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: to Kuki Kachai; counter-atraction of shot bear; birth complications; rumours of war
medium: diaries
person: LuikaiKharasom
date: 11.4.1939
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
person: private collection
text: (60) April 11th Kachai.
text: Went up to village 11.30a.m., resolved to camp outside. Found arch, choir, & Hindustani-speaking individual, who assured me there were no cases (says which!) After argument, went in, & distributed medicines. Saw no cases. Little medicine wanted, as somebody had shot a bear, and that proved a superior attraction. They gave me a beautiful cloth. Took on the 3 Kukis again; they were all smiles. Kharasom (who is barely out of his tree) stayed behind to get some bear's meat. Luikai very thrilled - "Oh! bring some down for me!" Kharasom showed us his flint & steel & tinder- box. Luikai (study of the modern Naga) had never seen one. On the way down we saw the camp below like a flying field seen from a 'plane, with Abung waving a bath-towel. Luikai, having announced our start home with a yell and "ha-ha-ha-ha!" hallooed at Abung over twenty minutes' climb and 1000 feet vertical height: "O Dada! La-o hai-e!" Rosebud brought me a bear's claw. At evening dispensary was told that a woman had had a child the day before and was (61) now in great pain; would I come? Which at 9p.m. I did. Everything filthy; matting smeared with blood, her petticoat soaked; washed with Dettol and prayed hard; never thought of Veganin, like a fool. She was in great pain, and groaning. Told them to take her to Ukhral for a proper examination, as they said she always had this pain after childbirth. And so to bed.
text: Luikai coyly admitted he could fry eggs, and cook what sounded like "brass" but proved to be omelette. I though the Wombat's omelettes seemed to have fallen off lately; I wonder if Luikai - ?
text: Hindustani-speaker told me he had heard there was war between England, France & Italy and China and Japan. The last I do know, but the first worried me a bit. Well, I shall find out all too damn' soon.