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
caption: marriage
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Zemi
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
date: 1937-1946
person: private collection
text: In contrast to the freedom before marriage, absolute fidelity is expected, at least of the wife, after it; if the husband has one or two lapses, they are generally mere liaisons of a night or two only in some village he happens to visit. Occasionally a marriage does break up. A young couple in Laisong parted after about a year, owing to the boy, who was very good-looking, conducting an affair with a girl in the dekachang. The young wife left him and returned to her parents' house. The marriage is considered dissolved; the boy is back in the dekachang, but the girl has lost her unmarried status (she had a child, which died) and takes no part in dances, etc. Another youth approached her parents with a view to marrying her, but was firmly refused.