AN INTRODUCTION TO THE ZO PEOPLE OF BANGLADESH, BURMA AND INDIA

CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Old And New Spellings of Tribal and Place Names
1.0 INTRODUCTION
(quotations from various international publications)
1.1. CHINS or KUKIS
1.2. KUKI
1.3. CHINS
1.4. MIZOS
1.5. Kuki-Chin-Völker [Kuki-Chin-Peoples]
1.6. The Chins
1.7. The Term “Chin“ is imprecise.
1.8. Chins
1.9. The Chins
2.0. GEOGRAPHY
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Climate
2.3. VEGETATION
2.3.1. Chin Hills-Arakan Yoma Montane Forests (IM0109)
2.3.2. Mizoram-Manipur-Kachin Rain Forests (IM0131)
2.3.3. Naga-Manipuri-Chin Hills Moist Forests (34)
2.3.4. Northeast India-Myanmar Pine Forests (IM0303)
3. ADMINISTRATION
4.0. ECONOMY
4.1. Agriculture
4.2. Forest Products
4.3. Mines and Minerals
4.4. Handlooms and Handicraft
4.5. Tourism
4.6. Energy Sector
5.0. INFRASTRUCTURE
5.1. Roads
5.2. Air Services
5.3. Railways
5.4. Water Ways
6. EDUCATION & HEALTH
i
7.0. HISTORY
7.1 Introduction
7.2 The Chin-Lushai Expedition(1889-90)
7.3. HISTORY OF THE LAIS, KLANGKLANGS, YOKWA, KAPI, AND THETTAS
7.3.1. Origin of the Lais
7.3.2.The Haka-Burman War
7.3.3. Visit of Chins to Rangoon
7.3.4. The Haka and Thado-Kuki Rebellions(1917-19)
7.4. THE HISTORY OF THE SIYIN TRIBE
7.4.1. Origin of the Siyin
7.4.2. Advance into the Siyin Country
7.4.3. The Battle of Siallum(Tartan)
7.4.4. The Siyin-Nwengal Rebellion(1892-93)
7.4.5. The Siyin Rebellion
7.5. THE HISTORY OF THE SOKTE TRIBE
7.5.1. Origin of the Sokte Tribe
7.5.2. Rise and Deeds of Kantum
7.5.3. Advance into the Sukte Country
7.5.4. The Siyin and Sokte Chiefs in Rangoon
7.6. THE TASHON TRIBE
7.6.1. Legendary Origin of the Tashons
7.6.2. Rise of the Power of the Tashons
7.6.3. Council of Chiefs
7.6.4. Decadence of the Tashon Power
7.6.5. The Gathering of Chins at Falam
7.6.6. Renewal of Negotiations with the Tashons
7.6.7. Occupation of Falam
8.0. THE ARMS OF THE CHINS AND THE LOCAL MANUFACTURE OF GUNPOWDER AND BULLETS
8.1. Spears
8.2. Bows and Arrows
8.3. Shields
8.4. Surrendered Guns
8.5. Chin Methods of Making Gunpowder
8.6. Projectiles
9.0. RAIDS AND METHODS OF WARFARE
9.1. Characteristics of Chin Warfare
9.2. Outbreak of the Siyin Rebellion
9.3. Prevention of Cultivation and Destruction of Food-Supply
ii
9.4. Gateways Not to Be Attacked
10.0. SYSTEMS OF GOVERNMENT IN ANCIENT CHIN/ZO SOCIETY
10.1 Introduction
10.2. THE POSITION OF CHIEFS
10.2.1. The Kuki, Siyin and Sokte Chiefs
10.2.2. Haka and Southern Chiefs
10.2.3. Falam Chiefs
10.3 Other Forms of Rulership
11.0 AWAKENING OF POLITICAL AND NATIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS
11.1 INTRODUCTION
11.2 CHIN-LUSHAI CONFERENCE
11.3. MIZO MEMORANDUM
11.3.1. THE PEOPLE AND THE LAND
11.3.2. TRADITIONAL ORIGIN
11.3.3. THE MIZO POPULATION
11.3.4. MIZO HISTORY AND BRITISH CONNECTION
11.3.5. THE PRESENT GENERAL CONDITIONS OF THE COUNTRY
11.3.6. OUR CASE
11.4. MEMORANDUM(PAITE NATIONAL COUNCIL)
11.4.1. RE-UNIFICATION OF THE CHIN PEOPLE INTO A TERRITORY
11.4.2. THE ORIGIN OF CHIN
11.4.3. THE PEOPLES OF CHIN
11.4.4. THE TERRITORY OF CHINS
11.4.5. THE RELATIONSHIP OF CHINS OF INDIA AND BURMA
11.4.6. THE POLITICAL STATUS OF THE CHINS BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER BRITISH REGIME
11.5. FIRST WORLD ZOMI CONVENTION
11.5.1. DECLARATION
11.5.2. CHARTER OF AGREEMENT
11.5.3. ORGANISATION

11.6. ZO-RE-UNIFICATION ORGANIZATION(ZORO)
11.7. JAPANESE INVASION OF THE CHIN HILLS AND EAST INDIA
11.7.1. JUSTICE UNDER THE JAPANESE OCCUPATION
11.7.2. ARMED RESISTANCE MOVEMENTS AGAINST THE JAPANESE
11.8. THE CHIN/ZO PEOPLE IN POST-INDEPENDENCE BURMA
12.0 PEOPLE
12.1 Origin of the Chins(Colonialists‘ View)
12.2 Special Characters of Separate Tribes
iii
12.2.1. Hakas and Siyins
12.2.2. Tashons
12.3 ROOTS OF CHIN/ZO PEOPLE
12.4 The Lands, Tribes and Population
12.5 Main Clans and Sub-clans
12.6. Zo Names
12.7 Civil Life and Civic Works
12.8 The Roles and Rights of Women
12.9 Village Planning
12.10. THREE SCHOLARS‘ OPINIONS ON THE CHIN/ZO PEOPLE
12.10.1. CHIN AND LUSHAI(MIZO)
12.10.2. TOWARDS ZO UNIFICATION
12.10.3. THE TERM “ZO“
12.11. THE CHIN-KUKI-MIZO: A LOST TRIBE OF ISRAEL?
12.11.1. Amishav Organization: Lost Tribe Returns to Israel
12.11.2. Lost Tribe of Israel
12.11.3. Menashe in Myanmar
12.11.4. ISRAEL Lost and Found?
12.11.5. From India to Zion
12.11.6. More Bnei Menashe Arrive in Israel
12.11.7. Israeli 'Lost Tribes' Living in W. Bank
12.11.8. DNA tests prove that Mizo people are descendants of a lost Israeli tribe
12.11.9. Israel‘s Chief Rabinnate Recognizes Mizos As An Israeli Lost Tribe
12.11.10. Tracking the Genetic Imprints of Lost Jewish Tribes among the Gene Pool of
Kuki-Chin-Mizo Population of India

13.0 LANGUAGE
14.0 RELIGION
14.1. Ancient Religious Beliefs of the Chin/Zo
14.2. THE RELIGION OF LAIPIAN PAU CIN HAU
14.2.1. The Laipian Hierarchy
14.3.. CHRISTIANIZATION IN CHINLAND(EAST ZORAM)
14.3.1. Introduction
14.3.2. Adoption of the Name “Zomi Baptist Convention”
14.3.3. American Baptist Missionaries in Chinland(East)
14.3.4. “Chins For Christ in One Century“(CCOC)
14.3.5. Brief History of the Catholic Church in the Chin Hills
14.3.6 Evangelization of Southern Chin State
14.3.7. Evangelization of Northern Chin State
14.3.8. Zones and Parishes
iv
14.3.9. French Priest-Missionaries
14.3.10. KHUMI-CHIN ANGLICANS
14.4. INTRODUCTION OF BUDDHISM INTO NORTHERN CHINLAND(EAST ZORAM)
15.0 CULTURE
15.1. Musics and Dances(Colonialists‘ View)
15.2. Summary of the Chin/Zo Culture
15.3. Mithan/Mythun(Bos gaurus frontalis) - the National Animal
15.4. Hornbill(Buceros bicomis) - the National Bird
15.5. Traditional Songs
15.6. Folk Dances
15.7. Head-hunting and Special ceremonies
16.0 PRESENT PLIGHT OF THE CHIN/ZO PEOPLE IN BURMA
16.1. TELEVISION AND RADIO BROADCASTING PROGRAMME
16.2. THE MARCH 31, 2004 ANNOUNCEMENT OF PROJECT MAJE
16.3. PROFESSOR DR. SALAI TUN THAN
REFERENCES
GLOSSARY
MAP 1 Migratory Routes of the Chins and Territories In Which They Are Found Today
MAP 2 Kuki-Chin Tribal and Linguistic Distribution(1957)
MAP 3 Geographical Centers of [Chin] Language Groups
MAP 4 Japanese Thrust on Imphal-Kohima
PHOTOS OF SOME HISTORICAL SITES: PHOTOS 1-8
PHOTO 1 SIALLUM FORT
PHOTO 2 + 3 Two of the most important Battle Fields of the Chin-Anglo War near Fort White
PHOTO 4+5 HAKA, Capital of Chinland(East Zoram)
PHOTO 6 FALAM
PHOTO 7 TEDIM
PHOTO 8 Vangteh Village
PHOTOS 9+10 -Scenes from the Zo Daily Life in East Zoram
(Source of Photos - 2 to 10. Paupi, Burma/Photos were taken in 2003)
PHOTOS 11+12 Two tatooed women from Southern Chinland
PHOTO 13 Some Chin/Zo Women in Their Traditional Costumes(East Zoram)
v
LIST OF TABLES
Extra Sheet I KEY TO SYMBOLS( of Genealogy)
Extra Sheet II GENEALOGICAL INDEX
TABLE 1 Roots of Chin/Zo Tribes
TABLE 2 Genealogical Tree of the Zo Race
TABLE 3 Genealogical Tree of Mizo Tribe
TABLE 4 Genealogy of Paihte or Zomi and Lusei
TABLE 5 Hualngo & Lusei Clans
TABLE 6 Thado-Kuki Clans

TABLE 7/A Genealogical Tree of Mizo Chiefs
TABLE 7/B Genealogical Tree of the Sailo Sub-Clan
TABLE 8/A Genealogical Tree of Lua Tawng Sub-clan
TABLE 8/B - do -
TABLE 8/C Genealogical Tree of Thuam Lam Sub-clan
TABLE 9/A List of Zo Tribes and Sub-tribes(Clans)
TABLE 9/B Suantak Clan among the Faihriam Tribe(India)
TABLE 9/C Suantak Clan among the Kuki & Kam Hau Tribes(Burma and India)
TABLE 9/D-1 Suantak Clan among the Paihte Tribe(India)
TABLE 9/D-2 - do -
TABLE 9/E Suantak Clan among the Sizangs
TABLE 9/F-1 Suantak Clan among the Tedims(Burma)
TABLE 9/F-2 - do -
TABLE 9/G Suantak Clan among the Vaipheis(Burma and India)
TABLE 10/A Percentage of Lexicostatistics Similarity
TABLE 10/B Metrix of Lexicostatistic Percentages in 21 Chin Languages
TABLE 10/C Chin Languages in the Chin State of Burma(Myanmar)
TABLE 11 Genealogical Tree of One of the Haka Chiefs
DIAGRAMS 1 & 2 HOW THE NORTHERN CHIN/ZO GET THEIR NAMES
APPENDICES
APPENDIX A CORRESPONDENCES CONCERNING THE ORIGIN OF SAILO CHIEFS, AND SLAVERY AMONG
DIFFERENT ZO TRIBES IN OLDEN DAYS
vi
APPENDIX B NEWS REPORT ON CHIKIM KUT- 2004
APPENDIX C NEWS REPORT ON THE “ZO-FEST‘ 2004“
APPENDIX D MIZORAM DIARY
APPENDIX E ON KHUASAK & LOPHEI VILLAGES
APPENDIX F INSCRIPTION OF EX-CHIEF KHUP LIAN
APPENDIX G A PORTION OF THE AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SONGS OF THE LATE K. A. KHUP ZA THANG
APPENDIX H A PORTION OF “SERMON ON THE MOUNTAIN“ IN PAU CIN HAU‘S SCRIPT
APPENDIX I ANNIVERSARIES AND FREQUENCIES OF THE CHIN NATIONAL DAY
vii

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I would like to thank the authors and owners of materials listed in the REFERENCES, Pu C. Chawngkunga and
especially the family of the late Pu K.A. Khup Za Thang. And Salai Kipp Kho Lian and the late Dr. Vumson
Suantak as well for their invaluable advices. My gratitude goes also to those who have had contributed with
their invaluable suggestions and materials for this paper whose names I cannot yet list here for their own
security‘s sake back in Burma. Furthermore, I am deeply grateful to both Pu L. Keivom and Dr. Lal Dena for
permitting me to use their articles: Towards ZO Unification by Pu Keivom and The Status of Mizo Women by
Dr. Lal Dena respectively. This paper was originally written in 1998 under the title of “An Introduction to the
Traditional Songs and Folk Dances of the Chins“. Author
viii
OLD AND NEW SPELLINGS
Old SPELLINGS(used during British colonial period) and NEW SPELLINGS or TERMS used by local people
with the same meaning.
HAKA = HALKHA = HAKA
KANHOW = KAM HAU - Those who are called TEDIMS today were known as KANHOWS during
British colonial period
KHWUNGLI = KHUANGLI
KLANGKLANG = THANTLANG
YOKWA = ZOKHUA
KHUAPI = KHUAPI
LUSHAI = LUSEI
NWENGAL = GUNGAL - The west bank of Manipur River in Tiddim and Tonzang Townships
NWEITE = GUITE/NGUITE
NORN = NGAWN
SIYIN = SIZANG
SOKTE = SUKTE
TASHON =TLAISUN = TLASUN = TAISUN = TASUN
TIDDIM* = TEDIM
WHENOH = HUALNGO
YAHOW = ZAHAU
* In all official documents and World Atlas this spelling TIDDIM is still used, although the local people
prefer to use and are using TEDIM both for the town and themselves in their daily life and in writings as
well. Author
ix
AN INTRODUCTION TO THE ZO PEOPLE OF BANGLADESH, BURMA AND INDIA
1.0 INTRODUCTION
I would like to explain in a few sentences why I decided to prepare this paper. Since mid - 1988 - and
especially after Daw Aung San Su Kyi was awarded the 1991 Nobel Prize for Peace - every now and then I
happened to meet people who showed some interest in the people to whom I belong - that is, Chins or
Chin-Kuki-Mizo as we are often designated by outsiders. So I began searching for books, journals,
booklets, articles, traveler‘s guides, etc. on my people in public and university libraries and in book
stores. After years of intensive searchings I had to conclude that even in serious academic publications,
prestigious encyclopaedia and almanacs, and information leaflets published by various Christian churches
from the West that have followers in Chinland for decades, either no mention is made at all about us, or
even if any mentions are made, the facts are mostly misleading.
Although there are already a few good books written by Zo scholars on our people, their works are mostly
purely academic and in book forms. And of these good books are written in Zo dialects. So these are not
really suitable for strangers who just would like to have a compact yet encompassing information on us. My
simple reason therefore for preparing this paper is to bridge this gap. I do hope that this paper may give
outsiders a different picture of us from what all the outsiders have written about us up to this day. As we did
not have a script until the American Baptist missionaries created it for us in the early 1900s we had had only
orally transmitted “historical records“. I shall, therefore, heavily quote from the few existing sources,
especially that of British colonialists‘ records, although these contain a great deal of false information, which
is certainly due to the fact that their interpreters were uneducated former Burmese slaves of the Chins and
that the main tasks of those officials were no academic undertakings.
Not as the title implies, in reality this paper covers overwhelmingly about events that have taken place in
East Zoram. And also in cultural matters I deal only with the traditions of the Tedim/Paite, Sizangs, Suktes,
Zous and Thados, from the Tedim and Tonzang townships in northern Chin State, Burma, and neighbouring
regions inside India. The simple reason is that I am more familiar with traditions from these regions.
(For more reliable statistics on West Zoram visit Wikipedia under Mizoram.)
Originally, the ZO people did not call themselves either Chin or Kuki. These two alien words are believed
to have originated in Burmese and Bangali respectively. They called and still call themselves in any of the
following terms: Asho, Sho/Cho, Laimi, Yaw, Mizo, Zomi.
Since they all cannot yet agree upon a single nomenclature that covers all the Zo tribes until today,
“Chin-Kuki-Mizo“ or sometimes “Chin-Kuki-Mizo-Zomi“ are often used by both outsiders and themselves.
The two words: “ZOMI“ and “MIZO“ always have confused outsiders. In fact, MIZO and ZOMI have exactly
the same meaning - that is, “ZO MAN“ or “ZO PERSON“. Those who prefer to call themselves ZOMI insist that
it‘s grammatically more correct and therefore this terminology should be used. But those who prefer MIZO
to ZOMI insist that this term had already been used officially in a historical document called the “Mizo
Memorandum“, dated April 26, 1947, which was submitted to the then British Government and the
Government of India by the Mizo Union, on behalf of all the Chin-Kuki-Mizo tribes. So, they argue, that it
should be used. Interestingly, even those who prefer to call themselves ZOMI, for example, call an Indian
“Mivom“ which literally means “man dark“ although its real meaning is supposed to be “dark/black man“ and
it‘s the same with a European. He is called “Mikang“ - literally “man white“.
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Note: As the reader will see I put all the notes/remarks either immediately after the passages to which they refer, or as footnotes,
according to the Chinese method, for the reader‘s convenience. Author
These days two new terminologies are rapidly getting popularity and are therefore widely used among
several Zo tribes, namely: ZOFATE and ZONAHTHLAK - that is, “Children of Zo“ or “Descendants of Zo“.
Among the Tedim and its related dialects speakers the term: “Zo Suante“ is equally getting very popular as
well now. “Zo Suante“ and “Zofate“ have exactly the same meaning. Since Mizo and Zomi have exactly the
same meaning anyway, I shall use only CHIN or Chin-Kuki-Mizo or Chin/Mizo or Chin/Zo or sometimes
simply ZO, and their land: Chinland or ZORAM interchangeably in this paper for the sake of convenience. In
several Chin/Zo dialects “Ram“ stands for country.(Vumson first used in Zo History the terms “East Zoram“
for Chin State and “West Zoram“ for Mizoram.) If Zoram is used it will denote both East and West Zorams.
Occasionally, the reader will come across a term: “Thado-Kuki-Mizo-Zomi“, especially where social
relationships such as kinship/clan are concerned, because almost all of those who identify themselves as
Thado-Kuki or Mizo or Zomi are closely intertwined each other by the same clans although they may speak
different dialects.
The following excerpts on the Chins are from some of the most prestigious, authoritative and
internationally recognized reference books, publications of academic institutes and religious
institutions.
1.1 _ CHINS or KUKIS
A tribe living in the mountainous region between Lower Bengal and Upper Burma. They form a collection of
tribes belonging to the Tibeto-Burman group of the Indo-Chinese race, and consist of three divisions:
Northern Chins, who inhabit the Chin Hills and a small part of the country to the north of them; the Central
Chins( known as Kamis, Kwemis, Mros, Chinboks and Chinbons) live in the Pakokku Chin Hills and the
northern Arakan district; and the Southern Chins of the Arakan Yoma. The Chins are, for the most part, a
warlike race, divided strictly into clans over which their leaders and upper classes have almost despotic
power and influence. They are uncleanly in habits, treacherous and given to intemperance.(The Encyclopedia
Americana, 1947)
1.2 _ KUKI
A name given to a group of tribes inhabiting both sides of the mountains dividing Assam and Bengal from
Burma, south of Namtaleik river... In the case of the Thado Kuki who followed them, the Lushai, who drove
the Thado north from the district called Lushai hills, the Lakher, and the various tribes of the Chin hills in
Burma - Haka, Siyin, Sokte, etc. - there is, inspite of divergences, so strong a similarity in general type and
culture that they can be fairly treated as forming a single group, ruled by chiefs on a quasi-feudal system,
exogamous, patrilineal, attaching great importance to genealogy and descent... Clans claim descent from a
common ancestor... Chiefs wield wide authority; their subjects are bound to them by service tenure, a man
accepting a chief‘s protection assumes a vassalage which he cannot put off at will... All diesease is ascribed
to spirits and can be driven off by appropriate disinfectants or ceremonies, but a beneficent Creator is
believed in, to whose abode souls go after death, having to pass a malignant demon on the way... The Kuki
is generally an indefatigible hunter and snarer of game, warlike, bloodthirsty and destructive. His languages
belong to the Tibeto-Burman family and his folklore savours of the Arabian Nights.(The Enclyclopaedia
Britannica, 1959)
1.3 _ CHINS

A group of tribes of Mongol origin, occupying the southernmost part of the mountain ranges separating
Burma from India... Chin villages, often of several hundred houses, were traditionally self-contained units,
some ruled by council of elders, others by headmen. There were also hereditary chiefs who exercised
political control over large areas and received tribute from cultivators of the soils... The Chins have much in
common with the Kuki, Lushai, and Lakher people and speak related Tibeto-Burman languages... Domestic
animals, kept mainly for meat, are not milked or used for traction. Chief among them is the mithan, a
domesticated breed of the Indian wild ox...Traditional religion comprises of a belief in numerous deities
and spirits, which may be propitiated by offerings and sacrifices. Christian missions have made many
converts...(The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1986)
1.4 _ MIZOS, also called LUSHAI, or LUSEI
Tibeto-Burman - speaking people numbering about 270,00... Like the Kuki tribes, with which they have
affinities... Every village, though comprising members of several distinct clans, was an independent political
unit ruled by a hereditary chief. The stratified Mizo society consisted originally of chiefs, commoners, serfs
and slaves(war captives). The British suppressed feuding and headhunting but administered the area
through the indigenous chiefs...(The New Encyclopaedia Brittanica, 1986)
1.5 _ Kuki-Chin-Völker [Kuki-Chin-Peoples]

A collective name for a group of old Mongoloid peoples and tribes (population in 1985, 3. 5 million) in
West Burma, East India and Bangladesh. It covers several other small tribes that are closely linked to the
Kukis such as Chins, Mizo(Lushai) and the Meiteis or Manipuris in the Manipur plains... There was also
headhunting. The Meiteis have become Hindus and there are several Christians among the Mizos and
Chins.(Brockhaus Enzyklopädie, 1990)*
1.6 _ The Chins*
The Chins, who dwell in the mountainous regions of West Burma and East India, are well-skilled in fishing,
hunting and weaving fine textiles...(Burma: Weltmission heute Nr. 22/ Evangelisches Missionwerk in
Deutschland, 1996./This 205-page book on Burma, prepared by the German Evangelical Mission Work,
under the title of Burma: World Mission Today No. 22, devouts only twelve lines or six sentences on the
Chins. Author
1.7 _ The Term “Chin“ is imprecise.
It is a Burmese word(khyang), not a Chin word... No single Chin word has explicit reference to all the
peoples we customarily call Chin, but all - nearly all - of the peoples have a special word for themselves and
those of their congeners with whom they are in regular contact. This word is almost always a variant form of
a single root, which appears as zo, yo, ks u,s u, and the like. The word means, roughly,
“unsophisticated“...[p. 3]. Another group of Kuki-Chin speakers are the Kuki(Shakespear, 1912). Kuki
appears to be a Manipuri term. (Manipuri, or Meitei, is the Kuki-Chin language of a long-Hinduized people
who have for many centuries ruled the Manipur Valley.). Kuki peoples inhabit the relatively low hill country
in Manipur, Cachar, Tripura (or Tiperah), and possibly the northern part of the Chittagong Hills Tracts. The
so-called New Kuki, especially the Thado, are Northern Chin who were pushed out of the Chin Hills proper
into Manipur and into the Naga Hills of Burma and Assam by Lushai in the middle of the nineteenth century.
Some of the Old Kuki, such as the Vaiphei(see Carey and Tuck, 1896; Needham, 1959), consist of refugees
from the Chin Hills who were forced out earlier by similar pressure at the end of the eighteenth century...[p.
5]. The 1931 Census of India reported about 345,000 persons speaking about forty-four distinct Chin and
Chin-related dialects(Census of India, 1939, pp. 183-184, 189). Most of these dialects and languages are
mutually unintelligible. Embress and Thomas, 1956(p. 14) estimate that there were 350,000 Chin in all of
Burma in 1943 and 554,842 Kuki and Chin peoples including those in Pakistan[Bangladesh] and India in
1931...[p. 6]. However, there is no absolute separation between the Kuki and some of the northernmost Chin
of Burma. Even some of the old Kuki, like the Vaiphei, were not long ago “Tiddim-type“ Chin...[p. 16]. For
instance, some of the so-called “Old Kuki“ Kuki of Manipur-Assam probably did not arrive there as recently
as the rest of the Old and the New Kuki. The New Kuki were pushed out from the Chin-Lushai country by
their near relatives, the Lushais, in the 1700‘s and 1800‘s. The Old Kuki seem first to have been mentioned
in the Manipur chronicles about 1554(Shakespear, 1909, p. 373). The cultural and social organization of the
Kuki, and especially of the “older“ Old Kuki, resembles that of the Southern Chin in style and simplicity...[p.
25]. It is used in contrast to such terms as zo, the common Chin name for themselves, which expresses their
view of being backward and uncultivated...[p. 30]. Chin are zo mi because they lack the civilization of the
Burman, whose culture they envy, however still will not emulate...[p. 55]. (Lehman, F.K. Prof. Dr. The
Structure of Chin Society - A Tribal People of Burma Adapted to a Non-Western Civilization, Urbana: Illinois
University Press. 1963)
1.8 _ Chins**
Inhabiting the western hills of Burma as far north as the Somra Tract, and as far south as Sandoway and
Thayetmyo, the Chins are divided into a great many tribes and speakers of different dialects. They use the
destructive taungya type of shifting hillside cultivation described in chapter viii. Indirect rule, through native
chiefs, has also been British practice in this area, and with equally satisfactory results from the standpoint of
loyalty. In addition, the Chins have furnished many recruits for the armed forces, in peace and war. They are
reputed to have low moral standards and also low standards of cleanliness, the urge to bathe being
inhibited by the cold mountain air as well as by the distance to the nearest source of water. Stevenson
describes their clothing as follows:
The dress of the men can be said to dwindle from little in the north to still less in the south, and the sex
exhibits a magnificent resistance to the wide climatic variations to which it is exposed. (H.N.C. Stevenson,
The Hill Peoples of Burma, p. 7)
1.9 _ The Chins*
-... Numbering circa 220,000 - are of Tibeto-Burman origin, migrated to Central Burma through Chindwin
Valley about 300 years ago; they were driven to the mountains in the west by later comers such as the
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
*
Excerpts from books marked with asterisk on previous and this pages are of my own translations from the original German texts.
** Burmese Economic Life . p. 32. Standford University Press. USA. 1947. By J. Russel Andrus(Fomer Professor of Economics, University
of Rangoon)
Burmans and Shans...The Chins, with the exception of a few Buddhists and Christians who have had come
into contact with the Burmans and Europeans, are primitive Animists... Andru describes that the standard of
the Chins‘ moral is very low, and that of their cleanliness as well which is due to their reluctance to take
bath for the mountain wind is chilly and the water sources faraway...(Burma: Land. Geschichte. Wirtschaft,
1967; von Hans-Ulrich Storz/Schriften des Instituts für Asienkunde in Hamburg.
Mr. Hans-Ulrich Storz‘s thought-provoking foreword in this book makes it an even more interesting
reading - partly because it‘s the only authoritative reference book of its kind on Burma available both at
the Institute of Asian Studies in Hamburg and the library of the Hamburg University. I shall quote here some
sentences from this foreword:“ ... Burma is still a stable country. It hasn‘t broken yet the bridges to the
West... Experiences have shown that it‘s already too late to concentrate intensively on a country when
conflicts arise between powerful blocs and these contlicts become public. It is therefore the aim of this
book that it shall help intensify the relations of the Union of Burma and the Federal Republic of Germany
and thus open ways for a close cooperation between them...“.
Equally interesting are the descriptions of other ethnic groups of Burma in this book.
2.0 GEOGRAPHY
2.1. Introduction
The Zo people have so far got two internationally recognized statehoods: Chin State in Burma and
Mizoram in India. With its legal area of 36,000 sq. km Chin State is just slightly smaller than Switzerland. It
was formerly known as the “Chin Hills District“ and then later as the “Chin Special Division“. The Mizoram
State, which was formerly known as the “Lushai Hills Districts“and then later as the “Mizo Hills District“, has
an area of 21,008 sq. km.
“The Himalayas from the north of Assam shoot out a chain of spurs, which, running due south, eventually
drive into the Bay of Bengal. Captain Yule, who went as Secretary to the Envoy to the Court of Ava in 1855,
thus described this chain and its inhabitants:-
‘Still further westward in the Naga country, between longitude 93° and 95°, a great multiple mass of
mountains starts southwards from the Assam chain. Enclosing first the level alluvial valley of Manipur, at a
height of 2,500 feet above the sea, it then spreads out westward of Tipperah and the coast of Chittagong and
Northern Arakan, a broad succession of unexlored and forest-covered spurs, inhabited by a vast variety of
wild tribes of Indo-Chinese kindred known as Kukis, Nagas, Khynes, and by many more specific names...‘
From the southern borders of Assam and Manipur, latitude 24° approximately, these hills are now known
as the Chin-Lushai tract and the inhabitants by the generic names of Chins and Lushais. This Chin-Lushai
tract is bounded on the north by Assam and Manipur, on the south by Arakan, on the east by Burma, and on
the west by Tipperah and the Chittagong hill tracts...“(Carey & Tuck, Vol. 1. p. 1)
Territories in which the Chins inhabit extend from the Somra Tracts in Nagaland and the North Cachar
Hills in India down to the Rakhine Range(Arakan Yoma), Ayeyawady(Irrawaddy) valleys and Bago Range (Pegu
Yoma) in Burma. These territories are largely mountainous except in the northern and southern ends and
Ayeyawaddy, Kale-Kabaw - and Gangaw Valleys. The mountain ranges, which are largely north-south
oriented, are a continuation of the Naga and Patkoi Hills(Patkoi Range) extending as far south as the
Rakhine Range. The highest peak in Chinland, Arterawttlang (Mt. Victoria ), is 3,053 metres. Aizawl, the
capital of Mizoram, lies at 1,214 metres and Haka, the capital of Chin State, lies at 2,460 metres above sea
level.
Mizoram is a land of rolling hills, rivers and lakes. As many as 21 major hills ranges or peaks of different
heights run through the length and breadth of the state, with plains scattered here and there. The average
height of the hills to the west of the state are about 1,000 metres. These gradually rise up to 1,300 metres to
the east. Some areas, however, have higher ranges which go up to a height of over 2,000 metres. The Blue
Mountain, situated in the southeastern part of the state, is the highest peak in Mizoram.
Main rivers in Chin State are Bawinu, Kaladan, Meitei(Manipur) and Tio.If Zoram is used it will denote both
East and West Zorams. The biggest river in Mizoram is River Kaladan also known as Chhimtuipui Lui in local
Mizo language. It orginates in Chin State in Myanmar and passes through Saiha and Lawngtlai districts in the
southern tip of Mizoram and goes back to Rakhine State, Burma, and finally it enters the Bay of Bengal at
Akyab. The Indian government has invested millions of rupees to set up inland water ways along this river to
trade with Myanmar. The project name is known as Kaladan Multipurpose Project.
Lakes are scattered all over Mizoram State, but the most important among these are Palak, Tamdil, Rungdil,
and Rengdil. The Palak lake is situated in Chhimtuipui District which is part of southern Mizoram and covers
an area of 30 hectares. It is believed that the lake was created as a result of an earthquake or a flood. The
local people believe that a village which was submerged still remains intact deep under the waters. The
Tamdil Lake is a natural lake situated 110/85 kms from Aizawl. Legend has it that a huge mustard plant once
stood in this place. When the plant was cut down, jets of water sprayed from the plant and created a pool of
water, thus the lake was named 'Tamdil which means of 'Lake of Mustard Plant'. Today the lake is an
important tourist attraction and a holiday resort. In Chin State there is only one sizable natural lake which
looks like a human heart. It is called “Rih“ at Rihkhuadar.
2.2. CLIMATE
Chin State and Mizoram have a mild climate: it is generally cool in summer and not very cold in winter. In
Mizoram during winter, the temperature varies from 11°C to 21°C and in summer it varies between 20°C to
29°C. Since Chin State has several more higher mountains than Mizoram the temperature in winter can drop
below freezing point in the night and frost from on the grass. Snow falls very rarely there, and when it does
the Zo people say “the mountains vomit“. The entire areas are under the regular influence of monsoons. It
rains heavily from May to September and the average rainfall is 254 cm, per annum in Mizoram. The average
annual rainfall in Aizawl and Lunglei are 208 centimeters and 350 centimeters respectively. The average
annual rainfall in Haka is 228 cm and 276 cm in Kanpetlet. Haka has an average of 118 rainy days and
Kanpetlet 127 days per year. Winter in Zoram is normally rain-free. Zoram is rich in flora and fauna and
many kinds of tropical trees and plants thrive in the area.
2.3. VEGETATION
Most parts of Chin State were originally covered with rain forests, as the following information will reveal.
However, deforestation is a very big problem nowadays, especially in central and northern Chin State. The
main culprit of this problem is the Burmese government. Since the government does not do anything for the
economic development of Chin State, people have to use every available fertile plots and forests for both
cultivation and for firewood. And the people themselves are also partly to be blamed because they do not
look for alternative and new ways of living - that is, for instance, they keep on building new houses that are
no more suitable for the present conditions, or keep on depending on traditional foodstuff that need a great
deal of firewood, and so on.
With regard to vegetation of Chin inhabited territories and their immediate neighbouring regions see the
following quotations(quoted as posted by the Online Burma Library on 24.12.2002/
www.burmalibrary.org).
2.3.1. Chin Hills-Arakan Yoma Montane Forests (IM0109)
The Chin Hills-Arakan Yoma Montane Rain Forests [IM0109] are globally outstanding for bird richness,
partly because they acted as a refugia during recent glaciation events... Much of the southern Chin Hills
remains biologically unexplored. Hunting and habitat loss have led to the local extinctions of several
mammals in recent times, including the gaur(Bos gaurus), elephant(Elephas maxismus), and
rhinoceros(Davis et al. 1995)... (National Geographic Society 1999)...
http://www.worldwildlife.org/wildworld/profiles/terrestrial/im/im0109_full.html
2.3.2. Mizoram-Manipur-Kachin Rain Forests (IM0131)
The Mizoram-Manipur-Kachin Rain Forests [IM0131] has the highest bird species richness of all
ecoregions that are completely within the Indo-Pacific region. Therefore these rugged mountains'
biodiversity remains largely unknown. This large ecoregion represents the semi-evergreen submontane rain
forests that extend from the midranges of the Ara-kan Yoma and Chin Hills north into the Chittagong Hills
of Bangladesh, the Mizo and Naga hills along the Myanmar-Indian border, and into the
northern hills of Myanmar...
http://www.worldwildlife.org/wildworld/profiles/terrestrial/im/im0131_full.html
2.3.3. Naga-Manipuri-Chin Hills Moist Forests (34)
This ecoregion is one of the richest areas for birds and mammals in all of Asia. This Global 200 ecoregion
is made up of these terrestrial ecoregions: Northern Triangle subtropical forests; Mizoram-Manipur-Kachin
rain forests; Chin Hills-Arakan Yoma montane forests; Meghalaya subtropical forests; Northeast India-
Myanmar pine forests...
http://www.worldwildlife.org/wildworld/images/profiles/g200/g034.html
2.3.4. Northeast India-Myanmar Pine Forests (IM0303)
The Northeast India-Myanmar Pine Forests [IM0303] is one of only four tropical or subtropical conifer
forest ecoregions in the Indo-Pacific region. Location and General Description: These forests are found in
the north-south Burmese-Java Arc. The Arc is formed by the parallel folded mountain ranges that culminate
in the Himalayas in the north. Moving south are the mountain ranges of Patkoi, Lushai Hills, Naga Hills,
Manipur, and the Chin Hills...
http://www.worldwildlife.org/wildworld/profiles/terrestrial/im/im0303_full.html
3. ADMINiSTRATION
The British put several Zo tribes and their areas in today‘s Burma under a single administration area and
administered it with an act known as the Chin Hills Regulation 1896. This regulation was replaced by the
Chin Special Division Act of 1948, which was adopted on October 22, 1948. There were six sub-divisions in
the Chin Special Division: Tiddim, Falam, Haka, Mindat, Paletwa and Kanpetlet. The Chin Special Division was
changed to Chin State under Section 30(B) of the Constitution of the Union of Burma adopted on January 3,
1974. And the former six sub-divisions were then transformed into nine townships: Tonzang, Tiddim,
Falam, Hakha(Capital), Thantlang, Matupi, Mindat, Paletwa and Kanpetlet. Since 2000 three more townships,
namely Rezua. Rihkhuadar and Cikha, were added. So, altogether there are 12 townships.
Mizoram is divided into 8 districts: Aizawl, Champhai, Lawngtlai, Lunglei, Kolasib, Mamit, Saiha and
Serchhip.
4.0. ECONOMY
4.1. Agriculture
Agriculture is the mainstay of the people of Zoram. More than 70% of the total population is engaged in some
form of agriculture. The age-old practice of Jhum cultivation is carried out annually by a large number of
people living in rural areas. The climatic conditions of the state, its location in the tropic and temperate
zones, and its various soil types along with well-distributed rainfall of 1900 mm to 3000 mm spread over
eight to ten months in the year, have all contributed to a wide spectrum of rich and varied flora and fauna in
Mizoram. These natural features and resources also offer opportunities for growing a variety of horticultural
crops.
In terms of economic development, Mizoram has lagged behind in comparison to the rest of the country.
Cottage industry and other small-scale industries play an important role in its current economy. The people
of Mizoram have not taken a keen responsibility for the development of industry due to lack of market raw
materials. The industry is wanting but lately there is a much wider chance for the development of forest
products. The 9th Five Year Plan (1997–2002) gives much priority to the "agro-based industry" as nearly
70% of the population is engaged in agriculture.
4.2. Forest Products
Thirty percent of Mizoram is covered with wild bamboo forests, many of which are largely unexploited. In
spite of that, Mizoram harvests 40% of India's 80 million-ton annual bamboo crop. The current state
administration wishes to increase revenue streams from bamboo and aside from uses as a substitute for
timber, there is research underway to utilize bamboo more widely such as using bamboo chippings for
paper mills, bamboo charcoal for fuel, and a type of "bamboo vinegar" which was introduced by Japanese
Scientist Mr. Hitoshi Yokota, and used as a fertilizer.
All the bamboos used in Rakhine State in Burma was extracted mainly from the Paletwas area in southern
Chin State. Besides, several kinds of hardwood, such as Teak(Tectona grandis), Pinkado(Xykua dolabriformis)
etc., and Cinnamon(Cinnamomum) are found in abundance southern Chin State. (“Union of Burma: Customs
and Culture of Indigenous Peoples - The Chins, p.13/ see References).
“The pine is not the species Longifolia, but Pinus khassia, and is the best resin-producing tree in the
world; it is found throughout the length and breadth of the hills, generally growing only to a moderate size.
The natives use the tree for planks for building purposes and for torches...It is more than possible that a
resin industry will be successfully worked in the future, as resin is scare in India and commands a high
price, and each year we put less money into the hands of the natives, who, having acquired a taste for
articles of European manufacture, will, when they find that cooly[coolie] work is not obtainable, procure
resin and sell it either to the Forest Officers or to traders in the Upper Chindwin and Pakokku districts.“(Carey
and Tuck, Vol. I, p. 8)
Until today the Chins do not have any say at all in exploiting their own natural resources.
4.3. Mines & Minerals
Zoram is predominently made of silty shale and sandstone. Limestone and igneous rocks are also found. The
silty shale and limestone are of soft formation. Because of this, roads built on the slopes of the mountains in
Chin State are difficult to maintain. Ngaw Cin Pau, a Chin geologist, named these rocks “Zoflysch“ because of
their similirity to the Flysch rocks of the Alps in Switzerland. Suangdawmual, Bukpivum, Ngullumual, Leisan,
Dawimual and many other small peaks along the the Zoram-Burma border are built of chromite and nickel
bearing ultrabasic rocks. Garnierite, a nickel silicate mineral, was found there. The nickel content was 1.19
to 4.49 percent.
The present main mineral of Mizoram is a hard rock of Tertiary period formation. This is mainly utilized as
building material and for road construction work. However, several reports (both from Geological Survey of
India and State Geology & Mining Wing of Industries Department) revealed that the availability of minor
mineral in different places.
4.4. Handlooms & Handicrafts
Zo women typically use a hand loom to make clothing and other handicrafts, such as a type of bag called
Pawnpui and blankets. The Mizo rarely did much craft work until the British first came to Mizoram in 1889
when a demand for their crafts was created with this exposure to foreign markets. Currently, the production
of hand looms is also being increased, as the market has been widening within and outside Zoram.
4.5. Tourism
With its abundant scenic beauty and a pleasant climate, Mizoram hopes to develop its tourist-related
industries. Specific tourist projects can be developed to put Mizoram on the "tourist map" of India. With the
development of Reiek resort centre and a number of other resort centres in and around Aizawl, as well as
establishment of tourist's huts across the entire state,tourism has been much developed. Tourists, however,
require a special permit for visit called “Innerline Permit“. Anyone who wants to visit Mizoram must apply
this permit at the Indian diplomatic mission in the country of his residence before leaving for India because
this permit cannot be applied inside India.
As for Chin State foreign tourists are not permitted to enter it without special permission from the central
government.
4.6. Energy Sector
Despite having a rich potential in hydropower, Mizoram does not having its own power generation operation
worth mentioning. At present, there are 22 isolated Diesel Power Stations scattered about the state and 9
Mini/Micro Hydel Stations in operation. The above total installed capacity of the Diesel Power Stations is
26.14MW and the Mini/Micro Hydel Stations is 8.25 MW. As per the 16th Electric Power Survey of India
under CEA, Government of India, the restricted peak load demand of the state during the 2002-2003 year is
102 MW. Against this, an effective capacity of about 16 MW from Diesel Power Stations and 6 MW from the
Mini/Micro Hydel Stations is available from local generation at present.
According to the Burmese government‘s official statistics of 2005, there were 10 hydroelectric plants
constructed by the government and three more plants contructed and owned by private investors in Chin
State.
5.0. INFRASTRUCTURE
5.1. Roads
Mizoram is connected through National Highway 54. NH-150 connects the state with Seling in Mizoram, to
Imphal in Manipur. NH-40A links the State with Tripura.A road between Champhai and Tiddim Myanmar will
soon connect the two countries.
According to the 2005 official statiscs the total length of all the motor roads in Chin State was about
1,062 miles or 1700 kilometers. Out of these only 194 miles are paved or tarred. That means the rest are
only dry-season-only roads. And many of them are only jeepable. Even among these roads several were
constructed and maintained by the local people without any government help.
5.2. Air Services
Mizoram has only one airport, Lengpui Airport, near Aizawl and this Airport can be reached from Kolkata by
Air within a short period of 40 minutes. Mizoram is also accessible from Kolkata via Silchar Airport, which is
about 200 Kms. from the state capital of Mizoram. There were only four air ports on the edge of Chin State,
namely, Kalaymyo, Gangaw, Saw and Hti Lin. But since several years ago only Kalaymyo is still in use. The
rest are too small for the jet airplanes which are now in service.
5.3. Railways
Mizoram can be easily reached by train at Bairabi rail station or via Silchar. Bairabi is about 110 Kms, where
Silchar is about 180 Kms. from the state capital. Since a couple of years ago Chin State has got railway
connections to central Burma through the Pakokku-Gangaw-Kalaymyo railways.
5.4. Water Ways
Mizoram is in the process of developing water ways with the port of Akyab Sittwe in Myanmar along
Chhimtuipui River.India is investing $103 million to develop the Sittwe port on Myanmar's northern coast,
about 160 km from Mizoram. Myanmar committed $10 million for the venture, which is part of the Kaladan
Multipurpose project [8]. Kaladan River is navigable from Sittwe up to Paletwa, a town in southen Chin State.
There are steamship services along the Chindwin River and Kalaywa is a port through which Chin State has
access to the rest of the country. Kalaywa itself is located in Sagaing Division.
6. EDUCATION and HEALTH
Under Mizoram University, there are 29 undergraduate colleges including 2 professional institutions
affiliated with the university. The total enrollment in these institutions is approximately 5200 students.
According to the 2005 official statistics of Burma there were 1057 Primary Schools, 86 Middle Schools and
39 High Schools in Chin State. There were 4,540 teachers. There are one university, one computer college
and another technical college all in Kalaymyo in Sagaing Division. Chin State has only 24 hospitals with
altogether 500 beds, and 45 Health Centres in Chin State in 2005.
7.0 HISTORY
7.1. Introduction

