By Lucy Mair (auth.)
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Nevertheless, one consequence of the earlier policy in India was that some former revenue collectors - zamindars - have been able, mainly through buying up one another's land, to build up large commercial farms which supply the bulk of grain sold in the towns. In Buganda, though the policy did create the status of-tenants dependent on landlords, the initial reaction to the grant of very large areas was for the new owners to sell off portions of them, so that, although great inequalities remained, the number of owners increased considerably.
In that system, the so-called Modes of Livelihood 25 'untouchables' fell below a 'pollution line' which excluded them from all contact with members of 'clean castes', so that they had to live in separate quarters of a village and use separate wells, and were not allowed to enter the temples in which members of clean castes worshipped. These rules created a highly stratified society, but it is important to understand that the separation of higher from lower castes was not just a matter of snobbery.
Marriage rules may allow a lnan to have more than one wife (polygyny); in that case the family will consist of the father, two or more mothers and their children. This has been described as a number of simple legal families linked by a common father (Evans-Pritchard, 1951, p. 108). Sons may continue to live at their father's residence after they are themselves husbands and fathers, as has been the custom in India and China. In India this arrangement is called the joint family. When there was no wage employment outside the village and everyone got subsistence from the land (either by working it directly or by employing others to work it), the whole harvest of the owning family's land was pooled, and the head of the household decided how much should be given to dependents (see Chapter 4), how much kept for the next sowing and how much divided among his sons and their families.