The Vedic serpent-people, children of the Goddess Kadru. The Nagas were guards of treasure of palaces under the sea and keepers of books of mystic knowledge. The real Nagas tribes in southern India retained matriarchal customs, practiced matrilineal inheritance, and put no sexual or marital restrictions on women. Supposedly, for their proper reverence for her the Goddess bestowed longevity on these people. A.G.H.