Even by the high standards of the Khasi Hills, Ngunraw, the village in the sky, was a remarkable place.

This was clear the moment I arrived, sweaty and exhausted, on top of the miniscule expanse of densely inhabited tableland. The views from the edges of the Ngunraw plateau were some of the most magnificent in all of Meghalaya. And there were many of these: The plateau is so small that no matter which way one is facing, it’s never more than a few minutes’ walk to a spectacular overlook.

Gazing to the south I could see Nongnah’s limestone shelf, which from head-on appeared like a thin white line with a few tiny buildings on top of it. Rising menacingly above the shelf was a dark green mountain, while below it was the similarly dark green slope into the Lyngon gorge which I had descended earlier that day. The gorge bounded the Ngunraw Plateau to the east and south, while to the west the land fell even more precipitously to the roaring waters of the Rilang River, of which the Lyngon was only a small tributary. To the north a thin steep saddle dropped and then climbed again towards another, much greater, expanse of limestone tableland: the mass of rock that the Ngunraw Plateau was once, eons ago, a tiny part of.

Ngunraw itself is not an especially old settlement, though a single brief mention of the village in Hamlet Bareh’s U Tirot Sing suggests that it was a going concern at least as far back as the Anglo-Khasi War. Just as the stone of Ngunraw once belonged to the plateau to the north, so too did its people. The settlement’s founders originated from the village of Rangjadong, which is only about four kilometers from Ngunraw as the crow flies, though the rugged intervening spaces make that distance seem much greater. Like Mawlongbah, the site of Ngunraw was first occupied as an agricultural camp, and then the camp developed gradually into its own, independent, settlement.

And develop it did, and continues to, even though the top of the plateau, the only place on Ngunraw’s land that is flat enough to build houses, is never more than a kilometer wide. Over the generations Ngunraw has become a village with nearly 400 separate households. But it hasn’t gotten any bigger. There’s no place for it to grow. Instead of expanding outwards, the village in the sky has become increasingly dense.

Stepping up out of the wilds below the top of the plateau into the village was like being transported instantly from the loneliest part of the Himalayan foothills to the center of the most built-up Indian city. Suddenly there were people everywhere. The village was a cacophonous maze of screaming children and close-set houses. Dogs, cats, and chickens chased each other among innumerable great racks hung with thousands of strands of dried broom grass. Ngunraw’s houses went right up to the edge of the slopes (and sometimes a little bit over). Even the most impoverished, overcrowded, families had million-dollar views.

It took a while, but eventually I managed to track down the village headman. He didn’t feel comfortable communicating in English, but he was happy to put me in contact with his second in command, the village secretary, MacArthur Iawphniaw.

MacArthur had a round, wise face. I took him to be around fifty but was surprised to learn that he was in his early 30s, or roughly the same age I was. As a teacher in Mawkyrwat, he commuted to and from that city several times a week, and so I was fortunate to have caught him while he was at home in the village.

The headman, MacArthur, and I then had a modest lunch at the headman’s home. Having seen exactly zero signs of tourism infrastructure in the area, I asked MacArthur how often visitors, even local day trippers, came through.

“They don’t,” said MacArthur. “Our problem is that around this village, there are many ‘riat.’ Do you know this word? Riat?”

“It means ‘cliffs,’ right?” I responded, unsure why cliffs were an issue.

“Exactly. For this reason, we have never been able to develop any tourism, and our people are very poor.”

“But the cliffs make for lovely views. The scenery in your village is some of the best I’ve seen in Meghalaya. I’m sure people would like to come here if they knew about it.”

Over the years I’ve been to many a scenic place in Meghalaya that the locals, after the fashion of locals the world over, were dismissive of out of sheer familiarity. Perhaps MacArthur’s perspective was another example of this.

“Maybe you are right,” said MacArthur. “Our views are beautiful. But we have problems in Ngunraw. We have too many people in a very small area, and what is more, there is a land dispute, since many generations back. This has prevented any tourism development.”

“What was the land dispute about?”

“As per my knowledge, it began many many years ago, before my time. It was between the Thongni Clan, which was the first clan to settle this land from Rangjadong, and the other clans who moved here later. It started because some of the Thongni people claimed that when other people came here and built their homes, that they had taken land that belonged to the Thongni clan. So there is a big misunderstanding between all the clans. But then, in around 1980, the Thongni clan and all the people of this village came to an agreement, which is that the Thongni will gift some of their land, freely, to the other villagers. They agreed that the other clans can use this area on top of the mountain for building their houses. But there is one condition only: that those places which they do not use for building their houses will remain with the Thongni clan.”

