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: threat of war in Europe; Saknio gets drunk and causes trouble
medium: diaries
person: SaknioLuikaiJangsang
date: 6.4.1939
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
person: private collection
text: (50) April 6th. Paowi.
text: Saknio arrived with dak, including letter from Humps, dated March 23rd; a week after Hitler's fun, so we were apparently not at war on 23rd anyway. Was just thinking nothing happening, etc. when it happened in large quantities. Saknio apparently went on a drink when he got in; came to me for cigarettes and told a long tale of his mother-in-law's decease, "hamara dastur", a cloth, and the leg of a cow. When Luikai came back from his orchid-hunt with a fine collection, I asked him to find out what Saknio had said. Luikai, wearing Abung's shirt and, apparently, an uneasy conscience, went off and accused Saknio of telling lies about him to me. Saknio denied it, and in the middle of tea the wrangle got so bad that Abung brought them both in to me. I got Jangsang, and we finally elucidated the whole quarrel. Called them a pair of silly children and went bitterly back to my cold tea. Luikai sore and Saknio elated and full of zu. About 6, I saw a full-dress deputation of headmen arrive with hen. After a while (51) they washed up in my basha. I called Jangsang again. Apparently Saknio had been up the village, where he had a friend, and burst into a headmen's meeting, complained that he had not been given food (which he had) and caught hold of one of the elders, saying he would pull him to me and complain. The elders then very properly came down to lodge a protest. Much argument then followed, during which I told Saknio to "Baitho!" in a voice I didn't know as my own, and which certainly startled him; at any rate, he sat. However, it was quite plain he was lying, and I told the headmen I believed them, and would punish Saknio by docking his wages. The meeting then broke up. Jangsang was full of gloom. "I do not know what S.D.O. will say". Neither did I; so further speculation appeared idle. Apparently he knew Saknio was on the blind, but did not tell me, or make any attempt to stop him. "When I saw them coming, I know there is gulmal, so I pretend to be asleep". Volumes could be written on all that illuminating remark reveals. (52) Jangsang still full of general gloom; and so, cursing all Nagas, to bed.
text: Man brought my camera sling this a.m. Gave him 12as.