The'Sumi Naga' is one of the major ethnic group in Nagaland, India. The Sumis inhabit Zunheboto district and Dimapur district although many have spread and are now living in a few more districts within Nagaland. Sumi Naga tribe were headhunters as every other Naga tribe; the Sumis practised headhunting like other Naga peoples before the arrival of the Christian missionaries and their subsequent conversion to Christianity. Anthropological study of the Sumis is documented in the book The Sema Nagas by J. H. Hutton, a Professor of Social Anthropology in the University of Cambridge; the Sumi is one of the recognised scheduled tribes of India. According to Kuki history "In modern world the word'Naga' which means'Naked'. Naga never had history. Nagas confined within walls of Nagaland, one of India states". According to the 2011 census of India, Sumi Nagas number around 300,000 in population; the ancestral religion of the Sumis was the worship of nature. With the arrival of Baptist missionaries in the 20th century, like other Naga tribes, Sumis are 99% Christians.
Few of them still practice animism. Sumi Nagas inhabit the central and southern regions of Nagaland. Zunheboto is the district of the Sumis and they live in districts such as Dimapur, Wokha, Mokokchung, etc. There are seven Sumi villages in Tinsukia District of Assam; the genesis of Sumi Naga tribe is said to have its roots of existence in the Khezakeno Village, claimed to be the center point of Sumi history. According to sources, the Sumis and the Khezakeno Village have confirmed the relation between the two villages, affirming the bygones and beyond 2000. According to the two villages' great forefathers’ version, one group of people led by a person named Khepiu had come to Kezhakeno Village from Makhel and thereupon the Naga generation began, it is not denied. According to the two Village’s forefather’s version Khepiu had a son named Sopu, whose son was Koza, Koza’s son was Rou and Rou had three sons namely – Khrieu the eldest, Leo the second, the youngest Seo. Like the two elder brother, the Sumi tribe has its origin name from Seo and at no point of time is the Sumi tribe name derived from tree or wood.
The Sumis celebrate many festivals. Most of these festivals mark the beginning of new seasons, harvesting of new crops or victory at war; the two major festivals that are popular among them are: Tuluni is a festival of great significance for the Sumi. This festival is marked with feasts. Drinking rice beer indispensably forms as part of the feasts. Rice beer is served in a goblet made from the leaf of plantain; this drink is called Tuluni. Tuluni is called "Anni" the word of which denotes the season of plentiful crops; this midyear festival is a time of communal merry-making for the Sumi community. Slaughtering of pigs and mithun is an important feature of this festival. During this festival, the betrothed exchange basketful of gifts with meals; the fiance is invited to a grand dinner at the fiancee's residence. Siblings of the families of both the bride and groom exchange dinner and packed food and meats - wrapped the traditional way in plantain leaves, it was a time of joy for servants and housekeepers in the olden days.
On this day they were fed extra generously with good meat. The practice of working in groups is common for the Sumi agriculture farmers, Tuluni is a special time for them because they get to rest and celebrate the completion of a farming season of hard work in their paddy fields. For this festival, the farmer groups pool in money or other resources together to exchange/buy pigs and cows to be slaughtered for the special day; the meat is divided among themselves and some portion is kept aside for the group feast. In the midst of the feast, group leaders get extra offers of meat by way of feeding them by others; each working group consists of 20 to 30 in number. The new recruits are made to join the group at this grand feast; the betrothed are settled at this period. The fervours of the feast is synchronised with a chain of folk ballads. In modern times and members from other tribes and communities are invited to attend the feast and are entertained with a variety of traditional songs and dances, they are served with sumptuous authentic Sumi cuisine of smoked pork and axone with local herbs and vegetables.
