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 five: land tenure and agriculture
caption: the agricultural system
caption: maize, millet, beans and other crops; vegetables
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: Rice is of primary importance and is the principal crop on first-year fields. Maize, although of secondary importance, fulfils a special function and is, with rice, the earliest crop sown. It ripens six weeks before the first rice and is of great value as a stop-gap food after the stored rice has been exhausted and before the new rice comes in. It is usually planted along the edges of paths, but is sometimes set rows in the rice. Millet, oilseeds, a bean resembling soya, a form of chives, a climbing bean, pumpkins, cucumbers, chillies, cotton, sweet potatoes and taro form, with maize, subsidiary crops. In first-year fields rice is the principal crop and vegetables and other subsidiary crops are planted round the field-house or shelter constructed in the middle of each field, along the sides of paths, and at the edges of the cultivation, they are rarely planted elsewhere, as much as possible of the valuable first-year soil being devoted to rice. In the less fertile soil planted for 2 or 3 consecutive years gives a low yield, and the major part, though seldom all, of such space is planted with subsidiary crops, which in these circumstances offer a better return for the labour expended than does rice.