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: Mahur to Asalu via Longkai
medium: diaries
person: BoothHainingba/ of AsaluMasang
location: Asalu
date: 6.3.1940
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
person: private collection
text: (3) March 6th Mahur to Asalu
text: After breakfast Booth went to shoot the snipe-bog where the railway tank overflows. One bird falling in dense jungle was marked and retrieved by the Infant Samuel, who must have smelt his way to it; it was fifty yards off, among trees and low, tangled bushes. Marched for Asalu. First village Longkai, (Nzemi). One man there, like Masang, had been liberally beaten during the Gaideliu affair, but unlike Masang, bears a grudge. Masang was busy routing out girls for me to see, and brought one by the wrists, she struggling and beseeching, he dragging & arguing - a la Rape of the Sabines! The lady hadn't all her necklaces on, and hence felt "much embarrassment" at being thus produced. However, she had very pretty long hair, most of the girls being mere children with shaven heads, or short "Eton Crops". Went into bachelors' house when leaving.
text: Next stop Kuki village. Dispensed. Lunched outside (4) among the jhums, and so into Asalu, whose big jutting morungs were visible on a spur. Fair perao, not far from village, lovely view all over valley & distant hills; might have seen snows, but it was cloudy & thunder about. Young men of Asalu very tasty in full dress, with page-boy bobs.
text: This is Hainingba's village, or was before he turned Christian, all for the love of a lady; wherefore he cast off his pagan wife and married the Christian.
text: Next day.
text: Saw photo of him as he was at his father's house; present state no improvement. He was a hefty lump.
text: Maguilong men in to salaam Booth; Asalu closed for genna, so camp full; most slept in Booth's hut. Maguilong proposed sleeping under eaves (along wall, on ground, that is) of mine; but eventually found lodging elsewhere.