It was the Portugese, who first came to Arakan and Bengal, and the British long arm of colonialism appeared
as a trading company called “The East India Company“. It established a base in Bengal to trade with Bengalis,
and in 1760, Meer Kasim, the King of Bengal, ceded Chittagong to Lord Clive of the East India Company. The
British then invaded the Assam and Surma valleys, driving out the Burmans who occupied these territories.
The first contacts between the British and the Chins took place in 1765, when the British in the name of the
East India Company invaded Cachar and Sylhet( India). The British expanded their trade into Burma and
annexed lower Burma in 1824. This is known as the first Anglo-Burman War(1824-1826). The British drove
the Burmans out of Manipur and at the same time invaded Arakan (present day Rakhine State in Burma). The
British then advanced on to the southern part of Chinland.
The first armed conflicts between the British and Chins took place in 1824-26 in Paletwa area in southern
Chinland(present day Chin State). The Khami(also known as Khumi) Chins stood against the British in
various villages such as Miwa, Tansi, Kuwa, Singtaung, Salingmen, and Maungnama hills. The British took
over the southern part of Paletwa region and opened an outpost in Paletwa in 1826. Between 1834 and 1854
alone the British recorded neineteen raids. In 1860 the Lakher Chins(whom the British called “Shendus“)
made such a fierce raid on the Chakmas in Chittagon Hills that the British recorded the event as the “Great
Kuki Invasion“. Between 1863 and 1869 the Chins made thirty nine raids on the Arakan Valley.
The official British invasion of Chinland/Zoram began in 1871 with a military expedition made up of two
columns. “The Government of India now decided that an expedition should be made into the Lushai country
during the ensuing cold weather(1871-72). It was decided that the force should consist of two columns, the
right advancing from Chittagong and the left from Cachar. General Brownlow, C.B., commanded the former,
with Captain Lewin, Superintendent of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, as Civil Officer; and General Bourchier, C.B.,
with Mr. Edgar, Deputy Commissioner of Cachar, as Civil Officer, was in charge of the left or Cachar column.
In addition to these two columns, a contingent of Manipuris accompanied by General Nuthall, the Political
Agent of Manipur, made a demonstration across the southern border to co-operate with General Bourchier‘s
portion of the expedition.“(Carey & Tuck, Vol. I, pp.15-16). Both columns had more than 500 men each. This
expedition was known as The Lushai Expedition, 1871-72.
7.2. THE CHIN-LUSHAI EXPEDITION(1889-90)
The Governnment of Bengal had good reason for wishing to settle the Lushais once and for all at exactly the
same time as the Burma Government found it imperative to face the Chin question in the interests of the
newly acquired province of Upper Burma. It therefore happened that the Chins were dealt with from the east
and the Lushais from the west at the same time, for while a column from Burma was being pushed forward
into the Siyin country in December 1888, Colonel Tregear in command of a column of 850 strong, with two
mountain guns, entered the Lushai country from Chittagong via Rangamutti and Demagiri...The result of the
1888-89 expedition was the punishment of several villages and the establishment of Fort Lungleh in the
heart of the South Lushai tract...As soon as the country was again practicable Colonel, now Brigadier-
General, Tregear marched a second time into Lushai from Chittagong to complete the work of the former
expedition and was placed in command of 3,400. The expedition is called The Chin-Lushai Expedition of
1889-90. Forces advancing from Burma and Assam worked in co-operation. The punishment of the Lushais
was completed.“(Carey & Tuck, Vol. I, p.13)
“...The troops operating from Burma were to be divided into two columns, one called the Fort White
column operating from Fort White as a base against the Siyins and the tribes between the base and the
Manipur river, the other called the Gangaw column starting from Gangaw as a base and advancing via Yokwa
on Haka...The Southern column[the Gangaw column] which was to advance from Kan into the southern Chin
Hills under General Symons, consisted of 1,869 men. The Northern column, which was to operate from Fort
White, consisted of 1,622 men under Colonel Skene.“(Carey & Tuck, Vol. I, pp. 33-34)
7.3. HISTORY OF THE LAIS(HAKAS, KLANGLANGS, YOKWAS, KAPI, AND THETTAS
7.3.1. Origin of the Lais
_ The clans which claim the title of Lais are the Hakas, Klangklangs, Yokwas, Thettas, and Kapis, as well as
certain other independent southern villages. The first two are universally acknowledged as Lais, and refuse
to admit that the others belong to their race, asserting that they are of a different origin...There was now an
enormous tract of country at the disposal of the Haka Chiefs, and certain portions appear to have been
alotted to each, and it became the custom for the younger branches of the chief families to leave the mother-
village and found villages in the newly acquired territory under the protection of, and paying tribute to, the
Hakas...The Haka territory was acquired more by colonization than by force of arms, and less than one-
fourth of the villages now tributary to the Haka Chiefs are the result of conquest. Apparently in the time of
Yahmon and Tat Sin the territory then belonging to Haka was divided amongst the Chiefs, who sent out the
younger branches of their families to form and rule villages which should pay tribute to themselves at Haka.
In nearly every case the descent of the Chiefs now ruling villages can be traced back to the old Haka stock,
the chief families of which are, - (1) Shanpi, (2) Shante, ( 3) Nunthwasun, (4) Darkwasun, (5) Kenlaut, and the
following pedigrees show how the Chiefs were related to each other, and the names of the villages still ruled
by their direct descendants, as well as the relationships upon which the present Haka Chiefs base their claim
to levy tribute. The disarmament of the Hakas was commenced in 1895, and up to the end of March in that
year 605 guns had been withdrawn. (Carey and Tuck, Vol. 1, pp. 152-156)
7.3.2. The Haka-Burman War
_ The Hakas now declared that they were no longer friendly with the Burmans, and commenced a series of
raids which were only put to an end by our occupation of the hills. The Burmans seem to have suffered in
patience until Lon Seo, the grandfather of Vanlein[Van Lian], was ruling Haka, when they determined to send
a punitive expedition into the hills, and an army said to have been 1,000 strong and led by Maung Myat
San, apparently the same man as the leader of the Burmans in the attack on the Lushais, advanced into the
hills. Bondwa, Yokwa, Vanhna, and Haka were destroyed in succession, the Lais offering but little opposition
to the advance of the force. The Burmans had hoped to find supplies at Haka, but all the grain had been
removed, and finding themselves short of provisions they began to retreat by the line along which the Hata
road now runs. The Lais swarmed upon their flanks and rear, and at the pass half-way between Haka and
Faron a successful onslaught, led in person by Lon Seo, created a panic, and the Burmans fled in all
directions. The Hakas boast that only Maung Myat San, who knew the paths, escaped. In any case the defeat
was decisive, for the Burmans never again attempted to invade the Haka terrritory, while the Lais,
emboldened by their success, organized a series of ferocious raids into Burma which were almost invariably
successful, and by which they obtained guns, money, and cattle in ransom for captives...(Carey & Tuck, Vol.
I, pp. 152-156)
7.3.3. Visit of Chins to Rangoon
_ Late in September[1891]permission was given for a party of Chiefs to be taken to Rangoon and after some
difficulty, representative Chiefs of Haka, Thetta, Klangklang, Kapi, and Yokwa were persuaded to go. It was
hoped that the visit would show the Chins how small and insignificant their country was and give them an
idea of the power and resources of the British. To this end they were shown the garrison and batteries at
Rangoon, and parades were held for their edification at Myingyan and Mandalay. These hopes were realized
to some extent, for the Chiefs returned, astounded at the steamers, railways, and machinery, dazed by the
speed and distances they had travelled, and bewildered and cowed at the size and population of the towns.
They were, however, too uncivilized to understand all they had seen, and it is feared that their friends and
relatives do not believe all that those who visited Rangoon tell them, but put them down as travellers‘ tales.
(Carey & Tuck, Vol. I, p. 60)
7.3.4. The Haka and Thado-Kuki Rebellions(1917-19)*
When World War I broke out in Europe Britain mobilized all her human resources to add strength to her
fighting troops, and she recruited soldiers and noncombatants from all her colonies. In 1916 about half a
million noncombatants from Brtish India and Burma were sent to Mestopotamia, Iran, France and Turkey.
Among them were 4,000 young Chins. 2,100 young men from the Lushai Hills District went to France
voluntarily. The British demanded a fixed number of young able-bodied men from every tribe and village for
the French labour camps. But more men were demanded in 1917, one thousand men from each of the
administrative subdivisions of Falam, Haka and Tedim. The Chins, who had never left their country, feared
that their youths would never come back, as was the case with some who had gone earlier. Moreover, the
people still resented the collection of arms and slaves by the British.
So the first uprising broke out in the Haka region in September 1917 by Vankio, Chief of Zokhua. The
rebellion was joined by other chiefs in the region, namely Haka and Thlantlang. From the main areas of
uprising in Zokhua, Khuapi, Aitung, Surkhua, Hnaring and Sakta the rebellion spread in the later part of
1918 to Zonghing in Mindat and the southern Lushai Hills, covering the upper Bawinu to Wantu, Lailet and
Ngaphai. 18 villages were burned down and more than 600 guns were confiscated at the end of the
uprising.
As Pamberton, the British negotiator, ceded part of the Chin country to Manipur. The land occupied by
the Thados fell within the semi-independent Minipur Kingdom. When in 1917 Manipur authorities
demanded that a large number of young men go to Europe, the Thado chiefs decided to stand against the
Manipuris and the British. They refused to send a single man. The uprising was joined by other Thados,
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
* In his dissertation(Religion and Politics among the Chin People in Burma -1896-1949. Uppsala University. 2000, Dr. Lian Hmung L. Sakhong)
Sakhong has mentioned only about the Haka Rebellion, but completely omitted the other two major rebellions: the Sizang-Gungal - and Thado-Kuki
Rebellions. Sakhong comes from Haka. In this dissertation he writes: “At one time or another, from the first invasion in 1871 to the last and final
war in 1919, every branch, every clan and every tribe of the Chin was involved in the resistance. But the last and final war was fought only by the
Laimi tribe, particularly from Haka and its surrounding areas such as Zokhua, Senthang, Zophei, Lautu and Mara. Therefore, the war was commonly
known in Chin as Lai Ral[Lai War].“ p. 245. Actually, Vumson has dealt extensively with both of the Thado-Kuki and Haka rebellions under the title of
Thado-Haka Resistance Movement 1917-1919 in his book(pp. 133-137). And Sakhong has had even quoted several times in his dissertation from
this book.
who lived in the hill regions surrounding the Manipur valley, covering an area of 7,000 square miles. As
the British had collected arms from the Thados prior to the uprisings they had to use mostly only spears and
bows and a handful of guns at the begining of the rebellion. Even then the rebellion lasted from December
1917 up to May 1919. In early 1918 the British employed 2,400 rifles under the command of Brigadier-
General Macquoid, whose base was in Mawlaik. Almost one third of all the Thado villages were burned
down to the last house and several Thado chiefs and resistance fighters were captured and sent to jails
where some of them died in captivity. Altogether 970 guns were confiscated from the Thados areas alone
from the time of the British annexation to the end of the rebellion.
7.4. THE HISTORY OF THE SIYIN TRIBE
(Origin and distribution of the Siyins) Carey & Tuck, Vol. I, pp.127-133

7.4.1. Origin of the Siyins
_ “The origin of the progenitors of the Siyin tribe is, according to the natives, shrouded in mystery.
Tradition states that a gourd fell from the heavens and, bursting with the fall, emitted a man and a woman;
these became the Chin Adam and Eve, and their garden of Eden was Chin Nwe, a village already mentioned.
This story is not peculiar to the Siyins, but is believed by all the tribes in the Northern Chin Hills...As the
Sokete forefathers left the first village and moved south, thus earning the name of “Sok“ Te, so the Siyins
moved east and settled near some alkali springs, after which the sept was given the general name of
“She“=alkali and “Yan“= side. The “Sheyantee“ has been corrupted into “Siyin“ by the Burmans and we have
accepted their pronunciation for general use. The Siyins are called “Taute“ or “Taukte“ by the Luashais and
Southern Chins, “Tau“ meaning “stout“ or “sturdy“ and “te“ is the plural affix implying “people“.
... The history of the Siyin tribe before Chief No-man‘s [Ngo Mang] reign is not exciting; the tribe was small
and not in position to annoy its neighbours. In No-man‘s reign, however, the Siyins waged wars in Lushai,
fought against the Manipur army in 1857, and had no less than six wars with the Tashons, in three of which
the latter and the Burmans were allies. On one occassion the Siyins were divided against themselves and No-
man had to face the united forces of the Tashons, Burmans, Soktes, and Limkhais... Kuppow[Khup Pau, son
of Ngo Mang] then set out to meet the Burmans and attacked them on the Letha range and entirely overthrew
them and chased them back to Burma. The Siyins state that they took four heads, two prisoners, one cannon,
two guns, and all the baggage of the force. Kuppow then started out to meet the second Burmese army,
which was advancing on Koset[Khuasak] from the north; but it had already heard of the overthrow of the
eastern force and retreated through the Sokte tract back to the plains, paying the Soktes a bribe for assisting
them in their retreat. This was the last Burmese attempt before our occupation of Upper Burma. The next
foreign force to enter the Siyin tract was that under General Faunce in 1888-89. the Siyins say that they
never raided in Burma before the time when Kanhow[Kam Hau] was Chief of the Kanhows and No-man was
Chief of the Twantaks... In No-man‘s time the Siyins were chiefly armed with spears, and hence their heavy
losses. No-man, however, realized that the Siyins were but a small community and that to hold its own it
must be well armed. During his lifetime the Siyins first became possessed of arms, procured for the most
part from Burma. In Koppow‘s time the majority of the guns acquired by the tribe came from the west and
were purchased from the Lushais. The deadly feud with Burma, which commenced in No-man‘s time owing to
the murder of Chins in the Kale valley, was prosecuted orginally from motives of revenge. But the Siyins soon
discovered that raiding was profitable also, as the captives whom they carried off could be ransomed for
guns. In No-man‘s time the Siyins armed themselves by capturing Burmans, whom they exchanged for guns,
sulphur, lead and iron.
7.4.2. Advance into the Siyin Country
(The Expedition of 1889-89)
Preparations for Operations against the Siyins _ An expedition against the Chins on modified scale was now
sanctioned. It was determined to deal first of all only with the Siyins and to inflict on them such a crushing
blow as not only to cripple them for the future, but also to terrify the Tashons into giving up the rebels
Shwe Gyo Byu* and his followers, and the Shan captives.
Commencement of the Operations _ On the 7th December[1888] the Siyins commenced the fighting by
mortally wounding Lieutenant Palmer, R.E., who was in command of the Madras Sappers. He was shot
through the stomach from an ambush close to the stockade and died the next day and was buried at
Kambale...On Christmas day a determined attack was made on the working party, which was under the
direction of Lieutenant Butcher of the 42nd Gurkhas. The Chins were in great force, and we now know that
the Tashons and Siyins were fighting side by side on this occasion. The Chins swooped down from the
heights on to the party, which was working on a narrow spur, and attacked them from all four sides, fighting
under cover of heavy undergrowth... Whilst disputing every stage of our advance into their hills, the Chins
showed considerable tactical ability by taking offensive in the plains and attacking Shan villages and our
posts in the rear of the advancing column.
Advance into the Hills _ On the 30th December[1888] Sir George White arrived at Kambale and accompanied
the force, which continued steadily advancing up the hills, the Sappers assisted by coolies making a road in
the track, along which were constructed rough stockades, in which the troops slept and rations were stored.
The troops found their route always heavily stockadeed and the stockades generally held by the enemy, who
never ceased to ambush when opportunity occurred, both day and night.
Encounter with Siyins _ On 27th January[1889] the road-making party was again confronted by Chins. The
working party was sent back to the stockade and the troops, now unencumbered, attacked the enemy, who
retired slowly, making a stubborn resistance, till they reached formidable and skilfully placed stockades,
where they made a stand. Sir George White, at our stockade, hearing heavy firing in front, joined the
attacking party with a small enforcement of the 42nd Gurkhas, and at once ordered, and took prominent part
in the charge, which was “brilliantly led by Lieutenant-Colonel Skene, D.S.O.[He later was killed in action in
Manipur. tzd] Sir George White, in a telegram to the Chief Commissioner of Burma, described the action as
follows:-
‘Enemy**yesterday attacked our working party on road above this and held our covering party, 40 British
and 100 Gurkha, from 9 till 2, when I arrived and ordered their positions to be charged. We carried all,
driving them entirely away, getting off ourselves wonderfully cheaply. Only one Norfolk dangerously
wounded. Enemy in considerable numbers, using many rifles and ammunition. They fired at least 1,000
rounds, standing resolutely until actually charged, even trying to outflank us. Their loss probably about
eight or ten, but they were carried down the khuds at once. Most difficult enemy to see or hit I ever
fought.‘
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
* He was known in Burma as “Prince Shwe Gyo Byu“, who led a rebellion against the British in 1887 in the districts of Myingyan, Chindwin and Pagan
areas in central Burma. He and his followers took refuge in the Tashon territory. They later voluntarily surrendered to the British, but he was
hanged some years later.
** The resistance forces consisted of 1,200 Sizangs, 400 Kamhaus and 30 Sukte.(Vumson p. 118)
(Telegram No. 82, dated the 28th. January 1889)
The result of this action was a serious blow to the Siyins and they now realized that it was impossible to
save their villages. The fight had taken place at one of their historic battle-fields, for it was here that they
had overthrown an army sent against them by the King of Burma in former days.* On 22nd January after
several skirmishes, in which we suffered loss, General Faunce proceeded to the summit of the Letha range
and from an altitute of 8,200 feet looked down on the Siyin villages lying 3,000 feet below him. No. 4
stockade was established on 31st January and No. 5 three days later. Accompanied by Sir George White**
and Major Raike, General Faunce advanced on Koset(Siyin) on 4th February with a strong force.
(Carey & Tuck, Vol. 1, pp. 26-29)
Manner of dealings with Siyins _ Experience has taught us that we should not allow the Siyins to scatter in
small hamlets, and for years to come it will probably be necessary to confine them to large villages placed
near our posts and out of sight of their once happy raiding grounds in Burma. We have also learned that the
Siyin is a thief by nature and must not be trusted. Owing to the great difficulty in detecting offences it is
very advisable to hold the whole tribe responsible for every theft which is committed in the Siyin country,
unless the offender is handed up for punishment...To Political Officers of the future the following advice is
ventured. Never pardon a Siyin for any offence, never allow Kaikam[Khai Kam] to return to Chinland, and
never forget that we owe a deep debt of gratitude to Mang Lon[Mang Lun], the Sagyilain [Sakhiling/Liimkhai]
Chief, who stood by us and assisted us during years of great anxiety and when the Siyins were armed and
formidable.(Carey & Tuck, Vol. I. p. 134)
7.4.3. The Battle of Siallum(Tartan)***
- On 4th May 1889 the last action of the expedition was fought and it merits full description. Some new huts
had been noticed on the site of Tartan[Taitan], and to destroy these a party was sent from Fort White
(Thuklai) on 4th May. The following account is taken almost verbatim from the report of Captain C.H.
Westmoreland, 42nd Gurkha Light Infantry... The village called by us “New Tartan“ is known to the Chins as
Shellum[Siallum], and they give the following account of the fight. Shellum was a settlement in which about
100 persons of the Bweman[Buanman] clan lived. They had built block-houses in case of surprise by the
troops, who actually did surprise them; the first intimation they received of their approach was seeing a
fox-terrier which was in advance of the troops. The Chins, men, women, and children, all crowded into the
block-houses, approximately 80 in number; they had time to get well into their positions as the troops
marched past the village before they saw it. The troops then turned and attacked the block-houses.
Tweenty-nine Chins were killed and 11 wounded. Lyan Kam[Lian Kam] the Bwenman Chief, was killed.
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
* Footnotes 1 Carey & Tuck, Vol. I, p. 133: “The fight took place at the same spot which the Siyins held so doggedly against General Faunce‘s
advance in 1889. Footnote 2. The Burmese army‘s invasion in question took place in Kasone, 1239[January 1878] according to Burmese chronicles.
Authour‘s Note: And some of the greatest battles between the British and Japanese in Burma also took place around this location in World War II.
See MAP 4.
** He was born on July 6, 1835. Educated at Sandhurst, entered the Army in 1853; served in the Indian Mutiny with the 27th Inniskilling‚ Fusilieers,
and in the Afghan War of 1879-80 with the 92nd Gordon Highlanders. In September 1885 he was appointed to a brigade of the Madras army detailed
for service in Burma, and took part in the occupation of Mandalay. From 1886-1889, he commanded the forces in Upper Burma[with the rank of
Major- General]. He returned to his Headquarters in Mandalay in the middle of February 1889 after conquering the Siyins. On the 8th of April 1893,
he succeeded Lord Roberts as Commander-in-Chief in India, a post he held until his return to England in 1897, when he was appointed
Quartermaster-General of the Forces in England. In 1899 he was selected to command the British forces in Natal, South Africa. His name is
especially associated with the defence of Ladysmith, where the British lost 12,000 men. He received the V.C.(on three recommendations for two
separate Victoria Crosses) and C.B. and a brevet lieutenant-colonelcy in 1879 for his services in the Afghan war./Time.(Vum Ko Hau. pp. 396-398)
For further information on him, especially how he got the Victoria Cross, visit Wikipedia under George Stuart White.
*** See PHOTO 1
Dolyin‘s[Do Lian] youngest brother was killed and Tan Chim[Thang Cin], another brother, wounded. Dolyin
came out of it all right, but five years later died in the Myingyan jail.(THE BATTLE OF TARTAN** by Sir Betram
S. Carey, K.C.I.E., C.B./Vum Ko Hau, pp. 168-69).
_ Telegram from the District Staff Officer, Burma, to the Chief Secretary to the Chief Commissioner, Burma.-
No. 1283, dated the 9th May 1889.
“ General Faunce wires. “Begins: 323 C.F., Fort White, May 5th 1889. A new Siyin village near site of Tartan,
south-east of this, having been seen from Sagyilain by party referred to in my 320C.F., I sent 65 Rifles,
Norfolk, 60 Rifles, 42nd, under Major Shepherd, Norfolk, yesterday to destroy new Tartan which consisted
of 15 houses. No opposition till after troops entered village, at bottom of which two very strong stockades,
flanking each other and connected by covered way with plank-roof. Siyin Chins held their fire till troops
were within 50 yards. They stood their ground and fought with great pluck, eight being killed with the
bayonet. In the first stockade their loss was 30 killed and many wounded. I regret our loss was heavy.“
(Vum Ko Hau, p. 169.)
Pau Thual, a heroic defender of the Taitan Fort , composed this song:*
Phung Sakluang leh leido sakluang
Tul Luang thing bang hong ki phom
Phung luang lumsuang bang beal ing
Pu von min nam sial ing
Bodies of relatives and enemy
Were heaped like logs on one another
Bodies of relatives served as my fort
And called the heroic names of my clansmen
as I killed the enemy
The following poem was composed by the late Rev. T. Hau Go Sukte(see RELIGION) in honour of the heroines
and heroes of the Battle of Siallum.
SIALLUM FORTRESS
(Battle of Siallum 4th May 1889)
Mark ye well this honoured spot,
Stained with blood of heroes slain;
They to keep our ancient lot,
Fought a horde from Great Britain.
Mark ye th’historic date,
Eighteen eighty nine May fourth;
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
* Vum Ko Hau, p. 232
Note: Emphases on the previous two and this pages are of my own. Author
When for us who born of late,
They their precious blood poured forth;
Sowed the seed of liberty.
(Source: X-Sender: khoiksm@hotmail.com[Rev. Khoi Lam Thang]
To: suantak@us.net
Cc: zomi@yahoogroups.com, Zoni@onelist.com, ciimnuai@yahoogroups.com,
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 11:45:34 -0000
Subject: [ZONET] May ni 4 ni leh SIALLUM KULH
––––––––––––––
_ The Chin leader[Vum Ko Hau] is heir to the ruling Lunman clan of the Siyin Chins. Some of his grand
uncles fell in the action against General Sir George White‘s army at No. 3 Stockade and at Tartan in the Siyin
Valley. At this latter place 60 out of 80 holders of the Fort fell on May 4, 1889. Lieut.-Colonel F.S. Le
Quense won the Victoria Cross (Times April 18th 1950.) But his own dashing qualities of leadership and
toughness in resisting Burma‘s enemies during the Second World War were natural qualities he breathed at
his birthplace: Fort White. This very hight post bears the name of Field Marshal Sir George White, V.C., O.M.,
G.C.B.,G.C.S.I., G.C.M.I.E., G.C.I.E., G.C.V.O., LL.D., who took three years to subdue the heroic Siyin Chins
after the fall of Mandalay and the humiliation of King Thibaw.(Diplomats in Outline:Vum Ko Hau of Siyin
Valley - “THE DIPLOMATIS“ The Review of the Diplomatic and Consular World. London./Vum Ko Hau, p.
135.)
7.4.4. The Siyin-Nwengal[Sizang-Gungal] Rebellion(1892-93)*

At the beginning of the year 1892 the impact of the British presence was felt everywhere. Coolies were
demanded from villages and heavy fines were increasingly imposed for any sign of opposition. What made
the Chins most determined to oppose the British was their demand for the freeing of slaves and the
collection of guns as fines. In the Hualngo-Lusei area, Nikhuai, a Zahau chief, who ruled a mixture of Lusei,
Zahau and Paite tribes rebelled against the British. Three other Lusei chiefs also refused to meet British
demands. Several Chin tribes in the Gungal area(the right bank of the Manipur River), the Sukte and Kamhau
tracts rebelled against the British, including Thuam Thawng, Chief of Kaptel. Thuam Thawng persuaded
other Chins, especially the Sizangs, to stand against the British. Chief Khai Kam of Khuasak, Thuam Thawng,
Pau Dal(son of Thuam Thawng), and Khan Hau, Chief of Heilei, decided to send messengers to Lusei, Haka,
Tashon and Za Hau chiefs. The messengers brought back news of the willingness of these people to
cooperate with them, and it was decided to invite Mr. Carey, the Political Officer, to Pumva village and to
ambush and kill him.
“Whilst engaged on this tour in the south, Twum Tong[Thuam Thawng], the Chief of Kaptyal[Kapteel],
succeeded in inducing the Twuntak[Thuantak] and Toklai[Thuklai] clans of Siyins to join common cause with
him, to rebel and attempt to drive our troops from the hills.** The story of the outbreak of the rebellion and
the subsequent operations was given in detail by Mr. Carey in a report to the local Government, dated the
26th May 1893, and the following extract from his report may be utilized to continue the thread of this
narrative: -
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
* Under the term “Siyin“ in this particular case the British meant those who were and still are living at such villages as Pimpi, Shwimpi(Suangpi),
Phunom, Zung, Thangnuai, Laibon(Laibung), Mualtuk, Dimlo, Darbon(Dakbung) etc. These villages are located in the immediate vicinity of these core
Siyin villages: Toklaing(Thuklai), Koset(Khuasak), Bweman(Buanman), Sagylain(Sakhiling/Limkhai), Lope(Lophei), Pumba(Pumva), Voklak, Dolluang,
Tamdeang and Theizang. Author
** See next page for Footnote 1.
‘On 1st September 1892 I left Fort White on a protracted tour of inspection in the Southern Chin Hills, and Mr. Fowler
was left in charge of the Northern Chin Hills. When I left Fort White I looked on the behaviour of the Siyins and
Kanhows as satisfactory, all the Chiefs with the exception of Karmlung of Pomba and Kuppow of Pimpi having come in
to wish me good-bye, and I had not a suspicion of the deep plot which was then being planned by the very men who
were bidding me farewell, and as for the conduct of the Nwengals I looked on it as annoying rather than dangerous,
and I was counting on bringing them into order in another three months and as soon as the rains ceased...On the 20th
September Mr. Fowler telegraphed to me that he had received information that Lushais and Yahows had met at Kaptyal
to arrange with the Nwengals a plan for open hostilities against the Government, and that the Pimpi Chins sympathized
with the movement. On receipt of this news I made a double march to Falam and interviewed the Falam Chiefs, who
denied all knowlege of the occurrence. I telegraphed to Mr. Fowler that such a thing as Lushais and Chins combining
was impossible as the Northern Chins and the Lushais are old enemies, and I informed him that it was improbable, now
that the open season was at hand, that those villages implicated in the rising of May had met and were discussing the
advisability of war or surrender. I also instructed him to warn Pimpi not to be led into trouble and to remind them of all
they suffered in 1888-90...‘.
Mr. Fowler‘s answer was that Twum Tong had sent messengers offering to surrender and asking for terms,
and this action on his part I looked at as very natural, as Twum Tong had much to lose by war, his
magnificent village had never been destroyed, and to this fact was due his influence and the size of his
village, which was largely recruited from the Sokte villages which had been destroyed in 1888-89... During
October and November the Chin plan of campaign was carried on with vigour by the Siyins, but poor spirit
by the Nwengals; we lost several men killed and wounded, the telegraph line was destroyed, mules were
stolen, the Fort White-Kalemyo road blocked, and No. 3 Stockade attacked and fired into on several
occasions...On the 10th November Tannwe [Thangnuai] was destroyed and on the same day a large
combined force of Siyins and Sokte attempted to capture the mules and cut up their escort. The Chins were
driven off with loss and hunted over the hills...In conclusion I am able to report that the Siyins and
Nwengals have received very severe punishment for their dastardly outrage on 9th October and that the great
majority of the rebel guns have been withdrawn, whilst several of the most dangerous characters have been
deported to Burma...Taking all matters into consideration, I now think that the Siyin-Nwengal rebellion was
the very best thing that could have happened for the future peace of the Northern Hills and the Kale valley. I
now only regret that it cost us the life of Myook Maung Tun Win and the lives of so many soldiers...All
through this report I have borne in mind that the military operations were for a large portion of the
expedition personally conducted by a very senior Military Officer, Brigadier-General Palmer, C.B., and I have
therefore refrained from encroaching on what will form the subject of his dispatches. I must, however, if only
to acquit myself of the charge of egoism in my report on the expedition, place it on record that the great
results which have been achieved, in what is probably the most lengthy season‘s work which has ever been
known in the Assam chain of mountains(9th October 1892-24th May 1893) reflect the highest credit on the
troops engaged. No one realizes more than I do that it is one thing to plan and another to carry out those
plans, and that the policy and plans were loyally carried out is exemplified by the result of the partial
disarmament of a mountain tract, fully 80 miles in length and 40 in breadth(see accompanying map), and
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
** Footnote 1.(from previous page): When the Nwengals attacked Botung and resisted Captain Stevens‘ advance to the assistance of that garrision,
the Siyins had in no way identified themselves with the revolt, and it was not until July or August that they were persuaded to espouse Twum Tong‘s
cause. That old Chief realized that the murder of Me San and the attack on Botung would not pass unpunished, and he therefore convened several
councils to discuss the action which he should take. Kaikam, the son of Kuppow, the Siyin Chief, was notorious for his love of raiding and warfare,
and Twum Tong induced him to go to Kaptyal to attend his meetings. He had but small difficulty in persuading him that the Government intended
to disarm all the Chins piecemeal and that the Nwengals would be dealt with first and after the Siyins. He explained that, if the surrounding tribes
would but combine, there should be no difficulty in driving the troops from the hills and thus saving their guns. Kaikam and Twun Tong took an oath
to stand by each other and to attack the troops...“
peopled by an offshoot of the great Kuki tribe and consequently cousins to the warlike Angamis and
turbulent Naga tribes...“(Carey & Tuck, Vol. I, pp. 81-97)
The Sizangs sent a message to the Political Officer at Fort White(10 kilometres from Pumva), informing him
that Thuam Thawng was ready to surrender himself and that he brought with him an elephant tusk, a
rhinoceros horn and 150 guns to be presented to the political officer. But Mr. Carey was called to southern
Chin Hills, so that Mr. Maung Tun Win, the Township Officer in the northern Chin Hills, was assigned to the
task of going to Pumva to receive Thuam Thawng and his presents and guns. On October 9, 1892, Mr. Tun
Win and his two interpreters, and 30 soldiers who escorted them, on their way to Pumva in the Sizang
region, were ambushed by the Sizangs. Only five soldiers escaped. The rest, including Maung Tun Win and
his two Burmese interpreters, Aung Gyi and Aung Zan, were killed.(They were former slaves of the Chins and
served as interpreters for Carey, the Political Officer, since 1888.) The British retaliation was harsh. The
British sent Brigadier General Palmer with a force of 2,500 men with two mountain guns. Hundreds of
villages in the Sukte and Kamhau tracts were burned down to the ground and livestock taken away and
crops destroyed as well.
Besides, the British took family members of resistance fighters as hostages. Due to lack of food it was
impossible to keep women and children in the jungle, so they had to come out again from their half-a-
year hiding. At the end of the “Siyin-Gungal Rebellion“ several chiefs and resistance fighters from Win and
his two interpreters, were killed. The British retaliation was harsh. The British sent Brigadier General
Palmer with a force of 2,500 men with two mountain guns. Hundreds of villages in the Sukte and Kamhau
tracts were burned down to the ground and livestock taken away and crops destroyed as well. Besides, the
British took family members of resistance fighters as hostages. Due to lack of food it was impossible to
keep women and children in the jungle, so they had to come out again from their half-a- year hiding. At the
end of the “Siyin-Gungal Rebellion“ several chiefs and resistance fighters from various tribes had either
surrendered or been captured and sent to jails in Burma, where some of them died in captivity. Among
them were Chief Thuam Thawng, who died in Kindat Jail in December 1893, and his son, Pau Dal, died in the
same Jail in January 1894. Chief Khai Kam of Khuasak was sentenced to life and banished on the notorious
Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean.

