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: sports at Kepelo; to Thingje; dispensing
medium: diaries
person: LuikaiNamkia
date: 21.3.1940
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
person: private collection
text: (44) Kepelo. March 21st.
text: Intended marching early, but heard that Kepelo were going to take on Hangrum at sports, so went down to have a look. Light excellent for B & W which promply jammed. Cursing hard, left dance and sorted it out in matai's house, no doubt with much fogging of film. Filmed Laurence doing long-jump, with enough necklaces and brassware to sink a ferry-boat. Might have had good shots of dancer's shadows and faces of crowd. Very annoying. Light about 9-10a.m. good; later sunlight draws out all colour.
text: About 11.30 left for Thingje - self, Namkia, Hainingba, Luikai, Masang, and oddments. About 3 miles. Passed over bridge with double set of conventional girl's breasts carved at each end and pair in the middle.
text: Held a long and chaotic dispensary ending in much liquor. Everyone very tight on leaving. Just outside the village are two stones, one flat (45) and prone, the other a big boulder. Prone stone said to be "wife", and big stone "husband". Natural protuberance on "husband" and corresponding hollow in the other - and their positions - was the source of much simple Naga mirth. They cleared the underbrush to show me the "husband" plainly, and Luikai trotted round to salaam the appropriate bit of the wife. We all sat on the wife and had farewell drinks. On the way home Luikai was slightly in liquor and argumentative. He fell into an extensive wrangle as to whether a certain swamp was drainable and suitable for panikhets. It ended in everyone galloping into the swamp, taking inconclusive measurements with a bamboo and shouting to each other to be careful. Further on, Luikai's quite pointless argument with Namkia annoyed me so much I shut him (Luikai) up angrily.
text: In the evening Namkia came with a slightly half-witted grin to say that there would be (46) "taklif" if we stayed our scheduled extra day; I was much annoyed, but agreed to go.