By virtue of two separate clans the gennas and rituals differ between Tukumi. Among all other festivals and gennas. Sumis, in general, accept the festival of Tuluni as important one. Ahuna is a traditional post-harvest festival of the Sumis. Ahuna signifies the celebration of the season's harvest in Thanksgiving, while invoking the spirit of good fortune in the New Year. On this occasion, the entire community prepares and feasts on the first meal of rice drawn from the season's harvest cooked in bamboo segments; the receptacles for cooking or serving on this occasion are freshly made, curved or cut, from locally available resources prolific and abundant in the countryside. Ahuna is celebrated on November 13 and 14 and now holds the status of the official festival of the Sumi Nagas because it falls in a dry season and accessibility for visitors in terms of road conditions are better. Tuluni is still the most respected festival for the local Sumi. SÜMI AHUNA Ahuna is a Sümi traditional agricultural-calendar-end Tiqhetini (festiv
Yimchunger is a Naga tribe whose traditional territory includes Tuensang and Kiphire districts in Nagaland state of India, western areas of Burma. The word Yimchunger means "the ones who have reached their place of choice", it is rendered various ways, including::Yimchungru, Yimchungru-Naga, Yanchunger, Yimchungrü. They are known as the Yachumi, a Sema-influenced name; the actual word is Yimkhiungru. The Khiamniungans call Mongtsohai; the Chang’s call Yamshong. While the Sangtam call them as Yachungre. According to the Yimchunger tradition, the tribe emerged at a village called Moru and came to Jure village; the Yimchungers and the Khiamungans are believed to have migrated to the present-day Nagaland from Upper Burma as one group, in one wave. They separated into two groups at the Moru village. Source: Archives of Arts and Culture Department. Government of NagalandThe Yimchunger Tribe, like any other Naga Tribe has no written record of its origin or history; the people did not have any script of their own.
Thus, the Yimchungers may have evolved from some lost tribes, wandering from place to place and settled in present day locations. However, on the basis of narrated historical accounts handed down from generation to generation, the origin of the Yimchungers is believed to be from Thailand; the present Yimchungers were not known by any name as a tribe. They lived a nomadic life spending hardly one or two generation at a certain place of settlement as a village for want of more land for cultivation to meet the growing need of food and other means of sustenance. At other times, the entire population was compelled to abandon their village and shift to a safer place to avoid plague and epidemic diseases or as victims of constant head hunting amongst the neighboring villages etc; the route of migration of the Yimchungers from Thailand came through Burma from Burma to Moru and from Moru to Chiru, from Chiru to Longyang to Thunyim kiulong - thus village of fifty. Thereafter from Thunyim kiulong to Tuphung kiulong and from Tuphung kiulong to Thsunkioso village.
From Thsunkioso to Kemiphu - on the banks of Thurak ke or popularly known as the Zungki river. Thereafter, from Kemiphu to Tukhea Khup village. At each place of settlements only a portion of the group set out in search of a better place with more natural resources they needed in their day today life, leaving behind the remaining population at such places as permanent citizens of that village. While they were settled at Tukhea Khup, one day a group of these people while on fishing trip at the confluence of the Yayi river and the Zungki river, they discovered a burnt charcoal and burnt firewood floating down from the Yayi river; this discovery made them more curious of other human settlement towards the source of Yayi river. Accordingly, a large portion of the people set out on their expedition towards the farther upstream along the Yayi river in search of other human settlement, they arrived at a place where they found some signs of some other human activities, like clearing of jungle/forest for cultivation etc.
Having now found signs of the existence of other human humans in and around this place, they named it Yimkhiungto - meaning "found it". With the passage of time this place got the name Yimkhiung or Yimchung and the residents were known as Yimchungru/Yimkhiungru and the village now stands as Yimchung Awun meaning Yimchung Old. Prior to the establishment of this village there was no known name of the group as a community or as a Tribe. At each place of the series of settlements not the entire population was on the move. At any place of their settlement, the duration of their settlement could be any where between 10 to 50 years at the most. Thus, it was at the Yimchung Awun village; the name Yimchungru/Yimchunger is a mispronounced word for Yimkhiungru or Yimkhiunger which ought to be as it is - which means "the finders". The residents who were left behind at several places of earlier settlements called the Yimchung Awun settlers as the Yimkhiungrus or Yimchungrus; the name Yimkhiungru or Yimchungru got diluted to Yimchungers, Yachongre and Yamshong as they are called by the neighboring tribes more the early Chang Scouts and Dobashis who accompanied the British explorers.