7.4.5. THE SIYIN REBELLION
By Major General R.C. Stewart C.B.
Commanding Burma District
Dated Chindwin River: 21st February 1893
I beg to note, for the Chief Commissioner‘s information, the state of affairs in the Chin Hills, as the result
of my late visit to Fort White and Haka.
Note on the state of affairs in the Chin Hills in February 1893.
Military Situation: The Chief Commissioner is aware of the circumstances connected with the murder of the
Myook and a portion of the escorts by the Siyins and Nwengals, and subsequent telegrams and diaries have
related the progress of the revolt and of the operations which were deemed necessary to suppress it.
On the first outbreak of the Siyins on the 9th October 1892 the garrisons of Fort White was reinforced by
two guns of No. 7 Bombay Mountain Battery, and 100 rifles with Headquarters, 1st Burma Battalion, under
Captain Presgrave, and subsequently by 200 rifles Norfolk Regiment, under Captain Baker, which enable the
offensive to be taken with vigour; and General Palmer, Commanding the Myingyan District, arrived at Fort
White on the 1st December and assumed control of the operations. As the most effective way of dealing with
the Siyins, General Palmer asked for more troops, and so 300 rifles, 5th Burma Battalion under Lieutenant
Taylor, and the Headquarters and 400 rifles, 6th Burma Battalion, under Captain Keary, D.S.O., were added
to the force.
Posts were then established at Dimlo, Phunnum, and Montok; and on the 2nd Januray General Palmer with
two guns, 100 rifles, Norfolk Regiment; 50 rifles, 21st Pioneers, 200 rifles, 1st Battalion; 100 rifles, 5th
Burma Battalion; moved from Fort White across the Nankate[Vangteh] and on the 13th January occupied
Kaptial, [Kaptel] the principal and most recalcitrant village of the Nwengals. The policy throughout had been
to harry the revolted tribes, and to destroy their grain supplies as much as possible. Small parties have been
despatched daily from several posts to search the valley and ravines, and to hunt up Chins still lingering in
the vicinity of the occupied villages. The results have been satisfactory and the tribes are being severely
punished. It is difficult to estimate what their losses have been, because in all encounters with our troops
the Chins have invariably been seen to carry off their wounded. On our side the losses have been extemely
heavy, a total of 53 having been killed and wounded since the operations commenced.
When I left Fort White General Palmer and Mr. Carey were very hopeful that both the Nwengals and the
Siyins would shortly submit. Some guns had already been brought in from villages across the Nankate, and
Dimlo, Pomvar and other Siyin villages were asking terms. I have every reason to hope, therefore, that full
submission may shortly be expected, and I consider it a matter of congratulation that the revolt has been
localised, and that the neighbouring tribes have not joined in it.“(Vum Ko Hau, pp. 453-454)
______________
_ It is true that our instructions were to punitively visit the tribes, but that force is no remedy had been
proved with the Siyins and the Kanhows, who have taken the severest punishment with courage and
obstinacy that have excited our wonder and admiration...
_ Brigadier General W. Penn Symons, C.B. Commanding, Chin-Lushai Expeditionary Force
–––––––––––––
7.5. THE HISTORY OF THE SOKTE TRIBE
7.5.1. Origin of the Sokte
The Sokte, in common with all the Northern Chins, believed that their original progenitors commenced life
at Chin Nwe[Ciim Nuai] and they affirm that their tribal name of Sokte bears out this theory. “Sok“ or “Shok“
means “to go down“ or “below“ and “te“ is the plural affix applied to persons, and the tribal name therefore
Sokte, implying those who went south or below the parent village to settle. Molbem, which lies south of Chin
Nwe, is, we know, the original capital of the Sokte tribe.
The Soktes trace back their pedigree for six generations. Of the first two Chiefs, Mang Pyim and Mang Kim,
tradition tells us but little. They are supposed to have fostered the little settlement at Molbem, which became
a large and flourishing village in Mang Kim‘s time. Both these Chiefs are buried at Molbem.
7.5.2. Rise and Deeds of Kantum
_ “The first name of real note in the history of the Sokte is that of Mang Kim‘s son, Kantum[Khan Thuam]. As
a young man, Kantum quarrelled with his father‘s people and lived in the south till Mang Kim‘s death. He
then returned, accompanied by followers from the Tashon country, and placing himself at the head of
the Sokte family proceeded to conquer the Northern Chin Hills. He carried his arms right up to the plains of
Manipur; and all the tribes he met with on the way either paid him tribute without fighting, or paid him
tribute after having defeated. The great work of his life was the conquest of the Northern Hills...The tribes
conquered by Kantum were the Nwites[Guite], who then occupied the tract we now know as the Kanhow
tract; the Yos, who are still found dotted about the Northern hills and in the hills south-east of Cachar; the
Thados, who then, and still, inhabit the hills fringling the plains of Manipur and the Kabaw valley; and the
Vaipeis[Vaipheis], a tribe which has entirely disappeared from the Chin Hills...We may, therefore, fix the
approximate date of the Sokte conquest as 1840...Kantum died and was buried at Mobem[Mualbem]. He had
six sons: the eldest was Kanhow and the youngest Yapow[Za Pau]. According to the tribal custom Yapow
inherited his father‘s house at Mobem and the chieftainship of the tribe...Kanhow, however, had already
founded a village called Tiddim in the midst of his father‘s conquests and although by right of custom he
was subordinate to his younger brother, he nevertheless ruled his villages so absolutely that the Sokte tribe
became known as two separate communities; those villages directly under Yapow adhering to the tribal name
of Sokte, whilst those ruled by Kanhow took the name of Kanhowte or Kanhow‘s people, who are known to
this day as the Kanhow clan of the Sokte tribe...At his father‘s death Kanhow at once adopted an aggressive
policy, and although his father earned the title of “the conqueror,“ to Kanhow belongs the credit of
consolidating the aliens into one tribe, whose name became fully terror to Manipur, Lushai, and Burma...In
1856 the Soktes committed a serious raid on a hill village in Manipur...Soktes and Siyins tell us that the
Maharaja, who was carried in a palanquin, led his army right up to Tiddim, Kanhow allowing it to advance in
peace. Kanhow meanwhile collected all his forces at Tiddim. Here Yapow joined him with the Soktes, and
the Siyins under their Chiefs also came to Tiddim to fight the common enemy...“(Carey & Tuck, Vol. I.
pp.118-126)
7.5.3. Dealings With the Sokte and Occupation of Tiddim
_ Meanwhile the Sokte and Kanhows had tried to persuade the Political Officer that they had no Burman
slaves and begged that we should neither demand their guns nor attack their villages. The negotiations fell
through and on the 9th March[1890] General Faunce advanced into the Sokte country with a large force,
accompanied by Major Raikes, to attack the tribe. The first objective was Wunkathe[Vangteh] and
Saivan[Saizang]. After a very difficult march and in the face of determined opposition, Wunkathe, a village of
220 houses, was reached and found to have been fired by its inhabitants. It was completely destroyed
together with large stores of grain*. From Wumkathe the column proceeded on the 10th March to Saiyan.
Saiyan was occupied after an attempt at resistance, the inhabitants making their way with difficulty, and after
incurring considerable loss, across Nankathe. After destroying Saiyan, the force marched on to Tiddim.
The village was the home of Khocin[Khua Cin], at this time the Chief of the Kanhow clan; the Kanhows
consequently fought well in the defence of their capital, wounding four sepoys and setting fire to the village
when they could no longer protect it. General Faunce names the enemy‘s losses at 25 killed and 45 to 50
wounded. After the fall of their capital the Kanhows made but poor resistance and their remaining villages
on the left bank of the river[Manipur River] and south of Tiddim were destroyed, either by the troops or by
the Chins themselves, with little trouble and loss.(Carey & Tuck, Vol. 1, pp. 29- 30)
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
* As the British practised the tactic of burning down every village, which showed any sign of resistance, and taking away or destroying the
domestic animals and grains anyway, the Chins themselves burned down several of their own villages and destroyed their grains before the
British could do it. Author
7.5.4. The Siyin and Sokte Chiefs* in Rangoon
_ “In April[ 1891] Myook[Township Officer] Maung Tun Win took down the Kanhow[Kamhau] Chiefs who had
been captured at Tunzan[Tonzang], and four other Siyins(Kumlin, Ya Wun, Howsun and Kuplyin) to visit
Rangoon[the seat of the British colonial administration] and Mandalay[the residence of the Burmese kings
until the British conquest]. It was considered that the sight of our power and possessions would do much to
convince the Chiefs of the futility of resisting us, and would also tend to overcome their mistrust of our
sentiments towards them. Except that one Siyin died, the trip was a great success in every way, and the Chins
returned well pleased with all that they had seen and the kind of treatment which they had experienced
throughout their travels. On the 23rd June Captain Rose, having collected all the Soktes and Kanhows of
importance, held a durbar at Fort White, when Howcinkhup and all the elders of the clan took oath of
allegiance to the British Government and swore to abstain from raiding Burma. Howcinkhup and all the
Kanhow prisoners were then released, and they amply repaid the Government for this act of clemency a year
and a half later by staunchly standing aloof from the rebellion which was raised by their relations of the
Nwengal tract in common with the Siyins.“(Carey & Tuck, Vol. I, p.54)
Footnote # 2: The Kanhows were Howcinkhup[Hau Cin Khup], Ninzathang[Neng Za Thang], and two women,
and the Siyins were Kumlin[Khum Lian], Ya Wum[Za Vum], Howsun[Hau Suang], and Kuplyin[Khup Lian].
7.6. THE TASHON TRIBE
7.6.1. Legendary Origin of the Tashons
_ The Thados, as has been remarked, claim their origin from the bowel of the earth, and the Tashons also
believe that their original parents stepped, not out of a burrow like the Thados, but out of solid rock. At
Shunkla there is a large rock and out of this the Tashons believe that a man and a woman came, who settling
down close by became the parents of those who are now called the Shunkla tribe proper. The Tashons call
themselves Shunkla after the name of the village which they believe their first parents started, building
themselves the first house after emerging from the rock, and by this name they are known to all the southern
tribes.
7.6.2. Rise of the Power of the Tashons
.. After the Shunklas(Tashon is the Burmese corruption of the word Shunkla) had founded Falam they
gradually brought all their neighbours, both relations and aliens, under their control. When we occupied
Chinland we found the Tashons numerically the most powerful in the hills... The Tashon tribesmen, unlike
Siyins and Soktes, do not claim one common progenitor. They are a community composed of aliens, who
have been collected under one family by conquest, or more correctly strategy. The esprit de corps in the
tribe therefore falls far short of that displayed in the Siyin, Sokte and Thado tribes. The members of the Falam
council are not looked up to as every man‘s hereditary and lawful lord, as is the case with Chiefs in the
north. They are parvenus and aliens, who cannot expect to be treated with the respect which high birth
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
* There had always been a very unique relationship between the Sizangs and the Sukte/Kamhau in ancient times. They were natural allies in times
of war and peace. Although the Sukte/Kamhau expanded their territories even as far north as the Manipuri kingdom they remained allies of the
Sizangs who lived in their immediate neighbourhood. The Sizangs were so fiersely independent-minded that they did not attempt to expand their
influence to any other tribes, nor did they tolerate attempts by others to influence them either. Author
Note. Altogether 49 Chiefs and their followers representing several tribes visited Rangoon in November 1893.(Carey & Tuck, Vol. 1. p.101)
demands and secures in all Kuki tribes. The Tashon Chiefs themselves are well aware that their birth does
not entitle them to the love and respect of their people. To maintain their position they keep their people
constantly crushed under a yoke of taxation and fines, and should any village show signs of impatience or
resistance it is promptly dealt with and crippled. The people of the Tashon tribe may be classed into five
divisions - (1) The Shunkla(2) The Yahow[Zahau](3) The Tawyan(4) The Kweshin[Khualsim](5) The
Whenoh[Hualngo]. These five divisions may be subdivided into - (1) Shunkla of Falam(2) Other
Shunkla(3)The Yahow tribe proper(4) Other villages of Yahow origin (5) Kwungli[Khuangli](6) The
Norn[Ngawn] family(7)The Kweshin and Minledaung community(8) Tawyan people(Carey & Tuck, Vol. I, 141-
43)
7.6.3 Council of Chiefs
_ The Falam tribe is administered by a council of five Chiefs, who are all chosen from the Shunkla and Falam
village. The post of councillor is attained, not by virtue of birth, but by the vote of the people. It is a most
extraordinary circumstance to find a Kuki tribe disregarding birth, and appointing to rule them five men
who may be of plebeian origin and who have attained affluence by successful trade, proved their wisdom in
diplomacy, or fought their way to fame in raids and wars. Amongst the Chins, as among the Kukis, it is the
male issue which commands respect and demands rights, but amongst the Shunklas a plebeian like
Sonpek[Con Bik] who is the greatest man in the tribe, can make himself Chief by right, through marrying
into a family of Chiefs. Such a thing would not be possible amongst the Hakas and Soktes. The aristocratic
family of the Shunklas is the “Kong Perr“[Cong Khar], to which the two old councilmen Karr Lyin[Khar Lian]
and Man Hlorr[Mang Hlur] belong. The other three are men whose position in the tribes is due either to
their own efforts or to distinction gained by their fathers.“( Carey & Tuck, Volume I, p. 149)
7.6.4. The Gathering of Chins at Falam
_ In the afternoon of 11th March[1889] General W. Penn Symons summoned the Falam Chiefs and read out
the terms which had already been explained to them some three months previously by Major Raikes... The
General dismissed the Chiefs with a solemn warning to carefully consider their final answer, which was to be
given within two days. At this time the whole valley, in which formerly lay the original village of Falam, was
full of armed Chins, numbering not less than 3,000 men, gathered from all sides ... Doubtless it was the
presence of this large force drawn from so many tribes and from the very borders of the Lushai country that
induced the Tashon Chiefs to show a bold front, fully believing that with our small force we should be
alarmed at the display of the Chin strength. The Chiefs when they informed General Symons that they would
not pay tribute were quite sincere and intended to fight rather than pay, though they preferred to gain their
end without fighting if possible. It must be remembered that the Tashons held a unique position in
Chinland at this time. All the tribes from Manipur to Haka and from Burma to Lushai owed them nominal
allegiance and the Tashons, realized that their prestige would be gone and the name of Falam lowered in the
eyes of Chinland if they in common with the petty clans had to pay tribute and acknowledge the supremacy
of the white men. “(Carey & Tuck, Volume I. p. 39)
7.6.5. Decadence of the Tashon Power
_ The Falam council recognizes that the tribal position is in a most critical state at the present time. They
not only failed to keep us out of the Siyin country in 1889, but they also met with no success when they tried
to prevent our visiting Falam in 1890 and again, two years later, when we placed a post at their village. Their
position then became still more unstable. They had approved the Siyin-Nwengal rebellion, although they did
not openly assist the rebels, and when we had finished dealing with the Northerners, we disarmed some
Whenoh and Yahow tribesmen as well as some Norns subordinate to the Kwungli and tributary to Falam. The
people thus saw what we already suspected, namely, that Falam was afraid to fight us for the guns of their
subordinates. This year has seen the partial disarmament of the south, and now that the northern and
southern tribes are disarmed, the Tashons recognize that their turn comes next, and they are very awkwardly
placed. If they surrender their guns, their power will be diminished and their prestige lowered; if, on the
other hand, they fight, they are certain to be beaten, their fine capital will be at the mercy of the troops and
Government as a punishment may split up the present Tashon possessions into two or three independent
chieftainships, Falam retaining the Shunklas, Kweshins, Torrs, while the Yahows and Whenohs would be
independent of the Tashons and directly subordinate to the Assistant Political Officer at Falam.(Carey & Tuck,
Vol. I, p. 151)
7.6.6. Renewal of Negotiations with the Tashons
After punishing the Kanhows[in March, 1890], the troops returned to Fort White and Major Raikes opened
up negotiations with the Tashons, which at first promised well, for Boimon, a Falam Chief of standing, came
to the Nattan[Ngatan] stream to interview him. The result, however, was disappointing, as the Tashons
refused to surrender Shwe Gyo Pyu and his associates, and they were not in a position to enforce the
surrender of the Burman captives held by the Siyins and Kanhows, as Major Raikes then considered them
able to. The season was now too far advanced to think of crossing the Manipur river, and so the expedition
to the Tashon capital had to be postponed for the year.(Carey & Tuck, Vol. 1, p. 30)
7.6.7. Occupation of Falam

_ Marching from Haka on the 10th March[1892] the column was met on the 12th by a deputation of Falam
Chiefs and arrived on the 13th at our old camp near Falam, where we were met by more Chiefs. The Falam
Chiefs were now told for the first time that we intended to occupy their village. They strongly objected,
having hoped that we would camp where we were as we had done the two previous years. However, we had
not come out to bandy words with them, and so, keeping the principle Chiefs as a safeguard, the troops
advanced with all military precautions, it being impossible to see the villages until quite close to it. No
resistance was offered and the village was peacefully occupied.(Carey & Tuck, Vol. I, p. 65)
8.0 THE ARMS OF THE CHINS AND THE LOCAL MANUFACTUR OF GUNPOWDER AND BULLETS
(Carey & Tuck, Vol. I, pp. 220-227):
Sixty years ago the weapons of the Chins were bows and arrows, spears and short das(swords). The
warrior also carried a raw hide shield, which was capable of resisting the force of these primimitive
weapons. At this period guns began to find their way into the country, at first chiefly through Burma and
later on the majority through the Lushai Hills until the annexation of Upper Burma and disarming of the
border districts, which forced a large number of guns into the hills, for the Burmans preferred to sell their
guns for a trifle to the Chins to giving them up for nothing to the British.
8.1. Spears

Spears are universally used as a weapon of war; they are usually 5 feet long, shod at the butt with a long
foursided spike and at the other end with spear head, which is sharpened at the sides as well as at the point;
the weapon is very heavy as one-half and often two-thirds of its length is iron and the wooden shank is
merely used to connect the sharp pointed butt with the razor-edged spear-head. Spear-heads vary
considerably in form, according to whim. The handsomest shapes are found amongst the southerners,
whilst the very broad-bladed spear-heads is a curiosity found only amongst the Whenohs and Yahows. It is
not the custom, as amongst the Nagas, to decorate spears with human hair or with any ornamentation;
occassionally a spear is noticed with a fringe of goat‘s hair dyed red fastened below the head.
8.2. Bows and Arrows
Bows and arrows are still used for shooting games, but not as weapons of war. The bow is from 2.5 to 4 feet
long, is made of bamboo, and the bow string is also made of bamboo; the arrow is 1 foot to 18 inches in
length, iron-barbed and feathered. The arrow is usually discharged from the chest and apparently with no
great force, but it is astonishing how hard the iron-shod arrow hits, for we have seen an arrow flicked from
the bow, drawn only to the chest, penetrate an ince of board.
The people speak of poisoned arrows, andit is blood poisoning which they allude to and not to a
vegetable poison. The arrows are said to be stuck into a putrefying carcass before use, and the wounds then
inflicted by them are fatal and caused by blood-poisoning. Putrefying kidneys are considered the best
portion of the carcass for poisoning arrows. Arrows are not now poisoned as they are only used as a
weapon of the chase.
8.3. Shields
The shield is merely a reminisecence of a by-gone day. A few shields may still be found in almost every
village, and they are brought out and carried by dancers at feasts. The shield made out of the hide of the
mithun is some 2.5 feet by 1.5 feet broad; in the centre is a boss projecting outwards, and inside the cavity
are two cane handles which the hand grasps. The shields are very tough and effectually stop arrows, though
these do penetrate sometimes as much as six inches. Often these shields are adorned with two or more rows
of brass discs and tassels of goat‘s hair dyed red.
8.4. Surrendered Guns*
Over 4,000 guns have been withdrawn from the Chins since our occupation, the great majority having
been surrendered during 1893 and the two following seasons. That guns have come into the country from
both east and west is demonstrated by the fact that weapons with the names of Burmans in Burmese
characters and the names of Indian sepoys in the Persian character have been found stamped on the heel-
plates of muskets...The Chin hates weight in a gun and therefore he invariably discards the stockof western
manufacture and carvess out one one his own pattern and peculiar to him. This custom is universal
throughout the the hills, but the workmanship of the Siyins and Soktes is infinitely superior to that of the
southerners; their stock is lighter in weight and more slender and graceful in form than those heavy and
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
* In total the British collected more than ten thousand guns from the entire Chinland at the end of Anglo-Chin war.
more clumsily hewn stocks of the south, and, although new-comer to the hills would not detect any
difference, an old resident can tell by a captured gun whether a band of raiders were northerners or
southerners...The vanishing of the guns with black tree oil is a curious custom; it gives the gun a very smart
appearance; but his gun is the most prized possession of the Chin and nothing is too much trouble if it can
decorate or improve his treasure...Wunkathe in the Northern Chin Hills was noted for its beautiful guns, and
when that village was disarmed, we found that the reputation was fully deserved, for the barrels were as
bright as silver, the gun-stocks were beautifully shaped, and the paint, brass-work, and all other
appointments were perfect.
8.5. Chin Method of Making Gunpowder

One has read in reports and gazetteers that the Chins manufacture locally a weak powder, but after some
years‘ experience we are in position to assert that the powder, although slow in igniting, is particularly
powerful. We have seen men shot at a distance of 200, 300, and 400 yards, and, when one takes into
consideration that the bullet is a light one and circular, and the barrel is smooth-bored, one has a very high
respect for the local gunpowder. Those of us who fought the Siyins in 1888-89 and again in 1892-93
need no assurance that the Chin powder is good. The Pimpis made it unpleasant for us at 400 yards, and at
the passage of the Manipur river the Chins dropped bullets among us at still greater range.
The manufacture of powder is effected in the following manner, which perhaps is the nost curious and
extraordi-nary of all Chin customs. Where, when, and how they learnt the secret is a matter worthy of a very
deep thought; perhaps it came from the Chinese through the Burmans. As described in a former chapter, the
Chin house is so built that the pig-pen may be beneath the house and the household latrine immediately
above the pen. The sides of the pig-pen are banked up so that no rain may fall or flow into it and spoil or
wash away the thick crust of exrement. The nitrates obtained from this are used for making gunpowder...
The next question arises is where the sulphur comes from, as powder must have sulphur as an ingredient.
Although a sulphur spring has been found in the hills, the Chins do not directly look to the earth for their
sulphur, and before our occupation of their tract they imported large quantities from Upper Burma. Now this
import is stopped, but it does not prevent the manufacture of powder, for to begin with, it must be
remembered that in faeces there is a certain quantity of sulphur, but a larger quantity is found in the
aunglauk bean, which when burnt gives the charcoal which is used to mix with nitrate. This bean is known
as “aunglauk“ by the Burmans and to the Chins as nattang[ngatam] in the north and is spoken of as “Ga“ by
Colonel Mc Cullock in 1859, but we know no English name for it.(Note: The Aunglauk bean is called in
modern term “sulphur bean“. Author)
8.6. Projectiles

The projectiles of the Chin gun varies in composition, size and quantity. Lead of course is the favourite
metal, but it is fortunately scarce and the Chin has had to turn to brass, bell-metal, iron, round stones, and
even clay pellets. The leaden balls are cast in moulds which are made as follows. First of all bees-wax balls
of the size of the bullets required are rolled and are strung on a slim strip of bamboo, which is run through
the centre of each ball, a quarter of an inch dividing each; the balls are then smeared with a composition of
wet clay and paddy husks and placed in the sun to harden; the bamboo skewer is withdrawn and the mould
heated over fire until the wax runs through the passage made by the withdrawal of the skewer. Molten lead is
poured into the mould, which is then broken, and the leaden bullets are found the exact size and shape of
the original balls of bee-wax and all connected by a leaden neck, the circumference of which the is the same
as that of the bamboo skewer originally used...
The clay pellets are far more dangerous than one would suppose; they are made of very fine and pure
clay, which is taken from the beds of certain streams and which is thoroughly kneaded and cleansed of all
impurities; it is then fashioned into balls which are baked as hard as stone. The Chin says that this clay ball
will penetrate the stomach at close quarters and he chiefly relies on his ambushes at close quarters. If it
strikes a bone, the clay ball will break up and fill the wound with mud and often cause death from
putrefaction...Chins are known to have used an iron arrow with a barp, which protrudes from the muzzle, to
shoot elephants.
9.0 RAIDS AND METHODS OF WARFARE
(Carey & Tuck, Vol. 1, pp. 227-236)
_ The word “Shim“ of the Northern Chin dialect means both to fight and to raid. The whole system of warfare
is what we call raiding, and the only tactics resorted to are those devoted to surprising the enemy. The
Chins, Lushais, and Kukis are noted for the secrecy of their plans, the suddenness of their raids, and their
extraordinary speed of retreating to their fastnesses. The most striking characteristic of the Chin-Lushai raid
is the extraordinary distances which the raiders cover to reach the scene of operation. After committing a
raid they have been known to march two days and two nights consecutively without cooking a meal or
sleeping so as to escape from any rescue parties which might follow them.
9.1. Characteristics of Chin Warfare

The Chin will not risk his life more than he can possibly help. Although we have all admired the Siyins at
various times who have carried off their wounded comrades in the most plucky manner, and who have crept
into camp singly or in pairs and stolen and killed in our very midst, yet as a race Chins are not courageous.*
Their tactics are the best that can be devised to suit their numbers, their weapons, and their country. We
cannot blame the Chin for not meeting us in the open; he is armed with flint-lock and we with quick-firing
weapons of precision. We cannot expect the Siyins, who have but some 750 men all told, to run risks. On
account of the smallness of their numbers they do not fight in large but in small parties. If they see the
chance of killing three of us, but believe that they must lose one man in so doing, they will not attempt it,
but will wait until they can kill a man without running the slightest risk of losing one of themselves.
9.2. Outbreak of the Siyin Rebellion
The Siyin-Nwengal rebellion broke out with truly Kuki suddenness** and we were taken by surprise.
Although the outbreak resulted in a moral victory, it was, as has been shown in a previous chapter, a heavy
blow...Troops were quickly hastened to the hills, and the plan of campaign was first to smash all combined
opposition, then break up the columns into several small parties which were placed at many points of
_______________________________________
* I personally do not really understand what this remark should mean: How a primitive people with just a few thousand flint-lock guns and small
population could show their courage against an enemy who numbered thousands of well-trained, well-organized and well-armed with the most
modern weapons. Besides, entire villages were destroyed and livestock and grains either taken away or destroyed by their enemy. Author
** Some 20,000 of Mizo National Volunteers(MNV), the military wing of the Mizo National Front which led the Mizo armed struggle against the Indian
Government for 20 years, attacked and captured all the police and Assam Rifles garrisons throughout Mizoram at the zero hour - one o‘clock
March 1, 1966. The plans and preparations were carried out in utmost secrecy that the whole India was caught by surprise. On March 2, Mizoram
became the centre of world attention as major news media flashed news of the uprising. The Indian government declared Mizoram as a disturbed
area and ordered its army to enter it.
vantage in the hills. Large columns then set out and destroyed all the rebel villages and drove the rebels into
scattered settlements in the jungle and nullahs.
9.3. Prevention of Cultivation and Destructiobn of Food-Supply
In case of trouble in the Chin Hills a rule which we have adopted in the past is suggested to future
Political Officers and Officers Commanding. It is to place yourself in position to ambush instead of being
ambushed and attend more to the destruction of grain and to the prevention of all cultivation than to the
pursuing of Chins. The weakest point of the Chin is his food-supply.
9.4. Gateways Not to be Attacked
When attacking a village officers should remember that the paths lead to the village gates and that the Chin
village gateways are always the most strongly fortified of all the defences of the village; therefore it should
be a rule, unless guns accompany the party, to effect an entrance at any point except by the gateway. In no
circumstances should troops enter villages by the sunken paths and underground tunnels which are the
regular entrances into many villages, especially in the Yahow[Zahau] country and the independent south.
In conclusion, the Chin has so far proved himself a dangerous enemy when taking the offensive, but
when acting on the defensive he quickly loses heart and the real way to defeat him is to ambush him and
stop all cultivation.
10.0 SYSTEMS OF GOVERNMENT IN ANCIENT CHIN/ZO SOCIETIES
10.1. Introduction
Hereditary chieftainship was common in central, northern and western regions of Chinland with the
exception of the Tashon area in the central region as were already mentioned earlier. A number of those
chiefs ruled over several villages stretching over vast areas and many of them had both political, military
and judiciary powers over their subjects. And although some chiefs may have had ruled just a few villages,
their influence could reach far beyond their own jurisdiction. Here is an example. “The Siyin Chiefs and
for that matter all the Chin Chiefs were never under foreign sovereignty and they all wielded the powers of
kings and monarchs from time immemorial. They waged war any time they chose and kept any number of
slaves in their own house or in other distant villages collecting feudal levies as the occasion demanded.
These feudal allies or in a few cases slaves were acquired in various ways. Feudal allies were acquired in
times when strangers requested for food or clothings from the richer feudal lords in times of war, defeated
or oppressed persons came to the stronger lords for protection and alliance; the third category consisted of
slaves who were actually prisoners of war but who were never redeemed...“(Vum Ko Hau, pp. 178-179)
The following passages will reveal more about how the Chins were ruled in olden days.
10.2. The Position of Chiefs
(Carey & Tuck, Vol. 1, pp. 200- 203)
10.2.1. The Kuki, Siyin and Sokte Chiefs
_ The Kuki race is characterized by its respect for birth, and, as the Chin are but a family of that race, we find
in them a natural reverence for him who by right of birth is Chief of the tribe, or clan, or family. The Chief
may be wanting in qualifications and there may be many of other families his superior in ability; but, unless
he is physically or mentally quite unfit for his position, there is no danger of his being supplanted, and the
usual course is for elders and advisers to assist him in his rule. The position of the Chin Chief in regard to
the people is very similar to that of a feudal Baron. The Chief is lord of the soil and his freemen hold it as
his tenants and pay him tithes, whilst they in common with the slaves are bound to carry arms against all
his enemies. If a fugitive or an outcast takes refuge in a village, he pledges himself as vassal or slave of his
protector.
We found that the Siyin and Sokte Chiefs in particular were in a familiar position to the Barons of old who
ruled their tenants and were subordinate, both they and their tenants, to the King. The Sokte Chiefs ruled
their tenants, received their tithes, and fought their own private quarrels, and at the same time they paid tax
to the Tashons and obeyed their summons to collect their forces to fight in the Tashon interests.
10.2.2. Haka and Southern Chiefs

_ At Haka and in the south an intricate state of affairs exists, for the Chiefs of several clans, presumably for
the sake of strengthening their position and controlling powerful dependents, in times gone by founded the
village of Haka and peopled it with their several families and immediate followings. The position of the Haka
and other Southern Chiefs in common with that of the Northern Chiefs is that of hereditary and lawful
rulers, but as already shown in previous chapter, the Tashon custom is different.
In the Northern Hills a Chief, when he becomes too old to lead the clan on raids, naturally leaves these
arduous duties to his sons, but he does not abdicate in his son‘s favour, and he continues to the end as the
head of the clan. It is a custom for no man in the north to eat the liver of any animal whilst his father is alive
as it is deemed disrespectful to do so. Amongst the Hakas the very marked respect of age, which is so
noticeable in the north, is entirely wanting.
10.2.3. Falam Chiefs
_ The Falam Chiefs pretend that all on the council are hereditary Chiefs; such, however, is not the case,
though it is possible for a man of common extract to become connected with the hereditary Chiefs by
marriage; and this is how the Tashons promote a commonder to the rank of Chief. The Chiefs are elected to
the council by the people, but as a general rule they belong to the old families, and only when a common
man is particularly conspicuous as a soldier, a diplomatist, or as a rich merchant, is he promoted to the
council. The Tashons say that a man must have slain another before he can attain to the council. If this is the
fact, there must have been many cold-blooded murders committed as the Tashons are not warriors“.
10.3. Other Forms of Rulership
Among the other tribes in southern parts of Chinland, which were called by the British as the status of
rulership was determined by merits - that is, people elected their leaders every three years or more
depending on the duration of the shifting cultivation practiced in the area. The candidate should either be
wealthy (having abundant surplus of harvest, for instance), or a victorious warrior or a highly skilled
hunter. In a way it was a democratic headman system. And every tribe had had its own customary law - or
some tribes may share some or a large part of their customary laws- and they were ruled according to
these laws. Many chiefs in fact were just executing the customary laws that were practiced by their
specific tribes with the help of village or community elders. Several of these customary laws were still in
use until very recently in nearly the entire Chin State with the exception in matters of capital offenses. The
first compilation of the Chins‘ customary law was done by a Burman named Maung Thet Pyo, Assistant
Commissioner of Myde, under the title of The Customary Law of the Chin Tribe, 1884. It was translated into
English by Maung Shwe Eik, Myook[Township Officer], Assistant Government Translator, British Burma, with
General remarks by Dr. E. Farchhammer, Professor of Pali and Government Archeologist, British
Burma.(Source: Chin Chronicles, compiled and edited by Rev. Khup Za Go, First Edition 1988;
Churachachanpur - 795128, Manipur, India )
11.0 AWAKENING OF POLITICAL AND NATIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS
11.1. Introduction
Soon after World War I the Chin-Kuki-Mizo gradually began to develop political and national consciousness.
They began to realize that they were belonging to a single ethnic entity and that their common destiny was
closely intertwined. The first known political and national movement among them took place in the then
Southern Chin Hills under the leadership of a young nationalist named Vomthu Moung(also often
spelled as Vumthu Maung) with the formation of a political organization named “Chin Hills Union
Organization“(CHUO) on the 20th February 1928. The CHUO submitted in 1934 a 9-point memorandum to
the British government. The first political negotiations between the British and the CHUO took place on
February 20, 1938. However, instead of granting the demands of the Chins, 79 Chin leaders were thrown
into jail. They were freed by the Japanese some years later.
Then some of the most outstanding political movements took place among the Zo people inside present-
day India under the banner of the Mizo Union with its submission of a memorandum known as the MIZO
MEMORANDUM to the British Government in 1947, and the submission of the Paite National Council‘s
Memorandum to the Indian Government in 1960. There were and are several groups and individuals among
the Zos on both sides of the international boundary who aspire to unify all the Zo tribes under a single
administration and with a single nomenclature.(The drive for reunification with the Zo people inside
Bangladesh is still somewhat neglected until now. Author)
The following are the most important historical papers that document the affairs of the Chin/Zo people
from the time of British colonial rule up to the present.
Actually, the British wanted to put the two Zo territories - Chin Hills and Lushai Hills - under a single
administrative head at the Chin-Lushei Conference of 1892. However, the implementation of this idea was
never realized for reasons that no-one outside the British inner circles knows, although there were many
speculations.(For more information on this particular subject see 12.10.2. TOWARDS ZO UNIFICATION by Pu
L. Keivom.) In accordance with the resolution reached at this conference Mr. B.S.Carey, the Political Officer of
the Chin Hills, drafted the Chin Hills Regulation, which was approved by the British Government and
officially promulgated on August 13, 1896. The Chin Hills Regulation was still in use long after Burma‘s
independence.
11.2. CHIN-LUSHAI CONFERENCE
Fort William, the 29th January 1892
At the final meeting of the Chin-Lushai Conference held at Fort William, on 29th January 1892.
PRESENT:
The Hon‘ble Sir Charles Alfred Elliot, K.C.S.I., Lt. Governor General of Bengal
His Excellency Lieutenant- General the Hon‘ble Sir. J. C. Dormer, K.C.B., Commander-in-Chief, Madras.
Sir Alexander Mackenzie, K.C.S.I., Chief Commissioner of Burma.
W.E. Ward Esq., C.S.I., Chief Commissioner of Assam
Sir Henry Mortimer Durand, K.C.I.K., C.S.I., Secretary to the Government of India, Foreign Department
Major General E.H.H. Collin, C.I.E., Secretary to the Government of India, Military Department
Major-General Sir James Browne, KCSI. C.B., R.E., Quarters-Master-General in India
The following resolutions were passed: -
1. The majority of the Conference are of the opinion that it is desirable that the whole tract of the country
known as the Chin-Lushai Hills should be brought under one administrative head as soon as this can be
done. They also consider it advisable that the new Administration should be subordinated to the Chief
Commissioner of Assam. Sir J. Dormer and Sir Alexander Mackenzie would defer any final decision as
regards the eastern part of the tract till further information is obtained.
2. The Conference is not prepared to assert that this can be taken immediately. As matters stand now, the
difficulties of communication, of supplies, and of transport are very serious, and it will in any case be
necessary to suspend action until after the close of the present cold season‘s operations in the Chin and
Lushai Hills.
3. The first thing to be done for the control of this tract is to improve the communication between the
important places such as Cachar and Aijal[Aizawl]. Aijal and Lungleh, Aijal and Manipur, and the posts
situated respectively on the eastern and western side of the tract. The opening out of this line is a work of
pressing importance. The necessary commisariat staff should also be provided to arrange for transport and
supplies, till the track is able to provide them for itself.
4. The Conference is of the opinion that the boundaries of the new administrative area should be, generally
speaking, the boundaries of the tract occupied by the savages newly brought under British control, but the
details of those boundaries can only be settled after consultation with local officers.
5. The Conference is agreed that North and South Lushai, with such portions of the Arakhan Hill Tracts may
hereafter be determined, should be placed under Assam at once on the condition that-
a. Complete transport and commissariat equipment for supplies from Chittagong to South Lushai, and from
Cachar to North Lushai, are provided;
b. Funds are granted for road and telegraph from Aijal to Lungleh.
-------
{Signed} C.A. ELLIOTT
{Signed} J.C. DORMER, Lieut. Gen.
{Signed} A.MACKENZIE
{Signed} W.E.WARD
{Signed} H.M. DURRAND
{Signed} E.H.H. COLLEN
{Signed} JAMES BROWNE, Maj. Gen.
(Source:“Foreign Department Report on Chin-Lushai Hills,“ September 1892(reprinted 1980/No.3)
–––––––––––––

