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: little hierarchy in Thenkoh villages, much in Thendu
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York52:1
text: In a village of the Thenkoh group one could live for a considerable time without being conscious of distinctions of rank or social class. Whether one joined the men who were gossiping and doing odd jobs in the porch of a morung or accompanied a group of families on their way to the fields, all villagers seemed to treat each other as equals, and even on the occasions when rites and ceremonies were performed, people did not group themselves according to inherited status. Neither were there striking differences in the dress and ornaments worn by men and women of different class, though the members of the one or other morung might have a monopoly on some minor element of personal adornment. In a Thendu village, however, even the most casual observer could hardly fail to notice the gulf dividing the powerful chief and his privileged kinsmen from the commoners, who owed him allegiance and free labor, and approached him only in a respectful bowed posture, without ever looking him straight in the face.