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 twenty. The Land and the People
caption: collapse of Asalu
medium: books
location: Asalu Impoi Gareolowa Hakaokhang
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: Let us return once more to the history of Asalu. They, when terracing failed them, had recourse again to the ancient remedy. Namkia's contingent left to resettle Impoi, where a little rested land remained round the site. When once Asalu's unity was broken, the whole community collapsed. It resolved again into its component parts, the " citizens " and 'kadepeos' of the several sites. Impoi and Gareolowa had gone off together, Impoi drawn to its old home, Gareolowa following its 'kadepeo,' Namkia; now Hakaokhang - a tiny alien group, forced to seek shelter in Asalu from Angami raids - moved off a mile away along the hill. Asalu stayed where it was, decaying away among its graves on the half- dismantled site. In the days before administration, pressure from raids would have forced them all to Impoi. But, under the Pax Britannica, they could scatter at will, and so was the ruin completed and their poverty sealed; for each of these little settlements was below the economic size. Only Impoi, with its greater numbers, its healthy site and strip of good land had any reasonable chance, though there was nowhere to go when the strip of land was finished. Year after year in the Asalu and Hakaokhang granaries, the piles of grain were less; and more and more men went daily to work in Kuki and Kachari fields.