11.3. MEMORANDUM SUBMITTED TO HIS MAJESTY’S GOVERNMENT, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA AND ITS
CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY THROUGH THE ADVISORY SUB-COMMITTEE BY THE MIZO UNION
MIZO MEMORANDUM
Memorandum of the case of the Mizo people for the right of territorial unity and solidarity and self-
determination within the province of Assam in free India submitted to His Majesty’s Government and the
Government of India and its constituent Assembly through the Advisory Sub-Committee for Assam and fully
excluded areas and partially excluded areas.
Pursuant to the resolution passed by the General Assembly of the Mizo Union at Aijal in September 1946
subsequently supported by the Mizo Conference at Lakhipur (Cachar) in November 1946 this memorandum
prepared by the Mizo Union and supported by the Mizos outside the Lushai Hills –Manipur State, Cachar,
Tripura and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, etc.
The memorandum seeks to represent the case of Mizo people for territorial unity and integrity of the
whole Mizo population and full self-determination within the province of Assam for the realization of which
an appeal is made to His Majesty’s Government, the Government of India and its constituent Assembly to
make a special financial provision from year to year for a period of ten years or until such time as the Mizos
shall assert that they can maintain their self determination without this financial provision.
11.3.1. THE PEOPLE AND THE LAND
The Mizos are a numerous family of tribes, closely knitted together by common tradition, custom, culture,
mode of living, language and rites. They are spread over a wider area extending far beyond Manipur State,
Cachar, Tripura State, Chittagong Hill Tracts and Burma contiguous with the boundaries of the present
Lushai-Hills District which was carved out arbitrarily for administrative purpose.
The Mizo people have been known under different names. They were wrongly identified as Kukis during
the time of Lord Warren Hastings when Administrator of Chittagong sought help of the British against the
Kuki raiders, and it continued to be applied to the whole group until 1871 when it was supplanted by the
term Lushai as a result of the active and prominent part taken by the Lushai, sub-tribe of Mizo race, against
the British Expedition known as the First Lushai Expedition. The present Lushai-Hills District was thus
curved out of the Mizoland for administrative convenience and the Mizo people living within the District
came to be known as Lushais while the other Mizos left out of the Lushai Hills District and annexed to the
surrounding Districts, continued to be known as Kuki without their consent. However, the solidarity of the
Mizo people as a race and a distinct block is testified by the name of places, mountains, and ranges of the
Lushai Hills, Cachar, Manipur, Tripura, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Burma, known and called after the names of
them. Shakespeare, Stevenson, Liangkhaia, Shaw, Kingdonward and Kim of the Statesman are some of the
authorities on this.
The Mizos have nothing in common with the plains nor with the Naga or Manipuri, etc. They are distinct
block. The areas now under their occupation are mostly hilly except the eastern portion of Cachar district
extending to the Barial range in the North Cachar Hills. Wherever they go and wherever they are, they carry
with them their primitive customs, cultures and mode of living in its purest origin, always calling and
identifying themselves as Mizo.
The nomenclature of the word ‘KUKI’was and is known to the Mizos; it was a name merely given to them by
the neighbouring foreigners.
Again, it was wrong that the word Lushai should be used as covering all the Mizo tribes since it is
misrending of the Lusei, only sub-tribe of the Mizo race. Hence though perhaps, not originally intended, it
has created a division. Only the word ‘Mizo’ stand for the whole group of them all : Lusei, Hmar, Ralte, Paite,
Zo, Darlawng, Kawm, Pawi, Thado, Chiru, Aimol, Khawl, Tarau, Anal, Puram, Tikhup, Vaiphei, Lakher,
Langrawng, Chawrai; Bawng, Baite, Mualthuam, Kaihpen, Pangkhua, Tlangau, Hrangkhawl, Bawmzo, Miria,
Dawn, Kumi, Khiangte, Khiang, Pangte, Khawlhring, Chawngthu, Vanchiau, Chawhte, Ngente, Renthlei,
Hnamte, Tlau, Pautu, Pawite, Vangchhia, Zawngte, Fanai, etc, all closely related to one another culturally,
socially, economically and physically thus forming a distinct ethnical units.
11.3.2. TRADITIONAL ORIGIN
Traditionally Mizos claim descent from Sinlung, a mythical rock north of the Shan state. Migration by tribal
group seems to have taken place about the beginning of the 5th century, halting at several locations from
longer or lesser periods through the Shan state, Chindwin Valley and Chin Hills until they finally came to
settle in their present occupied areas and the villages claimed by the various Mizo tribes, wherever their
present habitat may be, as their original homes are within or close to the border of the present Falam Sub-
Division.
11.3.3. THE MIZO POPULATION
[A] The Mizo people in the Lushai Hills alone number 1,46,900 with an area of 8,143 square miles
according to the census of 1941.
[B] The Mizo population of Manipur State contiguous to the Lushai Hills again comes to about 70,000 with
an area of about 3,500 square miles.
[C] The Mizo in the Cachar District contiguous to the Lushai Hills, the Mizo again number approximately
9,000 with an area of about 300 square miles.
[D] In Tripura state contiguous to the Lushai Hills, the Mizo again number approximately 7,000 with an area
of about 250 square miles.
[E] In the Chittagong Hill Tracts, contiguous to the Lushai Hills, the Mizo population is generally
approximated to be about 15,000 with an area of about 3,000 square miles.
[F] In the Chin Hills (Burma) also contiguous to the Lushai Hills who are now commonly known and termed
as the Chins, number not less than 90,000 with an area of about 3,800 square miles occupied by them.
The total Mizo population of the contiguous area alone thus comes roughly 3,38,400 and the areas about
18,993 square miles.
It is a great injustice that the Mizos having one and the same culture, speaking one and the same
language, professing one and the same religion, and knit together by common customs and traditions
should have been called and known by different names and thrown among different people with their
homeland sliced out and given to others.
The whole contiguous area of the Mizo population as detailed above occupies the middle and the most
important portion of India’s Eastern Frontiers. It is, therefore, the more imperative that His Majesty’s
Government, the Government of India and its constituent Assembly should do the just and proper thing and
grant the Mizos their just demand for TERRITORIAL UNITY AND SOLIDARITY.
11.3.4. MIZO HISTORY AND BRITISH CONNECTION
The Mizo people were independent, each village forming an independent unity, and their country was never
subjugated by the Maharajas of Manipur, Tripura and Chittagong nor by the Kacharis. However, there had
been frontier clashes between the Mizos and the neighbouring people which ultimately brought the British to
the scene in 1871. The Mizo country was subsequently annexed to the British territory in 1890, when a little
less than half of the country was carved out for the Mizo people and named Lushai Hills while the rest have
been parcelled out of the adjoining districts. Since the Mizos have remained loyal, friendly and peaceful. At
all time, whenever the British needed help as World War I, Abhor Expedition., Houkip Rebellion, and World
War II, the willing services of the Mizo people were readily available.
The Mizos have an efficient system of administration and discipline. Being a distinct block they retain to a
considerable degree their ancient and traditional laws, and customs and organizations, beginning from
village under the guidance of the Chief and the Elders, while young and old have their respective leaders in
all walks of life.
Except in Cachar, the Mizo people are excluded from the Government of India’s Act and the areas
inhabited by them are kept as a special responsibility of the Governor of the province in his capacity as the
Crown Representative and the Legislature have no influence whatsoever. In other words, the Mizos have
never been under the Indian Government and never had any connection with the policies and politics of the
various groups of Indian opinion.
Now that the British are quitting these Mizos who have never been under the Indian government and
whose ways are all different from others, cannot be thrown on a common platform with the rest of India. It is
therefore, important to the highest degree that the Mizos be given self-determination in its fullest form.
11.3.5. THE PRESENT GENERAL CONDITIONS OF THE COUNTRY
As stated in the foregoing paragraphs, the Mizo areas are mostly excluded. The political officer is supreme
in every respect. The Education is mostly carried on by the Christian Missionary groups. The general
communication of the country is extremely poor. The land is extremely hilly without good roads; and the
people poor and simple, primitive and divided into tribes and clans. The highest education is mostly derived
from outside the district; but in mass literacy the Mizo people is highest in Assam. The people are mostly
intelligent and as such given equal terms they always outshine their fellow-workers of other community in
the fields at home. They are born strategist. Their greatest short-coming is lack of finance as a result of their
trade and commerce and limited scope open for them. Their areas stretch from north to south parallel with
the Burma border line for defence along the eastern border of India.
This being the background, it is all the more imperative that the Mizoram be given special financial
provision by the Central from year to year while allowing them their territorial integrity as anything short of
this will be detrimental to their upbringing. In other words, the Centre shall grant financial provision from
year to year for the purpose of development of the country while the district shall join autonomous Assam
through legislature with adequate representation and be also eligible to the provincial service with due
reservations at the same time retaining their territorial integrity and self-determination : as otherwise thrown
among forty crores of Indians the 3,38,400 Mizos with their unique systems of life will be wiped out of
existence.
11.3.6. OUR CASE
In the light of the facts stated in the foregoing paragraphs and in view of geographical position and the
strategical importance of the Mizoram for the defence of India and taking into consideration the unique
characteristics of Mizo polity and compact block of Mizoland – this Memorandum is placed with the authority
for –
[1] Territorial unity and solidarity of; the whole Mizo population to be known henceforth as Mizo and
Mizoram for Lushai and Lushai Hills District, retaining the sole proprietary right over the land.
[2] Full self-determination with the province of Assam:
[A] With the National Council having the supreme legislative authority and executive body and judiciary
within the district the composition and function of which will be prescribed by rules.
[B] Any concurrent subjects in which the district may be connected with the autonomous province of
Assam or India as a whole shall be by negotiation with the national councils which will be set up; according
to wishes of the general public, any legislation may be applied to the district only with sanction of the
national council with any modification.
[C] Special financial provision by the Centre from year to year until such time as the Mizos shall assert that
they are able to maintain their territorial integrity and self-determination without this financial provision.
ALL ABOVE ITEMS SHALL BE SUBJECT TO REVISION ACCORDING TO THE FUTURE TREND OF EVENTS TO THE
EXTENT OF SECEEDING AFTER TEN YEARS.
For this end it is to be understood that the democratic system of Government in its purest form shall at the
very outset be introduced. Passed and approved by the Mizo Union representatives conferences at Aijal,
Lushai Hills, Assam on 22nd April, 1947.
26-4-1947
Sd/- KHAWTINKHUMA
President
Sd/- VANTHUAMA
General Secretary
The Mizo Union, Aijal,
Lushai Hills,
ASSAM
(Source: True Copy/Zogam.Online)
___________________________________
11.4. MEMORANDUM
Submitted by the Paite National Council
for Re-unification of the Zomis of India, Burma and Pakistan under one Country
To,
The Prime Minister,
Government of India,
New Delhi
Submitted by the Paite National Council to the Prime Minister of India for the Re-unification of Zomis of India
and Burma under one country.
We, the undersigned, in continuation of the resolutions passed at the Annual General Assembly of the
Paite National Council held at Hanship village from the 10th to 13th October, 1957 and at Mualnuam village
from the 6th to 8th February,1960 and the Memorandum submitted thereof, have the honour to submit this
Memorandum of ours again in pursuance of the resolution passed at the General Meeting of the Paite
National Council held at Hiangtam Lamka village from the 27th to 29th May,1960 with a request that
Government of India, with good-will and under standing, will take initiative as to group all Chin people
inhabiting the Indo Burma border areas within one country as specified and justified herein for the safe-
guard of their economic, social, political rights, etc.
11.4.1. [1] RE-UNIFICATION OF THE CHIN PEOPLE INTO ONE TERRITORY
The name “Chin”: The word “Chin” is supposed by some Authorities to be a corruption of Chinese word
“Jen” or “Man”. It is related to names such as Chingpa, China, Shan, Siam etc. Many leaders have always
attempted to interpret the word Chin as analogous to Kuki. there has been no difference of opinion that there
are some, of course, Kuki stock of people. But there is a gulf of arbitrary difference between Chins and Kukis
in the sense of grading or grouping system. The identity of the Chins can be best verified in the Linguistic
Survey of India, Volume III, Part III by G.A. Grierson, I.C.S.; Ph.D; D. Litt; C.I.E. because the Author who
collected the Data, Specimen and Records by referring to 30 Authorities, was an authorized one by the
British Indian Government. Thus, according to this Book, under Chin, as a genius, come all the Kuki tribes
and other various tribes; whereas Kuki as a species is a sub-group of Chin or in other words, Kuki is
another grouping system excluding some tribes under Chin. Hence Chin is a wider denotation and Kuki a
narrower denotation.
11.4.2. [2] THE ORIGIN OF THE CHINS
The Chins are believed to be of Chinese origin as supported by Bamboo-reed musical instrument and
others. The traditional memory claimed their remote original place as a Cave in China where, for fear of
enemies, they hid themselves; which is interpreted in different dialects as Sinlung in Hmar and Khul in Paite
and other languages. Thus in view of the tradition and history, the Khul Union as assigned to the place of
their origin was once constituted as a political reconciliation by some leaders in Manipur. Nothing of their
sojourn is known beyond this cave-period till they settled in Burma. But there is a traditional belief that
during their sojourn some of them migrated to Siam and some through the Northern Hilly Tracts of Burma.
However, the fact is that the Chins are Tibeto-Burmese origin as also manifested in the Linguistic Survey of
India. The fact of their relation with Tibetans is revealed amongst others by some common dialects of which
mention may be made of ‘Five’ and ‘three’ which are pronounced as ‘Nga’ and ‘Thum’ respectively in both
Tibetan and Chin dialects. Then within the memory of man, some of them migrated through the Chin Hills
and settled in the Manipur Hills, Mizo District, Tripura Hills, Chittagong Hill Tracts and North Cachar Hills;
and this is still proved by the names of villages which the Chins carried from place to place during the
period of their sojourn.
11.4.3. [3] THE PEOPLES OF CHIN
In this respect also, the Linguistic Survey of India is the most reliable source of information which easily
and apparently revealed who the Chin are, from the view point of Anthropology. The word “Chin” is
synonymous and is used to denote the various hill tribes of Burma, Manipur, Mizo District, Tripura, North
Cachar Hills in India and of the Arakan and Chittagong Hill Tracts of Pakistan. Even Manipur language is said
to have originated from the Chin stock as Meitei-Chin. Attempts have always been made by some leaders to
group all the tribal of Manipur, except the Nagas, into Kuki just to confuse the authorities and some leaders
by citing the Government’s records. This is wrong analogy and is connoted due to the fact that during the
British Regime, some Kuki officials who manned the key posts personally enticed the British officers that no
proper, correct data and records could be assessed as to record some tribes to the effect of their genetical
existence and to the true picture of their ethnology, with a result that many tribal communities were
whimsically misnamed as Kukis. Again emphasis has always been made by some leaders that the same stock
of people are called Kukis in the Republic of India, and Chins in the Union of Burma or a Chin becomes Kuki
the moment he crosses the Indo-Burma border and vice-versa. This fickle change of nomenclature, as if
metamorphosis, is nothing but too fictious.
Opinions may be differ and leaders may claim as belonging to one group or another, and also published
some self interested books like “Thado-Kuki Clan” so as to include all other tribes under their whimsical
encirclement. But no other information, data, specimen and records are more accurate and reliable than that
of the Linguistic Survey of India by G. A. Grierson. Thus according to page 2 and 3 of this Book, under the
Chins of India, over and above that of Burma, come the following tribes:
Thado, Ralte, Lai, Bangjogi, Bete, Aimo, lJiroi-Lamgang, Purum, Chinme, Yindu, Khami Sokte, Paite, Lakher,
Pankhu, Allam, Anal, Kolren, Hmar, Welaung, Chibon, Siyin, Tashon, Lushei, Rangkhol, Langrong, Chiru,
Kom, Cha, Chimbok, Khyang or Sho
These peoples, as Chin tribes, form a distinct ethnological unit and closely related to one another
linguistically, traditionally, socially, culturally, physically, historically, etc. The Chins, unlike the Nagas, can
converse with a clear understanding in their respective dialects.
11.4.4. [4] THE TERRITORY OF CHINS
According to an unbiased Anthropologist, as manifested in the Book of Linguistic Survey of India, the
territory inhabited by the Chin tribes extends from the Naga Hills in the North down into the Saudoway
District of Burma in the South, from the Mytha river of Burma in the East almost to the Bay of Bengal in the
West. Hence, the territory of Chin had been demarcated as to include some part of India and Burma and their
existence of geographical bounds also had been circumscribed by their consolidated ethnological
inhabitant of these areas. Moreover, though the territory due to the Divide and Rule Policy of the British, was
artificially disintegrated into main Divisions; yet the International Boundary, the Mac-Mohan Line, which is
the basic point of Sino-Indo border dispute, still seals Burma as a part and parcel of India.
11.4.5. [5] THE RELATIONSHIP OF CHINS OF INDIA AND BURMA
Mentioned has already been made of their ethnology that all the tribal peoples, other than the Nagas in
the Indo-Burma border areas, are called Chins and no sane tribal of this region could deny of their relations
with the tribal peoples of Burma and of the recent migration from the Chin Hills of Burma to India. As such,
the ethnological unit or origin and the relationships of the Chins of Burma and India have been
conspicuously transmitted through their culture, social life, history, tradition, language, poetry and songs
and customs as marked by their uniform celebrations of National Festivals, etc. So is the case in many other
aspects of their daily life and administration. There may be slight variations in the dialects, but the Chins,
unlike the other tribal people, can converse in their respective dialects freely. And the chain of their
relationship is circumscribed not only by geographical bounds but more often by racial unity. The Chins of
Burma and India have and still maintain a distinctive culture and social life of their own which have been
pervaded through ages in poetry and songs with thoughtful and meaningful ideas. The feeling of their blood
relationship has been imbibed so much in them that no constitution on earth or no existing law will justify
this separation of Chin people who had been living together through ages without bar and segregation.
11.4.6. [6] THE POLITICAL STATUS OF THE CHINS BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER BRITISH REGIME
The Chins lived in a complete independence before the British Regime without any outside interference
whatsoever from any quarter, and no part of her territory was ever subjugated under Burmese or Indian
administration. They even raised into the plains of Burma. The contiguous area inhabited by the Chins as
already mentioned was a compact and homogeneous one. But as far as in the Nineteenth Century, the British
came and eventually conquered the Chins (in all nearly 7,000 guns were taken from the tribes between 1893
and 1896) and the area was arbitrarily divided under them for administrative convenience by disintegrating
it into Chin Hills, Manipur, Tripura, Arakan, Chittagong Hill Tracts and North Cachar Hills. The land so
conquered was annexed to their administration. Even then the Chins in various regions were still knitted
together by common tradition, custom and culture, mode of living, language and social life. During the
British Regime, the Chins of Burma and India freely mixed together and lived harmoniously. As there was no
restriction of movement as is imposed today there was free intermarriage and social and commercial trading
intercourse amongst them. They administered themselves in accordance with their own customary laws and
ways. It was rather a sovereign land where the people enjoyed a perfect harmony of their own, and their
recognition attributed by the Government was the levying of Nominal House Tax by the British. When Burma
was partitioned from India in 1937, we were not consulted nor were a chance given to us to explain what we
were and are.
When India was in the threshold of Independence from the shackles of foreign domination, the terms
were agreed upon that Burma and Pakistan would also be given self domination status. Thus the Chins have
undisputable right of regaining their former political status. But, unfortunately, no such provisions were
guaranteed to the Chins nor were they given a chance to claim perhaps, due to their ignorance and
unconsciousness of their political fate. Inspite, the artificial Indo-Burma boundary demarcated by the British
was secretly confirmed between the contracting parties themselves without considering the culture, custom,
history, tradition, relation, economic condition, political rights, etc. of the Chin people of these regions.
This Division not only leads to the detriment of the people’s weal but deprives of their political, economic
and social rights and is quite unfair, unconditional, undetermined and unadaptable because no strong voice
as to preserve their fundamental rights can be raised from either side.
Since no part of the Chin Territory was ever subjugated under the Burmese or Indian Government and the
Chins enjoyed their self-administration before the British annexation; they after the British let the country,
have legitimate right to be free again. But when India achieved her independence in 1947, the Chins in this
region were too ignorant and illiterate as to determine what future form of political status would be most
desirable and conducive form them and for the Indian independence. They in the true sense were far from
being realized, and subsequently some part of the Chin areas were annexed to Burma and some to India
without their knowledge. The consequence is that while the other brethren of India, for more than ten years
of keen exercising their right to enjoy self-determination to solve their political destiny, the Chins have been
neglected too much and given no chance other than the step-motherly treatment as a second rate citizens, to
enjoy such status irrespective of their legitimate right and of provision incorporated in Indian Constitution
for minorities and tribes. Hence something could be done for their preservation and checking all these
shortcomings and maladjustment by re-uniting all the Chin tribes, for they will surely succumb sooner or
later to extinction and extermination, and may even cause costly and irreparable loss. Thus for a stable and
sound administration of the country and as our legitimate rights, we, for and on behalf of all the Chin
peoples, put forth this demand for the reunification of the Chins within one country where every community
can has District or Division or Region for the preservation of their fundamental rights.
Therefore, for all the facts and reasons enumerated above, we approach the Government of India with
good-will and understanding to take initiative step immediately as to re-unite all the Chin tribes into one
Territory by rectifying the artificial demarcation of the boundary between India and Burma as specified
thereof.
Yours faithfully,
Dated: the 30th May, 1960
Churachandpur
Sd/- T. GOUKHENPAU
President,
Paite National Council
Sd/- S. VUNGKHOM
Chief Secretary
Paite National Council
(Source: True Copy)
__________________________________
11.5. FIRST WORLD ZOMI CONVENTION
Venue : Champhai: Mizoram
MAY 19 – 21, 1988
7.5.1. DECLARATION
“We, the people of Zo ethnic group,
Inhabitants of the highlands in
The Chin Hills and Arakans of Burma,
The Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh,
The Mizoram State and adjoining hill areas of India
Are descendants of one ancestor.
Our language, our culture and tradition,
And no, less our social and customary practices
Are clear evidences of the ethnological facts.
Further, our historical records,
And footprints both written and unwritten
In the sands of time testify
To the truth of our common ancestry.
“Much against the interest for preservation,
Consolidation and promotion of our ethnic identity,
The British colonial rulers after subjugating us
During the later part of the 19th century,
Exercised the imperialistic policy
Of ‘Divide and Rule’.
As a result, our ancestral homeland was divided,
So were members of the Zo community distributed
Like cattle sold and separated.
“Adding grave insult to injury,
The emergence of the sovereign state
Of India, Burma and Pakistan in 1940s
Had the administrative fragmentations aggravated
And gave birth to deeper agonies of separation
For the constitutional laws of respective countries
Divided Zo ethnic origin into different nationalities.
“For better part of the century,
Largely because of our limited outlook
Both in terms historical and political,
The gravity of our uncertain situation
And the danger for our ethnological demise
Received no meaningful political response.
The genocidal threat of neo-colonialism
Against our Zo ethnic survival
Still remain ever unredeemed.
“Now with political consciousness gaining momentum,
And the spirit of nationalism quickening us
Come fuller realization of our human rights
And of our political prerogatives
We cannot but feel burdened
With the paramount importance of Zo Reunification
For preservation and existence of Zo ethnic identity.
“Re-asserting, therefore, our faith and confidence
In the code of comity of Nation
For redeeming injustices done to Zo ethnic origin,
We, the delegates to the First World Zo Convention of Zo Reunification
Ethnically enshrined on this day
Twentieth Day of the Month of May
In the year of our Lord Nineteen Eighty-Eight
Upon the alter of Zo Reunification
As under:
11.5.2. CHARTER OF AGREEMENT
I
“We solemnly affirm the truth
That members of Zo ethnic origin
Now living in Burma, India and Bangladesh
Are a people of common ancestry
Speaking a common language,
Blessed with common social,
Cultural and religious background,
And destined to common political fate and destiny.
II
We sincerely pledge and affirm
Solidarity and integration to take on
A just struggle for Zo Re-Unification
Under one Administrative umbrella
In conformity with the resolution of the Chin-Lushai Conference
Held at Ford William, Calcutta
On January 29, 1892.
III
We firmly hold the universal truth
That our political aspirations for Zo Reunification
Regardless of international boundary constraints
Are the inalienable rights of all Zo ethnic origin,
Further, we solemnly acknowledge the claim
For Zo Re-unification to be wholly legitimate.
IV
“We firmly adopt the principle of non-violence
For attaining the Zo Re unification.
V
“We sincerely appeal to the consciences
Of all heads of States and Governments
Under whom Zo Communities are citizens respectively
To recognize and acknowledge
The rightful claim for Zo Reunification.
Further, we appeal to one and all
Believing in the Universal Human Rights
To lend support to the just struggle
For Zo Reunification
At all levels and at different stages.”
11.5.3. ORGANISATION
In order to promote the just struggle
For Zo Re-unification –
I
“We solemnly affirm and resolve
That a loose political forum
Called the “ZO RE-UNIFICATION ORGANISATION” be formed.
(And is hereby formed)
Further, we resolve that
Zo re-unification Organisation (ZORO)
Be a forum covering all political parties
And Individuals –
(i) Acknowledging the rightful claim
For Zo Re-unification;
(ii) Accepting the paramount importance
Of Zo Re-unification
Above and beyond party politics, and
(iii) Willing to subscribe the ideas and views
As may develop time to time
Through the forum of ZORO.
II
“WE affirm and resolve that
(i) ZORO as a forum shall not interfere
In any local political programmes and activities
Of any constituent political party;
(ii) No constituent political unit of ZORO
In absence of consultation with ZORO
Shall organize any local political party activities
As may adversely affect the objectives of ZORO;
(iii) Any of the political parties
Involving and participating in ZORO
Shall enjoy the privilege of exercising certain discretions
As to form frontal organizations
Within the respective party concerned
Primarily for promotion of the just struggle
For Zo Reunification, and
(iv) ZORO, as a forum, shall normally finalise
Important policy decisions
In matters related directly or indirectly
To the just struggle for Zo Re-unification.
“WE, the Undersigned,
For and on behalf of Zo people,
Living and children yet to be born,
Look to God in prayer,
And seal this document with our signatures.
LONG LIVE ZO RE-UNIFICATION.”
SIGNED BY 40 DELEGATES REPRESENTING DIFFERENT ORGANISATIONS. AND NINETY EIGHT OTHERS.
(Source: True Copy/Zogam.Online)
11.6. ZO RE-UNIFICATION ORGANIZATION(ZORO)
General Headquarters, Aizawl,Mizoram
MILLENIUM DECLARATION
On this auspicious 108th ANNIVERSARY of the CHIN-LUSHAI CONFERENCE 29th January Millenium year. We,
the delegates of the ZO Re-Unification Convention, according to the Declaration of First World Re-Unification
Convention held at Champhai in May 1988 reaffirmed the commitment anew and proclaim the following
Millenium declaration:
- We the indigenous people of the ZO country proclaim and accept that ZO is our Nationality because we
are the descendents of a man, whose name was ZO and the ZO inhabited Area is ZO country.
- Our objective is the restoration of the Fundamental Rights of the ZO Nation by re-unifying our people.
The ZO people’s Fundamental Rights had been taken away by the divisions of our country into parts of
three countries.
- We, hereby affirmed our commitment with solidarity and integrity to take up our struggle for Re-
Unification of the Zo people under one administrative head in the spirit of Chin-Lushai (as the British
then called us) conference of 1892.
- We salute the freedom fighters of our fathers who courageously stood up against the contingents of
the British expeditions which brought the division of our Zo country under the administrations of the
then Assam, Burma, and Bengal.
- We strongly protest the British colonial administration’s act of placing the administration of our
country under Burma, India, and Pakistan after the Second World War against the wishes of the Zo
people.
- We, therefore, appeal to the international community to recognize our basic human rights and support
our claim to re-instate the deprived rights of our ZO people in the spirit of Atlantic Charter which
manifested against territorial changes contrary to the wishes of the people concerned. We appeal also
to restore Zo people’s Fundamental Rights as a national entity, which had been taken away by an
colonial alien concerned. We appeal also to restore Zo people’s Fundamental Rights as a national
entity, which had been taken away by an colonial alien nation and given to three alien nations in
contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Art. 15) which forbids the arbitrarily
deprivation of a person’s nationality. We signed this declaration in the spirit of the Chin-Lushai
(ZO)conference resolution held at Fort William, Calcutta on January, 1892.
(R.W. ROZATHANG
Chairman
(R.THANGMAWIA)
Secretary General
DATED AIZAWL THE 30TH OCTOBER 1988
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
11.7. JAPANESE INVASION OF THE CHIN HILLS AND EAST INDIA

Japan, under its dictator General Tojo, formed the Axis power with Italy under Mussolini and Germany
under Hitler. Japan then declared war on the United States of America and attacked Pearl Harbor on 7th
December 1941. By 1942 Japan had overrun China, French Indochina, British Singapore and Malaysia,
Thailand and the U.S. possessions such as the Philippines, Guam etc. The Japanese crossed the Burma
border in early 1942, took Pegu and Rangoon, and marched north toward Chinland.
The advance On to New Delhi “Chalo Delhi“ was launced in full scale by the Japanese in March 1944. The
15th Japanese Imperial Army(under the command of Lt. General Renya Mutaguchi) was assisted by the Indian
National Army (I.N.A.)commanded by Cammander-in-Chief Subhas Chandras Bose. The main attack of India
was launched through the Chin Hills and the Chindwin Valley. See Map 4
By early 1942, having successfully driven the British into India, the Japanese occupied Burma east of
Chindwin River. In May 1942 the Governor of Burma fled to Simla in India and established a Burmese
Government there, and Chin politicians - Vumthu Maung and members of the Chin Independence Party -
were freed from Katha jail.(They were detained by the British because of their nationalist activities.) As
soon as the Chin politicians were back in Chinland, after crossing the Dry Zone of Burma on foot, they
organized the Chin freedom movement. When Japan granted nominal independence to Burma in 1943 Chin
politicians under the leadership of Vumthu Maung declared Chin independence and formed a government
with Vumthu Maung as its first president.
Japan wanted to win the favour of Asian people and to do so propagated the Greater Asia Co-Prosperity
Sphere. In an attempt to win the trust of the Chin people the Japanese freed Chin soldiers of the Burma Army
who had been capturede by them. These Burma Army regulars and the Chin Hills Battalion later became the
backbone of the Levies formed to defend Chinland from the advancing Japanese. As soon as the Japanese
occupied the Chin Hills, a local Army was formed by the Japanese army authorities to be known as the Chin
Defence Army(C.D.A.). The first batch of army officers were appointed from those whom the Japanese used as
guides and intelligence officers on the invasion of the Chin Hills and Assam.
“The first fierce battle the Chin Hills Battalion and the Chin Levies fought against the Japanese Artillery
Battalion was at No. 3 Stockade(near Theizang village). A barrage of rifle fire and pangis of the Chins halted
the first major Japanese advance from Burma reaching No. 3 stockade. In the fighting the majority of the
advancing Japanese troops including their commanders were killed. Captain Sakamaki told us after their
occupation of the Chin Hills that very few of them returned to Kalemyo alive. (Vum Ko Hau, p. 25)
“To begin with the Japanese forces crushed the 17th Division[of the 14th British Army] in the Chin Hills
area and pushed their drive in three directions - the west bank of the Chin River, the Tammu area, and
midway between the Imphal-Kohima Road by way of Wukulu after crossing the Chindwin River. The focal
objective of the Japanese forces was to beleaguer Imphal and to gain mastery over the Imphal Plains... Then
the Japanese forces, which had been in full readiness for an opportunity to strike, went into action and after
a little more than a month of fighting established domination over the Imphal Plains. The Indian National
Army under the command of Subhas Chandra Bose, Head of the Provisional Government of Azad Hind,
advanced into Indian territory for the liberation of their motherland.“(Vum Ko Hau, pp. 44-45)
The 31st Division (of the Japanese 15th Army) of 20,000 men under Major General Kotuku Sato marched
across the Chin-Naga Hills to attack Kohima on April 4, 1944. Kohima was defended by Chin and Naga
soldiers of the 1st Assam Regiment. After a week of severe fighting, with assistance from the 2nd Indian
Division, Kohima was held and the Japanese advance was stopped at Dimapur in Assam. Major General
Tsumoru Yamamoto‘s 33rd Division attacked Imphal from all sides over a period of four months but could
not break through. General Mutaguchi [Commander of the 15th Army] ordered his men to “continue in the
task till all of your ammunition is expended. If your hands are broken, fight with your feet. If your hands and
feet are broken, use your teeth. If there‘s no more teeth left in your body, fight with your spirit. Lack of
weapon is no excuse for defeat.“ But the Japanese lacked not only arms. They were also madly driven by
hunger and thirst.
“The Imphal-Kohima battle which now ended was the last and greatest of the series that had been fought
continuously during the past ten months on all the Burma fronts. They have achieved substantial results;
the Japanese Army had suffered the greatest defeat in its history. Five Japanese Divisions(15th, 18th, 31st,
33rd and 56th) had, at any rate temporarily, been destroyed as fighting formations, while two other
divisions, an independent brigade, and many line-of-communication units had been badly mauled. Fifty
thousand Japanese had been killed or died, and their bodies counted in the Arakan and Assam
sectors.“(Slim, W. Field Mashal. Defeat into Victory. London. 1956)
The British troops were assisted by several thousands of local Chin Levies in their offensive campaigns
against the Japanese.
11.7.1. JUSTICE UNDER THE JAPANESE OCCUPATION
In the early days of the Japanese occupation the Japanese soldiers behaved correctly and politely. There
was not a single case of rape - in contrast to the British propaganda. But later their attitudes changed as
their supplies grew thin, and herds of cattle belonging to the local people were slaughtered and grains
confiscated by force. After some months in the Chin Hills the Japanese showed their methods of ruling an
occupied country. Contrary to their propaganda the Japanese applied very cruel methods in ruling the Chin
country.
“Every educated person who served with distinction with the British against the Japanese before their
occupation of the Chin Hills was ‘invited‘ from time to time to report to Tiddim. Most of the invitees
expressed their unwillingness to serve in the new administration. When they got to Tiddim, the new
divisional headquarters of the Japanese Army for north Burma and East India, they found that things were not
moving as they expected. Some of the Chiefs who took active command of their clan Levies found themselves
in chains; many persons were slapped as they reported. Other Chiefs were required to reside near the
Japanese camps; guns were requisitioned lest they were used for revolt. Some suspected as spies for the
British were slapped, boxed, and beaten to death in drawing rooms within the sight of their families. All were
required to bow low in front of the Japanese officers. One had to announce one‘s name every time one
reported to the Japanese commissioner. Many a fat and haughty person during the British days became slim
and cautious overnight. As soon as the Japanese reached the heart of the Chin Hills, they started killing
people on the slightest suspicion. I believe that this was to frighten the people and to show who the real
masters were for the fact that they would not win the love or respect of the place they occupied in the
ordinary way. The worse form of sufferings by the people in the Japanese occupied zones were the
requisitioning of food and labour. On account of the war, no cultivation could be done and as such less
food was produced, but the Japanese imperial troops came without rations and as such they had to
requisition whatever food they could in the occupied territory. This was most difficult in a place like the
Chin Hills through which they attempted to invade India. Almost all the ponies were requisitioned, also cattle
and later mithuns. The 300-mile long motor road from Kalemyo-Chin Hills to Bishenpur-Imphal was to be
maintained by the local requisitioned labour; this gave no time for the local people to cultivate; the Japanese
troops depended on the people‘s food and they gave them no time to cultivate to produce food. This was
impossible.“(Vum Ko Hau, p. 31)
“This kind of requisitioning of labour by force did not take place only in the Chin Hills. The same thing
was done for the Burma-Siam railway line construction. This work was more familiarly known as the Death
Railway line. Beside the European prisoners-of-war from Indonesia and Southeast Asia, many labourers from
Indonesia, Thailand and south Burma were requisitioned. Some whole families were sent and never
returned.“ (Vum Ko Hau, p. 52)
11.7.2. ARMED RESISTANCE MOVEMENTS AGAINST THE JAPANESE
As soon as the Japanese occupied the Chin Hills, a local army called the Chin Defence Army(C.D.A) was
formed up by the Japanese. The first batch of officers were appointed from those whom the Japanese used as
guides and intelligence officers on the invasion of the Chin Hills and Assam.
The tasks of the CDA was to look after the Japanese occupied territories of the Chin Hills, while the
Japanese forces and the INA were to invade India.
By June 1944, however, many Japanese troops had begun to retreat towards the Chin Hills from the
Imphal front. Tiddim was made the field hospital for Japanese troops. Every day my Levy Commander,
Bo[“officer“ in Burmese] Pau Za Kam, had to supply about seventy labourers to bury Japanese who died in the
Tiddim(Lawibual) field hospital...All the local traitors‘ reports about our impending rebellion reached my
headquarters first and I could destroy them... Before we parted from the Japanese Headquarters at Tiddim,
Bo[“officer“ in Burmese] Bo Thawng Cin Thang and I had vowed that I would look after our interests in the
Japanese occupied areas and that he would take care of what went on in the British territories... I had the
satisfaction of having looked after his brother who was reported adverse to the Japanese commissioners. The
fact was recorded by Bo Thawng Cin Thang in a written certificate. Together with Colonel Kelly, Bo Sein Lian
and Bo Suang Lian left Saizang on the 13th March 1944 and hid themselves in the west Manipur river area
although the locality was traversed by the Japanese troops on one occasion when they marched up to cut off
British troops at Singgial at M.S. 102. They formed the first staff officers of the resistance movements which
were later known as the Sokte Independence Army* and the Siyin Independence Army* or in short S.I.A. The
organisation of the Sokte Independence Army was initiated by Chief Bo Hau Za Lian of Suangzang, Bo Thawng
Cin Thang and other headmen on the West bank of the Manipur river. Bo Thawng Cin Thang, Bo Hau Za Lian,
Bo Sein Lian, Bo Suang Lian, B.G.M., and the other commanders and members of the S.I.A. crossed the
Manipur river and made headquarters at Mualbem.
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Dear Mr. Vum Khaw Hau,
Damm good show for the grand job of work you have done and been doing. We are extremely anxious to hear the outcome
of SUAH LIM show. I think, the quicker we get your family and other important persons behind the screen, the better, as the
60 reported now at PHUNOM can divert anywhere they like.
(1) We shall greatly appreciate if Suang Hau Thang, Lian Thawng, Sumbedar Thuam Cin and other notables can be called.
(2) O.C. will not object to Chiefs and familiies coming over to us voluntarily. This applies to important and Jap blacklisted
persons as well. As for the mass of the people from the Valley, we can assure that it is only a question of a few days
before our troops arrive. So, would it not be advisable if they hide food in the jungle and keep themselves out of
the houses, if Jap punitive party attempts to come.
Arrangements re: this FREE CHIN MOVEMENT, in all respects, sounds extremely O.K. Please extend my congratulations to
MESSRS. SON NGUL and COMPANY for their impending appointments in the FREEDOM MOVEMENT. Chief Hau Za Lian will
come to see his men on 21-9-44. He will tell you details.
Better times soon
P.S. V. Good news just received. Yours sincerely,
Please ask Mr. Suak Puum Thawng Cin Thang
20-9-1944
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
* The letter above leis one of the three letters of Bo Thawng Cin Thang addressed to the author[Vum Kho Hau] in connection with the wartime
activities of the Siyin Independence Army and of the Free Chins in 1944.(It is an exact reproduction of the original text from his(VKH) book on page
60. The brief information above which is related to the Sokte Indpendence Army and the Siyin Independence Army, and this letter of Bo Thawng Cin
Thang to Vum Ko Hau, desribed on the previous page is to straighten out the records as to the existence of the two separate organizations and the
cordial relations, mutual-respect and trust between the top leaderships of them. For further information on this subject see Vum Ko Hau‘s book
pp. 55-62. tzd
And in every part of the Chin Hills various resistance movements were secretly organized against the
Japanese. A well-formed organization among them in the Northern Chin Hills was the Chin Leaders‘ Freedom
League, whose main aim was to look after the interests of the undefended local Chin people from the
Japanese oppression. Some of its outstanding leaders were Vum Ko Hau(Thuklai), Gin Za Tuang(Tonzang),
Vul Za Thang(Tonzang), Pau Za Kam(Khuasak), Khai Mun Mang(Thuklai), Sum Mang (Zahau area), Awn
Ngin(Buanman), Zuk Tsio and Pi Don Khaw Cing(Vum Ko Hau, 31 & 55).
“The resistance movements quickly spread to Ngawn, Falam, Zahau and Haka areas, and in September
1944 an open rebellion was launched. After being suppressed for so long the Zo people were exploding for
freedom, and an organization called ‘Free Chins‘ was born. The Free Chins attacked the Japanese at
Mualbem, Sualim, Suangaktuam and Sakhiang...The success of the Free Chins, or as it was then known as
the Chin Independence Army, was enormous. Lt. General Shinichi Tanaka[Commander of the 18th Division
of the 15th Japanese Imperial Army in the Arakan war theatre] was not satisfied with the intelligence reports
collected by the Arakan, Indian and Burman agents on the movements of the British inside East India. He
therefore gave orders to recruit the local Chins, too. The Japanese intelligence network under Captain Tanaka
Seirokuro was very successful when Chin agents were employed. At first the Masho and Khami Chin agents
collected information on the movements of the West African Division as it moved south down the Kaladan
Valley. As Chin settlements stretched from the Valleys of Kaladan to Bandurban and Chiranga, the Chins
could easily infiltrate into Chittagong and head west in Bengal. However, the Japanese defeat at the
beginning of 1945 changed the conditions. The Japanese intelligence network depended on getting their
food supply from the local people, and in many instances the Japanese used brutal methods to obtain food.
The local people therefore attacked the base of the intelligence unit and slaughtered all the
Japanese.“(Vumson, pp. 177-178)
The Japanese were in several Asian countries heartily welcomed at the beginning of World War II as true
liberators from the yoke of various Western colonial powers , but their cruelties soon became so loathsome
that at the ending parts of the War uncountable Japanese lost their lives at the hands of the occupied
peoples.
11.8. THE CHIN/ZO PEOPLE IN POST-INDEPENDENCE BURMA

