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: kinsmen seek revenge
medium: books
person: SangrangbaHozekiembaNamkia
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: The morning sun came clear and cold into the bungalow bedroom. The sun wasn't over the Nenglo hill yet; time enough to move when it came. The air stirred gently in the veranda thatch, where the long straws hung down, loosened by the constant wind. There should be, soon, the scrape of the back door opening and the careful steps of Namkia approaching with the ritual cup of tea. And then, shrill, hideous, appalling, came the yells from the village.
text: I had never till then heard a Naga roused for blood. I leapt for the window, thrusting the shutter back. There wasn't a thing to be seen; only the village, quiet in the morning chill, the shadow still on it, the sunlight slipping slowly towards it down the hill behind. Then, up the narrow path which led from the water-point, came Hozekiemba, plodding, his black hair bobbing. I hailed him through the window.
text: " What's the matter ? "
text: " Boy and girl talk ! " said Hozekiemba briefly. " Boy and girl talk !"
text: He vanished, striding, round the back of the house, and I fell into my clothes and went to look for Namkia. From time to time, a shock at each repetition, those horrible screeches came tearing through the air.
text: Namkia, it seemed, already knew the story. (He had never approved of Samrangba.) (118) The scene in the dormitory, the struggle and screams, had sobered up the boy. He ran for his life, aware, by that time, of what he had done. He hid himself somewhere in the surrounding woods, where a friend found him and warned him that the avengers were out. He ran then, ducking from cover to cover to reach the village, with the idea of taking sanctuary. He didn't, thank goodness, come into the camp. He picked the last house in the street, the one at the very bottom, and they took him in.