“How did that work?”

“So, for example, let us say that I have a house but am not a member of the Thongni clan. By one side, in the space between my house and the next house, there is a place that I cannot use. Or, if there is a stone path in front of my house, that path is not mine, and it is not my neighbor’s. It will belong to the Thongni clan, even though they don’t live there and don’t use it. So, this place for building my house, they have given it to me freely. But all the places around will belong to them. That creates misunderstandings.”


“For example, you know ‘piggery?’”

“As in a place where you raise pigs?”

“Yes, so, suppose I build a shed for my pigs. In that case, the shed must be away from my house, because it’s for pigs, so it’s dirty and smelly. It has to encroach on land that is technically Thongni land. So it becomes a part of the land dispute.

“And then, one more condition of the agreement is that, whenever there is any project which comes from the government, any development, so any funds or infrastructure, when that development happens to pass through the area of my house, then one third of that benefit must go to the Thongni. It’s almost like a tax that must be paid to the Thongni on any support that the government sends to our village. But then, there is another problem, which is that this agreement is only given verbally, so there are no documents to prove any person’s claims. And anyone from a clan other than Thongni, they don’t have any document to prove that they and not the Thongni own their house. So, this only creates more problems.”

“How long did this misunderstanding go on?” I asked, thinking that the land dispute was something well in the past.

“It went on and on. From that agreement in 1980 up until 2017 our village was split into two groups. We had two headmen. Two governments. Families were split down the middle. There were decades of suffering because of this. And many times, they formed peace committees to bring all the villagers and the Thongni around to an agreement. To agree on one point: to live happily in this small area. But those committees came and went, came and went, without an agreement. The dispute went on and on, and many cases were filed in the state high court.”

“Cases from the Thongni clan? Or people who are against the Thongni?”

“Both sides are filing cases. Lots and lots of cases! Too many cases! And though the two sides are mostly not fighting with body blows, it was a serious situation, with much suffering for everybody in the village.”

“How so?”

“The Thongni, they have to collect donations from each Thongni household to run their cases. And then the other clans had to do the same to defend, so it affects all the villagers. If they go and pick broom grass, and collect, say, 10 KG, they have to give away a large portion of their crops to help pay for the cases. So, it becomes a great loss to all the villagers, on both sides. Because we are farmers here in Ngunraw, mostly we are poor people. So to give a donation of rs. 100, 200, for us is a big problem. And on top of that, the village people were all set against one another.”

“Does that mean that the village was divided in two? Like, were the Thongnis all in one part of the village, and the rest in the other part?”

“No, it’s not like that. The two sides are all mixed up. One house will be on one side, and the next house will be on the other. Family against family. Neighbor against neighbor.

“But the Thongni headman would only have jurisdiction over the Thongni houses?”


“Doesn’t sound like a good way to run a village.”

“No, it’s very bad. And suppose if we have some benefit from the government, like some funds or some development program. One headman will try to block the other. They will say that the other side is not fit to get that, that they don’t deserve the funds, or will squander them. It causes a great loss for everybody here in Ngunraw.”

“How did the government respond to that?”

“Most of the time, the government says to the people: ‘Let the development come to your village. It doesn’t matter if it comes to this side or to the other side.’ But at that time, people are narrow minded. They will not agree with that.”

“And you said that sometimes the dispute would break up families?”

“Yeah. For example, take my uncle. He is Iawphinaw, so he is from a Thongni supporting clan. But he married into one clan that is against the Thongni, which is Lyngkoi. So, at that time, at the breakup of the village, he has to leave his wife and come back to his mother. It’s very sad. And, because why? Because we do not understand that we cannot survive if our village is in two parts.”

“But wouldn’t people from both sides be seeing each other on the streets every day?”

“Yeah but we will not talk. We’ll just walk straight by,” MacArthur laughed. “Even if, suppose, my next-door neighbor, his mother or his father died. According to our community and our customs, I should go and help them, because I am their neighbor. But, due to the dispute, I will not go because he is not on my side. That’s a negative effect of our village partition.”

“Was your clan for or against the Thongni?”

