The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book - 'Naga Path', by Ursula Graham Bower, published John Murray 1950

caption: Chapter eight. Exile.
caption: tigers
medium: books
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: Chinaorang stayed on some weeks. He mixed well with the Zemi, and never minded being ragged, as Luikai had done. It was a casual jape on him - Namkia faked tiger-tracks round the water-hole one morning, so that Chinaorang, arriving, gave one yell, dropped his buckets, and ran like a deer - which inspired the great Tiger Rag.
text: Every hot weather a tiger or two moved up from the low ground and roamed the hills killing cattle until someone shot it or the winter cold drove it down again; and one such, a big beast, was then operating a beat from Laisong to Mahur. He hated pushing through the thick, wet jungle, so walked (67) down the bridle-road each night as boldly as a taxpayer. He took a short cut over the Asalu spur from a point about thirty yards from the camp, and had trodden a regular runway for himself in the grass there. The cook was extremely worried at a tiger's passing so close, and one night, when Namkia came back from a call in the village, he told him the beast had been into camp and snuffing round. Namkia was somewhat sceptical; and coming across to me, asked me to stand on guard with one lamp while he took the other and looked about for tracks. Finding none in the camp, he went right out along the road to the runway itself; and when he came back, full of scathing comment, the cook, stung, said instantly he'd never have dared search at all if he hadn't been drunk at the time. Now Namkia, admittedly, had been enjoying Asalu's hospitality; but he was nothing like tipsy. He resented the insult and determined to have his own back. After an interval in which the tiger abetted him (it roared in the forest and scared some Asalu woodcutters) he took me into his confidence and laid on the attack.