The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary four

caption: clan ownership and inheritance
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Lunglam
date: 4.3.1937
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 12.2.1937-31.3.1937
note: translated from german by Dr Ruth Barnes
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: While we are sitting in front of the Dingdong morung I am asking Chingai about clan ownership and inheritance. There is an instructive case in his own family. His wife is from the Longpho-yem clan and this clan is dying out as the only man of the clan is the father's brother of this woman and he has no children. So no one claimed the land of Chingai's wife's father and Chingai could simply take possession of it. His house too stands on the land of his father-in-law. The only service he paid him in return was that he fed him during his old age and apparently also paid his house tax for him. (131) Chingai's sons will inherit this land, however his wife's father's brother has taken a boy of the Otikshuyem clan into his house and has declared him to be his successor. The Otikshuyem clan is closely related to the Longphoyem and marriages between the two clans are prohibited. Therefore there is no problem if an Otikshuyem man receives Longphoyem land.
text: According to the old custom all land goes to the Ang if a clan dies out, but it does not become his personal property but instead is to be used by the entire Ang clan. Every Ang man has the right to plant some of this land without having to pay the Ang a share. Only Ben people will have to pay him if the Ang leases them some of this land. Nowadays however it also is possible that a daughter can inherit not only jewellery and other movable wealth but also land, if no other clan member is available. But as long as there are any male descendants they receive the land property of the deceased.