“My family, and my clan, Iawphniaw, we support Thongni. My father is Thongni, that’s why.”

Up until this point, I had assumed that MacArthur was viewing the Thongni Clan as the bad guys. But he was apparently on their side, if not an actual member of the clan. In a way, this made me trust his depiction of the situation more, even though I, being someone who had spent mere hours in the village, had no hope of truly understanding all of the undercurrents of what was clearly an old, complex, and deep-set conflict. But MacArthur was at least able to criticize the Thongni clan and appeared willing to try and listen to the views of the Thongni’s opponents. He seemed to feel that the blame for the dispute could be spread to every corner of the little village.

At this point MacArthur went silent for a few moments, deep in thought.

“For most people,” he said after a little while, “those who are not from these rural areas, for them village life is quite different! I think you cannot imagine how we live here!” he laughed. “It’s very difficult!”

“But have things gotten any better? Is the dispute still ongoing?”

“For now, we can say that it is paused. And, hopefully, it will not begin again. We have peace now. But only since 2017. Then, the Thongni and all the other people here came together and agreed: That now, all this fighting will be only a story. Now we will stand as one. So the Thongni withdrew all their cases, and all the other villagers also withdrew their cases. And there is a…what do we call it?…I forgot that word…it is a peace formed by the court…what do they call it?”

At this point MacArthur got sidetracked for a while, scratching his head as he tried to remember the word. I think it might have been ‘Injunction,’ but, to tell the truth, I was too exhausted to call it to mind either.

“Anyway, the court told the two groups that they should come to an understanding and should withdraw all the cases,” MacArthur picked up again, giving up on finding the word he was searching for. “So, we did that at the high court in 2017. All the cases now are gone, and for the time being, we are at peace.”

“So now the whole village is under one headman?”

“Yes…for now.”

Walking out of the headman’s house, the little, crowded, village had acquired several new layers. The reason why Ngunraw was virtually unknown to the outside world was because it was the site of a little yet miserable struggle; one of decades of unrest and resentment, of families torn apart and neighbors set against one another, all contained within a tiny, isolated sliver of land above the canyons of the Rilang River Basin.

And yet, as the houses of the village lit up for the evening, I saw no sign of the strife which had long-since held Ngunraw hostage. All around were children playing and people conversing and generally getting on with their lives. Had I simply walked through I would have had no inkling of the great struggle that had afflicted the settlement for so long.

MacArthur and I strolled over to his house just as the sun was setting. The building was owned by his mother-in-law, and MacArthur seemed to view it as a temporary living arrangement. It certainly looked as such: A few of the walls were made of rough concrete, though most, along with the roof, were fashioned out of corrugated metal, and wood was only used on the floor. It was essentially one room, part of which was taken up by a very modest kitchen, while MacArthur’s sleeping quarters were a sort of alcove that opened off the main room and which doubled as a storage space. Whenever MacArthur needed to go to bed, he had to remove several bags from the alcove, and even then there wasn’t room enough for him to sit upright.

“This is my humble house,” said he, taking a foam sleeping mat out of a corner and spreading it on the floor so that I’d have a place to sleep that night. “Will you be comfortable?”

“I’ll be fine.”

MacArthur soon went back out to attend a political meeting, leaving me alone in the house for a little while. Having a few moments of peace was most welcome.

Noticing that the Airtell 4G signal was quite strong in Ngunraw (one of the only places during my long trek where it could be described as such) I decided to take out my smartphone and connect to the internet. For about ten minutes, I managed to achieve blissful relaxation. But then I had unexpected visitors. 

As I was staring down at my device, I detected a bent figure in the corner of my vision. The person was walking softly towards me, having entered the little house without a sound. I looked up and saw a very old man supporting himself with a cane, hobbling towards the bench I was sitting on. He had no eyes. His sockets were completely empty. This was surprising.

Another man, taller and younger, came in and then grabbed the eyeless fellow’s shoulder to steer him so that he didn’t walk right into me. The second man only had one eye.

The two of them sat down on a bench across from me. The second man nodded politely in my direction, and then turned to the eyeless fellow and went about describing the strange thing he was seeing. Judging by the timbre of his voice as he reacted to what the second man had to tell him, the eyeless man sounded just as surprised to be in the presence of a giant Phareng as I was to be in that of an old blind Khasi.

