Karbi of changes in cultural practices of the Plain

Karbi
Society

 

 

2.10.0
Field Survey on the present status of Plains Karbi Society

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With the passage of time traditional way of life
of the Plains Karbis have undergone significant changes in all spheres of
social, cultural and economic aspects, as a consequence of modernisation. Changes are noticed in
their life and socio-cultural practices both in rural and urban areas bringing
in transformation to their culture. To understand the changes among the Plain
Karbis, greater Guwahati area has been selected so as to understand the various
changes in cultural practices. Through this study an idea of the extent of
changes in cultural practices of the Plain Karbis occurred could be well
perceived. Moreover, the findings derived from the study would provide inputs
to the development planners and policy makers for overall progress of this
particular tribal community. Hence, the present research work bears immense
academic significance and practical utility particularly in understanding the
plain Karbi tribe in proper perspective.

The trend of modern
changes among the plains Karbis is dealt here as a case study in some of the
selected places in the greater Guwahati area. Studies particularly with
reference to plains Karbis are scarce. The study will definitely help in
providing inputs to the progress of this tribe in the greater interest of the
society. Immense academic significance and practical utility exists
particularly in understanding the folk traditions coupled with the impact of
education on the plains Karbi tribe in urban area.

To fulfill the
objectives, primary data have been collected from households belonging to the
selected places of greater Guwahati area in the form of random sample
technique. The data obtained from primary sources have been processed and
analysed meaningfully. Statistical techniques are used wherever essential.    

 

2.10.1
Information about Head of the family

General information of the head of the family is
dealt herewith. Table 10 reveals the following facts about the Heads of the
sample households.

Ø  In
80% of the households fathers are found to be the dominant one as heads.

Ø  Around
46% of the heads are of the age in between 50-70 years and 44% of the age
30-50.

Ø  More
than 80 % of the heads are male members

Ø  Nearly
98% of the heads are married one.

Ø  Near
about 87% of the heads went to school

Ø  With
respect to occupation of the heads it is found that 34% are service holders and
40% are businessman.

Ø  The
monthly income of the heads varies from Rs.1000-2.5 lakhs.

Table 10  
General information with regard to the Head of the family

Family
Variables

Number

Percentage

 
Family Power Structure
(Head of the Family)

Father dominant

357

80.4

Mother dominant

63

14.2

Wife dominant

20

4.5

Brother dominant

3

0.6

Son dominant

1

0.2

 
Variation of
Age of the Head of the Family
 

Below 30

16

3.6

30-50

196

44.1

50-70

205

46.2

70-90

26

5.8

  90 & above

1

0.2

Sex

Male

361

81.3

Female

83

18.7

Marital Status

At present  single

9

2.0

Married

435

97.9

 
 
 
Qualification

Primary

190

42.8

High School

197

44.3

Matriculate

1

0.2

Higher Secondary

6

1.3

Graduate

5

1.1

Illiterate

45

10.1

 
 
 
   Occupation

Service (Defence, Govt.,
Teacher)

153

34.4

Farmer

17

3.8

Business

179

40.3

House wife

44

9.9

Retired

7

1.5

Doing nothing

44

9.9

 
 
 
 
 
Monthly Income

Below 10000

40

9.0

10000-15000

62

13.9

15000-20000

98

22.1

20000-25000

59

13.3

25000-30000

67

15.1

30000-35000

41

9.2

35000-40000

29

6.5

150000-200000

1

0.2

200000-250000

2

0.4

Above 250000

1

0.2

Doing nothing

44

9.9

 

 

2.10.2  Information regarding other family members

General information of the family members is furnished
in Table 11 and the following facts are observable.

Ø  There
are mixed members in family. Mostly wife, daughter or son is found in the
respondent households.

Ø  Around
53% of the family members are of the age group of 15-35 years.

Ø  Fe
male members are found to be morethan59%.

Ø  Nearly
51% of the family members are unmarried ones.