The Yimkhiungrus thus settled here for a long period of time at Yimchung Awun. With the passage of time as the population exploded, a group of people started to venture out to establish a new village further North of the Yimchung Awun village at a place called'Langa'village below the present Kuthur village; some prominent people like Lakiumong and Khushang from the Jangkhiunger clan. Pathong and Hemong from the Janger clan and Sangpun from the khiphur chan resided at Langa; the group of Yimkhiungrus who were settled at Langa village were with well built physic and were fierce warriors who dared to fight with spirits and other natural elements and calamaties like, fire, storm etc. to test their might and endurance. However brave and fierce warriors, the people started fighting for supremacy amongst them not willing to subm
Rengma is a Naga tribe found in Nagaland and Assam states of India. According to the 2011 Population Census of India, Rengma population stands at 62,951; the headquarter of the Rengmas in Nagaland is at Tseminyu. Like other Naga tribes, there are few written historical records of Rengmas. According to the local traditions, the Rengmas and the Lothas were once part of a single tribe. There are oral records of a mighty struggle between the combined Rengma villages, the Lotha village of Phiro. There are records of the Rengmas' conflict with the Angami Nagas. Slavery used to be a practice among the Rengmas, the slaves were known by the names menugetenyu and itsakesa. By the time the British arrived in the Naga region, the slavery was a declining practice, no Rengma appears to have been a slave during this time. In Assam, the Rengma tribals are found in the Karbi-Anglong, the Mikir Hills; the Rengmas migrated to the Mikir Hills in the early part of 1800. The migration of the Rengmas can be traced in the books written by JP Mills, ICS on the following: "The Rengma Nagas" written by JP Mills, MA, Indian Civil Service, Honorary Director of Ethnography Assam in 1936 in Introductory part in page 2 states, "About a hundred years ago or more a body of the western Rengmas migrated north-west to the Mikir Hills, where they are still living."
The book "The Lhota Nagas" written by JP Mills, ICS in 1922 in page xiv of the Introduction states, "Indeed it is now no longer quite clear whether this chief was a Lhota our a Rengma, whether he protected against the pursuing Angamis the rearguard of the Lhotas crossing the Dayang northwards, or that of the Rengmas migrating westwards to the Mikir Hills....." In page xix of the same book states, "The Rengmas thus migrated from the Kezami-Angami country, throwing out the Naked Rengmas eastwards to Melomi, sending the bigger portion of the tribe westwards to the Mikir Hills." The Rengmas claim. Karbi oral history claim; the Rengmas have come under pressure from militant factions, a hidden policy adopted by people against tribals' interest and unity, have retaliated by forming their own counter-militancy groupings, leading to ethnic killings and polarization in Karbi-Anglong, the plight of both Karbis and Rengmas to relief camps. Parallel to the Rengmas, the Kukis, who have an anti-Naga tendency in the last few decades have militant groups active in Karbi-Anglong fighting for the rights of their tribe.
The Rengma Nagas are divided into two groups: the Eastern Rengmas, the Western Rengmas. The Rengmas are experts in terrace cultivation; the traditional Rengma clothing consists of various types of clothes, which are indicative of the status and position of the weavers. A man who has not been able to offer a great feast, or has never killed an enemy, may wear an ordinary type of cloth called rhikho. Rhikho is a white cloth with four narrow black bands; the number of black bands varies with the age of the wearer. Moyet tsu is another ordinary type of cloth, worn by the young men, it is a dark blue cloth with a broad median band, embroidered with a thin zigzag pattern in red at the edges. Alungtsu is a cloth for well-to-do men. Teri Phiketsu is a shawl. Rengmas make yellow dye from the flowers of a tree, practise painting on clothes; the harvest festival of the Rengmas is called Ngada. It is an eight-day Ngada festival. Ngadah is celebrated just towards the end of November; the village high priest announces the date of commencement of the festival.
