This volume is the first comprehensive study of the AO-Naga tribes of Assam. It deals with the habitat and general characteristics of the people personal appearance and artificial adornments, domestic life, social organization, religion and magic, the place of the Ao Nagas in the human family and the changes through contacts with more advanced peoples. J.H. Hutton in the introduction to this book says, "The importance of Prof. Smith's work is firstly the comparative point of view from which he was approached his subject, and more particularly in his treatment of the sociological problem which the acculturation of the Ao tribe presents. Although upto now no one of the monographs published has attempted to throw much light on the subject of acculturation, there can be no question but that the greatest service which an anthropological study of a backward tribe can perform for the people is to aid officials and educationalists in the measures to be taken and to be avoided when the tribe in question has to be brought into any scheme of modern administration. In this volume such a sketch of the Ao tribe as was necessary to the appreciation of the ethnological and sociological matter contained in it. The author and myself do not always agree on all the points raised, either of fact or of inference. The subject of the Ao tribe is one of great complexity.
As a whole this volume describes the life of the Ao Nagas, set them in their proper place in the human family and indicates the processes of bath personal and social disorganization and reorganization observed among them due to their contact with people who have moved farther along in the scale of civilization than they.