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 fifteen. Village Justice.
caption: Samrangba's dismissal
medium: books
person: Samrangba
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: (115) I have said that the Zemi virtually administered themselves. Take, now, the case of Samrangba, once my gardener.
text: He had had to go. I didn't mind him personally; he was a harmless kind of waster, meaning no ill, but somehow never there when he was wanted. Scolded, he plodded remorsefully back to the potatoes (which, being love-lorn at the time, he planted in heaps whose shape made Namkia laugh till he cried) and then, somehow, was just not there again. So, after repeated warnings, he was sacked, and his periwig hair-cut, his swagger and his serio-comic face were of the camp no more. He went off sadly enough, but I don't think he was really sorry. He'd made his pile, and it was in any case his uncle, that senile old ass of a headman - ex-headman, he was now - who had pushed him into it. He married on the strength of his savings and set up house, and all was peace and domesticity till autumn.
text: His wife, by then, was expecting her first child. The event was so imminent that she had gone back home to her mother, who also lived in Laisong, which left Samrangba ranging alone at large. This would not have mattered, had Samrangba only been more gifted with sense and continence; and one night he went on a drinking-bout with a few old friends - not that that in itself would have mattered either.