The village headman or village chief (simplified Chinese: 村长; traditional Chinese: 村長; pinyin: cūn zhǎng) is a local government or tribal post. The village headman is the person appointed to administer an area that is often a single village.
Duties and functions
The headman has several official duties in the village, and is sometimes seen as a mediator in disputes and a general “fixer” of village or individuals problems.
Examples of headmanship have been observed among the Zuni, !Kung, and Mehinacu, among others. Nearby tribal leaders recognized or appointed by the Chinese were known as tusi (tu-szu; Chinese: 土司; pinyin: tǔsī; Wade–Giles: t'u3-szu1), although they could command larger areas than a single village.
- Ruth Benedict. Patterns of Culture, New American Library, 1934
- Marvin Harris. Our Kind, Harper Perennial, 1989
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