The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - extracts from 'Account of the valley of Munnipore and of the Hill Tribes' by Major W. McCulloch

caption: lack of Hindu notions of purity; Brahmins; early marriage disapproved of; polygamy; widows
medium: articles
person: McCulloch/ Major W.
date: 1858
refnum: from: Selections from the Records of the Government of India, No. 27 (Calcutta) 1859
text: Children up to ten or twelve years of age eat every sort of food without regard to the Hindoo notions of purity or impurity. And it is a common practice for old people to abandon altogether Hindoo observances. The Brahmins too, being the (18) descendants of those who first came into the country by wives of the Kei caste given them by the Raja, and their sons again having taken in marriage Munniporee wives, and many families of Brahmins having continued to do so till now, have become in reality Munniporees. And although they are treated with much outward show of respect, still inwardly they are not felt to be of the superior caste claimed by them, and at times have been taunted with being the sons of Keis. Thus Hindooism with Munniporees is but a fashion. The very early marriages of Hindostan are not approved of, and I may say never take place. Polygamy is common. Suttee is unknown; widows are not treated as in Hindostan: they may marry again, eat such food, and dress in such style, as they please. Apostates cannot at once return to their old standing, but Nagas or Loees may at once profess Hindooism, and receive the thread of the Khetree. The Raja, Brahmins, and male members of the Royal family, give the thread indiscriminately, but to receive it from the Raja and become his disciple, seems to be the preferred method.