Accepted paper:

Parati System of the Khasis: An Insight into the institutionalized system of Division of Labour


Sanjay Dwivedi (University of Allahabad)
Vijoy Sahay (University of Allahabad)

Paper short abstract:

The paper deals with the parati system of division of labor among the Khasi community that is perfectly based upon the principle of reciprocity. It discusses that how an indigenous community, even at the low level of technology device indigenous institutions to cope with the survival and subsistence.

Paper long abstract:

Notwithstanding the changes undergoing in the Northeast in general and the Khasi community in particular, the age-old system of Parati, i.e. the institutionalized form of division of labour still persists in every Khasi village. A parati consists of a group of men or women, who are bound by the principle of reciprocity. There are women parati as also the men parati. Besides the kinsmen, anybody in the village may become a member of the parati. The members are generally of the same age-group. The function of the parati could be observed during the agricultural season. All the members of a parati help the other member in agricultural works, but without any wages. Participation in the parati is obligatory. Of late, the labours are also employed in agricultural works; but such labors are necessarily outsiders, and a non-Khasi. The Khasis are also undergoing rapid change. It is high time that such age-old institutions be documented, before it is too late to do so.

panel G07
Tribal situation in India's North-east: emerging issues and ongoing anthropological attention