And then an old woman came in. She still had her eyes, but they didn’t appear to work as she felt her way forward with a cane and was steered to the bench by directions from the one-eyed man. She too was followed by a younger person, this time a lady who also had both her eyes, though one was cloudy and blue and presumably not functional.

Finally, one last visually impaired individual showed up. He still had both his eyes, though he also wore exceptionally thick glasses that made his pupils look like they took up half his face.

I had no clue what was going on as my blind and partially blind companions laughed uproariously at the sheer oddity of my being there with them. None of them could speak English, so I exchanged pleasantries as best I could in Khasi, with a bit of bazaar Hindi thrown in.

After a few minutes of this, MacArthur came back with a handful of paperwork and a determined demeanor.

“Ah, Peter,” said he, forgetting my name, “Please don’t mind, I will have to help these people petition the government for some medications.”

“No problem. Take your time. But…who are they?”

“They are the Blind Committee. BC.”

I should have known.

Even though the land dispute and the struggle between the Thongni clan and their rivals had technically come to an end, tensions were still simmering, and MacArthur, in his capacity as village secretary, had the unenviable responsibility of balancing the various opposing forces that were still at large in Ngunraw.

It was only on 26 January 2018 that the decision was made by the people of Ngunraw to elect a new, united, government from scratch, completely removing the two previously antagonistic village councils from power. The rationale behind this was that the people who ran the rival local governments would probably wind up going back to their old ways sooner or later. But it also meant that the new council would have to be young, and its members, by design, wouldn’t have had any experience running the village. MacArthur had been deeply honored by his nomination to be the village secretary, but he was also overwhelmed by it.

“We in the village council feel that we cannot carry the responsibility. The village is so big, so to run it, we have many problems,” he told me after the Blind Committee left.

“Like what?”

“Like, for example, there is a grant issued by the government of India called PMAY, for poor people under the poverty line to construct their own houses. But we on the village council, we have to apply for the grant and select who gets funding.  But because we are new, we don’t know how to do any of that.

“So many difficulties we have to look towards the welfare of the people. We cannot govern in such a way as to satisfy everyone. Because we see that this person is really in need, but this other person is also in need, but not quite as badly, but the grant coming from the government is very limited and specific, so we can’t give the funding to everyone that needs help. It’s like, to make one person happy, you must make another angry!

“So, it’s difficult. Our main aim is to figure out how we can best utilize what little land we have left, and to make guidelines that are acceptable to all. But even this is difficult! If we on the village council come and ask the village people to give us some advice, they will say ‘I’m busy. I’m going to the forest. I need to do this or that.’ They say they never have time!”

MacArthur laughed in desperation.

“Aren’t there people with experience you can at least turn to for advice?” I asked.

“We have tried. We’ll go to the ex-council members and say: ‘You have so much experience. You have run the village before. As our elders, please, share something with us. Help us. Give us advice. And they will say: ‘Ah, tomorrow maybe. Today, I’m not ready.’ They only give excuses! So, instead of people getting the proper benefits, everything goes slowly, and there are only problems for us.”

“What sort of problems?”

“To take an example, you know VDP?”

“Village Defense Party?”

This is a vital element of Khasi local government, kind of a volunteer militia/police force/fire department, where able bodied men are armed with clubs and deal with security and public order issues.

“You see, before there was a VDP here in Ngunraw. But those people who were members before, they say that they cannot adapt to the present conditions. So one person we approach to be a member of the VDP will say: ‘No, not for me!’ and another will say: ‘No! Ask someone else!’ So, after more than a year, we haven’t formed the full Village Defense Party.”

“Are people unwilling to join because of what happened before in the land dispute?”

“Yes, but we are trying to make people understand that we have to move along with the time. We have to change.  But then the younger people will say to us: ‘We are young and hot tempered, so you cannot trust us to work with our neighbors.’ But then educated people, they will say ‘I work outside of the village. I have no time! Go and ask somebody who lives in the village.’  But the elders in the village, those people who are experienced, who are used to dealing with these problems, who can show us the way, they will say ‘We are old! But you are young. This is your problem now!’”

MacArthur laughed again.

It’s worth reiterating that in my very short time in Ngunraw the only real perspective I got about the village’s woes came from MacArthur. There’s likely a great deal more to the story, and I’m sure there are people in the village who would disagree with his characterization of the issues. But he made it sound as though many people in Ngunraw were indifferent to the new unified village council, and that this continued to stymie its ability to fulfill its basic functions.

