The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript notes on the Zemi Nagas by Ursula Graham Bower

caption: dances
caption: King-king-pun
medium: notes
person: Zingkaolang/ of Magulong
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
date: 1939-1946
refnum: Betts papers, ring binder 1
person: Centre for South Asian Studies, Cambridge
text: King-king-pun.
text: Two lines are drawn on the ground about 20 inches apart and parallel. Bucks stand behind one, right or left shoulder leading, and the other arm folded across the chest, hand on opposite (leading) shoulder; girls stand behind the other, facing more or less forward, hands crossed behind their backs, and armed with a dab of ash moistened with spittle. While the choir sing as for a dance, the individuals on either side try and score a point, "killing" one of the opposite side. The girls try to get a dab of black ash on the chest of one of the bucks, the bucks to catch her and pull her over on to their side. The strip between the two lines is no man's land, into which players on both sides dart in a feint at one of the enemy. In the game we saw the girls were rather chary of joining in, lest they got their breasts touched, but the assembled audience seemed to think them rather faddy, as this wouldn't matter. As the game proceeds the fun waxes fast and furious, with dabs and leaps and darts and retreats (one may not cross behind the enemies' line) and players "killed" on either side fall out and stand in the wings, others taking their places, and it only ends when everyone is out of breath.
text: In the game seen at Magulong, the girls were rather chary of joining in, and of their side only one was actually a girl, the others being Zingkaolang, the "maitre de ballet"; a sprightly grandfather; and another elderly man. The "girls" caught out 2 or 3 of the bucks, their only casualty being Zingkaolang himself, slapped and captured.