The signing of the “Panglong Agreement“ by the peoples‘ representatives of Burmans, Shans, Kachins and
Chins on the 12th February in 1947 at Panglong in Southern Shan State gave birth to the Union of Burma. If
the Shans, Chins and Kachins had not signed this treaty, only “Burma Proper“ or “Ministrial Burma“ would
have gained independence and there would never be a Union of Burma. The Kayas or Karennis did not sign
this treaty because the four Karenni states, which were later made into Kaya State, were de jure independent
sovereign states recognized both by the Burmese Kings and the British in 1875 in a treaty.
Five thousand Chin delegates from all regions of Chinland held a conference in Falam from February
10 to 22, 1948 and decided to abolish the centuries-old feudalism and to replace it with democratic
systems of governance. The voting for this decision took place on the 20th February. This date has later
been recognized by the Chins as their National Day and it is celebrated yearly by every Chin community -
except in Burma itself. In Burma those who want to celebrate it must ask for permission every year from local
authorities. So whether permission will be given or not depends entirely on the whims of those authorities
concerned. The successive Burmese governments have been trying in vain since 1974 to change it to “Chin
State Day“. The Zos in Mizoram got their statehood on February 20, 1987. Hence, this day is celebrated
yearly in Mizoram as the “Mizoram State Inauguration Day“ as well(see Appendix I for more information on
the Chin National Day. Note: Read “ZOMI“ for “CHIN“).
When Burma and India gained their Independence the Chins were, without their opinion being asked,
automatically divided into two parts.(Actually, the demarcation of the boundary between the
British India and British Burma had already done by the British back in 1937.) And then when East Pakistan
[now Bangladesh] seceded from India those in India were once again automatically partitioned into two
parts.
Immediately following its independence on January 4, 1948, the country was torn apart by a ruthless civil
war which is still raging until today. In fact, it was mainly the Chin, Gurkha, Kaya(Karenni) and Kachin
soldiers who had saved the Union of Burma from the Karens* and the “multi-coloured insurgents“ (it‘s a term
used by the successive Burmese regimes to denote all the armed movements of various ideological stripes
that were fighting against the central government in Rangoon). Almost all the strategic towns in Central
Burma were in the hands of these armed organizations.
The Karens had even taken Insein in 1949 - a satellite town located just some 9 miles from the center of
Rangoon - that the Burmese government had already been called “the Rangoon Government“ in the
literally sense. Most of the government soldiers of ethnic Burman themselves had joined either the
Communist Party of Burma or other armed Burmese organizations. So it became the sole duty of non-
Burman soldiers to fight on the government‘s side. Although other non-Burman soldiers(one Kaya battalion,
one Shan battalion, one Gurkha battalion, three Kachin battalions and three Karen battalions altogether) had
also played extremely crucial roles in the government‘s countrywide military campaigns, the most decisive
role was played by the 1st and 2nd Chin Rifles in defending Insein, the most strategic battle front of all.
Later one of the Kachin battalions and most of Karen soldiers from the three Karen battalions mentioned
above joined their compatriots against the government. The Karens had to withdraw from Insein after a
112- day siege. All the military experts, who had had analysed these military campaigns, agreed that if
Insein had fallen then, Rangoon also would have fallen automatically. Later three more battalions
comprised solely of the Chins were formed: the 3rd and 4th Chin Rifles and the “Union Military Police“ or
“UMP“. From 1949 up to 1953 U Nu, the Prime Minister of Burma from 1948-1958 and 1960-62, himself
always publicly acknowledged in his every speech on the occasions of the “Union Day“(12th February ) and
the “Martyrs‘ Day“, the decisive roles that the said non-Burman soldiers had played in saving the Union.
The “Martyrs‘ Day“ is the 19th July. On this day in 1947 General Aung San, the father of Burma‘s
independence and his cabinet ministers were assassinated. Partly because of these bitter experiences on the
Burmans‘ part all ethnics were mixed up in Burma‘s armed forces since the late 1950s.
But nowadays not even a single Burman - not to mention the Chinese and Indians in Burma - knows
about these facts anymore, because these are not mentioned at all in Burmese history books. Here are a
few evidences to show how crucial the role that the two Chin battalions had played in defending Rangoon
against the Karens for the Burma was: an officer received Burma‘s highest military award for gallantry - the
Aung San Thuriya ; the second highest award Thiha Thuriya was given to another officer; Thura Tazeik , the
third highest award was received by 16; the fourth highest award,“Thuyegaung Hmat-Htan-Win Award“ was
given to 24 (Thuyegaung in Burmese means hero); the fifth highest award the Supreme Commander‘s
Certificate of Gallantry Award (SCCOG) was conferred to 27; Certificate of Honour was conferred to 1. So,
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
* The Karens are also of Mongoloid stock numbering circa 3 to 4 million residing in vast areas in the fertile delta and Southeastern parts of
Burma, and in Thailand. When the British left Burma most of the high ranking senior officers of the armed forces - Army, Air Force and Navy -
were Karen. The Karens are Christian, Buddhist and Animist - roughly perhaps in equal proportions. They were one of the most loyal peoples in
Burma to the British, like the Chins, Kayas(Karennis) and Kachins, up to Burma‘s independence. These non-Burmans had valiantly fought along with
the Allied Forces against the Japanese during WW II. When Burmans and the other Pang Long Agreement signatories were negotiationg with the
British Government, the Karens had even sent a separate delegation to London to demand a sovereign Karen state, but the British betrayed their
aspirations.
altogether 17 officers and 53 other ranks received various awards.*
When Burma‘s ruling military government in 1969 formed up the Internal Unity Advisory Body(IUAB)
with 33 civilians under Notification No. 72 to get opinions on the future political and administrative
organizations of the nation, and called for suggestions from the massess for a new state constitution, the
Chins submitted several proposal papers. All the suggestions were classified into Classifications No. 1 to 6.
Suggestions for federalism were classified in No. 6. Out of the 111 papers categorized under Classification
No. 6, several were submissions by the Chins.(Source: A BSPP Internal Report/1974. Note: BSPP stood for -
the Burma Socialist Programme Party; it was the only political party until the ending part of 1988.) One of
the most distinguished among them was the one submitted by the Chin youths under the title of “Proposals
of the Chin Youths“ - in Burmese: (K¥c\;l¨cy\m¥a;A”kMep;tc\“pK¥k\).The main initiator of this paper was Pu
Lian Uk (the then law student at the Rangoon Arts and Science University), and later a MP from the Haka
constituency in the 1990 general elections, and now living in exile in the U.S. He‘s still fully active in
Burmese politics. Starting from 1972 until the new constitution was promulaged in January 1974 thousands
of people, who had submitted suggestions and proposals for the new constitution, were rounded up
throughout the country and thrown into jail under an operation known widely as “Operation White Elephant“.
Among them were 60 Chins. among them.
Since 1956 a number of Chin armed organizations have had fought against successive Burmese
governments for self-determination. Among them is the Chin National Front(CNF). It is still waging a
guerilla warfare against the Rangoon regime since several years ago. The damages that the Burmese
troops have inflicted in Chin State in terms of material, cultural and human suffering are devastating. The
majority of the Chins in India also had to fight with arms for a statehood, the Mizoram State, for twenty
years(1966-86), which had cost the Mizos thousands of lives, indesribable sufferings and material
damages.
12.0 PEOPLE
12.1. _ ORIGIN OF THE CHINS (Colonialists‘ Views)
_ I believe some people are of the opinion that they were the aboriginal tribes of Upper Burma, and were
gradually forced back into the hills, driving back in turn the Lushais, who dwelt in the hills now occupied by
the Chins; the Lushais retreating across the Manipur River still further into the hills. After our subjugation
and occupation of Upper Burma the Chins began to be a thorn in our side, just as they had been to the King
Thibaw, and his predecessors. Thibaw had tried sending an army to invade their country; but it was
ignominiously defeated, and the troops retired after doing more harm than good to the prestige of the
Burmese army.(The Siyin Chins by F. M. Rundall, Political Officer, Northern Chin Hills./Vum Ko Hau p. 451)
_ “Our closer connection with the Chins and Lushais during the last five years does not appear to have
taught us anything more than we knew twenty years ago of the ethnology of the tribes. Yule in 1855
described the Chins and Lushais as ‘of Indo-Chinese kindred known as Kukis, Nagas, Khyenes, and by many
more specific names.‘ Colonel Hanny identified the Chins with the Nagas of Assam mountains and states that
they must be closely allied to the Kukis. In 1866 Colonel Phayre classified the Chins living on the north of
Arakan as Indo-Chinese. Mr. Taw Sein Kho, Burmese Lecturer at Cambridge, in a pamphlet on the Chins and
___________________________________________
* Sources: Special War Office Council Order No.s: 19/S/49; 32/S/50; 34/S/50. A complete list of the names and the regimental numbers of the
recipients of these honours can be obtained from the author.
Kachins bordering on Burma, wrote: -
‘Ethnically these tribes belong to that vaguely defined and yet little understood stock, the Turanians, which includes
among others the Chinese, Tibetans, Manchus, Japanese, Annamese, Siamese, Burmese and the Turks...‘Mr. MacCabe
of the Assam Commission, whose service has been spent among the Nagas, Lushais, and the other hill tribes of the
province of Assam, designates the Chin-Lushai family as Indo-Chinese. Captain Forbes calls the race Tibeto-Burman.
Mr. B. Houghton of the Burma Commission, in an essay on the language of the Southern(Sandoway) Chins[in present
Rakhine State] and its affinities in 1891, writes - ‘As a mere conjecture of the original habitat, & c., of these races the
following may be hazarded. At first the stocks may have lived together in Tibet or perhaps a good distance to the West
of it...The hillmen of Arakan I would regard as rather later immigrations.‘
In the Burma Census Report of 1891 Chin ethnology is dismissed with the remark that the Chins or Kyins
are a group of hill tribes, all talking various dialects of the same Tibeto-Burman speech and calling
themselves by various names. Without pretending to speak with authority on the subject, we think we many
reasonably accept the theory that the Kukis of Manipur, the Lushais of Bengal and Assam, and the Chins
originally lived in what we now know as Thibet and are of one and the same stock; their form of government,
method of cultivation, manners and customs, beliefs and traditions all point to one origin.“(Carey & Tuck,
Vol. I. p. 2)
_ “Those of the Kuki tribes which we designate as ‘Chins‘ do not recognize that name, which is said to be a
Burmese corruption of the Chinese ‘Jin,‘ or ‘Yen,‘ meaning ‘man.‘ The Northern Chins call themselves Yo,
the Tashons, Haka, and more southern tribes Lai, while the Chins of Lower Burma give their name as
Shu...The separate tribes recognized in the tract controlled from Falam are the Sokte, Siyins, Tashons, Hakas,
Klangklangs, and Yokwas. In the south there are independent villages belonging to none of these main
tribes. Each of these independent villages has its own Chief; they have no tribal system. The Thado, the Yo
the Nwite[Guite] and the Vaipe[Vaiphei] tribes have almost disappeared from the Northern Chin Hills, and
reference need only be made to them when dealing with the Sokte tract. The Sokte tribe, which includes the
Kamhow clan, is found on both banks of the Manipur River, which led to the people on the left bank calling
those on the right Nwengals. This term has been brought into use by us and Nwengals have been
considered a separate tribe; this, however, is not so...The Siyins are the Taute and Tauktes[Thaute literally
means‘fat people‘] of the Manipur records. The Tashon tribe includes the two powerful communities of
Yahows and Whenohs, which were formerly known as Pois, Poites, and Pawite. The formidable Shendus, so
well known on the Chittagong and Arakan frontiers, are mainly Klangklangs[Thantlang] and Hakas...“ (Carey
& Tuck, Vol. I, pp.3-4)

12.2. Special Characters of Separate Tribes
(Carey & Tuck, Volume I, pp. 167-168, under the titles of “Manners and Customs“)
12.2.1. Hakas and Siyins

_ “On first acquaintance with the various tribesmen one is struck with the manly carriage and regular features of the Haka Chiefs
and freeman, whose frank manner and self-assurance are in marked contrast with the bearing of the Siyin. The chief
characteristics of the Siyins are the short flat nose, small keen bright eyes, which are never in repose, and the stealthy cat-like
movements of body and limbs, as well as the abnormal size of the thighs and calves which seem to have been intended for
trunks of twice the size that they carry. The Siyin is an evil-looking person and his exterior clearly illustrates his character; his
face is usually disfigured by smallpox, and the hair tighty drawn back gives him a cruel expression. His restless eyes denote that
he trusts no man and he knows that no man should trust him. His tout ensemble illustrates the character of a man who will
deceive his friend with any lie, who accounts it as honourable and more satisfactory to kill a woman than a man as there is no
risk to his own life and limb in doing so, and who for the same reason prefers to shoot at the back of his enemy rather than at
the chest. Amongst the Siyins the man who kills a woman and the baby at her breast is accounted to have committed a finer
feat than the man who has killed only one man, as two heads are better than one, even if they are those of babies and
sucklings...
The worst fault of the Hakas is avarice; there is nothing that they will not do for money, and in this respect they are
despicable and fall far short of the Northern Chins, who with all their faults are very clannish and loyal to each other. It was the
fear of deportation and disarmament and not greed of gain which drove them to hand up outlaws at the close of the Siyin-
Nwengal rebellion. Experience has taught us that all Chins are liars and thieves, and the most accomplished thieves in the hills are
the Siyins, who in this respect may be classed as a criminal tribe. The Haka and southern villagers area also great thieves and like
the Siyins they will work in gangs, some distracting attention, whilst others carry off the booty. Hakas and Siyins have both
been known to accept a present and then deliberately steal from the benefactor. The Falam Chiefs, too, although they are so
particular in their outward conduct and pretend that they are superior to all other Chins, have been found capable of stealing
iron when they thought that they had the chance of doing so and evading detection. It is marvellous how a Siyin can creep into a
post on his stomach and carry off cooking pots under the very nose of the sentries. He has also entered houses inside our posts
and carried off property without disturbing the inmates...
12.2.2. Tashons
The manner of the Tashons is more quiet than that of other Chins. The business-like way in which the Falam council will settle
down quietly and soberly discuss tribute affairs explains to us, as clearly as their past history, that the tribe owes more to the
brains of its Chiefs than to the prowess of its braves for its present leading position in Chinland. Diplomacy, love of intrigue,
and schrewdness are the characteristics of the Tashons. When they attacked the Siyins they always had the Burmans as their
allies; when they attacked Kwungli they invoked the aid of the Hakas; when British troops entered the hills they encouraged the
Siyins to fight and to prolong the futile struggle; but when the troops arrived at Falam the only weapons they used were their
tongues, which poured forth a stream of expostulations, excuses, and promises. Finally, when the Siyins and Nwngals rebelled
the Tashons gave them every encouragement, except assistance in men, and when their own border villages were disarmed the
Tashons allowed them to suffer in peace, fearing to bring our wrath down on the capital itself if they endeavoured to save them.
Diplomacy is the only word which describes the character of the Tashon. Some day they may feel that they must fight us, or lose
their position in the land, and, if they fight, we may be quite certain that every intrigue and trick which cunning can devise has
previously been tried and found ineffectual...“
Because of space problem I‘m quoting only this much here on this particular subject; those who are
interested to know more about it are advised to see the original book. According to this book the Chins
apparently possessed not even a single positive character. It‘s most interesting to find out that, according to
the British, the entire Chin people were made up of just liars and thieves!
Predictably, though, their remarks after the Chins had become their meek, loyal and useful subjects were
much more positive! See the following remarks:
_“Physically the Chin is a fine man, taller and stouter than his neighbours in the plains on both the north and east, and
although he fell short of the build of the Pathans, his measurements compare more than favourably with those of the Gurkha. It
is no uncommon occurence to find men 5 feet 10 inches and 5 feet 11 inches in height with chest measurement of 39 inches
and with a calf measurement of the abnormal size of 16 inches. Individual tall men are found in the Kuki villages immediately
south of Manipur and among the Sokte, but the finest built men in the Hills are the Siyins, Hakas and independent
southerners.“
_ “The Siyins, though small in stature, are splendidly limbed and are the most evenly built tribe in the hills, though the
Hakas and independent southerners are as a whole taller and produce the finest individual men. The Chins and the southern
Kukis of Manipur being the same race, living in the same class of country and under the same conditions, are, as to be expected,
equally good carriers.“ Chin Hills Gazetteer.(Vum Ko Hau, pp. 298-299)
12.3. ROOTS OF THE CHIN/ZO PEOPLE
“In the absence of written documents, and because the Zo had limited contact with neighbouring peoples, it
is extremely difficult to trace Zo history. However, through historical linguistics, archaelogical findings, and
ethnic relationships, it is now accepted that Zo belong to the group of people identified as Tibeto-Burman.
The oral genealogy of Zo claims that a man named Zo was the originator of all Zo people...Estimates based
on oral history account for approximately tweenty-seven generations of Zo people. Assuming a generation
to last twenty-five years, Zo people have been in existence for only seven hundred years... Zo legend asserts
that the Zo were originally from a cave called CHINNLUNG, which is given different locations by different
tribes. The legend cannot therefore be accepted as a fact, because it is contradictory to known facts of how
man originated. The physical features of Zo people, yellowish or brownish skin, brown eyes, black hair,
slanted eyes, prominent cheekbone, wide nose, and flat face suggest their relation to the Indonesian-Malay
subrace of the Mongoloid Race. By analysing Zo language and comparing with other languages
anthropologists concluded that Zo language is related to the Tibeto-Chinese languages and therefore their
cultural affiliations with them...“(Vumson, pp. 26-27)
Although the origins of the Zo people‘s ancient homelands are not known, it is now generally agreed
among scholars that they might have had migrated from the Tibetan Plateaus or South-West China towards
the Chindwin Valleys and the plains and hills west of Irrawaddy River around A.D. 800 and that they
migrated further to their present homelands around the 14th century(see Map 1 of Migratory Routes). The
Chin/Zo were always an independent people who had had never been subjugated by any outside powers -
that is, until the British came. Until then they were ruled either by their hereditary rulers or elected
persons as mentioned previously.
The Zos are a Mongoloid people. The society is patriarchial and monogamous. In Sakhong‘s dissertation
and Vumson‘s Zo History 64 tribes are listed as Chin/Zo and they are grouped into six major tribal groups,
namely Asho, Cho(Sho), Khumi, Lai, Mizo and Zomi. Actually, since many of these tribes‘ dialects are just
slightly different, this author wonders if they all could really be defined as separate tribes. If all the tribes
that speak even slighly different dialects are to be counted as separate tribes, there could even be more than
70 tribes. Although some tribes in Northeast India re-identified themselves recently as Zo, many tribes that
had been classified as Chin by British scholars and colonial officials during the British rule haven‘t re-
identified themselves yet as Zo.
When a Zo uses any of the six major tribal groups mentioned above, he means not only a tribe, but the
entire Chin/Zo people. The origin of the term “Chin“ itself is not yet known although there are several
contradicting and controversial theories. And most scholars believe that the word “Kuki“ is a Bengali term
for “hill tribe“. (Prof. Lehman, for instance, speculates that it could be a Manipuri word.) Originally, those
who are currently known as Kukis called - and still call - themselves “Thado“[“New Kuki“, Lehman, 1963.
p. 5] or “Khuangsai“. While some people among them prefer to use Kuki, some prefer the term: “Thado“
or “Kuangsai“ However, a new term called “Thado-Kuki“ is getting popular among them these days.
Although in many Zo dialects the word “Zo“ means a cold region, almost all of those who call themselves
either Mizo or Zomi have now agreed that ZO in this case is most likely the name of their common ancestor,
and not a denotation of a cold region.
“The actual translation of zo in the Zo common language may be termed as follows: Zo people divide a
mountainous region into two climatic zones. The higher part of the region is characterized by cold, wet, and
damp climatic conditions, where potatoes, maize and sulfur beans may be grown. These areas are covered
with rain clouds in the monsoon rainy season. The sun is rarely to be seen. Such a place or area is denoted
by the term ‘Zo‘ in distinction from the ‘shim‘ of ‘chhim‘, which is generally lower in elevation and with a
warmer and drier climate, where bamboo thrives and hill-side rice may be grown. The generic name ‘Zo‘ has
no relation with the geographical-climate term “zo“. Zo people have a tradition of naming their clans[tribes]
after the head of each clan. Hualngo are descendants of a man named Hualngo, and the Zahau, Kamhau and
[some] other Zo clans[tribes] each carries the name of their founder. It must have been the same with Zo. Zo
or a very similar sounding name must have been the name of the Zos‘ originator. The ‘Genealogy of Zo(Chin)
Race of Burma‘ by Khup Za Thang shares this interpretation and postulates a man named ‘Zo‘ as the founder
of the Zo people“.(Vumson, p. 6). The Thados are also named after the head of their clan.(See Tables 4, 5 and
6)
And some scholars believe that “Mizo“ originally came from the poetic word for “Zomi“. In Chin poetry
several poetic words are the reversals of the daily spoken words - for examples: the poetic word for
“vasa“(bird) becomes in poetic word “sava“; “ngasa“(fish) becomes “sanga“, Sizang becomes “Zangsi“ etc. A
large number of Zo tribes living in the present Mizoram State in India agreed in 1954 to officially use the
term “Mizo“ as their common nomenclature.
12.4. THE LANDS, TRIBES AND POPULATIONS
The Chin population in Chin State in 2001 was 432,673 people(2001 Annual Statistics of Burma). Another
1,000,000 Chins are living in Sagaing, Magway(Magwe),Yangon(Rangoon), Bago(Pegu) and
Ayeyawady(Irrawaddy) Divisions, Rakhine(Arakan) State and Naga Hills in Burma.(Burma is made up of seven
ethnic states, and seven divisions in Burma Proper.) The Mizoram State has a current population of more
than 900,000.* The Zo populations in Tripura, Assam, Manipur and Nagaland states in India are estimated
somewhere around at 250,000. The populaltion of Zo in Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh is estimated at
30 000- 45 000. So, altogether the total Zo population would be not less than 3 million, excluding the
Manipuris(Meiteis) who are also regarded by a number of anthropologists to be Chins. Pu L. Keivom
believes that the Zo population could even be as high as 5 million. See his article below: 8.10.2.(The
population estimates in India and Bangladesh were as of 1985.)
The following are the various Zo tribes and sub-tribes: Asho(Nangkha, Khaizo, Pansaizo, Suleizo, Pang,
Langzo, etc), Anal, Aimol, Biate, Baite, Chiru, Darlong, Hmar, Lusei, Tedim, Sukte, Zou, Dim, Khuano,
Vangteh, Guite, Val, Langrong, Lamkang, Khawring, Faihriam, Thado-Kuki, Sizang, Saizang, Phaileeng,
Falam, Ngawn, Laizo, Zaniat, Khualsim, Zahau, Tapong, Simte, Bualkhua, Tlaisun, Lente, Haka, Zokhua, Mi Ei,
Senthang, Teizang, Thawr, Khualsim, Thantlang, Zophei, Lautu, Mara/Lakher, Matu, Zotung, Daai, Lautu,
Amlai, Tamang, Wumthu, Muun(Mün) Cho, Kaang(M‘kaang), Ralte, Rawngtu, Knoktu, Chinpon, Kaang, Rah,
Khami/Khumi, Myo, Khuangsu, Khyeng/Khyang, Purum, Bawm/Bawmzo, Masho(M‘ro) Panku, Pang, Paite,
Baite, Maring, Sakachep, Rangkhol, Koireng, Komrem, Vaiphei, Chothe, Koirao, Thangal, Moyon,
Monsang,etc.
The Zo tribes and sub-tribes are concentrated in the following regions: In Tiddim and Tonzang
Townships: Tedim, Zou, Teizang, Sukte,Hualngo, Dim, Khuano, Guite, Val, Thado-Kuki, Sizang, Saizang and
Phaileeng; In Falam Township: Falam, Ngawn, Laizo, Zaniat, Hualngo(Mizo), Khualsim, Zahau, Tapong, Sim,
Bualkhua, Tlaisun and Lente; In Haka Township: Haka, Zokhua, Mi Ei, Senthang, Thawr and Khualsim; In
Thantlang Township: Thantlang, Zophei, Lautu and Mara/Lakher(the Mara/Lakher are also found in
considerable numbers in the “Pawi-Lakher Autonomous Region“ in Mizoram); In Matupi Township: Matu,
Zotung, Daai, Lautu, Mara/Lakher, Amlai, Tamang and Wumthu; In Mindat Township: Mindat, Muun, Daai,
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
* The sudden increase in population in Mizoram was not because of high birth rates, but the Mizos living in neighbouring states of Manipur, Assam
and Meghalaya etc. during the armed struggle for nationhood returned after it had gained statehood.
Cho, Kaang(M‘kaang) and Rawngtu; In Kanpetlet Township: Knoktu, Chinpon, Daai, Cho, Kaang and Rah; In
Paletwa Township: Khami/Khumi, Chinpon, Daai, Khamui, Myo, Asho and Khuangsu. The Ashos are mainly
concentrated in Rakhine State, Ayeyawady, Magway and Bago Divisions. The tribes that are living in the
Chittagong Hill Tracts are as follows: Khyeng/Khyang, Bawm, Thado-Kuki, Mizo, Masho(M‘ro) and Panku;
The Zos in Manipur State in India are mostly Paite, Thado-Kuki, Zou, Mizo, Baite, Hmar, Vaiphei, etc. Zos in
Nagaland(India) are mainly Thado-Kuki; and the tribes of Zo in Tripura State are Mizo, Hmar, Thado-Kuki
and some other smaller ones. The Zos in Sagaing and Magway Divisions are a mixture of several Zo tribes
and sub-tribes. Since several former Zo tribes in Mizoram State have already identified themselves under the
single nomenclature of MIZO it is no more possible to describe their specific native regions. See Maps 2 & 3.
12.5. MAIN CLANS AND SUB-CLANS

The majority of the Thado-Kuki/Mizo/Zomi society is made up of several main and sub-clans. Most of
them can trace their roots back to several generations. They could do this because in every clan or sub-
clan it was the duty of at least a couple of people of every generation to memorize their clan‘s history. And
also at every festive gathering of the Clan Chiefs and Elders, the Chief Priests formally recited the names of
all of the forefathers of the Clans. It was also a tradition among the Clan leaders to record the histories of
their clans in ceremonial songs which are largely autobiographical in content. Thus, this knowledge has
been orally passed down from generation to generation.
As an example I shall describe my own genealogy. My main clan is called “Thuan Tak“ or “Thuantaka“ or
“Suantak“ or “Suan Tak* He was the 8th generation from our oldest known ancestor: Zo. And my sub-clan‘s
name is Lua Tawng. But if I am to describe my genealogical tree in detail, I will have to do so in the
following way: My main clan is Suantak, Nge Ngu‘s generation(he was one of Suantak‘s six sons), Kim Lel‘s
offspring( he was one of Nge Ngu‘s great grand sons), Ton Kaai‘s descendant( Kim Lel had two sons and
Ton Kaai was his son with his second wife), Ngiak Hang‘s great, great... grand son(Ngiak Hang was one of
Ton Kaai‘s four sons); the Lua Tawng Sub-clan(Lua Tawng was one of Ngiak Hang‘s two sons). I am the 24th
generation from Zo or the 17th generation from Suantak or the 9th generation from Lua Tawng.“ (The italic
genealogical terms in English are the nearest suitable words that I can think of, for we use different
genealogical terms for describing our clans and sub-clans as you‘ve seen above. We‘ve got four different
words for sub-clan alone: “phung“, “be“, “te“ and “bawng“, for example.(See the Genealogical Index on
Extra Sheet II, and the Heading on Table 8/A of my own genealogical tree)
It is no more possible for people of present generation to find out how our forefathers‘ chose their clan
names. While several families of Suantak‘s decendants still use his name directly as their clan name, many
others had chosen his descendants‘ names for their clans‘ names. For example, the forefathers of those who
belong to the SUANTE clan chose Suante, who was one of Suantak‘s great grandsons, as their clan name.
There are several similar cases in this respect. And I do not have any knowledge at all how and why our
forefathers decided to use sub-clans as well. The Sub-clan of Dr. Vumson Suantak, author of Zo History, is
Thuam Lam. Vumson‘s direct forefathers used Thuam Lam as their sub-clan‘s name. However, my direct
forefathers did not use Ton Kaai, the younger brother of Thuam Lam, as their Sub-clan‘s name. Instead, my
sub-clan started with Lua Tawng, the grandson of Ton Kaai(see Tables 8/A & 8/C). The same things
happened with several other sub-clans, too.
Although there are several Zo tribes and sub-tribes, those who belong to a single clan may be
spread among a number of tribes and sub-tribes and thus speak the dialects of the tribes or sub-tribes
________________________________
* See Table 2 for explanation on differences in writing Zo names.
to which they belong. Here are a couple of examples: The powerful Sailo Chiefs, who had ruled almost
all of the Lushai Hills, were the descendants of Boklua, who was one of Nge Ngu‘s six sons(see Tables 2,
3, 7/A, 7/B, 7/C). About 90 % of those who regard themselves as Sizangs are the descendants of two of
Suantak‘s six sons, namely Nge Ngu and Vang Lok, but there are also a few other clans among the Sizangs
that form majorities in some other tribes - for examples, Buan Siing, Hualnam/Gualnam(one of the 12 Lusei
clans), Nguite/Guite, Hat Lang, Hat Zaw, Mun Zo, Suum Thang, Lian Zaw, Thawmte, Zil Awm, etc. The Vaipheis
(“Old Kuki“, Lehman, 1963. p. 5 & 16) and the Baite(nearly all of the Vaipheis and Baite are living in
Manipur and some neighbouring states India) are also of Suantak clan(see Tables 9/B; 9/C; 9/D-1 & 9/D-2;
9/E; 9/F-1 & 9/F-2; 9/G). During the 1888-1889 Anglo-Chin war several Vaiphei warriors, who were still
living in three villages with their fellow Sizangs in the Sizang region, also fought along with.(Vum
Ko Hau, p. 235)
But the Vaipheis speak a dialect which is very close to the Tedim/Paite dialect and the Baite speak the
Thado-Kuki dialect. Several families of the Suantak clan can be found among a number of other
tribes, too. The descendants of the other four sons of Suantak, namely Nei Lut, Hin Nung, Nun Zong and Dai
Tawng are spread among several other tribes and sub-tribes in northern Chinland and Manipur State in
India. See Tables 2 & 3.
In early 2000 an attempt was made by some young Sizangs to define who a “real“ Sizang was: Whether the
one who belongs to the Suantak clan or the one who speaks the Sizang dialect. The attempt was abandoned
later because it was not possible to reach a concrete conclusion. The simple truth is that there is no a
dinstinctive Sizang tribe. The Sizangs are simply a group of Zos who commonly speak the Sizang dialect.
And it is the same with almost all other Zo tribes.
In fact, several major and sub-clans of the Zo people had had descended from two brothers: Kip Mang
and Cin Hil(see Tables 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6). In southern and central Chinland a well-known main clan named Cin
Za is to be found among several Lai tribes and sub-tribes.
Now here‘s how the clan plays its role. Normally, when two strangers meet each other they ask each
other‘s clan names. Let‘s say both of them, for instance, belong to the Suantak clan and both of them are
well-versed in their genealogy, then they will try to figure out to which generation they both belong -
starting from Suantak, that is. One of them may still be very young and the other very old. But according to
the genealogical tree the younger one might be one generation older than the physically older one. So the
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Main Clans among several ZO tribes in Northern Chin State, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura States:
Ainam, Akgal, Amei, Baite, Bawmkhai, Bawmmei, Biangtung, Bochung, Buan Siing, Chalkih, Cherput, Chongloi, Chongput(Song Phut), Choper,
Daitawng, Darsun, Donggel, Donggul, Dothuk, Dokmut, Dosel, Elsing, Gangte, Galhang, Gualnam/Hualnam, Guite, Gunsung, Halkik, Hat Lang, Hat
Zaw, Haukip, Haulai, Haunam, Hanpa, Hangluah, Hangman, Hangsawk, Hangsing, Hangvungh, Hangzo, Hau Kip, Haunung, Hausing, Hautual, Hausiing,
Hauthang, Hauzel, Hawlthang, Hawlhang, Hilsia, Hinnung, Huba, Kawlak, Kawlni, Kawngte, Khalun, Khaman, Khawlawm, Khaute, Khualum, Khilkik,
Khuphil, Khupno, Khupmu, Khupson, Khuptong, Khuangdal, Khuanghau, Khuangthang, Kiikai, Kilte, Kimlai, Kip Gen, Lawng, Lamhau, Lamkhai,
Lampho, Langel, Leivang, Lethil, Lenthang, Lian Zaw, Luahlang, Luhphaw, Luthang, Lunkim, Lunmun, Lunkhel, Lahtawng, Maibung, Malneu, Mangson,
Mangtong, Mangvuk, Mangvung, Manglun, Manmasi, Mantuang, Mate, Matmang, Matsing, Minvaak, Mitsum, Mualsun, Malkhai, Mulpi, Munluah,
Munsing, Munsong, Munsuang, Munsuan, Mun Zo, Namzo, Naulak, Namthang, Neihgup, Neihsial, Neihlut, Neekgen, Ngaihte, Ngaman, Ngawnte,
Ngengu, Nunzawng, Ngotual, Neuzaw, Pante, Phaipi, Phan-ai, Phiamphu, Phualte, Phualkhil, Phutlun, Ralte, Samte, Sailo, Sate, Sehmang, Seaktak,
Senchong, Senlun, Senlut, Sawlnitang, Siahliap, Sinte, Singsuan, Singsei, Singvum, Singngul, Sithoih, Sokte, Sonchung, Sonna, Suksak, Suankhup,
Suanman, Suante, Suantak, Suanzong, Suahsia, Suumniang, Siamsuang, Suum Thang, Taithul, Taitom, Taptah, Tavai, Tanghau, Tangpua, Tangsan,
Tawmbing, Tawtak, Taukon, Teilot, Tekrhang, Tellang, Telngawk, Telsing, Telthang, Telvung, Thado, Thanggom, Thangman, Thangnawk, Thangniang,
Thangpum, Thado, Thalun, Thangthang, Thawnpuang, Thawmte, Thatgui, Thatmun, Thatlang, Tonlun, Tonmang, Tonsing, Tongluai, Tohing, Tomu,
Tungdim, Tunglut, Tungnung, Tungte, Tuahnuam, Tuisuam, Thaute, Va-ek, Vahui, Vangaw, Vangkom, Vanglok, Vaiphei, Valte, Vokmai, Vomlong,
Vuileng, Vunglu, Vungthang, Zahlang, Zamang, Zawngbe, Zawnggil, Zawngkai, Zalut, Zil-om, Zongthang and Zuisang.
Note: Main clan names marked in blue are the ones which form minority among the Sizangs, but form majorities in some other tribes who speak
either the Tedim, or Duhlian(Mizo), or Falam dialects.
older one will immediately address the younger one either as “Pa“ or “Pu“ - depending on the number on
the genealogical tree. But the younger one will also address the elder one out of politeness as “U“.
However, if both of them are ignorant of their genealogical trees, then the younger would simply use an
appropriate address form toward the older one. But this “U“ has nothing to do with the “U“ in Burmese. The
Burmese “U“ has several meanings and “Mr“ is one among them. The pronunciations of the two “U“s are also
different.
“The means of preserving knowledge of one‘s pedigree among the Zo race are mainly verbal. One instance
of its use is in everyday life when addressing one another. This is done with strict adherence to one‘s
standing in the genealogical table. One‘s pedigree, in fact, takes precedence over one‘s age. For example, I
myself would be obliged to address Jemadar Suan Kam(K.P.M.) as Pu Suan Kam(‘Pu‘ meaning grandfather)
although he is only about the same age as my father. Many of my own contemporaries whose pedigrees are
longer than my own, are obliged to address me as ‘Pa Hau‘(Father Hau) and even in some cases as ‘Pu Hau‘.
The same rule applies without exception to married couples; hence you would find husbands calling their
wives ‘Ni‘(Auntie) and wives calling their husbands ‘Pa‘ or ‘Pu‘ according to their genealogical standing.“
(From his own FOREWORD in the Genealogy of the Zo(Chin) Race of Burma). See Glossary
With the exception of the Kachins who also have clan systems - but without genealogical trees - and
complex social structure, no other ethnic groups in Burma, including the Burmans, have this tradition of
tracing back their pedigrees for several generations.(An American scholar had told me recently that another
ethnic group called the Akhas, who live in China, Thailand, Laos and Eastern Burma, also have orally
transmitted genealogical trees, but this author has no knowledge about it in details.)
12.6. ZO NAMES