The schedule of the festival is as follows: During Ngadah, the Rengmas perform a folk dance, with traditional warrior attire. The Rengma tribals bury their dead, place the spear and the shield of the deceased in the grave; the funeral ceremonies end with lamentations and feasting. Mills, James Philip; the Rengma Nagas. Macmillan and Co./United Publishers. OCLC 826343. Kath, Kenilo. Traditional religious systems of the Rengma Nagas. Delhi: Anshah Publishing House. ISBN 978-81-8364-003-9. OCLC 62534151. Stirn, Aglaja & Peter van Ham; the Hidden world of the Naga: Living Traditions in Northeast India. London: Prestel. Oppitz, Thomas Kaiser, Alban von Stockhausen & Marion Wettstein. 2008. Naga Identities: Changing Local Cultures in the Northeast of India. Gent: Snoeck Publishers. Kunz, Richard & Vibha Joshi. 2008. Naga – A Forgotten Mountain Region Rediscovered. Basel: Merian
The Maring are one of the small tribal groups of Maring community in Manipur State in North East India. Their name is derived from mei meaning ring meaning to start or produce; the people of Maring tribe are called Maringa. A Christian people, they inhabit the hilly villages of the Tengnoupal subdivision of the Chandel District; the term "Maring" is derived from the word "Meiring" or "Meiringba" where "Mei" stands for "fire" and "ring" stands for "alive" which means "the people who keep fires unquenched/alive". The traditional oral history says that this people "Maring" or "Meiring" or "Meiringba" obtained fire from a traditional ways of making fire called "Meihongtang" using dry wood of a particular tree called Khongma-heeng with bamboo strips and dry bushes or grasses; the bamboo strips are rubbed with dry grasses/bushes against dry Khongma-heeng until fire produced due to friction. The fire thus produced is considered "sacred" and were set up at sacred places like village altar called Malamun or Rlhamun, Village Gate called Palshung and Dormitories called Rkhang.
The sacred fire is kept burning by feeding fire woods and this practice of keeping fire alive/burning continued till the dawn of Christianity in Maring Land. Today, the Marings are settled in Chandel District in the South-Eastern part of the present State of Manipur bordering Myanmar; some of them are found scattered in places like Senapati, Churachandpur, Thoubal, Imphal East and West Districts of Manipur. But the oral legend of our forefathers that have been handing down from generation to generation says that the Marings were once living inside a cave called "Nungmuisho" in Kulvi-Shongshong under the rulership of Khopu-Rampuwith full civilization like; however they could not come out of the cave as there was a big stone gate called "Lungthung" sealing the gate of the cave. They tried to open the Lungthung using several means like pig and buffalo but failed. According to the legend, the flattened nose of pig and the crack marks on buffalo's horns were received while trying to push open the Lungthung.
After much consultation among themselves, Shirimpa Bungrang was sent and the Mithun opened the gate at last. Thus, the Marings, struggling to set free themselves from the terrible and hard life in Nungmuisho at last could come out of the cave and thus the first settlement on earth begun there at Kulvi-Shongshong, it is said that Mithun is therefore the only accepted animal for important rituals and ceremonies like naming of person, erection of monument stones, ritual ceremony for erection of flower vats and poles, as Bride Price, etc. From Kulvi-Shongshong, the Maring people scattered to different directions and established many settlements into village; the Indigenous faith/belief of the Marings has been based on traditional ways of invocations, offerings, sacrifices and healing. They practiced them for their sustenance; the Marings believed that there is one God, called/known as Om, whose natural benevolence is believed to be only one and is above all. He is the Creator including heavens and human beings and things.
Besides this, they worshipped other lesser gods or gods of the lower realm called'Thrai'. They worshipped the local deity called Rampu-tupu/ram thrai/lukbamthrai. Whenever the Marings worship God/Umpu or the deities, they make offerings, sacrifice animals, ranging from a mere offering of water to an offering of birds and animals including Mithun. Maring Lasses in Traditional Attire Maring Lasses in Traditional Attire They prepare ritual feasts; the Marings believed in the existence of the evil spirits or devils, called Shea-krao, tathi-tahoikhi-krao, kmang-krao, etc. These are the malevolent spirits, which caused diseases and sufferings to human beings; these devils or the evil spirits are not worshipped, but they were propitiated/appeased with sacrifices of animals called luk-khang or luk-thut or puluk-thut so that they don't harm or trouble human beings. The Marings believed, they believed that those who died the good dead will go up above, while the bad will go below to a place inside the earth i.e. khiya ram.
