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 Kepelo; Hangrum comes to dance
medium: diaries
date: 19.3.1940-20.3.1940
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
person: private collection
text: (40) March 19th. Kepelo.
text: Moved up here from perao with much puffing and blowing, passing site of old village; mad woman refused to move when Hajaichak and Kepelo split, and is there yet.
text: Good camp. All Masang's young were punted at me for me to admire. I was entertained at his house, and presented with eggs & zu as usual.
text: (42) Kepelo. March 20th.
text: Dance-team from Hangrum arrived on tour of villages and descented on Masang. Mrs. M. coped nobly with them in the afternoon, while Masang, despite S.O.S. messages from fellow villagers, danced with rage in the camp cookhouse, saying: "I'll kill Hangrum! I'll kill Hangrum!" He was at last persuaded to go and tackle his unwanted guests, and departed, still swearing.
text: Arranged to go over to Thingje next day, by urgent request. Messenger originally came to Hangrum, and reappeared here. Frantic protests from Kepelo, because if I went Masang would go, and the rest of the village would have to cope with Hangrum. Only one dekachang came, with girls; it included Laurence the Lovely.
text: (43) Note. The Hangrum dekachang (the one in the dip, at the bottom of the street) was collecting money for the Matui Ra, a young peoples' feast. They first get the money, then kill mithan (as many as they can afford) and the feast goes on night and day in the dekachang for some five days or more. The girls remain in the "morung" all the time, day and night, helping to cook and serving the guests. They expect liberal tips for these visits to other villages; 10/- from Masang; but Chota Nenglo only gave 13/- instead of Rs. 20/- expected and Hangrum walked out in a huff.