Traditionally, the Chins do not use their clan names as their names, although it is now used by more and
more people. And they do not have first and surnames. The Zo people choose the names of their children
differently. Among the Sizangs, Sukte, Zous, Khuanos, Tedims, etc. in the Tiddim and Tonzang townships
in Burma, and the Paithte, Thado-Kuki, Vaipheis, Zous, etc. in Manipur State in India have an ancient
tradition of naming their children after their own parents and brothers, sisters and uncles and aunts. In
other words grandchildren usually take the last names of their grandparents or aunts or uncles from both
sides of their parents. Normally the first son takes the last word of his paternal grandfather‘s name and the
first daughter takes the last word of her paternal grandmother‘s name; the second son takes the last word of
his maternal grandfather‘s name and the second daughter takes the last word of her maternal
grandmother‘s name. If there are more than two sons and two daughters in a family, the other sons take
the last words of either paternal or maternal uncles‘ names and the rest of the daughters take either the
last words of their paternal or maternal aunts‘ names. Most of northern Chin names in ancient times had
only two syllables, but in modern time - roughly since the mid of last century - the great majority of names
contain three syllables and some even have up to five syllables. So the first syllable of a name among the
northern Chins is, as already just mentioned above, the last syllable of either a grandfather‘s or a
grandmother‘s or an uncle‘s or an aunt‘s name. The rest - be it just a single syllable or four syllables -
describe the life history of the person after whom one is named.
I shall give some examples from my own family. I have got one elder sister, one elder brother and four
younger sisters. My elder sister, Hau Za Man, got the first word of her name from my paternal grandmother,
Vung Hau: so, Vung Hau Za Man. My elder brother got the first word of his name from my paternal
grandfather. My paternal grandfather was called Khup Lian and my brother‘s name is Lian Khat Pau: Khup
Lian Khat Pau. I‘m named after my maternal grandfather Suang Thang. And my immediate younger sister, Hau
Khan Huai, is named after my maternal grandmother, Ciang Hau: Ciang Hau Khan Huai. My other three
younger sisters are named after my paternal and maternal aunts. My father had five brothers and one sister
who themselves had sons and daughters. Some of these cousins of mine are also named after my paternal
grandparents, aunts and uncles; and some of the sons and daughters of my mother‘s four brothers‘ and
one sister‘s are also named after my maternal grandparents, aunts and uncles. All these names altogether
thus describe briefly the life stories of the persons from whom they got their names.
The names of my other first cousins who have been named after my maternal grandfather Suang Thang are
as follows: Suang Thang Cin Mang(first son of my 1st maternal uncle); Suang Thang Khaw Pau(second son of
my maternal aunt); Suang Thang Za Pau(first son of my 2nd maternal uncle); Suang Thang Khan Cin(first son
of 3rd maternal uncle); Suang Thang Van Pau(first son of 4th maternal uncle)and my name Suang Thang Za
Dal. So, our combined names describe the brief biography of our grandfather. See Diagrams 1 & 2
Other Zo tribes are much more flexible in choosing their names - that is, they can freely choose names
that sound impressive or poetic or relevant to their family historical backgrounds or present surroundings.
One example was someone called Kap Thang from the Falam region. His father was a well-known hunter. So
when Kap Thang was born his father simply chose this name to honour himself. “Kap“ means shoot or
shooting. And “Thang“ stands for famous or well-known. The two words therefore loosely imply: “He who is
well-known for shooting“.
Our names are, unlike that of the Burmans and many other ethnic groups in Burma, not unisex. And unlike
their counterparts in Western societies, Zo women, like most other Asian women, retain their original names
until their death.
Whenever two strangers make acquaintance with each other, they often ask each other from whom they
got their names. In this way, they get some hints about each other‘s family backgrounds immediately. And
several people have a nickname by which they are addressed by their family members and intimate friends.
Those who don‘t have nicknames are addressed by family members and friends simply by the last word of
their names - for example in my case, “Dal“, that is. The younger will use the word “U“ before the elder‘s
name as a gesture of respect - if the difference of age is not that big, or in other words, if they could be
brothers and sisters. But if the gap between the two persons‘ ages is too obvious - for instance, if they could
be father and son or mother and daughter, then the younger one uses these prefixes: “Pa“ before an older
man‘s name, and “Nu“ before an older woman‘s name. Another tradition which is being used by all Zo tribes
regardless of their locations. As soon as a married couple has got children, they original names will no be
used to address them by people who are not closely related to them. They will be named after the full names
of or nicknames of their first born child. In my case, those who used to call me “Dal“ will address me now
as “Vungpui Pa“ and my wife “Vungpui Nu“ which simply mean “Vungpui‘s father“ and “Vungpui‘s mother“.
Since my late eldest sister did not have nickname those who had to address my parents simply used these
words:„“Hau Za Man Pa“ and “Hau Za Man Nu“. See Glossary
Concerning Chin names, here‘s a very important thing that needs to be explained. Nowadays, strangers
will very often come across two words: Salai before male and Mai before female names. These words were
originally used by the majority of the Plains Chins. It is not known when they were first used, but they were
used in ancient times in honour of those who had heroically fought their enemies - perhaps along their
ways from the Tibetan Plateaus or Southwest China to their present homeland. Several Hill Chin youths
began adopting these words in the 1970s to show their common national identity with the Plains Chins. So,
these words have nothing to do with the users‘ original names.
“In order to make the distinctive identity of Chin ethnic groups that is to be cherished and preserved as
traditional symbol, in the year of 1973-74 the Chin Literature Society was assigned to do research for
choosing common titles before the names of the Chin people, regardless of different languages and places,
by the Chin Literature and Cultural Committee of Rangoon University. The Chin Literature Society did
research on this task for about six months. The research was carried out on the basis of discussions and
suggestions accumulated from knowledgeable persons of Chin community. Finally, the consensus was
reached and approved to choose 'Salai' for male and 'Mai' for female by the conference of the Chin Literature
and Cultural Committee of the Rangoon University held on the 13th November of 1973. From that time
onwards, Chin students studying in the various colleges and Universities lovingly used the titles 'Salai' and
'Mai' as their traditional symbols. It was widely recognized by Chin community in 1974-75 academic year;
90% of the participants used Salai and Mai before their names in the welcome ceremony for freshers... The
titles 'Salai' and 'Mai' were adopted from the Asho Chin language. "Salai" means a brave, faithful and noble
man whereas "Mai" means the noble lady who bears such men.“ (Voice of Hornbill. Issue No.1 Jan, 1997
(Chin Students Union)/ Website:Chinresource/06.02.2007)
There are seven prefixes before Zo names that could confuse those who are not familiar with the Zo
people‘s forms of addressing. Among people in Tiddim and Tonzang townships(Sizang, Sukte, Teizang,
Khuano, Tedim, Paihte, Zou, etc) there are three forms of address for male and three for female. “Taang“ for
young unmarried men; “Pa“ for middle-aged married or unmarried men; “Pu“ for elderly married or
unmarried men; “Lia“ for young unmarried women; “Nu“ for middle-aged married or unmarried women; “Pi“
for elderly married or unmarried women. “Pu“ and “Pi“ are also used as address forms of respect for men
and women regardless of their age, if the persons hold certain status or rank. Nearly all other Zos also use
“Pu“ and “Pi“ in the same way with the same meanings. And about the prefix “U“ has already been explained
previously. (For further explanations on Zo terms of kinship see Glossary)
By the way, traditionally the Burmans choose the names of their children according to astrology, so
you know immediately when you hear the name of a person on which weekday he or she was born.
However, nowadays poetic and fanciful names become very popular among them that have nothing to do
with astrology anymore. And most Burmese names are unisex. Other nationals such as the Kachins, Shans
and Karennis name their children serially. That means if you hear the name of a person you know
immediately whether that man or woman is the first son or daughter, or the second son or daughter or
the third or fourth child and so on. And several other Chin/Zo tribes also freely choose names that they
think are melodious or poetic or impressive.
12.7. SOCIAL LIFE AND CIVIC WORKS
I am quoting here some passages from Wikipedia on the social life of the Mizo people since it is to a large
extent representative also for the social life of the Zo people inside Burma as well.
“The fabric of soial life in the Mizo society has undergone tremendous change over the last few years.
Before the British arrived in these hills, for all practical purposes, the village and the clan formed units of
Mizo society. The Mizo code of ethics or dharma focused on "Tlawmngaihna", an untranslatable term
meaning that it was the obligation of all members of society to be hospitable, kind, unselfish, and helpful to
others. Tlawmngaihna to a Mizo stands for that compelling moral force which finds expression in self-
sacrifice for the service of others. The old belief, Pathian, is still used to mean God. Many Mizos have
embraced their new-found faith of Christianity .Their sense of values have also undergone a drastic change
and are largely being guided (directly and indirectly) by the Christian church organisations. Mizos are a
close-knit society with no class distinction and no sexual discrimination. 90% of them are cultivators and
the village functions as a large family. Birth, marriage, and death in the village are important occasions in
which the whole village is involved.(Wikepedia under Mizoram“
There are about the admirable civic works of an association called the Young Mizo Association (YMA),
founded in 1935 under the guidance of Welsch Christian missionaries, among the Mizos inside India.
Although its original and present aims were and are solely for social works, its political influence
among the Mizo population inside Mizoram is so strong that all political parties dare not ignore it. The
following is a couple of examples of its civic works: If, for instance, a dead body or a sick person has to be
carried through some or several villages, young people in every village, who are members of this
association or influenced by its civic codes, would immediately undertake the task of carrying the dead or
the sick to the next village regardless of the time of the day and the distance. They would even compete each
other to have a chance to carry it. At every funeral service the youths would undertake enthusiastically
and voluntarily all the necessary works from the time a person dies until his remains have been buried. The
traditional community spirit “Hlawmngaihna“ is an invaluable stabilizing force in times of sorrow and need.
The Mizo youths inside Burma are also well-organized in the same spirits and have been performing
similar social works. By the way, unlike the Zo people, the Burmans do not allow any stranger dead body to
be carried in or through their villages out of superstition. They believe it could bring them misfortunes.
12.8. THE ROLES AND RIGHTS OF WOMEN

Traditionally, the Zo women have no rights of inheritance unless their parents have given them any property
while they are still alive. The heritance goes only to the sons. Women, however, have the right to divorce on
grounds of adultery on their husbands‘ part and under some other irreconciliable circumstances. And they
enjoy a very special kind of favour from her former family members and relatives. For example, if someone
dies in a family, all the family members of the men who are married to women of the dead‘s sub-clan will
help with all the necessary arrangements and works until the end of funeral service. And if they can afford
they will also bring some animals such as goat or pig or mithan or cow to be consumed by mourners.
The following article will give the reader a general picture about the status, roles and rights of Chin/Zo
women although there are a number of differences in this sector among various tribes. One major difference
among some tribes, for instance, is the bride-price and dowry. Among a few tribes the bride-prices vary
according to the physical appearance(the degree of attractiveness), the skills, the status of birth(ruling class,
commoner, slave), etc. of a woman, just to name a few.
STATUS OF MIZO WOMEN
The main objective of this paper is to examine the status of Mizo women in a changing Mizo society from
historical and sociological perspectives for a worthwhile appraisal of her status today. My basic hypothesis
is that Mizo society is basically patriarchal in nature which is therefore responsible for the development of
hyper-masculine biasness thereby tending to push the woman to traditional familial roles.
As a result, patriarchal elites in Mizo society continue to dominate the society and politics till today. This
is also true in the case of East Asian and Southeast Asian societies. LHM Ling, in this connection, argues that
this patriarchal familial relation extends beyond the nuclear family to include multiple generations within
and across families, as well as social relations in general.
In other words, this kind of state-society relations corresponds directly to those between parents and
children: firm benevolence from parents/state in exchange for filial devotion from children/subjects.
Endorsing Ling's argument, Rose J Lee and Clark also strongly contend that "in almost all societies, women
as a whole are forced into subordinate roles and statuses that embedded in and reinforced by a wide array of
patriarchal cultures". Having its ethno-cultural roots in Southeast Asia, Mizo society is not an exception to
this. To have a clearer perspective on this, let us make a brief survey of the status of the Mizo women
through the ages beginning from pre-colonial period.
In a traditional Mizo society, the father was the head who was all-in-all over all his family affairs. In a
developed patriarchal system, the head of the household was also a representative in the inter-clan and
community relations. The power and authority of the patriarch over his children, young or adult, was often
almost unlimited. In most of the developed communities in which the patriarchy flourished, occasionally an
individual woman would achieve great fame and even became ruler. A case in point was the emergence of
Ropuiliani who became chief of Denlungah after the death of her husband, Vandula and established her
hegemony over other surrounding nine villages in South Mizoram in 1895. But this was an exception;
because Mizo woman, as in other patriarchal societies, seldom participated directly in public life.
In a Mizo family in the past, a woman had no right either in a family or society. As a matter of fact, she
belonged in body and mind, from her birth till her death, to her father and brother and to her husband after
her marriage. The woman possessed nothing even though she did most of the work within and outside the
house. The following sayings, among many others, clearly testify the inferior status of Mizo woman in the
past: (1) the wisdom of woman does not extend beyond the bank of a river; (2) woman (wife) and old fencing
can be replaced any time; (3) let a woman and a dog bark as they like; (4) woman and crab have no religion;
etc. Unlike the male child, by custom and convention, a Mizo woman had no inheritance right or share in the
property of her father. The Mizo customary laws were also male-biased and did not at all protect woman's
interests. The Mizo woman had no freedom to choose her future partner which was entirely in the hands of
her parents.
Two customary practices which inevitably accompanied her marriage were bride-price (mo man) and
dowry (thuam) which tended to treat woman as a sort of commodity. In the past, the dowry consisted of any
one or more of the following: at least three strings of thival beads; at least one string of thifen beads; and at
least one string of old amber beads, etc., plus household belongings commonly used by woman.
Another biasness of Mizo customary law was that a woman could commit adultery either while her
husband was alive or even after the death of her husband. If she committed adultery while her husband was
alive, the whole of the bride-price paid must be returned to her husband who was also entitled to retain his
wife's dowry. If she committed adultery after her husband's death while living in her husband's house, she
had to perform compulsorily three ceremonies such as thlaichhiah, thlahual, mithi chaw pek.
Thlaichhiah is a sacrificial ceremony for a dead husband. Because it was once believed that the spirit of
the slain animal on the occasion might accompany the departed soul to the other world. Another inseparable
ceremony is the thlahual which was performed in general for those who grieved too much over their beloved
ones in order to prevent their thla (soul) from following the spirit of the deceased. But in this particular
context, the woman's unfaithful behavior was believed to have disturbed her husband's spirit and the
ceremony was usually performed in order to quieten her husband's spirit. It was a kind of expression of
deep anguish over her immoral act. When this ceremony was performed, the woman had to remain at her
father's house at least three months.
During this period, she was to perform everyday another sacrifice called mithi chaw pek - a ceremony of
putting aside a portion of the food the woman was to eat at each meal for her dead husband. But the
question here is: what happened to the man with whom she committed the act of adultery? The Mizo custom
was completely silent on this. Divorce was also so easy. One had to simply say to his wife "I divorce you". Of
course there were several ways of divorce in traditional Mizo society (by simply returning the bride-price, by
mutual agreement, etc). When divorced, a woman could not claim ownership of the children.
With the coming of Christianity followed by modern education, the position of a Mizo woman had
undergone tremendous changes. In the beginning, Mizo parents refused to send their daughters to school,
saying "who would work if the girls were sent to school?"
A group of young Mizo men also told the lady missionaries that they did not want to have their girls
educated for; they said that women and girls were destined to do the household works. They further argued
that women had no mind and there was no point in trying to bother about their education. Despite this
opposition, Mizo girls began to learn the three R's including child care, home nursing, cooking, knitting,
sanitation, etc. As a result, there was a great difference in the facial expressions and outlook of educated
women and those of uneducated womenfolk. Soon the Mizo young men also began to prefer educated wives
and the whole status of women became more respectable than before. The value systems had also undergone
sweeping changes. Traditional value systems were being replaced by modern and western value systems.
When political consciousness dawned upon the people from the forties of the 20th century, women were no
longer confined to the four walls of their kitchen.
Aware of their age-old inferior status and because of the impact of modern education, Mizo women have
recently formed the Mizo Hmeichhia Inzawmkhawm Pawl (MHIP) and its counterpart in Manipur- have been
spearheading the movement for the overall emancipation and welfare of womenfolk in Mizo society. Among
others, the MHIP has been trying to eradicate the commercialization of the bride-price; the dowry system;
sexual exploitation of women of any kind; and inequality between man and woman.
At the same time, it has also taken measures to uphold women's values and rights; to promote and bring
about a cosmopolitan outlook to the women in general and through various activities like seminars,
workshops and conferences; to impart instructions to rural women through demonstrations and lectures; to
serve as a channel of communication for the protection of women's interests; to sensitize women for
eradication of social evils, economic exploitation and cheap commercialism concerning women; to
encourage women's participation in public life including politics; to promote women's education and to take
up their mental and moral welfare; and to raise funds through donation, subscription, fees and other
contributions from the members of the association, general public and financial institutions including
government.
Thanks to the two frontal women's organizations, Mizo women today are having a better place in the
society. Marriage is now a matter in which their opinion is sought first. Exploitation in the name of sex has
greatly decreased. Unlike in the past, there is no more social stigma on widow or divorced woman. Today a
Mizo woman plays a very significant role in all walks of life. A visit to market places reveals that almost all
shops are run by women with their neat, tip-top dresses and stylish hairdo like those of the Bold and the
Beautiful ones. This picture is not different when one goes to offices or educational institutions which
usually have no fewer womenfolk than their male counterparts. Socially and economically, woman has now
an honored place in today's Mizo society. A Mizo woman is as free as her male counterpart. She has now a
due share in her parental or ancestral property and is even entitled to inherit her father.
This is the general picture of a Mizo women's position today. But when we talk in terms of their political
participation, they are still much lagging behind of their male counterparts. Why is this so? On the whole,
woman representation in any political decision-making processes is abysmally low in the whole of Asia and
else where. In a very developed country like Japan, the percentage of woman representation in the national
diet is only 2.3 percent and the highest is in Finland where proportional representation of woman stands at
38.5 percent. Development and modernization are expected to accelerate social and policy reforms
regarding the status of woman.
It is also theorized that social and economic changes combined with modernization should help a woman
overcome many of the social barriers which are engrained in the patriarchal culture of Mizo society. There
are attempts for empowerment of women through legislative reforms. But in so far as the election scenario
both at the level of the village council and assembly is concerned, women's participation in political
decision-making is still a far cry away. Why is this so? As it has been pointed out before, Mizo society is
basically a patriarchal society which encourages hyper-muscularity in all its social, economic and political
functions while at the same time, pushing hyper-femininity at the bottom of the society. In spite of their high
literacy and competence as civil officers both in the state and central services, their political role has yet to
assume noticeable significance.
In the final analysis, overall democratization of Mizo's socio-economic and political structures can be
expected to promote women's empowerment and emancipation. This will mean clear-cut reservation of
electoral seats right from the grassroots level as it has been implemented in the panchayati raj institutions
where even a fixed quota of pradhan (chairperson) in gram panchayats and adhyakshas (Chairpersons) in
Zilla Parishads are reserved for elected women. The enhanced political representation will again enable them
to enhance their political power so that they can have more equitable share in decision-making for their
society. Given this political power, women even within the patriarchal cultural domination, will be able to
exercise their political rights for more fulfilling and rewarding roles in the society.
Women's empowerment has become a global issue and the question of the Mizo woman's political
empowerment need to be considered in the context of what is being done and implemented in East Asia and
South-east Asian regions. Everything said and done, only democratization and empowerment can provide a
Mizo woman an avenue through which she can continue her long journey towards her total emancipation.
To be more specific, two political mechanisms may be considered in this regard: increased proportional
representation of woman in all elected bodies and fixation of a certain quota of offices therein; and the
increased political activities by autonomous women's bodies. Then and then only, she can be in policy-
making elites and decide for the overall improvement of women's status.
Note: This paper Status of Mizo Women was written by Prof. Dr. Lal Dena, Department of History, Manipur
University, Imphal, on the occasion of the Mizo‘s Women Day two years ago and was published locally in
Mizoram. (Source: The Sangai Express & www.zoin.net) tzd

12.9. VILLAGE PLANNING*
Traditionally, village sites were chosen with an eye for defense in case of war - and there were always wars -
and also for water supplies. The most often migrated Zo tribes such as Luseis, Thados and Hualngos and
some other tribes in central and northern Chinland/Zoram built their villages on tops of ridges for most
villages in these regions are situated on slopes. In these regions stream water was brought to villages by
bamboo or wooden flumes. The same patterns of villages and water systems are still widely found in several
parts of Zoram in modern times.
There‘s an unusual thing with all the new Zo settlements in both Burma and India that could probably
be interesting for outside observers, because other ethnic groups in their neighbouring regions do not have
this tradition. These new Zo settlements(about 200 villages ranging from 30 to 800 houses per village) in
the Kale-Kabaw - and Gangaw Valleys in neighbouring Sagaing and Magway Divisions since the 1920s
have been using systematic village planning - i.e. straight and wide roads(even the narrowest road is wide
enough for two bullock carts to pass through freely - that means circa 3.5 metres) criss-crossing equally-
proportionated residential blocks in every village. The idea was not imposed upon them by any outside
experts or authorities; it was their own idea*.
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
* Sometime ago I encountered with a couple of Europeans who wondered if the village planning mentioned here had in fact been done at the
suggestions of or under the guidance of some Western Christian missionaries stationed there. Several new Chin settlements had already taken
place long before they became Christian. Author
12.10. THREE SCHOLARS‘ OPINIONS ON THE CHIN/ZO PEOPLE

I would like to present here three opinions on our people - one by Prof. Dr. Lehman and the two others by
two native Zos.
29 Jan 2002 15:26:19; Subject: [chinland] Chin-Lushei Conference
(Dear Subcribers, The following is a feedback [edited by CFIS - Chin Forum Information Service]
from Professor F. K. Lehman on our 29th January 2000 posting regarding the CHIN-LUSHEI CONFERENCE
1892/(Joshua/ZONET)/To:<zomi@egroups.com;From: "Joshua Gin Shoute" <shoute@catholic.org>
12.10.1. CHIN AND LUSHAI(MIZO)
_“ Yes AND no. Yes because there is an indefnitely long pre-colonial history of there being close and
special interaction between Chin and Mizo/Lushai; they certainly recognised close kinship and, for instance,
exchanged ritual forms and even to some degree formal ritual language forms. No because, none the less,
the Mizo, after crossing the Tio stream into present Mizoram about [AD] 1700, looked to India and had
special political relations both with Assam/Cachar/Manipur and with the Naga groups immediately north of
them, whilst the Chin consistently looked to the Burma plain for THEIR vision of the attractions of
civilisation. 'Vai' [Indians] for the Lushai meant the Assam plains; for the Chin it meant Kawl Ram [Burman
land]. Moreover, owing without doubt to these differential connections (after [AD]1700, again), the social
structure of Lushai differered remarkably from that of the Central Falam, Hakha, Tedim Chin and even
Southern Matupi (Ngala), Mindat (Cho), etc. That is, the Chin quite generally maintained a system of
asymmetrical marriage relations such that the clan or lineage of one's wife-givers (in Lai Holh patong)* was
necessarily distinct from the lineages of one's wife-takers (in Lai, nuzuar). Lushai/Mizo did not maintain it
in this form; alliances simply failed to endure over even short stretches of time, so this distinction became
hidden and 'invisible'.
You may imagine these are trivial differences, and no doubt in the context of current politics they are seen
that way, but the differences are important, even though, as I admitted above, they do not work against the
fact that the Chin-Lushai certainly recognised very close linguistic and cultural kinship of a very special
sort - but NOT political closeness. It is on such grounds a capital error to suppose that there was anything
remotely resembling a pre-colonial Chin-Lushai Land, a sort of 'independent country'. What the special
relationship of course entailed was that they certainly contended with one another closely for hegemony.
Sailo chiefs certainly tried to wrest land and jurisdiction from many Mara/Lakher Chin chiefs and even some
Lai and Laizo chiefs, and this much more systematically than any such attempts aimed Northward against
Tangkhul or Southern Naga chiefs for instance. Still, it is strikingly clear that this was about land and about
people closely related, not about 'countries' or any unified political order! Contrarise, it is clear that, for
instance, there was no documented overlap between Mizo/Lushai/Sailo type chieftainship and that of the
Chin, such as existed as between Lai and Lakher, Lai and Falam and so on; not or any organised inter-
marriage between the two kinds of chiefly clans and families.** The political organisations were simply too
disparate for that.
The generals[Burma‘s] were then half right and half mistaken. Right because they saw the close kinship
and economic interaction and the fact that movement of persons between Mizo and Chin was especially
common and relatively easy. They would have capitalised on it as a basis for colonial administration, had
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Note: See next page for explanations on these two marked subjects.
they won their case. Wrong, however, because they mistook what they saw for evidence of an indigenous
single society or political order - which it was definitely NOT.
Remark: Dr. Lehman regards himself - and being highly regarded by his fellow non-Chin
anthropologists as well, as an authority on the Chin-Kuki-Mizo people; and his book The Structure of Chin
Society has been the only standard reference work since its publication. Author.
12.10.2. TOWARDS ZO UNIFICATION
Posted by: Admin on Saturday, December 17, 2005 - 04:36 AM [190 Reads]
Article
By L. Keivom
The topic given to me by the Convener, Zomi Human Rights Foundation, Delhi Cell, for this seminar was
‘Zo Re-unification’ in the line of my article written six years ago for the seminar organized by the Zomi
Re-Unification Organization at Aizawl. As you would have seen, I have rephrased the title as ‘Towards Zo
Unification’ to make the subject more neutral than the former which technically implies primordiality of
the Zo unity as single ethnic entity in their presumed historic homeland from where they dispersed and
settled in areas now occupied by them in Myanmar, India and Bangladesh with each group identifying itself
as a separate tribe. This is known as ‘ethnic dissolution’ through fusion, fission or proliferation. In this
paper, I am going to briefly survey the progress of Zo unification and note down my observations.
Who are the Zo People?
Here I use the term ‘Zo’ to represent Chin, Kuki and Mizo/Zomi (Chikumi) group as defined by G. A. Grierson
in the Linguistic Survey of India Vol. III Part III as one linguistic ethnic community belonging to the Tibeto-
Burman group with the exception of the Meiteis for obvious reasons.
The Zo people believe that their earliest known settlement was a large cave with a big stone lid called
Sinlung or Khûl somewhere in China. Conjecturally, the presumed ancestral homeland could have been
located somewhere in and around the Stone Forest near Kunming in Yunan Province in China during the
Nanchao Dynasty. With the collapse of the Nanchao rule, many tribes fled its stranglehold, some heading
southward like the Karens, the Siams (now known as Thais) and other kindred tribes and the rest towards the
west like the Shans, the Burmans, the Kachins, the Arakanese, the Meiteis, the Naga group of tribes, the Zo
group of tribes and many other tribes now inhabiting the north-east India. The first major dispersal from
Yunan took place in early 9th century A.D and the second wave between 13th-14th century. The Burmans’
first known settlement was established at Kyaukse near Mandalay around A.D 849 and then moved to Pagan
on the eastern bank of Irrawady where the Burman King Anawarahta in A.D 1044 founded the famous
kingdom known as Pagan Dynasty. The modern history of Burma (Myanmar) began from here.
The Zo ancestors, however, chose to follow the call of the unknown and continued to head further west
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Explanations for previous page:
* This “wife-giver, wife-taker“ tradition is practised by only some tribes in the Haka area in central Chinland and a few other Zo tribes in
Manipur State. Actually, among the northern Chin tribes - that is, the Sizangs, Tiddims, Sukte, Zou, Thados and Khuanos - it‘s an ancient tradition
that a mother would try to find wife for her son from the daughters of her own brothers - but not her sister‘s. It was and still is quite widely a
tabu for a man to marry his cousin sister from his father‘s side. And although all the Chin traditions, customs and superstitions are basically
closely related there are no such things as standard Chin traditions or customs or superstitions or religious beliefs as suggested by Sakhong and
Lehman in their books. And bride prices among those northern Chins have always been more or less just symbolic. Until very recently - that is, up
to about the 1940s there were very few intermarriages between different tribes.
** There were almost no intermarriages between the chief families of different northern Chin tribes either.
into the Chindwin River and the Kabaw Valley then already under the suzerainty of the Shan princes
(swabaws) some of whose disparate groups later established the Ahom kingdom in Assam. From there
some headed southwest and spread over in the present Rakhine (Arakan) State in Myanmar and
Chittagong Hills Tract in Bangladesh. But the major bulk of them continued to move westward, climbed
the rugged Chin Hills and settled in its mountain fastnesses undisturbed from outside forces for a period
long enough to establish their own pattern of settlement and administration, socio-cultural norms and
practices, beliefs and rituals, myths and legends, folk tales, music and dance and many other customs and
traditions which they handed down from generation to generation and to the present time.
Zo Dispersal
It was during the Chin Hills settlement that the linear strata became more defined and clanism more
emphasized as each clan and sub-clans moved and settled in groups thereby subsequently resulting in the
formation of new tribes and sub-tribes. In this way, the Zo group of tribes, clans and sub-clans speaking
varied Zo dialects were born. As they spread out over different hills clan by clan and moved along, they
became more and more isolated from each other and their loyalty concentrated more and more on their
respective clans. Consequently, they became fiercely insular, loyal to their clan only and fought each other
to gain supremacy over others as well as to defend their lands and honor from intrusion by others. In the
absence of a centrally controlled authority, therefore, inter-tribal rivalries and wars were common, leaving a
trail of bitterness and hate. This was basically the condition when the British came and subjugated the Zo
world and its people.
The size of the Zo population is variously estimated to be from 2.5 to 5 million. It is not possible at
present to know the exact figure mainly for lack of reliable statistical data and the fact that many Zo tribes
and clans have for long been classified as belonging to other ethnic camps. Zo people have yet to accept a
common nomenclature to represent their collective identity. Till now, they are commonly identified as ‘Chin’
in Myanmar; ‘Lusei’ and subsequently ‘Mizo’ in Mizoram and elsewhere; and ‘Kuki’ in Manipur, Nagaland,
Assam, Tripura and Chittagong Hills Tract. Many tribes within the Zo group have also identified themselves
as separate tribes and are recognized as such under the Indian Constitution.
The Linguistic Survey of India published in 1904 identified more than 40 Zo dialects of which Duhlian-
Lusei dialect now known, as ‘Mizo language’ is the most developed and understood and is gradually
evolving to become the lingua franca of the Zo people. The best linguistic cauldron in the Zo world is
Churachandpur town in Manipur where as many as eight Zo dialects out of eleven major Zo tribes are spoken
and understood along with Manipuri, Hindi and English.
The Role of the Colonial Power
Before the Zo people realized what had in store for them, the British had already put their lands under
different administrations. However, realizing the mistake and the need to set it right, the Chin-Lushai
Conference at Fort William Calcutta in January 1892 unanimously agreed “it is desirable that the whole tract
of country known as the Chin-Lushai Hills should be brought under one Administrative head as soon as this
can be done.” To set the ball rolling, the Chin Hills Regulation was adopted in 1896 to regulate the
administration of the Zo people in the Chin Hills as well as other Zo inhabited areas also where the
Regulation also extended. Two years later, in 1898, North Lushai Hills under Assam and South Lushai Hills
under Bengal were amalgamated as one Lushai Hills District under Assam as proposed at the Calcutta
conference as a first concrete step towards the establishment of a common administrative unit for the Zo
people. The proposal also included the eventual integration of Zo inhabited areas of the Arakan Hill Tracts
into the Lushai Hills District.
For political reasons, the proposed unified administration was never implemented. The belated proposal
of Robert Reid, Governor of Assam to create a hill province comprising areas inhabited by the Mongoloid
hill tribes in the region was also overtaken by the Second World War and its aftermath. The Zo people are,
therefore, found today in Chin, Rakhine (Arakan) and Sagaing States in Myanmar; Assam, Manipur,
Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Assam and Tripura States in India; and Chittagong Hills Tract and
its adjoining areas in Bangladesh.
The British rule had a tremendous impact on Zo politics. On the negative side, they divided up all the Zo
inhabited areas under different rulers and reduced them to a miniscule. On the positive side, they
established law and order that provided the Zo people an opportunity to consolidate in their respective areas
and interact with each other more widely under a settled administration. Though the proposal to bring all Zo
inhabited areas under one administrative head did not materialize, the introduction of the Chin Hills
Regulation, 1896 and its subsequent extension to all Zo inhabited areas as mentioned earlier could be
regarded as a partial fulfillment of the Calcutta resolution. The Chin Hills Regulation and its extension to all
Zo inhabited areas by the British was a recognition on their part of the oneness and indivisibility of the Zo
people as well as their desire to live under one roof.
Another important aspect of the British rule was the introduction of elementary education wherever the
missionaries set their feet. They followed the heels of the British flag, won the hearts of the people through
the gospel wand and opened up new vistas and hopes. They produced a new kind of people who could not
only read and write but think and reduce their feelings and knowledge into a written word. They became the
elites and intelligentsias who played an important role in national rediscovery. They reduced in writing their
past histories, myths and legends, folklores and folk-songs, customs and traditions which reminded the
simple folks that they were a 'nation' with an enviable past, a glorious history and culture and that they
should rediscover themselves again.
Christianity and Zoness
A greater force in the process of Zo integration has been the Christian faith, which in fifty years turned
Mizoram and many Zo inhabited areas into a Christian land. The newly zealous Zo converts took it as their
privileged burden to tell the Good News to their kindred tribes and many had volunteered to go to the
heathen Zo areas to preach the Gospel. These apostle-like preachers carried the good tidings along with
new Christian hymns in Lushai dialect, which the pioneer missionaries employed as a vehicle to spread the
Gospel. As a result, Lushai dialect quickly developed into a rich language to become an effective instrument
for spreading the gospel and Zo integration. The first Bible translation and many other pioneering
publications among the Zo tribes were in Lushai that subsequently came to be known as 'Mizo language', a
language that became the link language of the Zo people. Wherever Zo preachers carried the Gospel and new
churches were planted, they also implanted Zo-ness, thus paving the way for a re-unification. Therefore,
next to their common ethnic root, Christianity has become the most important bonding force of the Zo
people. A Zo professing any other faith except the traditional religion (animism) is considered by the
majority Zo Christians as not only a renegade but an alien. Being a Zo and a Christian is like a coin with two
faces.
The Call by Zo Integrationists
Let us now briefly examine the progress in the process of Zo integration. When we talk of call for Zo
integration, we do not necessarily imply immediate political integration of all their inhabited areas in
exercise of their right of self-determination which is an inherent right of every human soul.
The first step in achieving integration is the creation of an atmosphere congenial to the growth of emotional
integration and the sense of oneness within the community. Therefore, the visions and focus of Zo
integrationists have been first and foremost the promotion of emotional integration amongst the dispersed
and disparate Zo tribes by constantly reminding them of (a) their common ethnic or ancestral root, historic
homeland, myths and historical memories, culture, language, hopes and dreams; (b) that their only chance
of survival as an ethnic nation is to unite into a cohesive force under a collective proper name with a
common dynamic language and (c) if they do not heed the writings on the wall and continue to maintain
fissiparous tendencies, they are digging their own grave and will soon be wiped off from the face of the
earth without a trace. To the Zo nationalists, this is not a question of choice but a do or die thing. History is
replete with such examples.
Ethnic Cores For Integration
A study of the history of nation formation, whether Western civic model or non-Western ethnic model, would
clearly indicate that ethnic nation states were normally formed in the first place around a dominant
community or ethnie which annexed or attracted other ethnies or ethnic fragments into the state to which it
gave a name. In other words, it is the ethnic core or the dominant group that often shapes the character and
boundaries of the nation; for it is very often on the basis of such a core that states coalesce to form nations.
The ethnic core or the dominant community with its myths of ethnic election ensures ethnic self-renewal and
long-term survival and this has been certainly the key to the Jewish survival in the face of deadly adversities.
This is also true in the case of the Zo people. After the Zo settlement in and dispersal from the Chin Hills,
potential core clans or tribes appeared in the Zo domain from time to time like the Thados, the Suktes, the
Zahaus, the Kamhaus, the Sailos and others but none so were as successful as the Sailo clan. By their
wisdom and foresight, the Sailo clan stood united in the face of challenges and adversaries and soon almost
the whole of the present Mizoram State fell under their sway. They unified various Zo tribes under their rule,
introduced uniform code of administration and social and moral codes of conduct and mobilized the
disparate tribes into one linguistic and cultural community conscious of themselves as a force with a
historical destiny.
The outcome was that when the British came to subdue them, the Sailo chiefs* won victory in defeat by
carving out of their domain a separate autonomous Lushai Hills District named after their tribe. On this
soil prepared by them consciously or unconsciously, Zo nationalism and identity began to grow slowly but
surely. Though people from the Lushai Hills were then classified as Lushai, one of the Zo tribes, majority of
the inhabitants belonged to other Zo tribes such as Hmar, Lakher (Mara) Pawi (Lai), Paite(Tiddim), Ralte,
Thado etc., and amongst them they unmistakably addressed to each other not as Lushai but as 'Mizo' (a man
of Zo or a Zo-man) and they used this terminology to cover all Zo descent. Some writers have translated the
term 'Mizo' to mean 'Hillman/Highlander' but this interpretation may not stand a close scrutiny. The intrinsic
meaning appears to be much deeper and therefore should not be deduced by attaching locational
connotation to the term.
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
* See explanation on next page
Whatever be the case, the term 'Mizo' quickly gained popular acceptance in the Lushai Hills as a common
nomenclature for all the Zo descent. Consequently, the name of Lushai Hills was changed into Mizo Hills and
when it attained the status of Union Territory and later Statehood it became 'Mizoram', a land of the Mizo or
Zo people. This was the first time in Zo history that their land or territory had been named after their own
given name. It may be pertinent to mention here that the nomenclatures like 'Chin' and 'Kuki' are derogatory
terms given by outsiders to the Zo people whereas 'Zo' is a self-given name that is dignified, honorable and
all embracing. It now virtually stands as the collective name of the Zo descent. And Mizoram can claim a
pride of place as a land where every Zo descent is fully integrated in 'Mizo'.
At the Crossroads
When India and Pakistan gained independence from the British rule in 1947 and Burma in the following
year, the politically conscious Zo leaders of Mizoram were in a fix. They knew that Zo inhabited regions
would be divided up by three countries- a Buddhist country, a Muslim country and a Secular but Hindu
dominated country. By then, two fledgling political parties namely Mizo Union and United Mizo Freedom
Organization (UMFO) had already been born with the latter in favor of merging with their kindred tribes in
Burma which they believed would ensure a better chance of their survival. The original founders of the Mizo
Union were staunch nationalists in favor of self-determination of some kind of which they were not clear.
However, a few months after it was formed, Mizo Union was torn asunder by the machinations of highly
ambitious educated leaders who came under the influence of the Indian nationalists. Resorting to populist
politics, these so-called Mizo-Indian nationalists hoodwinked the innocent and unsuspecting peasant folks,
captured the Mizo Union party leadership and presided over one of the most crucial moments in Zo history
without a vision and an agenda. The result was disillusionment that exploded in armed rebellion after
twenty years. This was called the Mizo National Front (MNF) movement and for twenty years it spat out the
fire of Zo nationalism and independence from the barrel of imported guns.
Whatever the differences in the visions of the political leaders of the day, they were and are always united
in one thing: ZO INTEGRATION. The Mizo Union representation before the President of the Constituent
Assembly, inter alia, included amalgamation of all Zo inhabited areas to form Greater Zoram(Zoland). With
this vision in mind, the Zo leaders, on the eve of India's independence, signed a declaration amounting to
conditional accession to the Indian Union in which a provided clause was inserted to the fact that the Zo
people would have the right to remain with or secede from the Indian Union after a period of ten years. The
Mizo Union conference at Lakhipur on November 21,1946 which was attended by many Zo representatives
resolved unanimously that all Zo areas in Burma and India including Chittagong Hills Tract be amalgamated
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Explanation for previous page: * “... The Lusei chiefs all claim descent from a certain Thangura who belonged to the Lusei tribe and lived in the
earlier part of the eighteenth century at Tlangkua[Tlangkhua], north of Falam(Chin Hills in Burma). From him sprung six lines of Lusei chiefs,
namely Rokhuma, Zadenga, Thangluaha, Paliana, Rivunga and Sailoa... The Sailos(the great grandsons of Thangura) were the most important of all
the Lusei clans. Lallula, the Sailo, established his firm control over the entire north and southern Lushai Hills by 1840. He established a dynasty
popularly called the Lullula dynasty which ruled the Lushai Hills till its annexation. Lallula had five sons, Lalpuilina, Lallianvunga,
Manpawrha[Mangpura], Vuta and Kungliana. In the territory between Manipur and Burma Vuta‘s[Vuttaia] descendants became very powerful
chiefs... The very famous son of Mangpura was Suakpuilala, an illustrious figure in the Anglo-Lushai relationship... Howlongs, the masters of a
considerable part of the South Lushai Hills whom the English subjugated with great difficulty were a cognate branch of the Sailo... (Baveja, J. D.,
August 1872, No. 220. Edgar‘s Memorandum to the Chief Commissioner, Dacca. 3 April 1872). The Sailo chiefs, descended from Sailova came into
prominence last, and successfully crushed all their rivals. They had developed such a talent for governing that they held undisputed sway over
representatives of all sorts of clans, and covered nearly the whole of the present Lushai Hills. It was this great family that came into contact with
the British government. The British recorded the Sailo chiefs under various names because their dealings with them were generally through
illiterate interpreters. It was said that the Howlongs, who caused much anxiety on the Chittagong frontier, Lallula‘s descendants, whose doings
filled the records of Silchar, Vanhnuailiana, Savunga and Sangvunga, against whom the Lushai Expedition of 1871-72 was sent, were all Sailo
Chiefs.(Shakespear, J., The Lushai Kuki Clans; Part I, Reprinted, 1975, Aizawl, p. 5). See Tables 2, 3, 7/A, 7/B, and Appendix A.
to form a Greater Zoram State. It is thus cleared that Zo re-unification issue has occupied the minds of the Zo
leaders right from the time of India's independence.
The Big Bang
The most widespread Zo re-unification movement came in 1966 in the form of an armed rebellion
spearheaded by the Mizo National Front (MNF). The main objective of the MNF was to declare Zo right of self-
determination and to establish 'Independent Zoram' for all the Zo inhabited areas. The movement rekindled
national sentiments throughout Zoland and many young men from all corners of Zoland joined the
movement and fought for Zo rights. Mizo Integration Council and later Mizo Integration Party were formed in
1970 with its headquarters in Churachandpur, Manipur. This party was the progenitor of Zomi National
Congress (ZNC) born two years later and its offshoot Zomi Re-unification Organization (ZORO). Under the
banner of ZORO, the First World Zomi Convention on Re-Unification was held at Champhai from May 19-21,
1988 which was attended by representatives from all Zo inhabited areas.
The armed struggle for Zo independence lasted twenty years and peace returned in 1986 when Mizoram
attained Statehood. This was preceded by the formation of Mizoram in 1972 when the status of Union
Territory was granted by India. The birth of Mizoram was a big boost to the Zo peoples' search for a political
identity and a formal recognition of their existence. It was the first time in Zo history that a full-fledged State
was named after its own given name. It was also for the first time that a core state had been established
through and around which Zo reunification would eventually evolve and grow.
It will be pertinent to mention here that in fact, the first Zo State was born in the name of Chin Special
Division in 1948 when Burma became independent. But being divested of power and funds from the start and
the absence of a dominant group who could weld the many Zo tribes into a single entity, the Chin
State could never be able to play the role of a core state. It has been a state torn by tribalism with Babel of
tongues to add to its woes. Their lingua franca has become Burmese and not a Zo language. It is interesting
to note that, even here, the most understood language is the 'Mizo language' though actual speakers are
small in number.
Present Scenario
The political dust kicked up by the MNF movement in 1966 settled with the grant of Statehood and the return
of the MNF outfits in 1986 from their Arakan hideout and the euphoria over the new status also soon waned
and evaporated. Soon, the heavily deficit Mizoram State began to bite the reality of governance. Corruption of
all kinds and the spirit of insulation and intolerance seep in. As it comfortably settled in its State cushion,
the core State has begun to slowly abandon its role model as a forerunner of Zo integration and has become
less and less accommodating. Increasing intolerance shown to non-Mizo speaking Zo community from
within and outside Mizoram by the Mizo speaking community has caused ripple effects on the progress of Zo
unification and put the process of integration in a reverse gear.
In an interview in November-December, 1998, a leading Mizo historian B. Lalthangliana, when asked why
various tribes which he claimed as Mizo were bent on establishing their own identity, admitted that when he
was doing some research for his book on Mizo history the Maras also known as Lakhers from Southern
Mizoram came up to him and told him not to include their name in the list of Mizo groups. “Many Maras” he
said, “still do not like to be called Mizo…In this manner the Thado-Kukis of Manipur or the Paites also did.
The Thado-Kukis, however, do not mind identifying themselves as Mizo…it is the Paites, in fact, who have
distanced themselves from the Mizo identity”.
Awareness of the danger of their position and the inevitability of their eventual demise unless they are
united has greatly increased in recent years. How fast consideration for ethnic national survival will supplant
petty tribalism from the Zo mind remains to be seen. There lies the fate and destiny of the Zo people. Like
charity, the politics of survival always begins at home.
--------------------
Note: December 17, 2005, Delhi
* Anthony D. Smith, 'National Identity', Penguin, London , 1991 p.39
Copyright 2003 - 2005. All rights reserved by HMAR.ORG.
The posted comments, opinions, et al of the posters does not necessarily reflects that of HMAR.ORG.
Note: The Author, Mr. L. Keivom, is a retired Indian Foriegn Service Officer, serving the Indian Ministry of External Affiars as
Ambassador of India to Burma, France and as Joint Secretary for Minister of External Affairs of India. tzd
______________________
12.10.3. THE TERM “ZO“