Ø  More
than 84% of the family members went to school

Ø  With
respect to occupation of the 56% of the family members are service holders and
nearly 40% are businessman.

Ø  The
monthly income of the family members varies from Rs.1000-65000.

 

Table 11 
Information regarding family members of the heads

Variables

Number

Percentage

 
 
 
 
Family  Structure
of other members
 
   

Grand mother

1

0.07

Brother

34

2.6

Daughter in law

92

7.1

Daughter

282

21.7

Daughter (twins)

1

0.07

Grand daughter

21

1.6

Grand son

13

1.0

Mother

18

1.4

Nephew

1

0.07

Sister

25

1.9

Sister In Iaw

8

0.6

Son

469

36.15

Son in law

2

0.1

Wife

330

25.44

 
 
 
 
 
 
Variation of
Age of the  Family members
 

Below 5

47

3.6

5-10

70

5.4

10-15

101

7.8

15-20

163

12.6

20-25

180

13.9

25-30

207

15.9

30-35

140

10.8

35-40

128

9.8

40-45

104

8.0

45-50

72

5.5

50-55

44

3.5

55-60

23

1.8

60-65

9

0.7

65-70

3

0.2

70-80

6

0.5

Total

1297

62.5

 
Sex

Male

530

40.9

Female

767

59.1

Marital Status

Married

634

48.9

Unmarried

663

51.1

 
 
 
 
 
 
Qualification

Illiterate

128

9.8

Pre-primary

3

0.2

Primary

573

44.2

Secondary

524

40.4

Under matric

13

1.0

Matriculate

5

0.4

Higher Secondary

19

1.5

Graduate

23

1.8

Engg. Graduate

3

0.2

Post graduate

6

0.5

 
 
 
Occupation
 
 
 

Service (railway, bank,
teaching, etc.)

150

56.8

Business

105

39.8

Farmer

6

2.3

Labor

1

0.4

Social ser

1

0.4

Private Service

1

0.4

House wife

328

25.28

 
 
 
 
 
 
Monthly Income

Below10000

31

11.7

10000-15000

73

27.6

15000-20000

52

19.7

20000-25000

67

25.4

30000-35000

0

0

30000-35000

34

12.9

35000-40000

4

1.5

40000-45000

0

0

45000-50000

1

0.4

50000-55000

1

0.4

55000-60000

0

0

60000-65000

1

0.4

 

 

2.10.3   Selected Residing Places of the Plain Karbis

Selected Residing places of the
respondents are from 12 different locations situated at greater Guwahati area
presented in table 12.

 

Table 12   
Selected Residing Places of the Respondents

Residing
Place

No.
of Respondents

%

Bhollukachuk

23

5.2

Borbari

52

11.7

Chachal

11

2.5

Chakardo

68

15.3

Deuchotal

52

11.7

Hengrabari

20

4.5

Japorigog

55

12.4

Khalipara

26

5.9

Mainakhorong

20

4.5

Pamohi

52

11.7

Rong Kimi

25

5.6

Upper Hengrabari

40

9.0

Total

444

100.0

 

 

 

2.10.4   Existing type of Family of the Plain Karbis

There is a clear indication that majority (around
78%) of the Karbis are in favour of nuclear type of family.

 

Table
13  Existing Type of Family

Type
of Family

No. of Respondents

Percent

Joint

99

22.3

Nuclear

345

77.7

Total

444

100.0

 

 

2.10.5  Daily routine of the Plain Karbis

A review of the day to day schedule of the
respondent plain Karbis is illustrated in the following sub-sections.

 

 

2.10.6  Wake up time

Around 78.7 % of the respondents generally wake up
in between 5.00am-6.30am depicted in Table 14.

