The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript 'Village Organization Among the Central Nzemi Nagas', M.A. thesis by Ursula Betts

caption: chapter one - introduction
caption: tribes surrounding the Nzemi
medium: theses
ethnicgroup: NzemiLyengmaiKabuiKachaKachari <DimasaKuki <ThadoKuki <BieteKuki <Rangkhul
location: Japvo Mt. Barail Range Diyung R. Jatinga R.
person: Betts/ U.V.
date: 1950
refnum: M.A. thesis, University College, London
note: footnotes indicated by boxes within square brackets
text: The north-eastern extremity of the Barail and its highest peak, Japvo, lie just inside the Angami Naga country. From the Angami border westwards - for the greater part, that is, of the Barail's steepest and most spectacular length - the main range and its subsidiaries are inhabited by the Nzemi, Lyengmai and Kabui Nagas. They are closely related and are often referred to, particularly in early accounts, as the Kacha or Kachcha Nagas, a term of obscure origin. The Lyengmai live on the southern slopes of the Barail below the Japvo massif. The Kabui are to the south of them, on the parallel ridges running down through what was until 1949 Manipur State. The Nzemi lie to the north and west of these two tribes and occupy the main range itself, its terminal peaks in North Cachar, and the eastern edge of the plateau beyond Haflong. To the south of the Nzemi country are the plains of Cachar, thickly populated by immigrants of Bengali origin. To the west are the Khasis, of Mon-Khmer stock and speech; to the north-west are the Dimasa Kacharis, a (3) valley-dwelling people whose territory, following as it does the course of the Diyung River and the lowlands on either side of it, drives a deep wedge into the Nzemi country and all but cuts it in two. These Dimasa Kacharis finally settled in the Diyung Valley in the middle of the sixteenth century, after being driven down the Assam Valley by the dominant Ahoms. Among the Nzemi east of the Jatinga gap there are scattered villages of Thado and other Kukis; west of the gap, among the Nzemi of the plateau, there are a few settlements of Biete and Rangkhol Kukis.