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: building a new house
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: Collection of materials, levelling the site, if new, and the actual construction of the house are carried out by his contemporaries and friends of the kienga and by the young men and boys sleeping in the hangseoki at that time. They are supervised by one or both of the hangseo-mui-te-peo or leaders of the young men, and by any older kinsmen the young husband may have in the kienga. Twenty to thirty men are generally employed. They are not paid and perform the work as a duty to a kienga member, but the young man and his parents are required to provide substantial amounts of food and drink for the workers during the five or six days that the building lasts. When the house is finished and the young man and his wife move in, their house-fire must be lit with 'clean' fire brought from the hangseoki of his kienga, and a dog is put up on each of the beds for a moment before they are occupied by the man and his wife. If the new householders dreams during the first night are ill-omened, he and his wife evacuate the house next day and again repeat the move into the building.