engaged in other
occupations also,e.g. government service, business and contract.The following table
indicates the occupation of the respondents.
The table(Table 7.1) indicates that the villagers under
study are mostly agriculturists.Agriculture is the main occupation of 315 (94.06%)
respondents.Contrary to it , only 15 (4.47%) are in government services and 5(1.47%) are
engaged in other occupation like business, daily labour and others.Even though the
percentage of occupation of the respondents other than agricultural is small,it signifies
the gradual transformation of occupation of the people.
In spite of main occupation , the
respondents possessed subsidiary occupations also.Though comparatively less in number,
most of the respondents under study are in favour of subsidiary occupations for the
maintenance of their family. Here the impact of acculturation and communication may
be because of economic necessity, but the people learn it only after the contact with the
non-tribals.That can be proved by the following table which indicates the subsidiary
occupation of three generations of the respondents including their own:
According to the table,(Table7.2) it is seen that 11(3.28%) out of the grandfathers of
335 respondents had business as their subsidiary occupation and 324 (96.72%) had on
subsidiary occupation. The number was raised to a certain extent during the time of the
father of the respondents where 26(7.75%) had subsidiary occupation.So far as the
respondents of the present study are concerned, 17(5.07%) have cultivation as subsidiary
occupation and 13(39.10%) respondents have business as their subsidiary occupation. What
it indicates is that the villagers under study are gradually less inclined on land and
alternatively they are taking subsidiary occupations for economic self-sufficiency.
From the discussion of the
occupations of the respondents it has been proved again that the main occupation of the
villagers is agriculture. While the question of agriculture is there, the question of use
of modern methods in agriculture will also be there. In this context, how acculturation
and communication are playing their roles is significant. The less use of modern methods
of agriculture is highly connected with their culture. (Doley:1973;Bhandari:1973) But it
has been changing due to gradual change in their attitude and the communication through
Government plans and programmes. However, the agricultural methods and implements of the
respondents are similar to those of the non-tribal Assamese. The villagers mainly depend
on bullocks,plough and axes in cultivation.
As observed in the field, the
respondents use their own method for the fertility of the land. They burn the weeds and
shrubs of the fallow land.Its ashes are used as fertilizers, therefore, their cultivation
in fallow land is seen to be shifting to Joom cultivation, and of course, because
of that, Hunter (1879) once regarded them as nomadic agruculturists. While on discussion,
the people informed that these practices are common among them is not because of their
traditional habit but due to the constant disturbance caused by floods and erosions.
In spite of these, modern method of cultivation,e.g.use of fertilizer, insecticide etc.
are used by the respondent in their cultivation. The use of modern methods for much
agricultural outputs is, however, not so popular among them. Therefore the popularity of
modern methods of cultivation does not vary in the families irrespective of rich and poor.
Table 7.3 indicates the same. The table shows that out of the 21 respondents, who used
chemical fertilizers in their cultivation, 9(42.86%) are self-sufficient and 12(57.14%)are
lacking from self-sufficiency. Similarly, out of 124 respondents who used insecticides,
50(40.32%) are self-sufficient and 74(59.68%) are not economically sound, but still then
they accepted the methods of use of insecticides in their cultivation. Other modern
methods wherever possible are accepted by the people. The table(Table
7.3) indicates that all the methods are equally popular irrespective of rich and poor.