Iggy takes India by Storm #1

Iggy by Vic Singh
Iggy by legendary Pink Floyd photographer Vic Singh, 2015

On the end of May 2021 the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit was consulted by a visitor from Mizoram who found it interesting enough to share on a Facebook group.

There it was picked up by an Indian relative of Iggy. The Mizo branch had lost contact with the English family members in the sixties, when there had been a military conflict between India and Mizoram freedom fighters.

In the aftermath of the conflict the Indian government censored all letters to and from Mizoram and communication was lost between Iggy’s mother and her family in north-east India.

So imagine the emotions from Iggy’s nephews and nieces when they found out that, perhaps, after a half-century gap they could get in contact again with their long-lost family, living in Great-Britain.

In Mizo circles the Holy Church went viral and the Reverend was contacted by quite a few people. You can read about it in Family Reunion.

Meanwhile the Indian press got hold of the news and in the next few posts we will highlight some of these articles.

The Northeast Today is a digital portal and they had a news snippet on Twitter. Unfortunately we couldn’t track down the article.

NET Snippet on Twitter
Did You know: Pink Floyd and 'Iggy the Inuit had a Mizoram connection.

The Assam Tribune, so says Wikipedia, is an Indian English daily newspaper published from Guwahati and Dibrugarh, Assam. With over 700,000 copies of current circulation and a readership of over 3 million, it is the highest circulated English daily in northeastern India.

They published the article Iggy the Inuit found to have roots in Mizoram, written by Zodin Sanga.

(Text version under the image.)

Iggy the Inuit found to have roots in Mizoram
Iggy the Inuit found to have roots in Mizoram @ The Assam Tribune.

(Text version)

Iggy the Inuit found to have roots in Mizoram

A Mizo family in Aizawl found their long lost relative, three years after her death, and she turned out to be Pink Floyd's founding member Syd Barrett's one-time girlfriend who achieved cult status in the 'Swinging London' during the late 1960s.

The woman with Mizo links is none other than Evelyn 'Iggy' Rose (born Evelyn Joyce), most commonly referred to as 'Iggy the Eskimo' and 'Iggy the Inuit', owing to her alleged Inuit heritage.

However, someone from Mizoram stumbled upon a post in the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit - a website dedicated to Iggy by her fans. The discovery came three years after Iggy died in London at the age of 69 in 2017.

Now, it has come to light that Iggy Rose had a Mizo mother named Chawngpuii, who had married British army officer Harry Joyce who was serving in the then British-ruled India. Chawngpuii gave her first child a Mizo middle name 'LaIdawngliani'.

Iggy's maternal greatgrandfather Thangphunga was the chieftain of three villages, including Chaltlang, now a part of Aizawl.

The marriage took place in Aizawl in 1946. Iggy was born a year later somewhere in present-day Pakistan.

She attended school in India and Aden, before moving to England. As a teenager, Iggy became a mysterious figure in the 1960s London's music scene. With her long dark hair and lovely Asian features, she became one of the most attractive Flower Children', synonym for Hippies, dating the likes of Eric Clapton, Keith Richards of Rolling Stones, and most famously Syd Barrett.

It was her nude appearance on the cover of Syd Barrett's solo album The Madcap Laughs that made her most memorable.

Iggy gained notoriety by appearing in a newsreel shot at Granny Takes a Trip and in Melody Maker, demonstrating a new dance. She then disappeared from the scene as abruptly as she appeared, believed to be married to a rich man and lived a reclusive life.

Almost four decades later, the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit launched a mission to find Iggy and bring her back to the spotlight. The mission was accomplised, and also helped Iggy's maternal relatives in Mizoram discover who they had been searching for.

Rosangliana, one of Iggy's relatives in Mizoram, said they lost contact with Iggy's mother in 1966 when Mizoram plunged into an insurgency, also known as the Mizos' Uprising.

The Government of India restricted and censored all information coming in or going out of Mizoram, then a district under Assam. All letters going through the national postal service were intercepted by the Government and either censored or destroyed.

"After Mizoram returned to normalcy following the 1986 peace accord, we resumed the search for Iggy's parents, going through Havant Council, Hampshire (where her parents used to live) and the UK's Ministry of Defence (as her father was in the military), but to no avail," Rosangliana said.

A few weeks back, the family was informed when someone came across this post about Iggy on the internet.

"We immediately wrote to the website seeking more details about Iggy and her family in London," Rosangliana said.

"A few days later, a guy from London named Felix got back to us, giving us information about Iggy's siblings - a brother and a sister who still live in England.

"We have contacted Iggy's brother Stephen and her sister Elizabeth. They were so excited to find us," he said.

Iggy's 93-year-old aunt Chawngmawii is still alive and lives with her children in Kolasib in northern Mizoram.

After the discovery of her Mizo roots, the fan page Iggy The Inuit was was rechristened as Iggy The Mizo.

Many thanks to the Mizoram online community!
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