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 eight: conclusion
caption: marriage within the village; affinal ties
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: The tendency to marry within the village is a further factor in promoting village cohesion and leads to a net of kinship ties, both agnatic and affinal, within the community. Affinal ties, however, are not of long duration. In the first generation the ties are close, a wife remaining in touch with her paternal kin and her husband maintaining with them a relationship of mutual assistance on a reciprocal basis. In the second generation the tie is looser. The sister's son's obligation to his mother's brother remains, but the bond of (156) mutual assistance has almost gone. In the third generation the tie disappears unless renewed by a further marriage. Men frequently do not know the name, moiety or tsami of their father's mother and unless there has been repeated intermarriage between two tsami over several generations - it will be remembered that the mother's brother's daughter is sometimes a preferred match - it is unlikely that any tradition of affinal kinship will come down to posterity. Nevertheless affinal ties at the current level are a powerful factor in promoting village and cluster solidarity, although outside this limited range they are of little effect. The impossibility of maintaining reciprocal relations with affinal kin in distant villages, and the consequent forfeiture of many advantages, is in itself an inducement to marry within the village or cluster.