But those who died in an extraordinary/unnatural manner will flit about between heaven and the earth. The reward of a virtuous life is immediate, since "after death the good are born again at once into this world"; the Marings performed ritual rites in every feast or festival and various occasions connected with the traditional and customary functions such as seed sowing, house constructions and inaugurations, child births, cleansing ceremony after the child birth and death or condolence and funerals, etc. Marings worshiped God in different places according to the situations and occasions, they worship the household deity as cheemthrai. The local deity is worshipped as rampu-
The Konyaks are one of the major Naga tribes. They are distinguishable from other Naga tribes by their pierced ears. Facial tattoos were earned for taking an enemy's head. Other unique traditional practices that set the tribe apart from the rest are: gunsmithing, iron-smelting, brass-works, gunpowder-making, they are adept in making'Janglaü' and wood sculptures. In Nagaland, they inhabit the Mon District-- known as'The Land of The Anghs'; the Anghs/Wangs are their traditional chiefs. Aoleng, a festival celebrated in the first week of April to welcome the spring and to invoke the Almighty's blessing upon the land before seed-sowing, is the biggest festival of the Konyaks. Another festival,'Lao Ong Mo', is the traditional harvest festival celebrated in the months of August/September; the Konyaks have the largest population among the Nagas. They are found in Tirap and Changlang districts of Arunachal Pradesh, they are known in Arunachal Pradesh as the Wanchos--'Wancho' is a synonymous term for'Konyak'.
Ethnically and linguistically the Noctes of the same neighbouring state of Arunachal Pradesh, are closely related to the Konyaks. The Konyak language belongs to the Northern Naga sub branch of the Sal subfamily of Sino-Tibetan; the Konyaks were the last among the Naga tribes to accept Christianity. In the past, they were infamous for marauding nearby villages of other tribes resulting in killings and decapitations of the heads of opposing warriors; the decapitated heads were taken as trophies and hung in the'Baan'. The number of hunted heads indicated the power of a warrior; the headhunting expeditions were driven by, founded on certain beliefs, code of honour. The tribal members maintain a disciplined community life with strict adherence to duties and responsibilities assigned to each of them. Aoling Festival Stirn, Aglaja & Peter van Ham; the Hidden world of the Naga: Living Traditions in Northeast India. London: Prestel. Oppitz, Thomas Kaiser, Alban von Stockhausen & Marion Wettstein. 2008. Naga Identities: Changing Local Cultures in the Northeast of India.
Gent: Snoeck Publishers. Kunz, Richard & Vibha Joshi. 2008. Naga – A Forgotten Mountain Region Rediscovered. Basel: Merian. Alban von Stockhausen: Imaging the Nagas: The Pictorial Ethnography of Hans-Eberhard Kauffmann and Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf. Arnoldsche, Stuttgart 2014. ISBN 978-3-89790-412-5. Ethnologue profile
The Angamis are a major Naga ethnic group native to the state of Nagaland in North-East India. They are known for the Sekrenyi celebrations every February; the Angami Nagas are settled in Dimapur District of Nagaland. They are one of the recognised ethnic groups in the state of Manipur; the territory of the Angamis is made up of the present Kohima district,which is divided into four regions: Viswema Jakhama Kigwema Phesama Kidima Khuzama Mima Mitelephe Pfuchama Kezoma Chakhabama Kezo TownThis region is located to the south of Kohima on the foothills of Mt Japfü. Khonoma Jotsoma Mezoma Sechü Sechü-Zubza Kiruphema Peducha Mengoujuma Thekrejüma DzülekieThe Western Angami region is located to the west of Kohima. Kewhima/Kohima Chiechama Tuophema Zhadima Tsiemekhuma Chüziema Chedema Meriema Nerhema Chiephobozou Gariphema Dihoma Rüsoma Tsiesema Tsiesema basaThis region is located to the north of Kohima. Small villages around Dimapur district, with large villages being Medziphema, Sovima, Rüzaphema, etc.
