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: Huining to Ukhrul; Luikai's life story
medium: diaries
person: LuikaiDuncan/ Mr
date: 25.2.1939
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
person: private collection
text: (164) Friday, 25th Feb. Ukhrul 6
text: Old boy trotted up at 8.30 a.m. full of beans and demanding more Carters! Compounder also asked for some, which I thought rather a cheek. Got off at last for Ukhrul. Up long hill from river, heard Luikai's story - in bits, at every halt. His wife died in July, and left him with a baby girl, about 2 and a half. He ran himself into debt over the funeral cow (Rs 7.8) and then the village said he hadn't given them their share. He took the case to Dunc. and could not prove it. Was told to pay Rs. 5 to village as fine. His sister paid, as he was broke. He asked his father to take him and the baby in, but his stepmother wouldn't let him come, and sister now has baby. Interest on debt 2as. per rupee per month. Debt now calculated at Rs. 15. I asked all this and then said I would pay it. He stood for a second or two while it sank in, and then plucked pathetically at his cloth, and said 'Let this be sold towards the money'. I said no, and we went up the hill again, Luikai humming a little song at my heels.
text: Still not in good marching form, but blew into (165) Ukhrul about 1 and saw the Stones at the Duncs. Sent back medicines to Pao-yi by Chingjaroi men. Dined with the Duncs. Arranged coolie for chit to Imphal. Sat up late writing it. Felt very seedy.
text: Found I only have Rs 20 - barely enough for coolies. Cast up accounts and found all accounted for except a chip or two - well within the margin of error.