The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: 'V' Force - 'watch and ward'
caption: Chapter twenty-five. The Colonel
caption: necessity for Zemi involvement
medium: books
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: We brought out a map and spread it on the table. There (182) were the tracks; the road from Kohima, and the Naga paths from Maovom and Impuiloa, meeting at Haijaichak in the eastern end of the pass. The only other route, that from Hangrum, came out at the west end of the pass by Laisong rest-house, and Laisong itself covered it. There was a possible route from Hangrum up the stream-beds and by Tolpui, which cut out these; but it was difficult, and would need local guides. Hangrum covered that. One thing was clear. Nothing could be done without the Zemi.
text: Not only were they in the great majority, but their villages lay at every strategic point. The Kuki villages were small, scattered, and tucked away in corners of the hills. Only one village, Khuangmual, near the Naga Hills border, occupied an important position. The Zemi had everything else which was going to matter.
text: As a former Commandant of the Assam Rifles, the Colonel knew, at first hand, all about Gaidiliu and the political situation.
text: " What d'you think they'll do ? "
text: " I don't know. There's a sound element; that interpreter of mine, Namkia, is one of them, and he carries quite a bit of weight. Asalu and the Impoi group could be relied on - that's where he lives. Then there's a big group, much the biggest, I'd say, which doesn't want to get mixed up in anything; just wants to be left alone. Then there's the old crowd, Gaidiliu's lot. There aren't many of them now, not that one knows of, anyway, and it's hard to say what influence they've got. But all the Zemi are really pretty sticky." And I told him about the famine, and a good deal else that I knew.
text: He said he'd like to go on by Hangrum and out that way to the Plains, to see the country a bit for himself. I said I'd go along with him as far as Hangrum, as I knew them by then. They knew me, too, and they wouldn't hold aloof from me as they would from a stranger alone. We arranged to start at eight o'clock next morning, and I went back to raise porters from Laisong.