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: intermarriage of aristocrats and commoners in Oting
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Oting
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York61:4
text: In Oting there were about equal numbers of commoners and people of aristocratic clans, and it was normal for these classes to intermarry. Only the sons and daughters of the village chief were expected to marry spouses of equal status from other villages. All other members of chiefly rank were content to marry commoners of their own village, and no preferences were expressed for hypergamous in contrast to hypogamous unions. Marital unions across class lines were thus considered the norm, and facilities in the form of a meeting ground for young men and girls of different class were provided. The chief's house contained one room where the girls of Ang class entertained the boys of commoner clans, and another room in which commoner girls gathered and were visited by boys of Ang class. It is remarkable that despite the fact that, with the exception of the lineage of the village chief, aristocrats and commoners were natural marriage partners, the distinction in privileges and obligation of the classes persisted.