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: Lhota marriage; polygamy
medium: notes
person: MuhungkhaoSerentheng
ethnicgroup: Lhota
location: Yekhum
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 1946-1948
refnum: 14:5
text: Lhota. Yekhum - Muhungkhao.
text: Gaonbura - 3 wives - each a separate cubicle with bed and hearth - each cooks separately, eat separately but gives the husband a portion of what she has cooked. Muhungkhao gets something from each wife. Morning meal 6-7am. Evening meal 6-7pm. nothing midday.
text: Gaonbura only goes to the fields once or twice when the crops are ripening - to keep an eye on the yield, otherwise never goes. The 3 wives and the 4 daughters do all the field work - cut the trees, burn the jungle, clear it, then make a hole with a hoe, put a seed in - weeding 3 times before the harvest. The gaonbura just sits at home. Smaller men with only one wife do field work - big men who can have several wives do no field work.
text: Serentheng - gaonbura had 3 wives but the second and third 'did not work well' so he turned them out. He has had 10 children by his first wife (8 still living) but none by the next 2. The second wife's parents repaid him Rs 15/- as marriage price and the third wife's parents repaid him Rs. 65/- - the third has re- married in Yekhum - the second in another village.
text: 'If the first wife is soft and gentle a man can have as many other wives as he likes. But if she is strict and stern, he can try as often as he likes but none of them will stay'.