Other villages include Piphema, Vidima, Pherima, etc.) The former Eastern Angami are now recognised as Chakhesang. The Angami Nagas are hill people depending on cultivation and livestock-rearing; the Angamis are known for terraced wet-rice cultivation. They are one of the only two groups of Nagas out of the seventeen who practice wet-rice cultivation on terraces made on the hill slopes; this allows them to cultivate the same plot year after year. They depend, to a small extent, on slash-and-burn cultivation. Angamis were traditionally warriors; the Angami men spent the majority of their time in taking heads. Since 1879, when the British succeeded in annexing their territory, the inter-village feuds have come to an end. With the introduction of Christianity in the region several Angamis changed their faith to Christianity. Social stratification is not observed in the Angami community. Traditionally, property was divided among sons with daughters receiving a share; the youngest male in the family inherits the parental home, which means he is responsible for their care until they pass away.
The Angami Christians are composed of five major denominations: Baptist, Roman Catholic and Seventh-day Adventist. Baptists constitute more than 80% of the total Angami Christian population and all the Baptist churches in their region are under the Angami Baptist Church Council. Although more than 98% of the Angamis are Christians, they are one of the last Naga tribes having an animist population; the Angami animists practice a religion known as Pfutsana. According to the 1991 census, there were 1,760 Angami practitioners, but 10 years the figure had halved to 884. There are several hundred adherents of the Pfutsana religion, scattered in nine villages of the southern Kohima district. A religious organization,'Japfuphiki Pfutsana', was founded in 1987 to streamline indigenous religious practices among the Angamis. According to the 2011 Census, 98.62% of the Angami are Christian, 0.47% are Buddhist, 0.37% Hindu, 0.24% Muslim and 0.19% Pfutsana. The Angamis celebrate; the term Sekrenyi means sanctification festival.
The festival falls on the twenty-fifth day of the month Kezei. The festival follows a circle of the first being kizie. A few drops of rice water taken from the top of a type of jug called; these are placed at the three main posts of the house by the lady of the household. On the first day, the young and old go to the village well to bathe. In the night, two young men clean the well; some of the village youth guard the well. As women are not allowed to touch the well water at this time, they must make sure that water is fetched for the household before then. Early next morning, all the young men of the village attend the washing ritual, they wear two new shawls and sprinkle water on their chests and right arms. This ceremony is called dzüseva. On their return from the well, a rooster is sacrificed, it is taken as a good omen. The innards of the rooster are hung outside the house for the village elders to inspect. A three-day session of singing and feasting starts on the fourth day of the festival; the most interesting part is the thekra hie.
The thekra hie is when the young people of the village sit together and sing traditional songs throughout the day. Jugs of rice beer and plates of meat are placed before the participants. On the seventh day, the young men go hunting; the most important ceremony falls on the eighth day when the bridge-pulling, or gate-pulling, is performed and inter-village visits are exchanged. All field work ceases during this season of song; the following is a list of prominent people belonging to the Angami tribe A. Z. Phizo leader of Naga National Council. Accredited for the political unification and self awareness of the Naga people. Vizol Angami, first Naga pilot and chief minister of Nagaland. Methaneilie Solo, legendary composer and musician among th
The Tangkhuls are a major Naga ethnic group living in the Indo-Burma border area occupying the Ukhrul district in Manipur and the Somra tract hills, Layshi township, Homalin township in Upper Burma and Tamu Township in Burma. Despite this international border, many Tangkhul have continued to regard themselves as "one nation". Tangkhuls living in Burma are known as Hogo Naga or Eastern Tangkhul or Somra Tangkhul. Kokak Naga, Akyaung Ari Naga and Hogo Naga are included tribally within Tangkhul Naga tribe but their language are quite distinct; the Tangkhul language in Mayanmar is different from Tangkhul spoken in India. The Tangkhuls, as with other tribes on the hills, came to Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh from Myanmar entering their present habitats in successive waves of immigration; the Tangkhuls came together with the Angamis, Maos, Poumais and Thangals because all of them have references to their dispersal from Makhel, a Mao village in Senapati district. They had erected megaliths at Makhel in memory of their having dispersed from there to various directions.
