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 eight. Exile.
caption: Namkia's character
medium: books
person: Namkia
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: His was an unusual character. A pagan humorist, a Zemi to the backbone, with all the faults and virtues of his tribe and race, he still had an inner core, a moral citadel, which made of him a Hampden. He had an intense, a vivid, sense of right and wrong. They were to him a personal responsibility. He could no more compromise with wrong than he could stop breathing; nor see a wrong done, nor an injustice, and not right it, at whatever cost to himself. It was not a quality to endear him to all masters, and neither was Namkia (whose intelligence, though it worked on different lines, equalled any European's) the man to be a mere obedient instrument; and as a mere obedient instrument was, in most cases, all that the harassed district officer required, Namkia had recognized that he was not wholly suited to Government service and resigned. But not without repeated applications. " Sea- lawyer ", infuriated officers might sometimes call him; but (65) he was an honest man, an accurate interpreter, an organizer, an expert in tribal law, and a notable man among the Barail Zemi.