Lakher Pioneer Mission
Name of creator(s): Lakher Pioneer Mission
Administrative/Biographical history: The Lakher Pioneer Mission was established by Reginald Lorrain and his wife Maud at Serkawr in the South Lushai Hills, Assam, in 1907 to evangelise the tribes of the Chin, Arakan and Lushai Hills. At that time the people of this area were known to outsiders as Lakhers, but now describe themselves as Maras. The Lorrains were joined by a few assistant missionaries in the 1920s and 1930s. Only one of these, Albert Bruce Foxall, remained for more than a few years: he married the Lorrains’ only daughter Louise Marguerite Tlosai and took the surname Lorrain-Foxall. Because the Mission was so small, it had to ordain local pastors and assistants as quickly as possible and by the 1970s there had formed an evangelical church independent of the Mission. The latter continued to be staffed by the Lorrain-Foxall family until 1977 when Bruce Lorrain-Foxall died and the Mission closed.
Immediate source of acquisition:
CONTENT AND STRUCTURE
Scope and content/abstract: The Lakher Pioneer Mission was refused assistance by the main missionary societies, and was supported by the efforts of a fund-raising group based on the Lorrains’ home church at Penge and, from the 1930s, by Bruce Lorrain-Foxall’s family and church in Bridgnorth, Shropshire. The present collection largely consists of Bruce Lorrain-Foxall’s letters home to his family, his diaries, and the papers of the United Kingdom supporters of the Mission. Reginald Lorrain reduced the Mara language to writing and he and his assistants translated the Bible and numerous other works into the language, and the collection includes examples of these translations. There are over 2000 photographs, mainly snapshots of the Lorrain and Lorrain-Foxall families, but including several boxes of slides collected for lecturing purposes and illustrating Mara culture and the life of the Mission. Also apparently used for lectures and fund-raising events was a collection of Mara artefacts which has been transferred to the Museum of Mankind (British Museum Department of Ethnography).
System of arrangement: By record series
ACCESS AND USE
Language: English; Mara
Conditions governing access: Access unrestricted
Conditions governing reproduction:
Finding aids: Handlist
Related material: Collections relating to the Lakher Pioneer Mission have also been donated to the Horniman Museum, London, http://www.horniman.ac.uk/
Date(s) of descriptions: 18 July 2002