The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

diaries kept by Ursula Graham Bower on visits to Manipur and North Cachar between 1937 and 1940

caption: Paparam to Morai Lok
medium: diaries
person: HumjaUmaidShumshu
location: Barak R. Marui Thok R. (Morai Lok)
date: 12.12.1937
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
person: private collection
text: Dec. 12th
text: Paparam to Morai Lok (Mukhnai Muk).
text: Left about 10,
text: Meanwhile (again) Lex & Ping, Pong, & tiffin, morahs, boots, etc, proceeding overland by Naga path. (I was examining flora among bushes). Caught them up on sandbank, went on a little & stopped for tiffin. Tiger-tracks passed over site. Pointed them out to Ping and Pong, who were much amused. (Pong had demonstrated tendency to pick primroses almost in the course of conversation. Refreshingly back-to-nature touch, freedom from inhibitions, etc. Ping either absolute fairy or perfect gentleman or (sic) suspect latter.) Got belongings deposited and opened basket, Ping assisting. Pong settled himself firmly within a yard; so (57) did Ping, exhibiting intense and intelligent interest in proceedings. Lexie jibbed at eating under Pong's nose, so she sat the other side of me, partially concealed. While waiting for Jeff, Lex threw sticks for dogs, keeping Nagas looking while I took photo.
text: Gave Ping & Pong cigarettes, & lit a match for them. Both bent over it, Pong rather gingerly, Ping (at close range the paucity of his attire was rather noticeable; odd to think of me on a sandbank lighting (58) cigarettes for savages; what price Kensington, and similar thoughts) with the poise of the haute noblesse. Ping a grand lad, and definitely the leader. Pong merely followed his lead rather doubtfully, but Ping had made two grand, new and interesting friends, and was getting on-and-off like a house on fire. Jeff's arrival rather damped him off, and we realised afterwards they both looked rather longingly at the food we threw the dogs. Offered them an orange apiece, which they ate, Pong rather doubtfully, Ping with relish. However, Jeff went off fishing again and we started for the camp, Ping & Pong padding ahead with all the belongings. (Note: How the hell do they keep their feet? Greasy mud & slime on a 45o slope, and they manage it. Prehensile toes?) Falls surrounded by slabs of grey sandstone, with steep hills (59) & dense jungle rising from them. SKETCH
text: Tiger proved to be large monkey. At supper noticed small boy with sore on leg. I washed it (foul place) & Lexie dressed it, Shamshu being awfully busy interpreting. Small boy very good, rather awed.