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 seven. Reconnaissance
caption: difference between Hangrum and Guilong
medium: books
location: Hangrum Guilong
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: Take, for example, Hangrum and Guilong - Hangrum in its fantastically dramatic setting on a knife-edged ridge; range after range of the Manipur hills looming blue and green out of the cloud on one side of it, razor-backed spurs sweeping down to the Jenam on the other, the forbidding mass of Hemeolowa blocking the outlook to the south; its smoke-stained houses a study in shades of brown and tan and darker brown, like a sepia drawing. It was nine years since the ill-fated charge against the Sepoys' rifles, but most of the men in the village had suffered in it, or as a result. They had seen their fellows killed and wounded and their village burned, (57) and they themselves had been punished. The most powerful village in the area, it was still unreconciled. The first time we passed through it, there was not a woman to be seen, and the men were ranged in silent rows, two deep, on the house-platforms. In absolute stillness, not a word spoken, between these human palings, we walked its quarter-mile length.
text: Then take Guilong. There, too, there had been shooting in the troubles. I expected just the same resentment there as at Hangrum.
text: But not a bit of it. The villagers, men and women, swarmed on me like bees. Cup on cup of rice-beer was forced into my hands. They caught hold of me, pulled me by the wrist, tugged at my clothes, and even prised my hand open to make me accept, in person, the gifts they offered. In fact they behaved as I had never known a Naga village do before, with raving insanity. I hadn't a second's privacy the whole time I was there. No matter what I was doing, sleeping, eating, resting, or even bathing, the hut was invaded regardless by somebody crying parrot-phrases : " O my Mother ! O Queen, O Goddess ! You are our mother, you are a goddess, there is none greater, there is none better than you ! "