This joint family system appears to be traditional among both the tribal
and non-tribal village communities of Assam; it is based on blood relationship.
In the case of inheritance, the Dayabhaga system was followed
in olden days, as at present. As long as the father lives, the sons cannot
claim any share in the property. So the father is the centre of the family
and he rules supreme. There are a few tribal societies which follow the
matriarchal system. The Khasi is one among them. They look upon the mother
as the centre of the clan. The mother's property goes to her daughters.
When there is no daughter, the property goes to the youngest daughter
of the mother's sister. The Garos also follow a similar system in the
Garo Hills. Among the Dimasa-Kacharis the prevalent custom is that the
sons inherit their father's properties and the girls inherit their
mothers properties. When there is no children of their own their relatives
inherit the properties. Though Assamese women are given an honoured position,
no other community in Assam follows the matrilineal inheritance system.
The common paternal system governs general Assamese society.