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: Chinaorang leaves; were-tigers
medium: books
person: Chinaorang
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: Soon after this incident (though not because of it) Chinaorang too went home, and except for the cook the staff was now wholly Zemi. The tiger, however, remained; and (69) punctually every morning at six it walked down the road from Impoi and disappeared into the long grass. Equally punctually, and just about the same time, Namkia walked down from Impoi to bring in my morning tea; and his comings and goings synchronized so exactly with those of the tiger that I began to have an uneasy feeling. Was it possible - was it just possible - that my interpreter was a lycanthropist ?
text: One evening after dinner I was taking notes on tribal law and kept him late. Just as he rose to go there was an appalling bellow from the village, followed, after a second's interval, by shouts, shots, screeches, and the frantic barking of the village pack. The half-dozen Asalu cattle had been sheltering in the copse. The tiger had that moment taken one.
text: I shot an anxious glance at Namkia. As a were-tiger, he should have gone into paroxysms in sympathy with his beast. But no - there was not a sign of a link with a tiger affinity; he was behaving merely as a startled, but normal, interpreter. I decided, with a sigh of relief, that he was, after all, human.