Kol - Sociopolitical Organization.

Social Organization. As described above, the Kol are Divided into twenty-three endogamous subunits called baenk. In addition, status and wealth distinctions are based on occupation as described above.

Political Organization. The Kol have a council comprising three elderly personages ( mukhobar ) including a malik (headman) selected by the villagers. In Kol society a malik is a highly revered man. His son may become malik if the villagers so decide. On the death of a malik, his wife may perform the duties of her husband (as malik) till the villagers choose a new one.

Conflict and Social Control. The malik and mukhobars are competent to handle cases involving the Kols. Whenever a dispute arises between a Kol and a non-Kol, the village council ( panchayat ) is approached. If the conflict refers to two villages it has to be decided by a larger body ( nyaypanch ) that covers five or more villages. The pradhan who is the chief of the nyaypanch is assisted by an upopradhan and a few panches, one of whom may be a Kol. The mukhobars within a village are contacted whenever there is a dispute involving infringement of community norms.

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