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 accused
medium: books
person: Samrangba
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: After the brief commotion, the village was still. But, in the girl's house, a hastily-summoned meeting of her male relatives was cross-examining her. Had she ever encouraged Samrangba ? - had she ever made him a hint, a half-promise ? - for if she had, no case at all could lie. Her story, however, held. Her aversion to and refusal of Samrangba were common knowledge among the young people, and probably, for these things travel, with most of the village as well. Finally, the two bucks (who were found in the morung, knowing they would be called) gave clinching evidence of identity. The girl could only guess that it was Samrangba, by his build, his ornaments and his shock of hair, for, though she and the other girls had grappled him, he had broken loose and run before they could see who it was. But the two young men had seen him. They were men of his own morung, and in no other circumstances would they have spoken against him; (117) but the crime was one which broke both the tribal law and the code, the set of conventions, by which the young people everywhere conducted courtship; it was not merely a gross offence against morality, but a breach of trust and privilege. They made no bones about it, they told. Afraid, dishevelled, with uncovered face, they had seen him plainly. The raptor was Samrangba.
text: With the first light, when it was possible to move about easily, her kinsmen took their spears and went to kill him.