The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book - 'Naga Path', by Ursula Graham Bower, published John Murray 1950

caption: the Siemi, a former civilization
caption: Chapter sixteen. The Lost Folk
caption: pre-Naga funerary monuments at Bolosan
medium: books
location: Bolosan
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: Now it is worth considering these two stories in connection with the two known classes of pre-Naga funerary monuments. The urns of Bolosan and its companion fields are stones whose purpose was most definitely to hold the dead
text: There are, however, no urns at all in the Barail, the only area where, at present, pre-Naga settlements have been identified in North Cachar. The probable graves there are covered with large stone slabs, as at the site at Nenglo, at one at Khangnam, and at a third near Haijaichak. I think they could be found at others. Sites are many; and the dense reed-grass, the thick bush jungle, hide, on an uncleared site, anything not big enough to stand above the layer of leaves and mould, and everything more than a foot or so from you. To crawl round a promising site which you cannot clear is agony, an investigator's hell. These flat slabs, then, might perhaps be the " stones which flew from a distance " and " covered the whole grave up ". Not likely; but just possible. To those who would like a gauge for Naga tradition, with its wonderful gift for noting the salient fact and then providing a wholly marvellous explanation, I would quote just this. The first time that Nagas saw Europeans to any extent, and in any number, was the bustle's heyday. In 1940 it was still their fixed belief, an unshakable fact, that all white people had tails and wore clothes to hide them.