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: commoners marriage rules
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyaks
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 1970
text: Commoners are bound by similar rules. The commoner clans of the same village do not intermarry, possibly because their position as subjects of the same chiefly house implies fictional agnatic ties. They marry commoners from other villages or members of the "small" Ang lineages of their own village. During my earlier fieldwork I had been struck by the fact that in Oting, a minor village of the Thendu group and a colony of Mon, men of Ang class married girls of commoner class and commoners found their wives among the daughters of the Ang families of the village, excluding, however, the daughters of the village-chief who had to be married to men of another Ang lineage and village. I had then been puzzled about this apparent example of class-exogamy, but it becomes understandable in the light of the situation in the major villages ruled by chiefs of Wangham class, where the people of each class must marry either outside their villages or outside their class.