The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

miscellaneous papers, notebooks and letters on Nagas by Ursula Graham Bower, 1937-1947

caption: sexual liaisons among the Zemi
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Zemi
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
date: 1937-1946
person: private collection
text: Though liaisons appear to be conducted pretty freely between boys and girls, and even between older visitors and girls, if the visitor be attractive and glib enough, yet it is absolutely tabu to have an affair with a girl of the same clan.
text: In the course of years the clans have grown very large and have split into smaller groups, and marriages inside the clan, though not with close relations, are beginning to take place. These are regarded with disapproval and blamed for the physical degeneration alleged to be taking place. Any real incest, or marriage within the clan, incurs the wrath of Heaven and is looked on with real horror.
text: It is common for a girl to have three or four lovers, or more. Youths visiting the village spending the night in the dekachang are more likely to have success with the younger girls; the older ones generally have their own established lovers.