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: doing medical rounds along; blacksmith's daughter very ill with cramps
medium: diaries
person: Luikai
location: Chingjaroi
date: 21.3.1939
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
person: private collection
text: (19) March 21st 1939 Tuesday. 4m.
text: Saknio arrived 9.30 so Jangsang left, and I carried out the rounds alone. Diarrhoea cases improving, on the whole; two bad in Khunao, one baby with fever, the other diarrhoea. Issued medicine. Washed sepsis case. Says she's better. Had just got into pyjamas in p.m. when inrush of Nagas, old blacksmith with interpreter; his daughter, whom we had seen in a.m. before Jangsang went, now acutely ill; could not bend legs or arms. Grabbed torch and all available medicines and streaked for bhasti. House red-hot and full of people. Unfortunate girl propped up against buck's knees, moaning and half-conscious. Kept passing out while father called to her in pathetic way. Administered Phensic, sodium salicylate and whisky in successive doses and massaged the painful part like hell. All the young bucks of the village seemed to be there, including the boys who looked like Katcha Nagas, but have now gone respectably Tangkhul. (20) All her girl-friends came in to see, and stayed to giggle & eye the boys. Their idea of helping was to take an arm and pat it twice and then join in the general conversation. I told Luikai to get the holdall. He spat some Tangkhul at Chinaorang, who vanished into the night, to return with two towels. Swore at Luikai, called him 'bahut pagal' and sent him whizzing into dark with lantern. He came back safely with holdall, whisky, and (Lord knows why) my sponge-bag. After a bit the worst spasm eased., but came on again, not quite so bad. Massaged till I nearly dropped, nobody helping. Could not get them to do more than give a rub or two. We haven't a drop of liniment. Worked till 9.30 (2.5 hours) and returned exhausted. Girl well enough to drink zu and rearrange her necklaces, and arms and legs working slightly; one leg still painful. (Page torn out)