_ The term 'Zo' has been proposed by Zo Re-unification Organisation (ZORO) as a possible collective
identity for the people who are referred to by a variety of names. Some of these names are Chin, Kuki, Mizo,
Zomi, Asho and Bawm. These people not only bear differentiating identities, but are separated also by the
three international frontiers of India, Burma and Bangladesh. Their land is contiguous and lies along
Northeast India, Northwest Burma and the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh. ZORO's main headquarters
is at Aizawl, in Mizoram.
While there is no definitive evidence to date, there are indications that at one time 'Zo' was a collective
identity of the concerned people. For example, in 1909 Gereni wrote: 'Kuki is one of the terms by which the
Chin-Lushai tribes are collectively designated, whereas they call themselves Zhô.' Literally, 'Zo' means 'the
highlands'. In other words 'Zo' are 'highlanders'. 'Zo', as a word, is present in the various dialects of the
people, with identical meaning.
The term 'Chin' seems to have originated from among the Burmese people in Burma, and 'Kuki' from
among the Bengali and Assamese peoples in India. The period of their origins is yet to be ascertained. In
post-independent India, 'Mizo' was recognised as a term to identify a section of the same 'Kuki-Chin'
ethnic entity in Mizoram. The mix of the various clans and groups that come under these identities are more
or less the same, with a preponderance of one in each. The state of indeterminacy with regard to the
people's indigenous collective identity may be a reason that the terms 'Chin' and 'Kuki' were introduced,
and the fact that they have taken considerable root. Prior to the introduction of these identities — and their
reinforcement for administrative convenience during the colonial and post-colonial eras — the people were
identi-fied by their respective clan, group or village name. Evidently, the need for a collective identity was
not critical then. The indigenous terms 'Mizo' or 'Zomi' means 'people of Zo' and the 'Zo people',
respectively. Both of the terms represent the 'Zo Nation'. Given their history of identity influx and the
consequent events that continue to besiege the people — for example, Naga and Kuki conflict concentrated
in Manipur - it would be rational, beneficial and politically correct to converge on a single identification
term, such as 'Zo'.
With regard to language, the Dulien or Lusei (Lushai) dialect is regarded as the lingua franca in the
state of Mizoram. There is no Chin or Kuki language, but there are many Chin or Kuki dialects. The dialects
are often referred to as languages, which belong to the Tibeto-Burman linguistic group. Language seems
to be a more appropriate usage for a people that are represented by a national identity.
The different identities and the international boundaries that separate the people have caused major
problems. For example, 'Although the YMA considered the Mizos and Chins as brothers, the Chin are
nevertheless foreigners as there lies in between, the international boundary [emphasis added].'
Circumstances have been created that privilege 'international boundary', thereby extending it 'legitimacy' —
which otherwise is normally referred to as 'artificial'.
Another divisive factor is the concept of 'tribe' in relation to the Constitution Scheduled Castes and
Scheduled Tribes Lists, Government of India. 'Tribe' is not applicable to the 'Zo' people. This is because it
indicates distinctiveness between different groups. The 'Zo' people are a consanguineous group. They share
the same culture, customs, folklore and a common past, which are underpinned by their genealogical ties.
In the context of the Constitution Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Lists, 'Zo' could be referred to as
'tribe' and its constituents as sub-tribes. The preferred terminology to 'tribe' is 'nation', and 'Zo' is a national
identity. In terms of applicability, it is perhaps more appropriate to refer 'tribe' to Naga, which is composed
of a number of disparate tribes. Virtually each and every Naga 'tribe' or 'nation' has its own language and
culture that are unique.
Introduction of the concept of 'tribe' through the Constitution Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
Lists (Modification) Order, 1956 has been detrimental to the Kukis in Manipur. It has recognised the various
clans and groups as separate tribes, effectively resulting in further divisions of the people and the
disintegration of their identity. For instance, in the twenty-first century and the age of the Internet, the
ethnic people of Manipur are listed as 'Meitei, Naga, Meitei Pangal [Muslim] and other colourful
communities'.
The ideology and objectives of Zo reunification includes bringing together the people who are presently
known by names, such as Chin, Kuki, Mizo, Zomi, Asho and Bawm under a single identity and as one nation.
The deliberations of ZORO will hopefully turn the tide against any divisive trend and instil a sense of
mutuality and solidarity among the entire people that it represents.
The following are some more information that should certainly perplex - and arouse the curiosity as well of
- the reader:
_________________________________________________________
Note: The above article is a reprint of Dr. S. Haokip‘s letter to a Mr. Barauh. Author
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-----------------------------------------------
12.11. CHIN-KUKI-MIZO: A LOST TRIBE OF ISRAEL?
12.11. 1. Amishav Organization: Lost Tribe Returns to Israel
THE ISRAEL REPORT January/February 2000
37 Descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel Due to Arrive at Ben-Gurion Airport on Friday
After Centuries of Exile, Bnei Menashe Return to Zion Jerusalem - An emotional scene is expected at Ben-
Gurion airport early Friday as 37 descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel are set to arrive at 6:50 a.m.
on EL AL flight #0076 out of Bombay. The new arrivals, members of the Bnei Menashe, are coming to Israel
under the auspices of the Jerusalem-based Amishav organization, which is dedicated to locating
descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel and returning them to the Jewish people. They join an additional
450 Bnei Menashe (children of the Tribe of Manasseh) already residing in the country.
Sources: http://www.cdn-friends-icej.ca/isreport/janfeb00/lost.html
_____________________
12.11.2. LOST TRIBE OF ISRAEL
TIME Magazine/February 28, 2000
Mizos living in the remote hills of northeastern India claim they‘re from Jewish stock
By Michael Fathers, Aizawl
In a bare room in an unfinished concrete building on the fringes of the Golden Triangle where the hill
tribesmen were once heardhunters, man puts on a prayer shawl and begins chanting in Hebrew. A small
number of followers join in thr responses.
Afterward he says: “I was a corps cadet in the Salvation Army 10 years ago, but now I am a Jew.“ This is
Yeshuran Ngaihte, 50, the chazan, or elder, of the year-old Sephardic synagoue in Aizawl, capital of India‘s
Mizoram state on the border with Burma... The forested hills of northeastern India must rank among the last
places on the planet where you would expect to find a synagogue, let alone two. But the Jews of this remote
region believe they are descendants of a legendary lost tribe of Israel that, according to the Old Testament,
disappeared almost 3,000 years ago.
“When I read the Old Testament, I realized Mizos were very similar to the Jews,“ says Sela, “so I prayed to
God to tell me if we were Jewish.“... According to local legend, the Mizos‘ Jewish connection goes back more
than 1,000 years to a remote cave in China where the scattered remnants of the lost Jewish tribe of Menashe
were holed up. They called themselves Chhinlung, after the cave, and over the years they made their way
south through Thailand, settling for good in a pocket of hills astride what is today Burma, India and
Bangladesh... The relative, Zaithanchhungi, an insurance saleswoman and former teacher, went to Israel in
1983. There she met Eliyahu Avichayil, an Orthodox rabbi whose Amishav organization searches the world
for descendants of the lost tribes. He showed immediate interest in her story, saying Jews had been scattered
as far as China. He urged her to return to India to catalogue Mizo history. She came up with a list of apparent
similarities, including the building of altars, the sacrifice of animals, burial customs, marriage and divorce
precedures, a belief in an all-powerful deity and the symbolic presence of the number seven in many
festivities. Zaithanchhungi saw other links in musical instruments and household practices. “I was a non-
believer, but after my serach I now believe very firmly that the Mizos are of Jewish descent.“ Yet she herself
remains a Presbyterian. Why? “Because I believe in Jesus Christ. For many people it is difficult to go back to
the thoughts of our ancestors.“.
... But for Mizoram‘s chief minister Zoramthanga, former deputy commander of the guerrilla force that battled
the Indian army, identity is not a problem. “There is a possibility that the Mizos are one of the lost tribes of
Israel. There are certain practices and customs which suggest this. But I should add that only when we reach
heaven will we have the proof,“ he says, roaring with laughter.
With reporting by Subir Bhaumik/Aizawl and Eric Silver/Jerusalem.
________________________________________
12.11.3. Menashe in Myanmar
Ha'aretz
By Yair Sheleg/September 21, 2002
Three journeys to the Kuki-Chin-Mizo people on the Indochinese border convinced Hillel Halkin that they
are descendants of the Children of Israel. Some of the elders of the Kuki-Chin-Mizo people, who live on the
border between India and Myanmar (Burma), still remember that some time during the 20th century, before
they became totally Christian, they marked "the memory of ritual circumcision... And then the two came to
Mizoram, one of the Indian republican states,which is located on the eastern border of India with Myanmar,
the home of the Kuki-Chin-Mizo people. The three names derive from the fact that these people live in three
different areas: They are the dominant population in the state of Mizoram; they are also a considerable part
of the population of the Indian state of Manipur (also on the border with Myanmar); and they form a
significant percentage of the population of the Chin region of Burma(where Halkin could not go because the
Myanmar authorities have prohibited entry into the region)... One obvious differencebetween the testimonies
of the Kuki and other groups Avichail spoke to is that while the Chiang and the Karen were linked only by
external factors to the 10 tribes, among the Kuki this was an internal tradition... During the visit to Mizoram,
Avichail and Halkin began to get more and more evidence of the historical connection between the members
of the group and the Jewish people...
Source: BN News September 21-22, 2002/ Subject: [chinland] Menashe in Myanmar: Three journeys to the
Kuki-Chin-Mizo people on the Indochines
___________________________________
12.11.4. ISRAEL Lost and Found?
Newsweek, October 28, 2002
By Dan Ephron
When the veteran Israeli journalist Hillel Halkin began hunting for the lost tribes of Israel four years ago, he
though the claim that a community of Indians on the Burmese border was descended from one of the tribes
was either a fantasy or a hoax... But on his third trip to the Indian states of Manipur and Mizoram, Halkin was
shown texts that convinced him that the community, which calls itself Bneis Menashe, has roots in the lost
tribe of Menashe. The documents included a will and words to a song about the Red Sea. The argument,
made in his new book, “Across the Sabbath River“(Houghton Mifflin), is not just academic... As founder of
the organization Amishave (My People Return), Eliyahu Avichail trots the globe in search of lost Jews, in
order to bring them back to their religion through conversion and direct them to Israel... The group has
already brought 700 of the Bnei Menashe to Israel and believes thousands more are eager to come. Most
have been put up in settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip - the main arena of Israel -Palestinian
fighting...
____________________
12.11.5. FROM INDIA TO ZION
Arutz Sheva June 2, 2003
A special ceremony will be held tomorrow morning, Tuesday, June 3, 2003, at 8:15 am at the Western Wall in
Jerusalem to welcome home some 50 members of the Bnei Menashe (children of Manasseh), a group claiming
descent from a lost tribe of Israel. After arriving on EL AL flight 072 from Bombay, they will be brought from
the airport straight to Jerusalem to say a prayer of thanksgiving at the Wall. Members of the group, all of
whom hail from the northeastern Indian state of Mizoram, are making aliyah under the auspices of the
Amishav organization, which is dedicated to assisting "lost Jews" who wish to return to the Jewish people...
On hand to greet them will be: Rabbi Eliyahu Ben-Dahan, the Director-General of Israel's Ministry of
Religious Affairs; Rabbi Eliyahu Avichail, the chairman and founder of Amishav; and Michael Freund,
Amishav's Director and a former Deputy Communications Director in the Prime Minister's Office...
For the lastest news from Jerusalem, Israel and the Jewish World visit www.OurJerusalem.com
Note: Courtesy: Our Jerusalem, Jewsih Press Agency For the lastest news from Jerusalem, Israel and the
Jewish World visit www.OurJerusalem.com
To: Myanmar ; sizang@yahoogroups.com ; thiansawmpiang@yahoo.com.au
Sent: Saturday, June 14, 2003 7:54 AM
_____________________
12.11.6. MORE BNEI MENASHE ARRIVE ISRAEL
Fifty members of the Bnei Menashe of northeastern India, a tribe claiming descent from the "lost tribe" of
Menashe, have arrived in Israel Tuesday. They join 700 Bnei Menashe already in the country, most of whom
live in in Kiryat Arba, Gush Katif, and Beit El.
There are approximately another 5,000 Bnei Menashe still living in India and observing a fully Jewish
lifestyle. ... As part of their ongoing work with the Bnei Menashe, Amishav released the first Hebrew-Mizo
dictionary last year. Mizo is one of the main languages spoken by the Bnei Menashe. Michael Freund,
Director of Amishav said at the time, "We hope it will facilitate the study of Hebrew by the Bnei Menashe and
ease their absorption in Israel."
[Source: Jerusalem Post, Arutz-7, Ha'aretz, AP, IMRA, MENL, ou.org, Media Line]
X-Apparently-To: chinland@yahoogroups.com
Date: Sun, 15 Jun 2003 14:28:39 +0200
___________________
12.11.7. Israeli 'Lost Tribes' Living in W. Bank
Wed Dec 24, 5:24 AM ET
By GAVIN RABINOWITZ, Associated Press Writer
Middle East - AP
SHAVEI SHOMRON, West Bank - Some 2,700 years ago, 10 of the 12 biblical tribes of Israel were driven from
the Holy Land into exile and the mists of history. Now, a group claiming descent from one of the lost tribes
can be found sitting in a bomb shelter in a West Bank Jewish settlement, learning Hebrew... Members of the
group from northeastern India call themselves the "Bnei Menashe," or children of Menashe, and believe they
are descendants of the Israelite tribe of Manasseh. The return of the "lost tribes" to their ancient homeland
is viewed by some as the fulfillment of biblical prophecy and a herald of the Messiah. Others see the return
as an opportunity to boost the numbers of Jews living in Israel in what they see as a demographic war with
the Palestinians. ... Living in the northeastern Indian states of Mizoram and Manipur, the Bnei Menashe, who
number about 6,000, were originally animists who were converted to Christianity by British missionaries in
the 19th century. In 1953, a tribal leader named Mlanchala had a dream in which his people would return to
Israel, which led the tribe to adopt Jewish tradition...
Fri, 26 Dec 2003 15:07:47 -0800 (PST)
Subject: [zomikhangthak] Fw: Israeli 'Lost Tribes' Living in W. Bank
____________________
12.11.8. DNA tests prove that Mizo people are descendants of a lost Israeli tribe
By Tathagata Bhattacharya/Aizawl
Exclusive

It has been a long-standing contention of a section of Mizos that the people of Mizoram are descendants of
the Menashe, one of the lost tribes of Israel. But the claims were quashed several times by Israel where, by
the law of return, anyone with proof of Jewish roots can go and settle. However, a recent DNA study has
validated the claim.
Bhaswar Maity, a research scholar at the Central Forensic Science Laboratory, Kolkata, had begun the
DNA typing of samples (100 male and 80 female) taken from the Mizos in March 2002. "Studies on the Y
chromosome [male] did not return the Cohen modal haplotype, which is present in most Jewish males
around the world," says Dr V.K. Kashyap, director of the laboratory. (Tracing the male chromosome is
difficult because most Mizo men, who migrated from elsewhere, wed women along the way and the Y
chromosome is lost every time a female child is created.) "But of the mitochondria DNA [female samples], a
few Kuki samples returned the unique haplotype [genetic sequence code] found in the Jewish community in
Uzbekistan."
This is a clear indication that there was a Jewish female founder effect in the Kuki community. "It is
scientifically impossible to have the same genetic sequence in two populations living so far apart if they did
not originate from a common stock who historically inhabited a common space," says Maity. He also found
a specific mutation in some Lusei and Kuki samples that is also present in Indian Jews.
This puts the Indian government on a sticky wicket as the United Nations has said that a country cannot
rule over people other than its own. The government has more reason to be worried because the Aizawl-
based Chhinlung Israel People's Convention, an organisation of 2.5 lakh members who believe they are
descendants of the Menashe, has begun preparations for realising their dream of a "New Jerusalem". This
correspondent even stumbled upon a new flag for the "country of the Menashe people" as Lalchhanhima
Sailo, the chairman of the convention, put it. The organisation had submitted a memorandum to the UN in
1998 to recognise the Chhinlung people as a lost tribe of Israel. "We are now awaiting Israeli recognition,"
says Sailo. "Once it comes through, we will have an independent country in the northeast of India." Sailo
feels this is a very real possibility because there are Chhins in parts of Manipur, Burma, Bangladesh and
Assam.
It is difficult to ignore the similarities that exist between the lives of the Jews in Israel and those of the
Mizos. According to Zaithanchhungi, there are anthropological perspectives. The Mizo burial ritual is
similar to that of the Jews. Secondly, though the Mizos migrated to Mizoram through lands where Buddhism
was the dominant faith, it left no influence on them. Even in the first half of the 20th century, they sacrificed
animals to Pathian (Jehova). "They had the sacrificial altar on a hillock and a cross similar to that of David
was drawn on the altar," she says. "Only men were allowed to witness the sacrifice. This is more than sheer
resemblance." Another resemblance is between the Mizo ritual of Cawngpuisial and the Jewish Sabbath.
Sabbath starts when the stars appear on a Friday evening and ends with the same on a Saturday evening. In
Mizoram, during the Cawngpuisial, villagers are restricted from going out of the village (and strangers from
entering it) after the stars appear on a Friday. The curfew is lifted on Saturday after the stars appear. Shaina,
a student from Raanana near Tel-Aviv, who recently visited the Amishav Hebrew Center in Aizawl—an Israeli
government agency tracing lost Jewish tribes—found the "similarities between the people of Israel and
Mizoram simply too stark to be neglected".
Allenby Sela, principal of Amishav, was one of 900 Mizos who converted to Judaism to settle down in the
Gaza Strip. He returned to Mizoram to make the people aware of their history. "We should know who we are,
where we came from, what our roots are," he says. "Faith can't be recognised by blood tests. It's a spiritual
thing. Our history is oral and there is no clinching evidence. But this is not enough for Israel to accept."
Israel recognised the Black Jews of Ethiopia and the Fallasahs of South Africa as lost tribes without any
tests. (Source: The Week/12 September 2004/Malayala Manorama Publications Kochi, Kerala, India)
http://www.the-week.com/24sep12/currentevents_article1.htm
Return-Path: <sentto-7355252-42-1095092834-Subject: [linking zo bros] DNA tests prove that Mizo
people are descendants of a lost Israeli tribe
–––––––––––––––––––––
12.11.9. Israel‘s Chief Rabinnate Recognizes Mizos As An Israeli Lost Tribe
SANGZUALA HMAR, TNN
Times of India
AIZAWL, SEPT. 21, 2004: It's as good as Gospel truth that 10 of the Semitic tribes that Moses had led across
the Red Sea from slavery to freedom in the Promised Land about four millennia ago have since been lost. But
for those who thought the Biblical tale of the '10 lost tribes of Israel' was but a myth, there is an interesting
claim by a branch of Christians from Mizoram.
Armed with the results of what he calls a conclusive DNA test, the chief of the Chhinlung Israel People's
Convention (CIPC), Lalchhanhima Sailo, is reiterating a decades-old claim that a section of Mizos are
descended from the Bnei Menashe clan, one of the legendary lost tribes. The latest test he has cited to
substantiate his claim was conducted by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory in Kolkata on 180 blood
samples collected randomly from Mizo people in March 2002.
The report says the mitochondrial configuration of the DNA of some of the blood samples drawn from
women match the unique "haplotype" — a genetic sequence code found in Jews of Uzbekistan. A specific
cellular mutation that is sometimes found in Indian Jews was also noticed in some of the samples.
Significantly though, studies on the Y-chromosome (for males) did not match the Cohen modal haplotype
that is common to most Jewish males around the world, the tests revealed. Incidentally, about 800 Jews from
Mizoram have in recent years emigrated to Israel and are settled in different Jewish 'kibbutzes' in the Gaza
Strip. When contacted by Times of India, an Israeli embassy spokesperson said though Mizo Christians had
in the past made claims about their Jewish ancestry, they had not approached the Israeli government
following the latest DNA test. As and when the fresh evidence was placed before the Israeli authorities, their
claim would be considered.
The myth of the lost tribes traces its origin to the times of the "wise king" Solomon, the third king of
Israel. When Solomon died, Israel or Judaea was divided into two, according to the Bible. The tribes
inhabiting this Promised Land too, split along territorial and political lines — while Judah and Benjamin were
loyal to the Davidic house in the south, the remaining 10 tribes aligned themselves to a litany of monarchies
from the north. While most modern Jews trace their roots to this southern kingdom, the famous "10 tribes"
were believed lost for centuries.
Jews all over the world kept their faith in the words of Prophet Ezekiel: "Behold, I will take the children of
Israel... and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their land. And they shall be divided into
two kingdoms no more." There have been, over the years, many apocryphal claims about the existence of
these tribes, including the unproven belief that some of them could be found in Kashmir and Mizoram.
Though the CIPC has always claimed that Mizos are descendants of the Menashe, the theory had never
gained much currency. Even the majority of Mizos, who concur on their theological links with Israel,
dismissed claims of ancestral or other umbilical connection... Sailo now plans to take the matter up with the
Israeli government and even harbours latent visions of founding a movement for what he calls "New
Jerusalem" which would encompass Jews of Assam, Manipur, northern Bangladesh and Myanmar. (Source:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/859025.cms)
_______________________
12.11.10. Deposited research article
Tracking the genetic imprints of lost Jewish tribes among the gene pool of Kuki-Chin-Mizo population of
India
Bhaswar Maity, T Sitalaximi, R Trivedi and VK Kashyap
National DNA Analysis Center, Central Forensic Science Laboratory, 30 Gorachand Road, Kolkata - 700014,
India
Genome Biology 2004, 6:P1 doi:10.1186/gb-2004-6-1-p1
This was the first version of this article to be made available publicly.
Subject areas: Genome studies, Evolution
The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:
http://genomebiology.com/2004/6/1/P1
Received 18 November 2004
Posted 2 December 2004
© 2004 BioMed Central Ltd

Outline
Background
The Kuki-Chin-Mizo population comprising traditionally endogamous tribal groups residing in the state of
Mizoram, India claim their descent from the ten lost tribes of Israel that were exiled by the Assyrians. To
ascertain their oral history, we analysed DNA markers comprising 15 autosomal microsatellite markers, 5
biallelic and 20 microsatellite markers on Y-chromosome and the maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA
sequence variations on 414 individuals belonging to 5 tribal communities from Mizoram (Hmar, Kuki, Mara,
Lai and Lusei). The genetic profiles obtained were compared either with populations sharing Jewish ancestry
or with local populations along the probable route of migration of the Jewish ancestry claimant Mizoram
tribes.
Results
Y-STR analyses showed absence of the Cohen Modal Haplotype, the genetic signature of Cohanim origin. Y-
chromosomal biallelic marker analyses revealed the presence of East and Southeast Asian-specific lineages
and absence of haplogroup J predominant among Jewish populations. The mitochondrial DNA sequence
analyses however revealed traces of genetic relatedness between the Jewish ancestry claimant Mizoram tribes
and Near Eastern lineages. Autosomal analyses showed moderate degree of genetic differentiation among the
different Mizoram tribes.
Conclusions
Migration of the lost tribes through China resulting in subsequent genetic admixture over a long period of
time has probably diluted the extant gene pool of the Kuki-Chin-Mizo population. Although their paternal
lineages do not exhibit any trace of Jewish ancestry, incidence of maternal Near Eastern lineages among the
Mizoram tribals suggests their claim to Jewish ancestry cannot be excluded.

Published by
© 1999-2006 BioMed Central Ltd unless otherwise stated < info@genomebiology.com > Terms and
conditions
_________________________________________________
Note: I‘m using this article here without BioMed Central Ltd‘s prior permission. All my efforts to secure its permission remained
unanswered. Author/ May, 2007
____________________
13. LANGUAGE
Despite the lack of a common language among them until today the Zo people can communicate each other
in six or seven major dialects, which belong to the Sino-Tibetan linguistic groups. These six or seven major
dialects are so closely related to each other that someone who speaks one of them needs only about one
year to understand and to be able to speak quite fluently another dialect of them, provided that he lives
among that dialect-speaking people. From Burma‘s independence in 1948 up to 1988 the Chins were
officially permitted to learn their language only up to the second standard. However, they could learn their
dialects up to 4th standard in schools inofficially thanks to an influential and far-sighted Chin education
officer in Chin State. But since 1989 the government adopts several subtle tricks so that they can no more
effectively learn their language in public schools.
Burmese and English are now compulsory subjects. In Chin State the Laizo dialect, which is spoken in
the Falam region has been used as semi-official Chin language for the Chin programme by the state-owned
Burma Broadcasting Service. In contrary to this, the Mizos in India have complete freedom in promoting and
using the Duhlian or Hualngo/Lushai dialect as their common language and it has already been highly
developed enough that it can be majored in India up to the master‘s degree level. This dialect is spoken by
more than 900,000 people and well-understood by another 200,000. Since 1999 Mizoram has with 95 %
the highest literacy rate in India.(Mizoram boasts a literacy rate of 88.8% — the second highest among all the
states of India, after Kerala./Source: Wikipedia. 03.08.2007) “Today, many Mizo varieties have been
assimilated into a language identified as Mizo. Chhangte(1993: I), a noted linguist among the Mizo says:
Nowadays the term Mizo refers not only to the Luseis but also other tribes such as: Chawhte, Hmar, Hnamte,
Khawhring, Khiangte, Ngente, Paihte, Paute, Ralte, Rawite, Renthei, Tlau,Vangchia and Zawngte. ... Modern
spoken Mizo is more or less the same as the language of the Lusei tribe(also known as Lushai) and has been
the lingua franca of the area for a century.(Khoi Lam Thang, p. 38) See Map 2 & 3 of Geographical Centers
of Chin Dialectal Groups, and Tables 10/A ; 10/B & 10/C
14.0 RELIGION
14.1. Ancient Religious Beliefs of the Chins
_ “The Chin is often described as a devil-worshipper. This is incorrect for he worships neither god nor devil. The northerners
believe that there is no Supreme Being and, although the southern Chins admit that there is a Supreme God or “Kozin“[Khuazing]
to whom they sacrifice, they do not worship him and never look to him for any grace or mercy, except that of withholding the
plagues and misfortunes which he is capable of invoking on any in this world who offend him. The Hakas and southerners
believe that there is a God, who lives in the heavens. He is not capable of showering blessing on them, but as he is able to
trouble them in every conceivable manner they propitiate him with sacrifices.
The Siyins say that there is no Supreme God and no other world save this, which is full of evil spirits who inhabit the fields,
infest the houses, and haunt the jungles. These spirits must be propitiated or bribed to refrain from doing the particular harm of
which each is capable, for one can destroy crops, another can make women barren, and a third cause a lizard to enter the
stomach and devour the bowels“.(Carey & Tuck, Vol. I, pp. 195-196)
_ Colonel Hanny identifies the Khyens[Chins] with the Nagas of Assam mountains. They must also be closely allied to the
Kookis. In Trant‘s account of the Khyens, on the Aeng pass[a pass in the Arakan Yoma], he mentions their worship of a
divinity called Passine(Pasian); and Lieutenant Stewart, in his notice of the “new Kookis“ of nothern Kachar[Cachar], says that
they recognize one all-powerful God as the author of the universe, whom they term “Puthen“(Pathian). Trant‘s Two Years in Ava
and Jour. Asiatic Society Be. 1855, p. 628). Vum Ko Hau, p. 301.
14.2. THE RELIGION OF LAIPIAN PAU CIN HAU
This social and religious movement among the Chins sometime in 1888 was popularly known as the Pau
Cin Hau Movement after the name of the leader, Pau Cin Hau. He was also called Laipianpa, which literally
means “inventor or creator of writing“ because he invented a script which he claimed to have learned in
one of his visions.
In ancient times the Chins spent most of their time in fighting and hunting, they vied with one another
to excel in these activities. Life was hard and precarious. There was constant fighting between tribes.
Femine, epidemics, disease and misfortunes were common. All these were believed to be caused by evil
spirits called dawi. These dawis were believed to dwell at different parts of a man‘s dwellings, springs, treks,
rocks, rivers, lakes, mountains and so on. If any misfortune, such as illness, ominous dreams, etc. occurred
the affected person offered animals ranging from a chicken to a mithun or a baffalo to appropriate the dawi
or dawis. While people lived such a hard and hazardous life filled with fear of war and evil spirit, there
appeared in Chinland during the last decade of the 19th century three important events, namely the Pau Cin
Hau‘s Movement, the British invasion, and the arrival of Christianity.
Pau Cin Hau claimed to have had several visions and dreams. He had prophecied the destruction of
Tiddim, the seat of the Kamhau chieftainship, by the British long before the event took place. When it was
destructed the Kamhau chieftainship was at the peak of its power.

