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 six: Cycle migration
caption: new settlement at Impoi lead by Namkiabuing; dream omens
medium: theses
person: NamkiabuingRintening
ethnicgroup: Nzemi
location: Asalu Impoi Gareolowa
date: 1936
person: Betts/ U.V.
date: 1950
refnum: M.A. thesis, University College, London
note: footnotes indicated by boxes within square brackets
text: The dissatisfied sections of the Asalu community found a leader in the kadepeo of Gareolowa, Namkiabuing the son of Rintening, but a Kuki village now occupied the Gareolowa site and the land formerly available to a community living there had been divided up among several other Kuki settlements. The only suitable site remaining was at Impoi, where Namkiabuing had no rights. Finding support among the Impoi autochthons as well as among the autochthons of Gareolowa, he persuaded the kadepeo of Impoi to lead a move. Namkiabuing's wife's classificatory brother was the Impoi kadepeo-katseipeo, and though he did not join in the move himself, he made over to Namkiabuing two house-sites from the land which his tsami owned on the Impoi site, and so gave Namkiabuing status as an Impoi autochthon.
text: The move took place in 1936. The settlers numbered 22 households and included almost all the autochthons of Impoi and Gareolowa. The most notable exceptions were two households of the Nubumheungtsami, the kadepeo-katseipeo tsami of Impoi. Both the (131) men concerned were married to women of autochthonous tsami of Asalu, and their wives were unwilling to make the move. The third household of this tsami joined the settlers. The autochthons of Asalu and Hakaokhang remained behind at the Asalu site, with the exception of Namkiabuing's mother's brother, an Asalu autochthon, who was dependent on the support of his sister's son and preferred to go with him. The ritual leader of the move was the Impoi kadepeo, although he was a semi-invalid and could take little part in the actual organization. Namkiabuing was the actual leader, but acted as kadepeo- katseipeo. His wife's brother, who would have been the natural choice for the post, was content to let the much more able Namkiabuing fill it.
text: Dream-omens were first consulted by the kadepeo and the leading Impoi autochthons, and as soon as favourable omens had been obtained the site was cleared of jungle and the settlers erected rough shelters of boughs on the sites chosen for their houses. The men selected as wardens of the rahangmi had a prior claim to such sites, and could requisition from any other settler a position which they required for a hangseoki. [8 [Record T86865]