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: Barak river to Longphailum
medium: diaries
person: 'Cuthbert''Livingstone'
ethnicgroup: Kuki
location: Longphailum
date: 24.11.1938
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
person: private collection
text: (38) Nov. 24th. Longphailum. 5 miles.
text: Left by Naga path along shore; it turned inland after a bit and went up and still more precipitously up. Boy with us spoke next to no Manipuri; didn't understand half Jeff said. Climbed and climbed and climbed and at last reached glorious views northward and north-west to Oinomlong & Nungkau. Climbed on through cultivation, larding the lean earth, and at last met reception committee with zu, which they pressed upon us with great enthusiasm. Continued on & up, deciding that road led over every possible summit, and at long, long last, after passing Kuki graves with Y-shape posts (some carved, one with skull impaled on one horn) reached Longphailum village and our camp, perched on spur and inadequately thatched. We got in well ahead of coolies and sat and ate tiffin before empty, partitionless basha floored with matting, in full view of village, which appeared to consist largely of naked babies. Jeff went in and slept till coolies arrived. (39) Meantime Celia & I played with crowd, she chatting with Grandma & babies. Luckless fowl flapping on cookhouse table. Paid off Cuthbert & Co. and Livingstone the ant-catcher, with many regrets. Matting partition run up between rooms. Matting arrived in roll, probably straight from headman's house. Contributed livestock to my bedding, although we flitted it furiously. One or two very finely-built men, magnificent physique. Weather looked much like rain, so had banana leaves laid over roof. Filmed man doing it
text: In evening, had rush of casualties. First, boy with festering dao cut on wrist. Then man came up, peeled off his shirt, & revealed hole 2 ins. long, 1 in. wide & 1/2 in. deep over left shoulder-blade, apparently full of maggots. Washed it for 1/2 hour in strong Dettol (40) and water solution, hot; succeeded in loosening matter, which we had taken for maggots. Patient said place came from a boil. Had difficulty in making him lie down. Got away most of the matter, dressed wound, applying lint and boric ointment round edges of wound. Still some matter I could not get out. Dressed wound with lint & cotton-wool pad & triangular bandage, applied as per Red Cross First Aid book. Other patients, sprained finger: treated with soap & water & cold water bandage; girl with eye-trouble, probably conjunctivitis; squeezed Optrex on her eyes, seemed to give some relief. Gave her some in a bottle with instructions for use. Told two wound patients to come back in morning for fresh dressings. Tried to persuade man with sore back to come on with us and have another two dressings, but he would not. Afraid of blood poisoning for him; he had it covered with rag, as Jeff said, "too filthy to clean lamps with". Literally true.
text: Big crowd all the time. Life very public, (41) & H. of P. sited on children's playground.