, their origin and their dress and appearance, games, domestic life, agriculture, customs, laws, religion, folklore, etc. Hutton was an efficient ethnographer who would venture and risk his life for the collection of facts and their verification. In a series of notes in the census volumes, he attempted to compare and establish affinities among different Nagas and other tribes in Assam. He concluded that tribes in Assam migrated from several directions and even found striking similarities with Indonesian types. He made a detailed comparison of tribal cultures of Polyneasian and Melanesian islands with those of tribes of Assam. Based on his studies, Hutton published reports on Census of India, Caste in India, Sema Nagas (monograph) and many other topics.
Awards and Honours: Hutton was a recipient of Rivers Memorial Medal (1922); Silver Medal of Royal Society of Arts (1932); Annandale Memorial Medal of Asiatic Society (1937); CIE (1920) and Sheriff of Radnorshire (1943). He was President, Anthropology Section (1927) and President (1935) of Indian Science Congress.