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 four - the village administration
caption: the village court
caption: disputes and their settlement
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: 3. The Village Court.
text: The official administration, as it existed prior to 1947, allowed the Nzemi village courts to deal only with civil disputes. Criminal cases were to be referred to the District Magistrate's court. In actual practice the Central Nzemi village courts continued to deal as before with all disputes arising within the village, including criminal cases. If, however, a criminal case involved persons of two separate villages, it was at once referred to the District Magistrate's court, since no native mechanism existed for the peaceful settlement of inter- village, as opposed to intra-village, disputes and the traditional Nzemi method was to resort to war. In civil disputes between men of two different villages attempts were sometimes made by the two village courts concerned to settle the matter at a joint meeting, but, partly because public opinion did not recognise the sanction of expulsion in (91) this connection and the joint court was therefore powerless to enforce its decision, and partly because the magistrate's court offered a more attractive alternative, such attempts were very seldom successful.