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 thirteen. Hgangi
caption: pig chase
medium: books
person: Paodekumba
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: A day or two later the pigs destined to provide the feast were turned loose and caught in much the same way as the Pokpat mithan had been, except that the proceedings were on a smaller and informal scale. The pigs were simply chased out of doors by their owners in the early morning into a crowd of catchers massed a few yards from the house; some of the bigger boars were filled up with rice-beer first to give the chase more zest. The staff were, of course, in it up to the hilt. The Zemi have an engaging custom by which the winner of a contest is de-bagged, or rather, de-kilted, by any (105) elder present, on the ground that anyone so gifted by nature can spare mere ornaments to those less favoured. The chase took place about six or half-past; and at eight o'clock, when I was wondering if any of the men would return, and when, if ever, I should get some breakfast, a small boy appeared with a message. Paodekumba, it seemed, had caught the big pig. He had been debagged on the spot by the senior priest, and was now in seclusion in the lower morung. He couldn't report for duty until we sent him something to come home in - a kitchen clout would do. A spare kilt was despatched. And ten minutes later, Paodekumba, rather sheepish, was washing dishes again at the kitchen sink.