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 three - the Ram or village community
caption: the individual's relations with the kienga
caption: young men exempt from field work
medium: theses
ethnicgroup: Nzemi
person: Betts/ U.V.
date: 1950
refnum: M.A. thesis, University College, London
note: footnotes indicated by boxes within square brackets
text: Unless he is fatherless or his family is exceptionally poor a rahangmi is exempt from normal field-work. On working-days during the cultivating season he stays late in the village with nothing to do but rise late, sit about drinking beer, bathe and dress himself, and finally to sit in full dress on the platform before the hangseoki and be admired from a distance by the unmarried girls returning with their parents from a long day in the fields. So strongly does public opinion support this pattern of rahangmi life that parents will make considerable sacrifices rather than call in their rahangmi sons to take part (56) in the daily reciprocal field-work, and they suffer a marked loss of prestige if they are in fact forced to do so. It appears that in the disturbed conditions which prevailed prior to 1879 the rahangmi formed a permanent village guard and that this large proportion of the village labour-force was detached from agricultural work for sound military reasons, but at present the only public duty which the rahangmi are called on to perform at least in daytime, [22 [Record T86782][Record T86783][Record T86784]