The Tangkhuls point to the association of their forefathers with the seashore. Most of the ornaments of the Tangkhuls such as kongsang, etc. were made of sea shells and conch shells a prominent feature of the people who live on the shore. By the 2nd century A. D. the Tangkhuls were living in Samshok in Myanmar. Ptolemy, a Greek astronomer and geographer of Alexandria, in his Geography of Further India, c. 140 A. D. referred to the Tangkhul at Triglypton. The Tangkhuls began disperse from Samshok after the invasion of Ko-lo-feng and his successor I-mau-shun the king of Nan-chao in the closing part of the 8th century A. D. and beginning of the 9th century A. D, they were further driven towards the north-west of Myanmar by the Shan people. Thus, the Tangkhuls as other tribes who travelled from Myanmar and from there they came into their present land traversing through innumerable snow-covered landscapes and wild forests confronting wild beasts and wild tribes may be grouped collectively as Naga on the basis of ethnicity.
The exodus of the Tangkhuls from China to Myanmar and to India is indeed a story of heroism of human courage and endurance in the face of great famine in China during those days. In course of time every Tangkhul village became a small republic like the Greek city states; every village had an unwritten constitution made up of age-old traditions. The Tangkhul villages were self-sufficient except for salt, self-governing units ruled by hereditary or elected chief assisted by a Council of Elders; the chief was a judge and commander roled into one. Hunphun was the headquarters of the Tangkhul Long; the Tangkhul annual fair locally known as "Leih Khangapha" used to be held at Somsai in Ukhrul. The boundary of Manipur and Burma was laid down by an agreement signed between the British authorities and Burma on 9 January 1834 on the river bank of Nighthee; the Article No.4 of this agreement relates to the Tangkhul country. "Fourth - On the north, the line of boundary will begin at the foot of the same hills at the northern extremity of the Kabo Valley and pass due north up to the first range of hills, east of that upon which stand the villages of Chortor, Nonghar, of the tribe called by the Munepooriis Loohooppa, by the Burmahs Lagwensoung, now tributary of Manipoor."
As a result of this boundary demarcation without the knowledge let alone consent of the Tangkhuls, many Tangkhul villages situated in the Somrah hills, Layshi township, Tamu township and Homalin township are included under Burma. When India and Burma attained national independence, the Tangkhuls found themselves belonging to two different countries; the Tangkhul tribe has more than hundreds of regional dialects. Each village has its own dialect including Khangoi, Kupome, Phadang and Ukhrul. Tangkhul is the principle dialect. Although the Tangkhul Naga tribe speaks more than a hundred dialects, the lingua franca is the Hunphun dialect. Hogo Naga or Eastern tangkhul or Somra Tangkhul in Burma Speaks Somra dialect. A modified English alphabet is used. Tangkhul Language is included in the CBSE syllabus and is the first Tribal language from North East India to be included in the CBSE syllabus; because of the diversity in dialects and lack of a standardized language, it is difficult to gauge the literacy level.
However, if the knowledge of Tangkhul is taken as an indicator, most young Tangkhuls are losing their grasp of the language preferring to use the English language to describe more complex ideas. There are some important factors that contribute to the standardization of English language as the primary medium of learning and communication. Firstly, there are various concrete and abstracts objects and ideas which cannot be termed in Tangkhul language because unlike the English language it does not have a rich vocabulary. Secondly, the emergence of western education, which change and uplift the live and standard of Tangkhuls led the people to neglect learning the language and hence became a secondary subject. Thirdly, the idea of globalization captures the attention of the people to neglect their own language and culture. English is taught in primary schools, the number of people able to read the Roman script is high. All young people can read and write the Roman script; the literacy rate is 79%.
There are English and bi-lingual publications, such as the magazine The Legacy and the English newspaper The Aja Daily. Aja is edited by Mr