Village head

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The village head of Kabanjahe in the Dutch East Indies in the 1930s

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[edit]

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,[1] !Kung, and Mehinacu,[2] 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ruth Benedict. Patterns of Culture, New American Library, 1934
  2. ^ Marvin Harris. Our Kind, Harper Perennial, 1989