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 and migrations of Impoi
medium: notes
person: Mbairong/ of ImpoiSongangNamkreubuingNamrebuingHaitsangnangHaikelungba/ of Asalu
ethnicgroup: Zemi
location: Impoi Asalu
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
date: 1937-1946
person: private collection
text: Mbairong
text: Mbairong was the junior headman of Impoi. A large party of Angamis arrived at the village and sent for the headman to meet them with presents. The headman felt somewhat uncertain of the outcome, so said he had fever and sent Mbairong. Mbairong killed and cooked a big cock and with the meat in one hand and a laoki of zao kasang in the other went down to meet the party, carrying a woman's necklace over each shoulder as presents for their leader. He was also wearing his best clothes in their honour, including a black kilt. When he got to the leader and offered him the meat and drink, the man refused it and told him to give it to the next behind him, who did the same thing. Mbairong went right along the party with his offerings, no one accepting them, and as he neared the end, those at the head tied a kilt on a spear and waved it like a flag, and the last man understood the signal and cut down Mbairong.
text: In revenge for this two of his kinsmen went up to Limmuta village and killed a man there. It was too far for them to bring back the actual head, so they brought back the hair as a substitute.
text: The spring about a quarter of a mile East of Asalu, just by the Inspection Bungalow site, was originally a pond made in honour of his daughter Leokumle by one of Haichangnang's ancestors. He gave Rs 5/- to the workers.
text: After Impoi broke up, one Neomi colony went to Huakaokhang, about three quarters of a mile SSW of Asalu; the Nriamis, or a part of them, settled at Asalu, and Haitsangnang's ancestors by the above-mentioned spring, at the present site of the Inspection Bungalow. After two or three years there they amalgamated with Asalu, though the other Neomi village at Hukaokhang tried to get them to go there. The Sogang family (Nriami) came from Rangdaireloa, which was near the present Kuki village of Leikul. After a stay in Hukaokhang they moved to Asalu also. There is a tradition, rather vague, that there were several movements between Impoi and Asalu. If both are ancient sites, they may have changed from one to the other as all villages seem to do as convenient; e.g. Hangrum, with at least four sites besides the present one. Eventually all these villages seem to have amalgamated at Asalu, which when the H.Q. station was there, numbered about 80 houses.
text: Sometime about 1910 Namkreubuing's (Nriami) and Haikelungba (Neomi), of Namrebuing's family (Namrebuing's asipe, but not of the same parents) took an oath on a dispute over some land in the village of which Haikelungba claimed half. They took the oath outside the village, the oath involved a tiger's tooth, jungle- nettle, a tiny chick and skeins of red and black thread. H subsequently went blind and predeceased N, to whom the land was awarded. The oath was powerful enough to involve a day's abstention from fieldwork.
text: Of the families at present in the village, H's kinsmen own no land in the village, though they have some in Impoi which they inherited from ancestors present at the original founding. Sogang likewise has none, and N's family lost whatever they had, if they were ever entitled to it. The Impanmi are late immigrants, owning land in neither Impoi nor Asalu, but when Namkia returned to Impoi to refound a village on the site, H made over two house-sites to him from his family land, to give him a stake in the new village.