 

Table
14  Time for wakeup

Wake
up time

No. of Respondents

Percent

4.00am

11

2.4

4.30am

30

6.8

5.00am

74

16.7

5.30am

99

22.4

6.00am

105

23.7

6.30am

71

15.9

7.00am

48

10.9

7.30am

1

0.2

8.00am

2

0.4

11.30am

1

0.2

No response

2

0.4

Total-

444

100

 

 

 

2.10.7  Bed time

Usual bed time for maximum (61 %) of the respondents
is in between 9.30pm-11.00pm depicted in Table 15.

Table
15     Bed Time

Bed
time

No. of Respondents

Percent

5.00pm

5

1.1

5.30.pm

2

0.5

6.00pm

1

0.2

7.00pm

1

.2

9.00pm

8

.9

9.30pm

29

2.9

10.30pm

128

14.2

11.00pm

114

10.4

11.15pm

1

.2

11.30pm

20

.5

12.00pm

2

.2

12.30p

1

.2

1.00am

1

.2

1.30am

1

.2

2.00am

1

.2

No response

129

.7

Total-

444

100.0

 

 

 

2.10.8   Working hours

The usual time for working hour in
case of maximum (66 %) of the respondents is in between 6-12 hours per day as
shown in Table 16.

 

Table
16   Working Hours

Working
hours

No. of Respondents

Percent

4

1

.2

5

2

.5

6

24

5.4

7

28

6.3

8

123

27.0

9

35

7.9

10

16

3.6

11

16

3.6

12

51

11.5

No response

148

.7

Total

444

100.0

 

 

 

 

2.10.9  Head of the Family
consulted before taking any decision

Family Matters

With respect to family
matters it is clear from Table 17 that almost 99% of the family members do
consult with the head of the family.

 

Table 17  Consultation made
with regard to family matters

Consults
Head

No.
of Respondents

%

Yes

439

98.9

No

5

1.1

Total

444

100.0

 

Social Matter

Even with respect to
family matters it is clear from Table 18 that almost 99% of the family members
do consult with the head of the family.

 

Table 18  Consultation made
with regard to social matters

Consult Head

No. of Respondents

%

Yes

439

98.9

No

5

1.1

Total

444

100.0

 

Political Matter

With respect to
political matters it is clear from Table 19 that almost 70% of the family
members do consult with the head of the family.

Table 19 Consultation
made with regard to political matters

Consult
Head

No.
of Respondents

%

Yes

311

70.04

No

133

29.96

Total

444

100.0

 

Economic Matter

With respect to economic
matters it is clear from Table 20 that almost 90% of the family members do
consult with the head of the family.

 

Table 20 Consultation
made with regard to economic matters

 

Consult
Head

No.
of Respondents

%

Yes

403

90.8

No

41

9.2

Total

444

100.0

 

 

Personal Matter

With respect to personal
matters it is clear from Table 21 that only 40% of the family members do consult
with the head of the family.

 

Table 21 Consultation
made with regard to personal matters

Consult
Head

No.
of Respondents

%

Yes

178

40.1

No

266

59.9

Total-

444

100.0

2.10.10  Satisfaction level
derived with the location of the locality

It is found that
majority (67.6%) of the respondents derives great satisfaction in residing at
the existing respective localities (shown in table 22).

Table 22 Level of
Satisfaction derived

Level
of Satisfaction

No.
of Respondents

%

To the fullest extent

58

13.1

To a great extent

300

67.6

To some extent

75

16.9

To a little extent

11

2.5

Total

444

100.0

 

2.10.11  Facilities available in
the locality

According to majority
(near about 78%) of the respondents it is held that during the last two decades
of habitat there has been lot of changes in terms of facilities available in
and around the respective locality (shown in table 23).

Table 23 Facilities
available in the locality

Consult
Head

No.
of Respondents

%

Same
as it was 20 years ago   

53

11.9

Lot of changes occurred after 20 years

346

77.9

Very little changes occurred after 20
years

45

10.1

Total-

444

100.0

 

2.10.12  People in the locality
do have fun socialising together

Majority (nearly 72%) of
the respondents opined that only on certain occasions people do have fun
socialising together in the locality (shown in table 24).

