ABSTRACT

U NLIKE other tribes of the Subansiri region the Apa Tanis live in houses built to accommodate a single family with the possible addition of one or

another house-slave. It is unusual for two married couples of equal status to share a house for more than a short time, and the nuclear family consisting of a couple and their unmarried children is the basic economic and social unit of Apa Tani society. While wealthy Daflas may marry up to seven or eight wives and extend their long-houses sufficiently to accommodate several married sons and their children, Apa Tanis have the ambition to find suitable house-sites for their adult sons and to establish them as soon as possible in separate houses and on an adequate land-holding of their own. The desire for security against raiders, which stimulates the Dafla to expand his household to an enormous size, is not a factor among Apa Tanis, for their houses stand in crowded streets perfectly safe from outside enemies.