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The People


Kukis

 
Kukis observe exogamy as regards the family and endogamy as regard the clan. Marriage is permitted between the two exogamous clans namely Chanang (Musum) and Kori (Mulchal) only and marriage of the same exogamous clan is forbidden. The parents of the boy go to the parents of a girl and the engagement is settled. The side which breaks the engagement is fined with one mithun. In the Kuki society polygamy is not a system. It is only the chief who used to have more than one wife. Widow remarriage solely depends upon the will of the widow. The bride price is based upon the brides beauty, dowry value and the clan she belongs to. The bride price of a chief's daughter used to be ten mithuns. The brides parents kill two pigs or cows. The boy's parents come with a mug of rice beer to settle the bride price. Divorce may not be common but easy to settle if the couple is not in a position to continue their married life together under certain circumstances. Adultery is punishable and rape is regarded as a crime. In Manipuri Kukis, the eldest son inherits the property but this depends entirely upon the final will of the father. It is rare that woman inherits property but there are certain cases where women have inherited father's property. Kuki's are very fond of songs and dances. Churachandpur is the centre of cultural activities.

The bodies of wealthy men or the Rajas are dried over a slow fire until the flesh gets smoked and hardened to the bone. They are then dressed and laid out and kept in this way for a month or two before being finally deposited in the earth. During the whole period the hospitality in the house mourning is unbounded, mithuns, cows, buffaloes, horses, pigs, goats and dogs are slain in number to feast the guests, portions of the flesh being likewise sent to distant villages where any friend of the family may reside. The heads of the slain animals together with those of enemies are placed under the body as property of the deceased in the other world.

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