|
|
|
|
logo
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
FOLLOW US ON
Find Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google Plus Youtube
AUTOMOBILE CITY GUIDE CLASSIFIEDS Cookery Craft JOBS MOVIES NEWS EDUCATION VIDEOS YELLOWPAGES Real Estate MORE
 
 

 
Meghalaya
 Land
 History
 People
 Festivals
 Economy
 Arts
 Tourism
 Tell A Friend
 Feedback

The People

People | Religion | Society | Law


Society

One prominent feature of society in this region is the comparative freedom that women enjoy albeit in different degrees. This trait is more characteristic of the Mongoloid races of South-East Asia.

Just as North-East Indian society can be classified as either Aryan-based or Mongoloid. Within the so-called Mongoloid communities themselves, distinction must be made between those that are matrilineal as in Meghalaya and those that are patrilineal as in the rest of the tribal areas of this region.

The institution of bride-price does not exist in a matrilineal society like that of the Garos and Khasi, Pnars presumably because of its incompatibility with a system in which the woman plays a more important role in the social system than the man. This is often exaggerated and women themselves would be the last to arrogate to themselves the role of matriarchs. To the uninitiated, the idea that they "rule the roost" is a favourite one and others are led to believe that here, woman lay down the law for the family to follow.  Women is accorded respect as one through whom the race or more precisely the clan is propagated, but in recognition of the fact that her commitments as mother and housewife are a fulltime occupation. Responsibilities relating to regulation of the family are entrusted to men-folk.

Among the Garos, male blood relations or Mahari exercise control over affairs of the family and even in matters effecting women. In arrangements of marriage, for instance, women are not consulted though male-in-laws often are.  In relation to property though, it is inherited in female line. It is always managed by the male Mahari.

Among the Khasi-Pnar, household responsibilities are shared between the maternal uncle and the father. The father earns for his own wife and children but in matters affecting the clan or the family, such as the arrangement of marriages, management of ancestral property and performance of religious duties, it is the uncle who makes the decisions though generally in consultations with other members of the family. Thus there is a virtual three fold division of family responsibility- the mother looks after the hearth and home, the father provides all that is necessary for the maintenance of his wife and children and the uncle attends to the business affairs that come before the family. A man does not forego membership in his own clan after marriage. His position in his wife's house is that of 'being in it, but not of it'.  The impact of modernism and of other cultures has no doubt eroded the maternal uncle's authority but, by and large the convention is still honoured.

In Khasi society, the husband (the father) is isolated from his wife and children in such social matters. In non-Christian families, even in death, his bones  must not lie with  those of his wife and children. It  must be deposited in a separate ossuary with those of his maternal or blood relations.  In well-organised families, the duties of the father and those of the uncle are clearly defined. Troubles, if and when they arise, are caused by intrusion of one into the sphere that properly belongs to the other. This isolation of the husband from the wife's family is carried to a greater length among the Pnars, especially in orthodox families.  Often the husband may only be at his wife's home during the night. By morning, he is out to return to his maternal home. There alone, he can act freely.

In Meghalaya, women enjoy great  freedom and independence. Many look after their own interest and earn their livelihood with success.  Although as a rule they have no direct say in communal matters, in their own families, they exert a good deal in influence.  The Institution of "nok-na" among Garos or Khadduh among Khasi-Pnars confers general advantage upon the community in that at least in theory it assures protection to every member of the family.

Inheritance Laws

Between the Khasi and the Garo inheritance laws there are a few noteworthy differences. Among the Khasis, it is always the youngest daughter who inherits maternal or ancestral property. The parents may during their life-time, provide their other daughters with shares of any other property acquired by them. The status of the youngest daughter is one of special importance. She is the embodiment of everything that is enduring and sacred in the Khasi concept of family. The institution of the Ing Khadduh is one that has special sanctity. As among the Garos, the children belong from birth to the mothers clan. Khasi social organisation does not permit participation by women in village councils.

Inheritance laws among the War, Khasi of the southern slopes seem to be a synthesis of matrilineal and patrilineal systems. There both sons and daughters share parental property.

The succession of chiefs among the Khasis also shows a compromise between the matrilineal character of their social system and unwritten code that in public affairs the man should play the dominant role. When the chief dies, he is normally succeeded by the eldest  son of his eldest sister or if she has no son, by the eldest son of the next sister.

There is another important group in the countryside lying between eastern Garo hills and western Khasi hills. This group is known to the Garos as Megam, is conceivably of  Garo-Khasi admixture. The Megams have adopted the custom of the Garos even to organising themselves into steps like Marak, Sangma and Momin. Their counterparts in the Khasi hills, the Lyngngams follow the Khasi system.

 

[Back]


QUICK LINKS - WEBINDIA123.COM
CAREER OPTIONS
DATES AND EVENTS
INSTITUTES IN INDIA
STUDY ABROAD
UK, USA, Canada
CLASSIFIEDS
JOBS
MATRIMONIAL
ASTROLOGY
GORGEOUS CELEBRITIES
VIDEOS
E-CARDS
BEAUTY AND STYLE
HEALTH
COMMUNITY
FOOD
YOGA
CRAFTS
GARDENING
PHOTOS
Shopping
DEALS AND DISCOUNTS
YELLOW PAGES
TOUR PACKAGES
POCKET DICTIONARY
EVENTS
NEWS
WORLD TIME
DONATE BLOOD
AUTOMOBILE
CITY GUIDE
DANCE
FESTIVAL
FINANCE

GOVERNMENT

HISTORY
INDIAN CRAFTS
INDIA FACTS
law
MEDICINE
MUSIC
NRI
PERSONALITIES
RELIGION
SPICES
SPORTS
TOURISM
WILDLIFE
WOMEN
Kochi Biennale 2014
Andaman and Nicobar
Dadra and Nagar Haveli
Jammu and Kashmir
Manipur
Rajasthan
Andhra Pradesh
Daman and Diu
Jharkhand
Meghalaya
Sikkim
Arunachal Pradesh
Delhi
Karnataka
Mizoram
Tamil Nadu
Telangana
Assam
Goa
Kerala
Nagaland
Tripura
Bihar
Gujarat
Lakshadweep
Orissa
Uttar Pradesh
Chandigarh
Haryana
Madhya Pradesh
Pondicherry
Uttaranchal
Chhattisgarh
Himachal Pradesh
Maharashtra
Punjab
West Bengal

Copyright 2000- Suni Systems (P) Ltd.
All rights reserved