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Kinship Politics and Law in Naga Society (An Old and Rare Book)

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Item Code: UBF405
Publisher: Anthropological Survey Of India, Kolkata
Author: N. K. Das
Language: English
Edition: 1993
ISBN: 8185579253
Pages: 187 (B/W Illustrations)
Other Details 9.50 X 6.50 inch
Weight 560 gm
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Book Description

Dr. N. K. Das is one of the senior anthropologists of the Anthropological Survey of India having a long experience of carrying out field work in the north-eastern part of our country. He served in the NorthEast Regional Centre of the Survey in Shillong for fourteen years.

Dr. Das's major work is on the Nagas of Nagaland. He has an earlier contribution on the tribes of other parts of north-east India, namely, Assam and Manipur. He has presented in the present book a detailed ethnography of the tribe, Zounuo-Keyhonuo of Nagaland. This hap- pens to be the first monograph on this tribe. Dr. Das undertook two phases of field work for a total period of eight months between 1977 and 1980 to collect data for the present volume. Besides producing descriptive ethnographic material he has made an attempt to analyse the collected data in terms of conceptual framework as postulated by his predecessors in social anthropology. While presenting the ethnography he has very carefully noted the rights and obligations (technically termed as 'jural' in this monograph) that members of the tribe observe in the maintenance of family, lineage, clan, kinship and other related institutions of their social structure. Further, Dr. Das has touched upon such topical issues like position of women among the Zounuo-Key- honuo.

I consider this monograph a very significant contribution on one of the Naga tribes of the north-eastern India. I do hope scholars in the social science and administrators concerned about tribes in the north-east of our country will find this monograph a very useful document.


The central argument of this book is that the structuralist theory and method developed by social anthropologists in the study of kinship and social organisation are helpful to examine different models of tribal organisation. The major objective of this book which deals with a small Naga tribe is to provide a jural and political view of social structure by examining the principle of descent and its politico-jural implications in Zounuo-Keyhonuo society. The design of this book, however, is not only to present an account of Naga family, kinship, marriage, economy and political system, but also to critically examine the applicability of structural principles of kinship, derived mainly from the works of descent theorists such as Meyer Fortes, Evans-Pritchard and Goody, to a set of data collected from Nagaland.

The system of kinship and marriage in any particular society may be analysed as consisting of a number of fundamental structural principles and such principles may be isolated and compared. This author's aim in this book, however, is not only to examine the commonness of African and Naga data but also to formulate new propositions.

The theoretical stands taken by major descent theorists such as Fortes and Evans - Pritchard have led to an increasing polarisation between Africanists and non-Africanist theorists. In recent years, there has slowly begun a healthy re-examination of the early African ethnography in the light of subsequent theoretical models derived from the work of anthropologists in societies outside Africa. In this context, Hershman (1981: 31) has observed that such re-examinations have yielded interesting and significant results.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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