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 thirteen. Hgangi
caption: quarrells and drunkeness
medium: books
person: NamkiaPaodekumba
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: His long absence, and the fact that the others all came back again drunk, upset from the start the never-stable cook. I could sympathize with him, for Namkia drunk was, as I knew to my cost, a holy terror, and for some reason he always vented his fury on the current cook. The more he drank, the more his rage piled up, till, at the height of his bout, he was screaming abuse and insults as though murder were imminent. Even so, it was all right so long as the wretched victim kept quiet; for Namkia would eventually rant himself to a standstill, or go to sleep, or think of another enemy, and in the morning deny with indignation every act and word of the night before. Unhappily, the cook never did keep quiet. An hour or so of vituperation, and he would fly in on Namkia and scream hysterically back, and then the fat would really be in the fire, for Namkia was almost mad for the time being, and the cook had a brother in an asylum and was probably half-mad anyway; and I had to come scudding out and break up the party before the cook took the kitchen knife to Namkia or Namkia a dao to the cook. At any rate, on this particular day the cook's nerves troubled him from breakfast onwards; I could hear him snapping and squealing at Paodekumba like a peevish woman.