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: costume
caption: cane leggings
medium: notes
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
date: 1937-1946
person: private collection
text: Article obsolete or of special interest
text: Cane leggings were formerly worn but have been abandoned (hada = cane leggings; hada moi-ra = wearing cane leggings). A story is told as follows:
text: The young men of a dekachang once all put on leggings and agreed not to remove them till one of their number had won the favours of a girl, when the priest of the dekachang would proclaim to the village that so-and-so had lain with such-and-such a girl. The girls came to hear of this and their parents strictly warned them, so that they refused to have anything to do with any of that dekachang. This went on for a long time, and not one of the bucks could have any success with a girl. At last they were in despair, and from wearing their leggings so long, were getting bad sores. So they gathered in the dekachang to decide what to do. The malik of the dekachang had a slave-girl. When the bucks said they would have to shed their leggings without fulfilling their promise, the malik suggested they should take his slave- girl. So the young men went into his house and seized her, and they all had connection with her although she struggled and wept. Then the priest went out and proclaimed to the village that they had had connection with this girl, and gave her name, and so the promise was fulfilled.