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.
It is specially borne by heads of religious orders, chiefs of tribes and ' headmen of villages.
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.
Civil justice for natives is administered, in the first instance, by the headmen of villages, provinces, tribes, or by councils of notables (Shumagalle); in appeal, by the residents and regional tribunals, and, in the last instance, by the colonial court of appeal.