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 thirty-four. Magulong
caption: to Magulong
medium: books
person: Khutuing
location: Magulong
date: 5.1946
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: Various things held us up during April and we didn't start till the beginning of May. Eastward we went, down into the narrow Jiri, up over the far hill- it came on to pour at the top, and we climbed into Maovom in sheets of rain, ankle-deep in water running down the path. Before us then stretched a field of great, green hills, shouldering up one after the other in scrub on grass, bamboo on scrub, forest on bamboo, till the high crests cut a sky already cloud-smudged with the nearing monsoon. Down and down we went from Maovom, into the grey-green gulf of the Makru valley. Down, and then up, up; climbing sheer, spirally towards the black-topped forest ridge; up from Saipimual through the dark woods and the elephant-trails, where trees were splintered and scarred and footprints like hip-baths lay water-filled in the soft soil, and through into gentler woods again, to Bungsang.
text: In the little camp there Khutuing met us.
text: Seeing him for the first time, short, solid and dwarfed by the taller men with him, you wouldn't have thought him a personality. But as a youth of eighteen he had taken a head during the Kuki rebellion. On great occasions he took from their resting-place among his heirlooms the two long tails of dull black hair cut from his victim's head, and wore them as ear-ornaments, the tresses, faintly wavy, falling far (240) down on his bare shoulders and chest
text: From Bungsang we passed on down the ridge and sighted Magulong across a grassy valley.
text: It stood on a spur jutting out from a high, wooded range behind. In the woods we could see cliffs; the hill was high and steep. From the village the ground fell away sheer and smooth, the path zigzagging down it in twists and elbows, past waterfalls, past wild, grey rocks, under crags and into the valley bottom. From our feet a track ran down to meet it, narrow, stepped, tall reed-grass hemming it in on either side. As we halted, a small, drab file among the green immensities, there came floating down to us, faint and sweet, the sound of distant singing.