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: letters from Ursula Graham Bower
caption: were-tiger
medium: lettersnotes
location: Luchai
date: 30.3.1939
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
date: 1937-1946
person: private collection
text: On my last trip I went to a Tangkhul village called Luchai, and during the night, so the coolies swore, a tiger came into camp and growled round the bashas. I have since heard that there is a were-tiger in Luchai, and this time I found the coolies had spread the story and it is generally accepted that it was the were-tiger itself (obviously, to the Naga mind) which came in to have a look at us. The original man-tiger has died and his son has taken over, but the S.D.O. cannot get the villagers to say who it is.
text: All this country is fairly open, with much pine-forest, and few villages. Some of it is perfectly lovely, and here we are in a fresh green oakwood right against the village gate. The principal blots are the water-supply and the incredible filth of the village. Even my Tangkhuls complain of the fleas they collect there! Mosquitoes are gathering, too, though we are over 4000 feet up.