 

Table 24  People do have fun socialising together

Frequency of having fun

No. of Respondents

%

On
all occasions

123

27.7

On some occasions

319

71.8

Not at all

2

0.5

Total-

444

100.0

 

2.10.13 Opinion on Local Authority’s interest in the welfare of the households
residing

Majority (around 88 %)
of the respondents expressed that there is somewhat Local Authority’s interest
in the welfare of the households residing in the locality (shown in table 25).

 

Table 25  Local Authority’s interest in the welfare of
the households

Extent
of Interest

No.
of Respondents

%

Very
much

17

3.8

Somewhat

390

87.8

Not at all

37

8.3

Total-

444

100.0

 

2.10.14   Prefer to settle in
Guwahati city

Majority (around 99 %)
of the respondents expressed their preference to settle in Guwahati city (shown
in table 26).

Table 26  Prefer to settle
in Guwahati city

Opinion

No.
of Respondents

%

Yes

438

98.6

No

6

1.4

Total-

444

100.0

2.10.15   Opinion about the
village leader

Except for 15% of the
respondents, 85 % of them opined that the respective village leaders are either
disciplined, good natured, kind, respectful or supportive in nature (shown in
table 27).

Table 27  Opinion of the respondents towards respective
village leader

Opinion

No.
of Respondents

%

Disciplined

60

13.5

Good nature, friendly,
hard worker

83

18.8

Kind, good leader

64

14.4

Simple, respectful, honest

145

32.7

Supportive, caring

21

4.7

Not Satisfied

3

0.6

No response

68

15.3

Total-

444

100.0

 

2.10.16  Takes part in community
social service

Majority (around 78 %)
of the respondents occasionally participate in community social service (vide
table 28).

 

Table 28  Participation in community social service

Opinion

No.
of Respondents

%

Regularly

103

23.2

Occasionally

336

75.7

Never

5

.2

Total-

444

100.0

 

2.10.17   Existence of status of
the head of the family in village

Majority (around 78 %)
of the respondents holds that there exists certain kind of status of the head
of the family in village (vide table 29).

 

Table 29  Existence of status of the head of the family
in village

Opinion

No.
of Respondents

%

Yes

361

78.2

No

69

3.2

No response

14

3.2

Total-

444

100.0

 

2.10.18   Participate in
discussions of development activities in the locality

According to 75 % (vide
table 30) of the respondents stated that they participate in discussions of
development activities in the locality.

 

Table 30  Participate in
discussions

 

Opinion

No.
of Respondents

%

Yes

335

75.4

No

99

22.3

No response

10

2.3

Total

444

100.0

2.10.19   Member of any
Association in your Community

Almost all (vide table
31) the respondents opined that they do not belong to any type of association
in their community.

Table 31  Member of any Association

Opinion

No.
of Respondents

%

Yes

1

.2

No

2

.5

No response

441

99.3

Total

444

100.0

_____________________________________________________________________

Works cited :

1

2

3
T.B. Naik (1960) cited in Barua,
Upala and Saikia, Shabeena Yasmin  A Study of Mortuary Practices of Plain
Karbis of Assam. Navakanta Barua Foundation, Assam Institute of Research
for Tribals and Scheduled Castes, Guwahati, p13, 2012.          4(Verma, 1990) cited in Barua, Upala and Saikia, Shabeena
Yasmin A Study of Mortuary Practices of
Plain Karbis of Assam. Navakanta Barua Foundation, Assam Institute of
Research for Tribals and Scheduled Castes, Guwahati, p,14, 2012.

5 Phangcho,
M (2007)   The Dumrali Karbis,
Posted by Administrator on
October 4, 2007 

karbi.wordpress.com/category/plains-karbis

5Lewis.
Simons and Fenning 2013cited in Konnerth, Linda Anna A Grammar of Karbi,
Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation submitted in Department of Linguistics and the
Graduate School of the University of Oregon, p. 13, 2014