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-one. Masang
caption: death of Masang
medium: books
person: MasangDikheoGaidiliuNamkia
location: Kepelo
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: (156) In November, on a cool, clear day, when the forests were dry and sun-dappled, when the air was crisp, and the sky a sheeny, unflecked blue; when the streams were running bright and low and rods of light slanted into the green rock pools, Masang died.
text: I had seen little of him for a long time. At first a constant companion, he later found, when we were settled in at Laisong, that Namkia's hostility was too much for him. If Masang came into the house, Namkia walked out, and left Masang to talk as best he could - and he spoke no Hindustani. So, gradually, he came no more; and I had almost forgotten him. He had lost his job as a wet-rice demonstrator, his irregularities having at last become more than the S.D.O. could bear. Dikheo, his old ally, had, that year, after a hunt which had lasted far longer than that for Gaidiliu, been surprised in his house at Bopungwemi and shot dead in a scuffle. So nothing now remained to Masang of his old ties, the old alliances, which, I am certain, he had done his best to maintain. A plain Zemi, an inconspicuous villager, he dropped clean out of sight. Nevertheless, it was a shock when his brother came and asked me to go to see him. Masang, he said, was seriously ill.
text: Namkia poured scorn on the idea that I could go over and back in the day, though Kepelo was not four miles off. Did Masang, then, think that the She-Sahib was a village woman, to trot here, and trot there, like a dog at heel ? Let Kepelo take the trouble to build a camp and the She-Sahib would be over there quick enough. Masang's brother retreated, apologetic.