The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript notes made by W.G. Archer between 1946 & 1948, and miscellaneous papers and letters

caption: Yimchungr marriage and sleeping arrangements
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: YimchungrAoSemaSangtam
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 1946-1948
refnum: 16:27
text: Yimchungr.
text: Monogamy because from early times the ancestors found that if a man married more than one wife, one of the wives always dies - therefore a taboo on more than one wife. Aos have same sanction re monogamy. Semas - polygamy because of chief's need of a large family - in may cases because the first wife is childless - and uneconomic to divorce her after paying a big bride price - Unlike Sangtams, intercourse after betrothal and before marriage is forbidden - the boy may visit the girl's house but is not allowed to sleep with her.
text: Yimchungr sleeping arrangements - a family all sleeps in the same room - the parents and the little children at one end, the older girls one side, the older boys another - in rich houses where a son is married and lives on in the house for 2-3 years, the boy and his wife sleep at one end and his parents at another - no cubicles - the one big room - 'They let the others go to sleep. it is quite dark. Then they do it'. - No undue awareness of the 'primal scene' - pitch blackness of a Yimchungr room - after the fire has died down - the children could only hear intercourse and not see it.