That, then, explains how a place as beautiful as Ngunraw could also be so completely unvisited. The village council has a long list of things it needs to work out first before it can even think about tourism. 

The following dawn, MacArthur and I stood at the edge of the tiny limestone plateau gazing to the south, out over the shadowy valley of the Lyngon and beyond. In that direction, the dark green ridge that climbed above Nongnah seemed to loom over the whole of the Western Khasi Hills. The summit of the mountain was the highest point that we could see, and on the other side of it the world dropped down to Bangladesh, and then to the Bay of Bengal, and didn’t rise again until the Transantarctic Mountains thousands of kilometers to the south. Ever since Mawlongbah I had detected a sort of vague fear directed towards the top of that mountain. Something dangerous and supernatural was thought to live up there, a kind of dark presence in the background of the whole region.

“Do you know anything about that mountain?” I asked MacArthur, pointing to it as we walked around the outside perimeter of the Ngunraw Plateau.

“That is Lum Iawpaw. It is the home of a very fierce goddess.”

“Are people still afraid of her?”

“Well…some. You see, before, Iawpaw is very fierce. Very dangerous. So all the other gods and spirits here, they are below Iawpaw. Even gods have bureaucracy!” Macarthur laughed. “But Iawpaw was the highest God around here, and so scary that before no one would even face in her direction. Even working in the fields, we would only look down, to avoid looking directly at her mountain.”

“Is that still the case?”

“Well…mostly no. But there are some who may still believe. Who can say? Personally, I know very little about this. Perhaps if we ask some elder people, they can tell us about her. My generation doesn’t know properly!”


“Yeah…we need someone to write all of these stories down before the elder people all die. But we do have another God here in Ngunraw. Just a little one. He is not so fierce.”

“Wait…You have a God here?”

“Yes. Our village is named for him. But not many people know him or pay attention to him anymore. And he is much lower than Iawpaw. A small god only. Come, I will show you where he lives.”

Now MacArthur led me to the eastern side of Ngunraw. Here there was, amazingly, a patch of grassy open space; due to the land dispute, a significant chunk of the extremely limited territory atop the plateau was lying empty and unused, except for a modest-sized village graveyard which struck me as rather too small to hold two hundred years’ worth of Ngunraw’s deceased.

It turned out that there was a good reason for the graveyard’s small size. MacArthur explained to me that in Ngunraw there simply isn’t enough room for each corpse to get a fresh space. The local families are thus forced to reuse their funerary plots. When a relative dies the bereaved simply place the latest corpse on top of whatever’s left of the previous occupant. According to MacArthur, given the exceedingly wet weather the plateau is subjected to in the monsoon, there usually isn’t much left after a couple of years, which handily takes care of the issue of the plots getting crowded.

As for the undeveloped land, people in the village have wanted to build on it for decades, but there have been two perennial obstacles to this. One was overlapping legal claims from the rival sides of the land dispute. The other was the inconvenient presence of Ngunraw’s local god.

“Look there,” said MacArthur, pointing to a rocky outcrop of mostly black limestone that protruded from the barren land. “Do you see that reddish place?”

I looked to where MacArthur was pointing. There was an overhang, perhaps three meters above the ground, that faced west, towards the built-up part of the village. Underneath this was an orangish patch, a stain caused by lichen that stood out strikingly from the rest of the feature.

“That is where our god lives,” said MacArthur.

“In the stone?”

“That is the story. His name is Koh Ngunraw. Before, he used to protect this village. But he is just a little God. Not the God who is in Heaven. Nowadays we don’t know whether he is present or not present, because now we are all Christian. But, before, they used to do services for him. That’s why he protected the village.”

“What did he do to protect the village?”

“When there is some famine, or when there is something that attacks the village, like some epidemic, or some enemies, the old people say that Koh Ngunraw would help them if they performed some service to him.”

“What service would they perform?”

“I cannot say exactly, but I think they would take some cock or hen. They would kill it, and then speak some words that we cannot understand. Secret words that are only for that God.”

“Why does he live in this particular spot?”

“I do not know all the details, but I can say that, before, he lived in a place that was below this tableland, near a cliff. But then, old people say that farmers would keep burning broom-grass near his home, so after some time, he got annoyed with those people, and then he ran away from his home and came to live here.”

