The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book : Return to the Naked Nagas (1939;1976)

caption: Chapter Eleven. Sacred Chiefs
caption: differences of aristocrats and commoners; marriage prohibitions
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Oting
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: Their daily life does not seem in any way different, the aristocrats do not possess better houses or richer furniture, and except for the village chief himself, the people of Ang clan are in no way outwardly conspicuous. The running of the village, however, lies mainly in their hands, the adult men of Ang class forming the council of the chief, which decides all quarrels and settles disputes over field-boundaries and the like. Yet there is no animosity or opposition between the two classes of Oting -- at least I did not discover any. The aristocrats and commoners are in no way secluded, but mingle freely together, and are natural marriage partners. Those aristocrats who do not marry Ang girls from other villages must seek wives among the daughters of the commoners in Oting; likewise a man of Ben clan may not marry a girl of his own class, but must woo a girI of Ang class. The children, though naturally of mixed blood, belong to the father's class.