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 Bara Nenglo
medium: diaries
person: GumtuingLuikaiBooth
date: 12.3.1940
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
person: private collection
text: (24) Bara Nenglo. March 12th.
text: Marched. Parted from Booth at village boundary; just below, met Hangrum party, girls in front, and then between them and the young bucks behind, Chaperone William, the Uncle Superior, keeping his one good eye firmly fixed on his flock. They were carrying home a hunk of meat. We voyaged together as far as the stream, where there was a bamboo cantilever Heath Robinson bridge below the log-bridge by which we crossed; then past the bungalow and up the Nenglo road, Gumtuing heading the party and pushing boulders, buffaloes etc. from the path, lifting leaves, bamboos & other obstructions from before my hobnailed feet and setting a pace of about 2 m.p.h., except uphill, where he sailed away from me every time.
text: The road was very steep, & we took a short cut through fields; in the zig-zags in the forest it came on to rain. We passed Hangrum again, & they asked leave to go on home. Reception committee; told them to come (25) to perao, as it was raining.
text: Perao still in the process of being built, as everyone had left it to the last minute and then gone to the party. I more or less sat in the middle while they rebuilt it round me. We finished up with a large bathroom (separate) a small basha, a kachha cookhouse & a cow-shed. On arriving at basha door was met by my hand-patting friend of yesterday with a sweeping "Colum, Apui!" The H. of P. seemed to have been built by Robin Hood for Maid Marian when he wasn't feeling quite himself; it was largely holes with dead leaves in between.
text: It rained, & was beastly. Luikai came in for something, looking pretty bleak; suddenly hung his head. I tried to get out of him what was the matter, and suddenly he began to cry. I bustled him inside, and shooed away Namkia, who came; but I could not comfort Luikai. He cried like a small boy, poor wretched little Naga, wid his dose sduffd ub, and at last fled, saying "I have drunk a lot of (26) zu to-day", still uncomforted, still crying, and all I could get out of him was that it was "great shame" over the lard business.
text: Then the drinking-water tasted queer, & on inquiries from Luikai & the cook found it was unboiled - and according to Luikai, had been since we started! No wonder I felt like death, & had diarrhoea! I really blew up in a rage, and feeling worn out and in expectation of death by something bugsome, drafted a farewell letter, tore it up, and so wearily, wearily to bed.