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: support in dispute and litigation in clan
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York50:2
text: More significant even than the priority of the clan members' claim to the land left by a dead man was the support clan members gave each other in disputes and litigation. In Konyak society, which lacked codified laws and norms, the strength and influence of a litigant's clan were of great importance, for the members of a man's clan gave him their full support, and those who belonged to a small and powerless clan often found it difficult to stand up to the pressure of an opponent supported by a powerful clan. Although the village council would often act impartially and boldly, in doubtful cases the judges usually worked toward a compromise. Under such circumstances, the influence of a powerful clan could sway the deliberations, for the village councilors knew that a decision which left a powerful group resentful did not contribute to the re- establishment of harmony within the community.