Societies in balance: Monumentality and feasting activities among southern Naga communities, Northeast India.

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From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 3)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 14,488 words
Lexile Measure: 1410L

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Abstract :

Among various Naga communities of Northeast India, megalithic building and feasting activities played an integral role in the different and intertwined dimensions of social and political organisation until very recently. During a collaborative fieldwork in 2016, we visited different village communities in the southern areas of Nagaland and recorded local knowledge about the function and social implications of megalithic building activities. The preserved knowledge of the monuments themselves and their embeddedness in complex feasting activities and social structures illustrate the multifaceted character of megalithic building. The case study of Nagaland highlights how the construction of megalithic monuments may fulfil very different functions in societies characterised by institutionalised hierarchies than in those that have a more egalitarian social organisation. The case study of southern Naga communities not only shows the importance of various dimensions and courses of action-such as sharing and cooperation, competitive behaviour, and the influence of economic inequality-, but also the importance of social networks and different layers of kinship. The multifaceted and interwoven character of megalithic building activities in this ethnoarchaeological case study constitutes an expansion for the interpretation of archaeological case studies of monumentality.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A654518978