The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database
caption: footnotes
text: 4. Central Nzemi folklore and tradition give a vivid and detailed picture of the functions of the kienga and hangseoki in unadministered conditions. These functions were, as I have mentioned in the Foreward, partially revived during the Japanese invasion of Assam in 1944, and considerable use was made of the existing Nzemi mechanism by those organizing the guerrilla forces in North Cachar and western Manipur. Local communications were based on the kienga and hangseoki, the rahangmi being the only labour available as runners at any hour of the day or night. The hangseoki were also found to be the best billets for troops when patrols were proceeding to or from the scene of operations; it was entirely in accordance with Nzemi practice and caused little or no inconvenience to the village. The Nzemi themselves organized large working parties during this period, sent rahangmi as armed escorts with them, and in the fields had the hangtingmi working with their arms piled nearby and the rahangmi posted as sentries.