Deka Chang of Semkhor

Scope and Content

B&W photographic print. 'Deka Chang: This building is used by men and boys as a sleeping place at night and a kind of "club" by day. The image shows a crowd of men and boys standing outside. The deka chang has three doors in front, and hanging from the eaves above them is a pointed bamboo stick marked with transverse black lines, identical to those put up by the Maghs of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Inside the building are bamboo sleeping benches, but no carvings of any kind, in contrast to the elaborate carvings to be found in the Morungs of many Naga tribes. The inhabitants of Semkhor are very different from the Zemi Nagas which surround them. They speak Kachari, dress like Kacharis and their houses are of the Kachari pattern, yet they are definitely not Kacharis, though Kacharis are the only people allowed to enter their houses, a right which is reciprocated. They are Hindus, like Kacharis. Mills considered that they could be descendants of the Konyak Nagas who used to form the bodyguard of the Kachari kings. This theory was borne out, in his opinion, by certain similarities with the Konyaks in burial customs and items of dress. There are the remains of a Kachari fort about three miles from the village. The people of Semkhor have never intermarried with Kacharis, and the reason why the village is the only one of its kind is that the Kachari kings strictly forbade the founding of any colony villages.They usually had no experience of working with hill tribes and were not interested in learning about their cus'

Access Information

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Note

Ethnic group: Bodo Kachari

Ethnic group: Dimasa Kachari

Ethnic group: Kachari

The Dimasa Kachari are alternately known as the Semkhor and the Dwimasa

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

9.5 x 7 cm

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by J.P. Mills