This chapter throws light on the social
background of the respondents. The main focus of this chapter of this chapter is on the
following points :
(a) The age and the marital status of the
(b) Education of the respondents;
(c) Size of the family and income; and
(d) The nature of the family.
Age Group and Marital Status of the Respondents
Mishings are monogamous. It has been mentioned in the earlier chapter that clan exogamy
and tribal endogamy are practised by them. Both arranged marriage (Midang) and Gandharba
vivaha (Dukla-lanam) are common among them.1 The latter marriage system is
more popular than the former. Early marriage is preferred by the Mishings though some of
the educated persons, now-a-days, prefer later marriage.2 Divorce, widower and
widow re-marriage are allowed among them. In this respect, they must fulfil the norms of
the Kebang (Village Council). Table 4.1 shows the age
group and marital status of the respondents.
has been found that out of 335 respondents, 300 (89.57%) are married, 10 (2.98%) are
unmarried, 16 (4.77%) are widows, 5 (1.49%) are divorced. Out of the 300 married
respondents, 61 belong to the age group of 31-35, 24 respondents are within the age group
of 46-50. All unmarried respondents (10) are within the age group of 30. The mean age of
the respondents is 43 years. Within age group of 41 to 45, there are 16 (13.73%)
respondents. Out of them, 34 are married, 8 are widows, 2 widowers and 2 are divorced. Out
of the 335 respondents, 317 (94.63%) are male and 18 (5.37%) are female.
the Mishings, generally the marriages are held after attaining maturity. As regards the
opinion on the early marriage, the size of family and economic conditions, the following
case studies throw sufficient light.
Case Study 4.1
Shri Ganesh Doley, age - 50 years, size of family -5, number of children -4, size of
landholding - 49 bighas, annual income -Rs. 2,000.00, number of children going to school
-1, Village - Mohmora.
Shri Ganesh Doley
revealed a number of points on marriage, economy and education of his family. He did not
support early marriage of his children although it was the usual practice in the village.
According to him, due to poor economic conditions he found it hard to educate his
children. But it did not mean that they should get married at an early age. There is no
need for a large family, now-a-days, as cultivable land is limited. His present land for
cultivation is hardly sufficient to meet the requirements of his family members.
Thnerefore, he does not prefer more members in his family.
Case Study 4.2
Shri Moheswar Narah, age - 52 years, size of family -14, number of children -8, size of
landholding-16 bighas, annual income - Rs. 3,500, number of school going children-8, other
source of income younger brothers are in government service and business.