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 four. Black Magic
caption: woman who had had birth complications on previous visit now well
medium: books
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: We asked for our woman patient. Oh, yes, they said, she was better. We went to call.
text: The house looked smaller by daylight, and shabbier, too. It had lost its sinister tinge; the weather-worn planks and (37) bleached grey thatch were homely and humble. We rapped at the closed door.
text: It was opened by a pink-cheeked young woman, who stood in confusion at the sight of us all. Her hair was down, she was holding the baby - the mother's help, surprised at her morning chores. We asked for the convalescent and made to go in.
text: The girl protested.
text: " But isn't she here ? " we said.
text: Then everyone talked at once. There was a chaos of tongues, misunderstanding in four languages. The headman came up. He thrust himself into the group, and when the compounder had finished -
text: " But this is the one," he said.
text: There was a deathly silence. We stared so hard that she blushed.
text: The ten days' change was staggering - from a shapeless, swollen, half-conscious figure, to this robust young mother; shapely, comely, plump, as though she'd never been ill a day. Embarrassed, she nursed the child, and laughed.
text: " I think," said the compounder, " it is with the help of God."
text: I thought he was just about right.