The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - extracts from 'Descriptive Ethnography of Bengal' on Nagas by E.T. Dalton

caption: Section 7. (2) - The Kukis
caption: government: chiefs-rajas; tribute; council; law; punishment; slavery; adultery or seduction
medium: articles
person: Dalton/ E.T.
date: 1872
text: Each of the tribes has a raja, whose dignity they consider themselves bound in honor and duty to maintain. The rajas are all supposed to be descended from one divine stock. Their persons are therefore sacred, and they are regarded by their people with almost superstitious veneration. They are entitled to receive annually from each subject one basket of rice, containing about two maunds; one out of each brood of pigs and fowls reared; one quarter of every animal killed in the chase, and four days' labor. The raja is assisted by a council called Thuspois or Mantris (Hindi) and sits with them to administer justice. Under their own criminal law, treason alone was punishable with death. The ordinary murdered and all his family became slaves of the raja. In cases of theft, the criminal only loses his freedom. In cases of adultery or seduction, the punishment is left to the aggrieved husband or father, but all the women of the village, married or single, are at the pleasure of the raja.