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: famine; theft; lenience with young men; dormitories; sexual freedom
medium: articles
ethnicgroup: Koupooee
person: McCulloch/ Major W.
date: 1858
refnum: from: Selections from the Records of the Government of India, No. 27 (Calcutta) 1859
text: In a time of scarcity closely approaching to famine, I have seen the granaries of a lone widow sacredly preserved by a village, the inhabitants of which ate rice only when they received it from her. Theft, if the thief should happen to be a married man, is punished severely, but a young unmarried man might with impunity steal grain not yet housed, whilst theft from a granary would subject him to the severest punishment, young unmarried men are acknowledged to be usually wild, and it is thought they should without any great check be permitted to sow their wild oats. I have before observed that the young men and boys do not sleep in their own houses. According as the village is large or small, they assemble in one or several houses which to them for the time become their homes. These clubs are ruled over despotically by the seniors amongst them, who exact from their juniors with unsparing hand service of all kinds. The young women also have their places of resort, and between them and the young men intercourse is quite un-restricted without leading to immorality which is the exception.