The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book - 'Naga Path', by Ursula Graham Bower, published John Murray 1950

caption: Chapter one. The Beginning
caption: first impressions of the Naga Hills, 1937
medium: books
date: 1937
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: It all began in 1937 when, as a girl of twenty-three, I was on a visit to India.
text: A broad belt of jungle ran along the hill-foot. Its long, thin trees strained upwards, their trunks wound round, choked and netted with a welter of creepers. The road ran straight through in a cleft like a railway-cutting, and beyond was a rampart of hills, blue-black with rain-forest.
text: The small car bumped and hustled along the road, dipping in and out of the hollows where the morning mist still lingered. It pulled up at a sentry-post. We showed our papers, the car moved on, and we had entered Naga Hills and the excluded area.
text: Hillsides rose suddenly on either side and a gorge enveloped us. We climbed steadily beside a wild, green stream which slid through sunlit pools and between grey boulders, and above us cliffs thick with cane, fern, palm and matted tree mounted to an invisible skyline. The road looped round elbow after elbow, the little car rolling at each, and as suddenly again we shot out over the gorge's lip and were rushing past stony flood-courses full of plumed reeds. Again the road lifted and climbed. The car hummed on, round steeper bends, between bamboos, through lighter, drier forest - the hazy plain falling lower and lower behind - and up the feet and knees of the great Barail Range itself.