The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Twenty-seven. Return to Nagaland
caption: marriage rules in the Thendu villages
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyaks
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 1970
text: In the villages of the Thendu group, on the other hand, neither members of chiefly lineages nor commoners may marry within their own class and village. Men of great Ang class (e.g. Wangham, Wangyem etc.) take their principal wives from chiefly (243) lineages of other villages, and as the principle of lineage-exogamy precludes any marriage between persons of common descent however remotely related, wives have often to be sought in distant villages and never in villages founded by men of the same dynasty. Men of Ang class are free, however, to take secondary wives from the commoner clans of their own village, and while chiefs of pure aristocratic blood consider such wives only as concubines and domestic helps, men of the lower divisions of the Ang class (i.e. Wangsa and Wangsu) often marry girls of local commoner clans as their only wives. If they want to find wives of their own class, they must seek them among families of different lineage and village.