The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

miscellaneous papers, notebooks and letters on Nagas by Ursula Graham Bower, 1937-1947

caption: Angami raiding
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: ZemiAngami
location: Phellong (Impuilong)
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
date: 1937-1946
person: private collection
text: The Angamis once raided Impuilong (Phellong) when the men were in the fields, killing the old people and children. When the alarm was raised, Impuilong at once pursued the raiders. Impuilong was a famous and warlike village, and the Angamis made off home as fast as they could. They went on almost without resting till they reached Tening (Henima) where they judged themselves fairly safe and stopped the night in the dekachang. Impuilong came up, and entering the dekachang, took a brand from the fire and moved among the sleepers, killing every Angami they found, all except one man, into whose face they thrust the burning wood. Afterwards this sole survivor lamented bitterly that those who were killed were better off than he who was left to live with so much pain and disfigurement.
text: Impuilong once raided Nrembanglo, and hard pressed in their retreat, sought shelter in Asalu. The Asalu people hid them, and put the pursuers off the scent, and it is a traditional link between Impuilong and Asalu to this day.
text: Impuilong have never forgotten the Angami raids, and even now, it is said, trading parties avoid the village because no one in it will be civil to them, much less feed or shelter them.
text: It is related that on one occasion when the Angamis raided a village and the Zemi, as usual, fled into the jungle, one bold spirit climbed a tree overlooking the village and sat there watching the raiders, vastly diverted to find that they were quite as scared as the Zemi; for they kept darting into a house in search of loot, popping out to look all round for returning Zemi, diving into the house once more and running out again, and so on till they finally retreated.