The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book : 'Konyak Nagas' by Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, (1969)

caption: Chapter Two. The Social Structure and its Units
caption: alliances, protection and tribute between villages
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York42:4
text: Though most villages appeared to be virtually autonomous units, there existed networks of alliance and patronage linking several villages. In the days of unrestricted warfare and head-hunting, alliances served the purpose of mutual aid, and small villages sought the protection of powerful neighbors. In such cases tribute was paid in return for protection, the amount being determined by the relative strength of the partners. If unable to obtain such protection from friendly neighbors, a weak community might be forced to come to terms with those who had threatened its existence and recognize their overlordship by paying substantial tribute. This was not the only kind of tribute levied. When a village had been built on land belonging to another village, tribute was paid in recognition of the original ownership of the land.