“What does he look like?”

This was a question that MacArthur had to think about for a little while.

“Again, I am not positive,” he said. “When people in the previous times would make offerings to him, it’s said that Koh Ngunraw would appear to them and come in the form of a big black snake. And he will come, and sing, and shake his head back and forth.”

“Singing and shaking his head? Because he’s happy?”

“Ha! Yes, he’s very happy when people are worshipping him and feeding him!”

“Then, did the people who were worshipping him think he was evil, or good, or neither?”

“It’s only a superstition, so we cannot say anything for sure. But they believe he is helpful. He will protect the village from epidemics, or other dangers. So, we can say they thought he was good.”

“Then, if an outsider came to the village, would they have to worry about Koh Ngunraw?”

“We can say…maybe. But mostly, this God does not protect the village from human beings. It defends us against other Gods like him. You see, he can change his shape, kind of like a ghost, or spirit, but one who lives in natural things. The exact word we use for this in Khasi is ‘Basa.’”

“Does anyone in the village believe Koh Ngunraw’s still here?”

“At present, some of them believe in Koh Ngunraw, but only a few.” MacArthur now pointed to a small house at the edge of the undeveloped area, the nearest one to the spirit’s supposed dwelling place. “There is an old man who lives in this house that we see here. He says that sometimes when he is loud, like when he had some good news so he wants to drink and enjoy himself and be merry late at night, that Koh Ngunraw would throw stones at him!” MacArthur burst out laughing.

“Koh Ngunraw would throw stones?”

I envisioned the angry spirit, irritated after being interrupted from his rest, chucking lethal boulders at his boisterous mortal neighbors.

“Yeah! But only very small stones. Pebbles. Or, like, sand.”

Koh Ngunraw certainly wasn’t coming off as very formidable.

“But that was enough!” MacArthur continued. “It would make my uncle afraid, so he would be quiet for the rest of the night…or he would have a party someplace else, on the other side of the village maybe.”

“But Koh Ngunraw never seriously harms anybody?”

“I don’t think he is capable, at least, not nowadays.”

“Does that mean he used to be more powerful?”

“Yeah. Nowadays, almost nobody believes in him. We never see his power anymore. But one reason why there are no houses in this area is because of that God. No one wanted to build their house next to his house. But now that we are all Christians and we are more and more educated, we have come to not pay attention to that God, so we will begin to build here. Still, because the old generations believe in him, some of us are still afraid.”

As is typical during discussions of local spiritual beliefs in the Khasi Hills, it was hard to ascertain to what extent Macarthur believed in ‘Basas’ and in the strength of the lingering animism that continued to have a real-world effect on the village he helped administer. In one sentence he would seem to confirm that the veneration of Koh Ngunraw had all but ceased, and in the next would claim that fear of the spirit made real-estate development difficult in a place where suitable land for building was at such a premium that the locals stacked their dead relatives on top of each other.

 “I also am now building a house here, near that Basa’s home,” MacArthur said. “But my grandmother was strongly against this. She told me that I should never go there, because Koh Ngunraw will be unhappy with me. I’ll have to walk in front of his home and disturb him, and that is not good for my family’s health. She says that Koh Ngunraw will hurt us. And even my wife says: ‘no! we cannot move there!’ That’s why I still don’t have a proper house to live in and have to stay in my mother in law’s place!”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

“Yes, but, over time, I think things will get better, especially when more people build their houses in this area. Then my wife will feel comfortable and we will not have to worry about this Basa anymore. I think that by around 2025, all of this land will be developed, and I will be able to live in a proper house with my family.”

MacArthur sounded hopeful, but I detected a note of uncertainty in his voice. It seems old spirits die hard in Ngunraw.

We weren’t walking for long. One can’t in Ngunraw without heading right off the side of a cliff.

After a late breakfast, it was time for me to go. I had spent less than twenty-four hours in the village, but given the sheer amount of information I had picked up in that time, a part of me wanted deeply to spend more.

But Jarain was still far off, and the walk down into and out of the Lyngon would be just as tough today as it had been the day before.

Though I suspected he would not accept it, I offered MacArthur a donation to the Ngunraw village council. As predicted, he refused.

“Instead of money,” he said, “tell the world of Ngunraw. Tell them that a place like this exists.”

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