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: Laikot to Longkaiphum, by raft
medium: diaries
person: 'Cuthbert'JehapShamshuHamja
date: 22.11.1938
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
person: private collection
text: (28) Nov. 22nd Longkaiphum. 5 Left Laikot camp by raft, minus tiffin-basket, and plus 3 dogs. Jeff ahead fishing. Had camera-kit in waterproof(?) cover. Sling most awkward thing on God's earth. Saw kitchen-stuff going by third raft, which overtook us with Cuthbert the handsome Kuki, Jehap and Shamshu. Second or third rapid, Hamja went through too narrow a passage, raft grounded on rock, swung, turned broadside and tilted almost over, water half-way up platform. Dogs paddling up and down, Kuki preparing to assist us over side (into deep water) Hamja clinging to bows in 2ft of water near bank, all apparently lost. However, when I changed my weight & stood on starboard side instead of port, raft righted! Swung off & got away, mostly backwards. No further excitements, until we reached sandbanks & head of big rapid. (Dogs transferred to kitchen staff's raft after excitement - Hamja taking no further chances.) Kuki boatman kept telling Hamja what to do. Kitchen staff landed correctly on east bank & walked into (29) camp, which was distantly visible on top of precipitous sandy bank. We landed on west bank, walked round sandbank, and found ourselves parted from camp by seething rapid running ten knots or over. Remained marooned on bank until raft got down rapid with Hamja & Umaid up and moored (of course) where Jeff was, downstream. Had to climb down & round by considerable cliff, fallen bamboos and mudbank, and eventually got off and landed below camp after enegetic but successful passage. Camp rose in stages - First servants' huts. Then cookhouse & double bamboo pipe water-supply, run from stream (30) behind cookhouse, then our basha, with drips from roof & drips from trees above. Cuthbert still with us, decorative as ever.
text: In afternoon Celia and I went down bank (east side) passed Jeff fishing. Followed foot-tracks till we lost them, then shinned down mudbank among roots & trees, continued along sandbanks and rocks and at last came to cliffs. Shinned over them, but rocks slippery and running to sheer drop into stream. Peared through bushes, and saw stream running on, very strong but smooth, between cliffs sheer, or nearly, on both sides. There were two big rocks in centre of stream about 1/4 mile up, and others on bend, about 600 yards up. Then river bent out of sight. Stream navigable most of the way, as far as we could see. Jungle very thick on both sides.
text: Bathed when we first got in, midday. Water cold, with strong backwash.
text: Cliffs in C.H. about 25-30 feet both sides. Cliffs ran both sides about 300 years, then big boulders on E., broken rock-shore on W. River 20-30 yards (31) wide in gorge, narrowing from 50 or more above it and below the camp.