New laws were announced at large assemblies of the people, whose consent was asked, and always given through the headmen of the different divisions of native society; this custom was no doubt a survival from a time when the popular assent was not a merely formal act.
The system under which in towns headmen of wards and elders of blocks are appointed is of comparatively recent origin, and is modelled on the village system.
As in India, the village with its lands and cultivation was constituted the unit of assessment, and the provinces were divided into districts under native headmen responsible for the collection of the tax, and its payment to the paramount chief, who in turn rendered the assigned share to district and village chiefs, to the officers of state recognized by government and to the government itself.
But in Kufa peace was restored, and this not by military force, but by the headmen of the tribes.
The regional commissioners and the political residents act either by means of the village headmen (Shum or Chicca), by the chiefs of districts in the few localities where villages are still organized in districts, or by the headmen of tribes, and by the councils of the elders wherever these remain.
In Upper Burma these headmen have always been revenue collectors.
It is specially borne by heads of religious orders, chiefs of tribes and ' headmen of villages.
The first was retained by the leaders who still carried on the struggle for liberty in Montenegro; the second was transferred to the headmen of the communes.
Each muang is subdivided into ampurs under assistant commissioners, and these again are divided into village circles under headmen (kamnans), which circles comprise villages under the control of elders.
Similarly in the towns, there are headmen of wards and elders of blocks.