The following is one of his many visions:
“ On a plains were gathered a multitude of people, rich and poor, great and small. I went to the place
where these people gethered, and I saw a rope hanging down from heaven above the multitude. Many
people competed to climb up the hanging rope but no one was able to do so. When many people had failed,
I prayed to Pasian and climbed up the rope, and I was ble to climb it. As I climbed up the rope, I found there
were thirty layers of heaven, and I saw the abode of Pasian. Then I climbed down again to my starting place.
Again I saw a rope hanging down to the underworld. I climbed down the rope and there were forty layers of
the world. I then climbed up the rope to my starting place. Then I wound up the rope and coiled it beside
me, and the coil was twice my height.“
Pau Cin Hau‘s writing originally countained about 1,050 basic characters, each representing a sound.
To each basic character may be added two to five additional marks to represent long and short, ascending
and descending sounds.
These additional marks are called dawng tawi na. In this way, he symbolized all the sounds and words of
the language. All these sounds were arranged into mnemonic poetic lines. These lines were in turn grouped
into six divisions called books or grades. Someone who has learned all the lines in the six grades, namely
(1) I bu(2) Min bu(3) Dong len bu(4) Lunsia bu (5) Tha tuk bu, and (6) Thuamzong bu can write anything he
wants. Later in 1931 the whole system was improved and reduced to tweenty seven plus tonal signs in order
to facilitate typewriting and printing(see Appendix H for a sample of his modified script).
Many people liked this invention and they quickly and easily learned it. Pau Cin Hau himself used it to
record his visions, dreams and teachings. He used it widely for exorcism. He abolished the practice of
sacrifices to dawis which was the main cause of poverty among the Chins in olden days. His followers were
freed from fear of evil spirits. He abolished the old-time practice of the postponement of funerals for several
days, even months and years. He also abolished other extravagant festivals. However, he did neither abolish
nor condemn all the traditional customs and practices. He retained and preserved, or modified some cultural
festivals, songs and dances.
To sum up the influence of the Pau Cin Hau Movement upon the Chins as a whole, I am quoting the
following words from the Thirty-third Annual Report of the British and Foreign Bible Society(Burma Agency),
1932, under the caption, “Religious Movements“(pp. 8 & 9):
“... amongst the socalled ‘backward‘ races there are distinct signs of movement away from their ancestral
animism towards higher and purer faiths. The most promising of these among the people of the Chin Hills
where a religious reformer has arisen who by his condemnation of the drunkenness and restriction of animal
sacrifices and his worship of one Creator God seems to be drawing near to genuine Christian ideals. His
followers, numbering thousands, are found among almost all the clans of the Chin race and there can be
little doubt that with sympathetic and wise leadership this indigenous and spontaneous quest after higher
things can be turned into a definite movement towards Christianity. At the urgent request of the leader, the
Bible Society has published a small edition of the “Sermon on the Mountain“ in a character(somewhat
modified after consultation with the Agency) which he claims to have received in a dream by Divine
Revelation and which, it is stated, exactly “fits“ the pronunciation of all the Chin dialects.“
His following crossed the barriers of tribe and territory, and spread outside Chin Hills to as far as Lushai
Hills and Manipur at the beginning of this century. The number of his followers at one time was estimated to
be around 150,000. He lived between 1859 to 1948.
14.2.1. Laipian Hierarchy
1. Laipian (Script Creator)
"Laipian" is a unique position held by Pu Tg. Pau Cin Hau, not to be taken up by any other person.
2. Laimang (Script King; Professor)
"Laimang" is the second highest rank in the Laipian hierarchy, but the highest rank one can hold, because
"Laipian" cannot be held by any other person than Pu Tg. Pau Cin Hau himself. Only one person can hold
this Laimang position at a time. He is the vicarious leader of the Laipian Religion. Pu Tg. Lian Vungh
(Mualbeem), second son of Pu Tg. Pau Cin Hau, held that position. I do not know who the present Laimang
is.
3. Laito (Script Lord; Script Master)
This is the third ranking position, held by Pu Tg. Vum Khaw Thang (Lailui), a contemporary of Pu Tg. Pau Cin
Hau, and later left vacant after his death. Recently Pu Tg. Ngin Suanh (Suangpi), who was a very faithful and
diligent Lai-at for many years, was promoted to this office. There is only one Laito at present, although I
assume that there can be more than one.
4. Lai-at (Script Writer)
The fourth ranking position, it was held by Pu Tg. Ngin Suanh for many years. I do not know whether
somebody else was appointed to this post after he was promoted to Laito.
5. Khawk Laisang (Circuit Script Receiver)
A position created later for practical purposes, Khawk Laisang is one who supervises several Laisangs in his
jusrisdiction.
6. Laisang (Script Receiver; Pastor)
This is the lowest rank in the hierarchy. A Laisang leads a local congregation, called Sang (School), in a
village, or a ward (in a town).
=====
NOTE: The designations in English are my own creation. They are not official. by Taang Zomi
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/zomikhangthak
20.08.2005
---------------------------
14.3. CHRISTIANIZATION IN CHINLAND(EAST ZORAM)
14.3.1. Introduction
Until Christian missionaries from the West arrived the Chins were overwhelmingly Animist. However, as it
has been mentioned earlier some tribes had had believed in a beneficent Creator(in Chin language:
Pathian/Pathen/Pasian, which literary means “Father Holy“(“Pa“=father, and “Thian“= holy. “Thian“ comes
from “thiang“ or “Siang“ which mean “clean“ or “holy“), long before Christian missionaries arrived. Some
tribes, though, did not have such a concept. Those who believed in the existence of a Supreme Being,
though, did not offer anything to him, because, as he is believed to be good it‘s not necessary to offer him
anything(see Sakhong‘s book and Zo History for more details on this topic).
Nowadays, about 98% of the Chin State‘s population is Chin and of which circa 80 % is Christian of
various denominations(Roman Catholic Church, Baptist Church, Seventh Day Adventists, Anglican Church,
Assemblies of God, Presbyterian Church, Methodist Church, Jehovah‘s Witnesses, Gospel Baptist Church,
Fundamental Baptist Church, Evangelical Baptist Church, Evangelical Presbyterian Church, United Reform
Church, Evangelical Free Church of Burma, Church of Jesus Christ, Church of God, Church on the Rock, Full
Gospel Church, United Pentecostal Church, Christian Mission Alliance, Four Square Gospel Church, Christian
Church of Myanmar, Seventh Day Baptist Church, Independent Church of Burma, etc., and some home-grown
churches), and the rest - approximately 20%, that is - Animist and Laipian(see below) and Buddhist. About
95 % of the Chin/Zos in India is Christian of several denominations as well. (The percentages given here
with regard to religions in both Chin State and India are the nearest average estimates based on various
sources.)
The great majority of Christian Chins take great pride in being Christian because for them Christianity
means civilization and Animism primitiveness or backwardness. They therefore very often exaggerate the
number of Christians in Chin State in order to hide their inferiority complex. And although all Christian
churches are solemnly preaching there about the virtues of love and forgiveness, the Christian Chin society
is, like all other Christian societies everywhere else in the world, irreconciliably divided into fragments by
their mother churches‘ sectarian rivalries.* In fact, there were and still are more love and harmony among
the Animists than among Christians - that is, from the beginning of the British rule up to even present time.
The following are some brief information on the three major Christian denominations - that is, the Roman
Catholic Church, the Baptist Church and the Anglican Church - that have played and still are playing the
most important roles in the daily life of Christian Chins inside Burma.
The founding history of the Zomi Baptist Convention is as follows(as quoted in the "Zo People and Their
Culture" by Sing Khaw Khai, pp. 69-71):
14.3.2. ADOPTION OF THE NAME “ZOMI BAPTIST CONVENTION“
“There had never been any formally constituted organization of the Christian churches in the Chin Hills.
When I returned from the USA arriving at Rangoon on 18th September 1950, I was invited to speak at the
annual meeting of the American Baptist Missionary Fellowship in October. In my speech I attempted to
express what I thought to be most essential for the growth of Christianity among our people. I explained that
the Chin Hills had been the most neglected and the least developed area in Burma. To remedy this, I made
the following two proposals:
(1) In order to strengthen the Christian churches, the village churches should be formed into properly
constituted local associations and there should be an overall organization embracing all the organizations.
(2) A well-experienced missionary should come and make a survey of all the Chin Hills and give us advice
on various projects of development. The Missionary Fellowship approved both proposals. Accordingly,
Mission Secretary E. E. Sowards visited the Chin Hills during February and March 1952. By that time both the
Tedim and Hakha missionaries had left on furlough. So I myself had to accompany him throughout his
survey tour. At the conclusion of his survey tour he advised me as follows:
(a) The government in recent months changed its policy on mission work in Burma. Under this new policy
our days of missionaries in Burma were numbered. And we might be asked to leave the country
any day. What you proposed in October 1950 must be proceeded forthwith. You just start forming
properly constituted Christian bodies – local associations and an overall convention, as speedily as you
could. This properly Christian bodies must be ready to take overall missionary work whenever the
missionaries had to leave.
(b) And when this convention was formed it should be a purely national organization, bearing the national
name, and run by national personnel. No foreign missionaries should hold any official position
and should not be a member of any committee, but should work in an advisory capacity. According to his
advice, I began forming the Tedim, Falam, and Hakha Associations during 1952. Then in order to constitute
______________________________________________
* Note: For more information on this subject read Christian Missions and Colonialism: A Study of Missionary Movement in Northeast India With
Particular Reference to Manipur and Lushai Hills -1894-1947; By Dr. Lal Dena, Published by Vendrame Institute, Shillong, 1988. The following are
some of its contents: Christian Missions and Colonialism; Christian Missions and the Company‘s Government; Early Missionary Contact with
North-East India 1836-1894; British Baptist Mission Society; American Baptist Foreign Missionary Society; The Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Foreign
Mission Society(WCMFMS); Intra-Mission Rivalry:Conflict within the NEIGM[North-East India General Mission] in Manipur; Inter-Denominational
Rivalry: Conflict between the Welsh Mission and the Salvation Army; Conflict between the Welsh Mission and the Roman Catholics; Controversy
over the Institution of “Slavery“ and its Implications on Mission-Government Relations; etc.

an overall convention, I asked the three Associations to select ten leaders each from the three Associations
to form a Constitution Drafting Committee. This Constitution Drafting Committee met at Falam Baptist Church
during the last week of October and the first week of November 1952. I acted as
Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee.
(1) Having explained to the Committee that we are forming a purely national organization, I proposed that
the name of our organization should bear our own national name. I said, "Outsiders call us Chin, but we
never call ourselves by that name. So I believe you all agree to reject Chin to be the name of our
organization," and all the members of the Committee agreed by acclamation.
(2) Then I proposed that we should take ZOMI as our name as this is our correct historical name. And we
should call our organization Zomi Baptist Convention.
(3) A man sprang to his feet and rejected the name ZOMI outright saying, "Saya, in Hakha we apply this word
Zo to the most backward and the most despicable people. So we do not want this name for our big Christian
organization."
(4) "In that case what name do you like?" I asked and he replied, "LAIMI".
(5) Then I explained, "I propose ZOMI because I believe it is the correct original historical name of our
people, from the Naga Hills to the Bay of Bengal. To the north of Tedim, the Thados and other tribes call
themselves YO, in Falam, LAIZO. The Tedim people call themselves ZO, the Lushais, MIZO, in Hakha, ZOTUNG,
ZOPHEI, ZOKHUA. In Gangaw area ZO is pronounced YAW, in Mindat JO or CHO, and in Paletwa KHOMI. In
Prome, Sandoway, and Bassein areas they call themselves A-SHO. So I am convinced that in spite of slight
variations this ZO is our original historical national name."
(6) After this explanation the Rev. Sang Ling who was the most senior and revered pastor from Hakha stood
up and said, "What Saya Hau Go has just said is correct. In our younger days we were told that we were
born at YOTLANG. And ZO is our true original name. The word LAI is not our national name. LAI was first
used by denizens of Hakha. It means our village people, our own local people, as distinct from outsiders. It
is not our national name." Saying this, he waved to Rev. Sang Fen who also was the second eldest and most
respected pastor and asked, "What is your opinion on this, Saya?"
(7) Then Saya Sang Fen stood up and briefly said, "I agree. I believe ZO is our national name and I myself am
the pastor of ZOKHUA".
(8) After the two most senior and revered pastors of the Hakha area arose and spoke in support of my
proposal, not a single voice of dissent was heard and the name Zomi Baptist Convention was
unanimously approved. (9) What the Constitution Drafting Committee had approved at the Falam meeting was
officially and universally adopted by the General Meeting at Saikah, March 5-7, 1953. The lone dissenting
voice seemed to be more an idiosyncrasy or at best a limited local usage without any sound historical basis,
because not a single member of the Constitution Drafting Committee voiced any support at Falam.
The General Meeting held on March 5-7, 1953 at Saikah village in the now Thantlang township of Hakha
area was attended by 3,000 Christians. Of these about two hundred were from the Falam area and less than
ten from the Tedim area, because Saikah was 7-9 days' foot journey from Tedim area. Even there, where by
far the vast majority of delegates were from the Hakha area there was not a single voice of support for LAIMI,
but the name Zomi Baptist Convention* was born, named and based on the foundation of historical truth,
confirmed by the General Meeting at Saikah with the most remarkable spirit of Christian harmony and unity
never experienced before or since.
I was asked, out of necessity, to serve temporarily for one year as General Secretary, pending the arrival
of the Rev. David Van Bik who was earmarked to relieve me on arrival from the USA the following year.“
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
* See next page for explanation.
Signed
T. Hau Go Sukte
Rangoon 1st December 1988
------------------------------
(Source: ZONET/Date: Sun, 23 Mar 2003)
Note: The late Mr. T. Hau Go Sukte was the first Chin graduate with a M.R.E degree from the U.S. Author
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
14.3.3. American Baptist Missionaries in Chinland(East Zoram)
Here are the American Baptist missionaries sent to Chinland(East) to carry out missionary works:
(1) Arthur E. Carson … … March 15, 1899-1908
(2) Laura Carson (Mrs. Carson’) … March 15, 1899-1920
(3) Dr. E. H. East … … March 21, 1902-1908
(4) Rev. H. H. Tilbe … … 1902-1904
(5) Dr. J. H. Cope … … Dec. 21, 1908-1939
(6) Dr. J. G. Woodin … … Nov.11, 1910-1915
(7) Dr. C. U. Strait … … Oct. 2, 1925-1940
(8) Dr. F. O. Nelson … … Dec. 3, 1938-1951
(9) Dr. R. G. Johnson … … Feb. 7, 1946-1966
_______________________________________
* Author‘s explanation from previous page: The Chin Baptists in Chin State and its neighbouring regions inside Burma Proper are organized in
more than 30 associations - nearly all of them are organized more on tribal rather than on regional basis - which in turn are run under the
umbrella of the Zomi Baptist Convention.
- Sakhong did not elaborate at all on the founding history and existence of the ZBC in his dissertation, although he mentioned in it events that
took place as late as 1999. Even when it is briefly mentioned(just four times on pages 9, 213, 226 & 254) he used the term “Chin Baptist
Convention“, instead of the official term: Zomi Baptist Convention. He did mention only about the formation of a “Chin Hills Baptist
Association“(CHBA) in Haka in March 1907(Sakhong, p. 226). He apparently dislikes the term Zomi. However, inspite of a number of such minor
and major historical errors in his book - most of them seem to be more intentional than incidental - one must admit that his dissertation is one
of the most analytical and encompassing academic works ever undertaken by either a native Chin or a foreigner on the Chins‘ traditional religion.
Therefore, those who are interested in the Chins‘ traditional theology should read this book.
By the way, the first conversions in the Chin Hills took place at a village in 1905, 150 miles away from Haka, where the first American Baptist
missionaries‘ made their base, and four years after their arrival in Haka in 1899. “The First Baptisms, May 11, 1905: The first baptism of Northern
Chins took place near Khuasak in the Siyin valley, near Fort White in Tiddim Sub-division. A small stream called by East the ‘Pok boy River‘,
although it is merely a small creek, was dammed up for the occasion, and on May 11, 1905, in the presense of a large number of curious villagers,
Pu Pau Suan and his wife Kham Ciang, and Pu Thuam Hang and his wife Dim Khaw Cing, were baptized by Dr. East. East wrote: These are the first-
fruits in the Chin Hills, and from the depths of our hearts we praise God and take courage. We have four more canditates in that district and hope
to baptize them this year. This will give us a constituency for the organization of a church.“(East ltr., 11/3/05)/Robert J. Johnson: History of
American Baptist Chin Mission, Vol.1, p. 128.) “After the events of the second baptism, Dr. East remained in Khuasak village for about a week. He
then moved eastward to Theizaang village for more preaching and medical treatment, returning to Khuasak for an important event for the
formation of a little church, among the new Christians. On the 17 February 1906, a Sunday morning was a red-letter day in the history of
Christianity among northern Chins. On that day Dr. East organized the first Christian Church in the Chin Hills, the first of any denomination, at
Khuasak among the Siyin people. This Khuasak Baptist Church was established by the following persons[1 pastor, 2 deacons and 9 laypersons] and
dedicated by Dr. East.“ ( Johnson, Vol. 1, p. 130). The first convert in Haka itself was Shia Khaw and the conversion took place on January 1, 1906.
The “Chin Christian Centenary(1904-2004)“ was held from March 17 to 21, 2004 at Khuasak to commemorate the 100th Year of Christianity
among the Chin people. More than 6,000 people from all over Chin State and Burma took part in the ceremony. Another ceremony was held in
Haka in 1999, where the missionaries arrived and made their base, to commemorate the arrival of the first Christian missionaries in the Chin
Hills. Several thousands of people from all parts of Chin State and Burma took part in it, too.
14.3.4. “Chins For Christ in One Century“(CCOC)
There was a major project called the “Chins for Christ in One Century“ or (CCOC), which was
implemented between 1983 and 1999 under the guidance of the ZBC. Its main aim was to convert as many
Animist Chins as possible to Christianity before the end of the second millenium. There were 1,894
volunteers( all were laymen ) who carried out the mission. The project areas were in Central and Southern
Chin State. Altogether 20,051 people were converted. During this period seven people died of disease. And
the total expenses were: Kyats 54,922,245. That sum would be the equivalent of about US $ 150,000 to
$ 200, 000 at the then black market exchange rates.(Sources: CCOC records)
14.3.5. BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN THE CHIN HILLS
The blue mountains in the Western side of Chindwin river was always in the mind of the French Priests of
Paris Foreign Mission Society. They are known for their missionary zeal and holiness. They attempted to
enter the Chin Hills even in 1864. In that year Bishop Bigandet sent Fr. Lecomte MEP. His mission to reach
the Chin Hills was not successful as his movement was restricted. The King's soldiers escorted him and he
was not allowed to go beyond the Catholic villages.
Twenty years later in 1884, Fr. Laurent MEP, who worked some years among the Kachins previously came
to Kalaymyo. There he met some Chins. He found that the Chins did not speak Burmese much but they were
kind and simple. In 1888, Fr. Antonin Usse came up to Mindat near Mawlaik from Chaung U by English
steamer. As he looked attracted his eyes. He wrote to Bishop Simon of Mandalay: "Further in the west are the
Chins, a people of straight forward and brave warriors, who are defending their indepen-dence against the
ambition of the English. I would be proud to be their apostle." He came back to visit the Catholics in the
English military camps. This time, on September 22, 1889, he reached Fort White near Thuklai. As he looked
down from there, he saw the nearby villages abandoned by the villagers who hid themselves in the jungle
due to the war with the British soldiers. In his letter to the bishop dated October 15, 1998., he said, "Once I
climbed to the top of the mountain and contemplated the villages far away. How I wished to go there with
my crucifix and my breviary ... It would be useless to go now... The country will open itself. Some day it will
be necessary to send a caravan of missionaries in that part of the Vineyard. They might die even then,
victims of their zeal." He was the first Catholic priest to visit northern Chin State.
In 1890, the Vicar Apostolic of Mandalay, Mgr Simon, sent one of his best priests, Fr. Laurent MEP, and
Fr. Vestrae- ten to Chin Hills, 250 miles away. They went towards Northern Chin Hills and settled at Balet,
south of Mawlaik, on the western side of the Chindwin, but after one year there, they saw that they were still
far from the real Chins. The next year, Fr. Laurent went with Fr. Jarre to try to enter Chin Hills in the south
from Pakokku, through Pauk and Tilin they arrived to the big village of Shon-Shi, near the Myitha river.
Although it was at the foot of the hills, they had met with real Chin people, and they started to study the
language.
At the end of 1891, after the retreat, a third missionary, Fr. Accarion, joined them. With the complicity of
Chin traders who had come down to the plains, the two young ones made the project of climbing to Haka to
settle there, in the centre of Chin State, the English officer who was a protestant and hostile to the Catholics,
obliged them to leave and go back down to the plains, saying that the Chins were not yet tamed and the life
of the priests would be in danger. The Fathers had no choice but to go back to Gangaw. In 1898, the
American Baptist missionaries came to Hakha. The same officers who refused to give permission to work in
the Hills welcomed them with open arms.
The coming of the Baptist Mission was a blessing in disguise for the catholic Mission. For more than
forty years, they invented the written language for Hakha, Falam and Tiddim with English alphabets. They
translated the New Testament. They abolished the sacrifices to devil which is too expensive. The Chins
opened their eyes to the world. They wanted to become Baptists but their strict prohibition to drink "Zu"
(Chin beer) is too demanding for the Chin people as "Zu" is for them a kind of food and also the only
consolation for them after a day's hard work. Many people began [to]ask for a kind of Christians who would
allow to drink "Zu". But many wanted to be free from worshipping the evil spirit. By all means, the first
attempts of Catholic missionaries to Chin Hills were not successful.
14.3.6. Evangelization of Southern Chin State
The second attempt was made this time in 1934, under Bishop A. Faliere 50 years later than the
protestants. Bishop A Faliere, Fr. Audrain MEP and Fr. Alexis U Ba Din, A diocean priest, with four catechists
arrived at Kampetlet, the capital of Southern Chin State, on 17th December 1933. Looking for better
prospects, the pioneers proceeded to Mindat, 32 miles northeast of Kanpelet on 31st December 1933, first
Mass was offered on 1st January, 1934. With the streamous efforts of - two pioneers: Fr. Audrian and Fr.
Alexis, the good seed of the Word of God was sown in Mindat area of Southern Chin State to grow into a big
tree in time.

14.3.7. Evangelization of Northern Chin State
In 1938, Bishop Faliere came to meet Colonel Burne at Mague to settle some problems connected with
Mindat hospital. Colonel Burne was the highest authority in the Chin Special Division. When they met each
other, the Colonel had just came back from his official visit to the northern Chin Hills. He told the bishop
that he met some Chins in Falam who asked him if they could be Christians and still be allowed to use
moderatedly alcoholic drinks. He asked the Bishop to go and start Catholic Mission in the northern Chin
Hills. Bishop was very happy and he himself come to the north the next year in 1939. When Bishop and his
companions came to Tiddim at the house of Mr. Kelly, the Assistant Superintendent in Tiddim who was a
Catholic, the Superintendent from Falam came to meet them. He told the bishop that the coming of the
Catholic Mission in the Chin Hills was contrary to the agreement signed in 1898 with the Baptist
Missionaries. He wanted them to go back as they did to Fr. Jarre and Fr. Accarion. Bishop smilingly told him
that he came here with the permission of the highest authority, Colonel Burne at Mague. He continued his
missionary tour without fear. The American Baptist Missionaries did not keep silent. They wrote to the
British Governor to Burma reminding him of the agreement made with them in 1839. The coming of the
Catholic Church in the Chin Hills would be breaking that agree-ment. They anted to prevent the presence of
Catholic Church in the Chin Hills by hook or by crook. The Governor kindly thanked them for their good
works among the Chins but he ended his letter saying that he did not see any reason to forbid the coming
of the Catholics there." As in the rest of Burma.," he added, "the simultaneous presence of Baptists and
Catholics created an emulation quite beneficial to the population, so would the presence of Catholics
alongside the Baptists on the hills be of benefit to all people." With this the Catholics won a landslide
victory.
The real beginning of the Catholic Church in the Northern Chin Hills started with the coming of Fr.
Mainier, Fr. Blivet, fr. Aloysius U Ba Khin and four catechists: Maung Tun Yin, Fridolinus Mg Ba Maung, Saya
Aung Min, Fr. Frank Reuben to Tonzaung. Fr. Moses took up his residence at Tonzang, while Fr. Blivet took
up at Lailui village.
Established: Hakha Diocese was recently part of Mandalay Diocese. Pope John Paul II established the new
diocese of Hakha in December 21, 1992 and the enthronement was celebrated on 21st of March, 1993.
Townships: The diocese comprises of townships of Chin State except Paletwa and adjancent regions: Tamu,
Kalay, Kalewa, Phaungbyin, Mawlaik and Homalin of Sagaing Division.
Area: Around 351 miles from North to South and 80 miles from East to West and approximately 20,880.08
square miles.
Population: 750,000 inhabitants, two thirds of the region is situated on the mountains and hilly ranges.
The majority of the inhabitants are Chin-hill-tribal people.
Religion: Christian is the major religion of the Chins but 86 percent of Chins are belonged to the Protestant
Denomination numbering about fifty sects, and there are few buddhists, animists and a few Islams.
Catholic population: about 67, 427 Suffrangan of Mandalay Archdiocese.
14.3.8. Zones and Parishes
Zones: According to civil data, it is divided into four zones: Hakha zone, Tiddim zone, Kalay zone and
Mindat zone.
Under Hakha zone, there are 7 parishes: Hakha, Falam, Lumbang, Thantlang, Hnazing, Rezua and Surkhwa.
Under Tiddim Zone, there are 5 parishes, such as Tiddim, Tongzang, Laitui, Waibula and Cikha.
Under Kalay Zone, there are 5 parishes, such as Kalay, Tahan, Tamu, Khampat and Kalewa.
Under Mindat zone, there are 6 parishes such as Mindat, Lukse, Khanpetlet, Ro, M'Kui Im nu and Matupi.
14.3.9. French Priest-Missionaries in Chinland(East Zoram)
French Priests of the Foreign Missions of Paris who had been asssigned in Chin State:
1. Rev. Fr. Audrain (1934-died on 8th of May, 1940 at Mindat)
2. Rev. Fr. Fournel (1934-died on 30th of May, 1968 in Mindat)
3. Rev. Fr. Joseph Dixneuf (1946-66, Kalay, died in Dec 4th, 1982)
4. Rev. Fr. Joseph Muffat (1950-died on 20th Sept 1992, Lumbang)
5. Rev. Fr. Louis Garrot (1956-61, Mindat)
6. Rev Fr. Antonie Kelbert (1953-66, Tonzang)
7. Rev. Fr. Joseph Ruellen (1958-66, Saizang)
8. Rev. Fr. Henry Jourdain (1953-66, Singpial)
9. Rev. Fr. Auguste Lespade (1958-66 Falam)
10. Rev. Fr. Claude Roy (1958-66, Hakha)
11. Rev. Fr. Andre Bareigts (1958-66, Hnaring)
12. Rev. Fr. Nedelec (1951-55, Hlekhiam)
Source: The article (CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CHIN HILL ) is taken from Myanmar Catholic Directory. It is an official directory of the
Catholic Church in Myanmar. /Joshua Gin Shoute [ZONET]
From: Salai.Kipp@t-online.de (Salai Kipp Kho Lian)
Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2001 12:58:11 +0200
_______________________________________
14.3.10. KHUMI-CHIN ANGLICANS
By Revd. Canon E.W. Francis & Mrs. Francis
An overview of the development of the Khumi-Chin Anglican Church, based in Paletwa, Chin State. The
Revd.(now Canon) E.W. FRANCIS went to Burma from England in 1932 with the Bible Churchman‘s Missionary
Society, now known as “Crosslinks“ :
“... The Anglican Church that Revd. Francis founded amongst the Khumis is thriving and is growing in 1999.
As of 1998, there are 2 Khumi Bishops, 28 ordained Priests, and 158 Catechists/Evangelists. The SITTWE
DIOCESE is covered by these two Bishops and there are 17 Townships in Rakhaine State and 4 Townships in
Chin State(Paletwa, Matupi, Mindat, Kanpetlet). The population is over 2,634,310. Amongst an estimated
92,000 Christians in the area, 13,114 are Anglicans. These Anglicans have 15 Youth Branches, 18 Mother‘s
Union Branches, 18 Religious Education Departments, 32 Men‘s Societies, and Sunday schools attached to
each congregation...“ (Centennial Highlights of Christianity in Chin Hills: 1899- 1999; published and
printed in the U.S., March 1999)
14.4. INTRODUCTION OF BUDDHISM INTO NORTHERN CHIN STATE(EAST ZORAM)
With the sole aim to spread Buddhism among non-Burmese Animists and Christians in Burma the
successive Burmese governments under the then Prime Minister U Nu and the Buddhist Church of Burma
formed up a missionary society called - loosely translated: Buddhist Hills Missionary Society(in Burmese
(budBaqaetac\tn\;qaqna“poAP!´)and dispatched several Burmese Buddhist monks to Chin State to do
missionary works among the local people in the 1950s and ‘60s. However, in the late 1960s almost all of
them had already left monkhood and became laymen and married Chin women. Its original aim thus proved
to be a complete failure. In the past two decades several pagodas have been built in Chin State with forced
labour of local Christian population. And several crosses erected by the locals on the top of high
mountains throughout Chin State were destroyed by Burmese soldiers.
15.0 CULTURE
15.1. _ Chin Musics and Dances(Colonialists‘ View) _
“ The music consists of beating the horns and the gongs in regular time in the north, the dancers in a large
circle with arms locked round each other swing the body and keep steps, singing a low mournful tune to
the accompaniement. The singing is of a weird description, but tune there is undoubtedly, and as the
singers take different parts it is not unpleasing to the ear from a distance. In the south the Chins hold
hands and dance round and round like children, and they also perform singly a dance which is neither the
English step-dance nor the Burmese motion, though it consists of the main features of both...“(Carey & Tuck,
Vol. I. p. 187)

15.2. Summary of the Chin/Zo Culture _
The Chin/Zo culture can be briefly summed up in the following ways:
1. Their consumption of rice beer called “Zu“. (There are only three other nationalities in Burma
- the Karens, Kayas/Karennis and Nagas - that have this kind of rice beer; however, in those three
societies, unlike that of the Zo society, the consumption of rice beer doesn‘t play any special roles.)
Zu is made of either fermented millet or sorghum or sticky rice or maize or the combination of them
all. A fermented Zu can be consumed after 5- 6 days. Among southern Chins, it‘s very common
to consume fermented Zu after several months.
2. Their several colourful traditional costumes, especially that of women. Almost all tribes have
their own specific shawls and designs, for instance, which are roughly 2 by 1 metres in size,
and traditional skirts as well, which are worn by women on festive gatherings.
3. Their composition of autobiographical songs by men and women who deem they have something
worthy to tell their descendants; these and several other sorts of songs(social, love and religious)
are composed in poetic words.
4. Their numerous folk dances - about 100 still survive at present.
5. Their several social and religious festivals that were and still are celebrated with these folk dances.
6. Their complex social structures and kinship.
7. Their clan systems.
8. Their raising of partly domesticated, partly wild mithan/mithun
9. Their regard of Hornbill as their national bird and their use of its feathers on all important ceremonial
occasions; it has therefore even been used as their national emblem since several decades ago.
10. In modern times - starting from around the 1950s - the Rhododendron has also been widely
regarded by them as their national flower.

Zo culture and national identity without Zu the national drink, Mithan the national animal, Hornbill the
national bird, and Rhododendron the national flower is therefore nowadays almost unthinkable.
15.3. Mithan/Mythun(Bos gaurus frontalis) - the National Animal

As mentioned above the Zo people and their culture are distinguished from other ethnic peoples in their
neighbouring regions in many ways. The roles that the Mithan/Mithun - “Sial“ in several Zo dialects - play
are some among them. Mithan, which looks like a gaur but slightly smaller than a gaur, used to play such
an important role in the Zo society for meat, social, culture and religion throughout their known history that
some Westerners had even mistakenly called the Zo culture as a “mithan-oriented culture“. Since ancient
times the Chins have been keeping them as domestic animals while a great number of herds are freely
roaming in the wilderness. But all these freely roaming herds also have owners and those owners go into
the wilderness occasionally to count the population of their herds. As herds do not mix each other and
every herd remains in its chosen area there‘s no problem in counting their populations. The quantity of
mithun one possesses was and still is used partly in many regions to measure a man‘s wealth. Although
tens of thousands of these animals are freely roaming in the wilderness the whole year round they are rarely
stolen despite the fact that hunting guns are abundant in Chin State and hunting is a pastime for most men
during their free times - mostly in the evening.
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Note:

The total mithun population in Chin State as of October 31, 1999 was 35,000. In Matupi Township: 8,990; Mindat TS: 8,540; Falam TS: 4410;
Than Tlang TS: 2,820; Ton Zang TS: 2,556; Kanpetlet TS: 2606; Paletwa TS: 1843; Tiddim TS: 1,676 and Haka TS: 1,340.(Source: State Veterinary
Department, Haka, Chin State. October 31,1999.) Other habitats of mithan in the region are Naga Hills(Burma), Nagaland(India), Chittagong Hill
Tracts(Bangladesh), Chin State, and Mizoram State.
15.4. Hornbill(Buceros bicomis) - the National Bird of the Chin/Zo People
Hornbill has also been playing a very important role in the history and culture of the Chin/Zo people from
time immemorial. So I‘m quoting here a small information piece why and how much the Hornbill means
for their culture:
“They are noble because they live the beautiful life characterized by love and faithfulness. Thus, hornbills
are much respected and honoured by the Zos. According to tradition marriage is regarded as a kind of
contract tied with love and loyalty. Thus a marriage is considered to be ‘unbreakable’ or ‘inseparable’
except by the event of death. A wife cannot be divorced so long as she remains faithful to her husband. The
idea of a faithful life expressed in the married life of the hornbill is taken as a symbolic expression of the
love for one’s wife who is likened and referred to as a hornbill. Zo people proudly put on hornbill
feathers on important occasions in self-identification with the dignity and honour that the hornbill
examplifies. J. Suan Za Dong once described the cultural beauty of the hornbill in identification with Zomi
and their nation as thus:
Two hornbills stately and dignified,
For loyalty and honour so proudly pose
Symbolising ZOMI in culture rich and sound
Splendours of our State; fresh like a rose
Scenic beauties and flowers in our land abound.“
(Source: Sing Khaw Khai, “Zo People and their Culture,” 1995, p.194)
15.5. Traditional Songs
There are several types of traditional songs: Lapi, Laphei, Latung, Ailawng La, Autobiographical,
Biographical, Love, Social, Funeral, Zola, Danthian La, and so on. Traditionally, all songs - be it
autobiographical or biographical or love or social - were and still are composed in poetic words. Some
types of songs maybe solely sung and some others maybe sung and danced with as well. Lamenting
songs are only sung and not danced with. But funeral songs are sung and danced with. Ailawng La or
“Ailawng Songs“ of the Sizangs, are purely of bragging nature and are composed and sung spontaneously
among intimate friends. One may compose and sing such songs spontaneously about what he thinks of
himself - he may brag about his family‘s or his own achievements, or of his high birth, for example. But
everyone present in the round will also respond by spontaneouly composing songs of either praise or
derision - what he personally thinks of the braggard. The braggard maybe praised in the beginning parts
with his positive or strong points, but his weaknesses would be exposed in the concluding parts. One can
therefore loosely define these songs as songs meant for debate or some kind of light entertainment among
friends and are therefore not taken as offense by the participants after the occasion is over. These songs
are not used for dance.
In olden days - and also at present time - many men and women of a number of Zo tribes have composed
autobiographical songs. A typical and complete autobiographical song of the Sizangs is, unlike other types
of songs, usually divided into four or five parts which are called, “A Kai“, “A Naw“, “A Ngui“ and “A Thip
Na“. The first two terms are in fact literary definitions of the different rhythms of each part. Vum Kho
Hau(author of Profile of a Burma Frontierman) translated in his book “A Kai“ as “Slow“ and “A Naw“ as “Fast“
or “Normal Fast“, and “A Thip Na“ as “Epilogue“. Simply because of the very nature of the contents of these
parts I will, however, very loosely translate them as follows: Prelude I, Prelude II, Main Part and Epilogue.
In some autobiographical songs a part called “La Thal Kai“ is also included. And the melodies and rhythms
or cadences of them are slightly to considerably different from each other. The exceptions are of course “A
Naw“ and “A Kai“ which were sung only by men in ancient times. Each part consists of several stanzas. A
stanza in turn is made up of two sub-stanzas. Each sub-stanza contains about 30 words. These two
sub-stanzas are called in the Sizang dialect: “A Kung“ and “A Dawn“ - “Beginning“ and “Ending“ which I
shall simply translate as “Part A“ and “Part B“ since these two sub-stanzas are simply written as “A“ & “B“ in
modern times. Or the second sub-stanza is written as “X“ in some books. In an autobiograhical song the
composer recalls in verses the life stories of (or his relations with) his forefathers, his immediate relatives
and friends and foes alike, who are important for him in some way - and also about important events in his
lifetime that directly affect him personally or his family, etc. (See Appendix G. It‘s a part of the
autobiographical song of the late K.A. Khup Za Thang, compiler of the Genealogy of the Zo Race.)
The late Col. Khai Mun Mang, for example, composed his autobiographical song, which contains some 70
units, nearly solely in poetic words that I, author of this paper, underdertand only about 25 - 30 % of
their meanings, although I myself have been using the spoken and written dialect of ours for my whole
life. On any singing occasion those who sing such songs will be automatically divided into two groups.
The drummer, who is always only a man, and half of the party sings “Part A“ and the other half sings “Part B“.
Each stanza will be repeatedly sung at least four or five times before the next stanza is sung. The times that
a stanza is sung depend on the drummer. And the tunes sung by men and women in each group are
different, but according to musical experts, these tunes are completely in harmony to each other. When an
autobiograhical song is sung it is sung serially - that is, it is begun with “A Kai“. This part may contain a
number of stanzas. When the stanzas in this part have been sung, then the stanzas in “A Naw“ are sung.
However, unlike other parts such a “A Ngui“ and “La Thal Kai“ and “A Thip Na“ the stanzas in “A Kai“ and a
“A Naw“ are sung only once without repetition.
Young men and women use every joyous festival for courting by composing and singing love songs on
the spot or they may use the already existing uncountable love songs if they cannot compose themselves.
A great number of poetic words are commonly shared by some tribes despite the differences in their spoken
dialects. When someone dies woman mourners would sit around the dead and recall their relationships
with the deceased himself or his immediate family in poetic words spontaneously composed on the spot
and “sing“ them like songs while they are crying. These songs are called “Kaa Laa“ - literally, “crying song“
in Sizang and Tiddim dialects. And when a woman composes and “sings“ such songs the words “Kaa mal
lo“ (literally, “citing crying words“) are used instead of “sa“ for singing. However, the melodies of lementing
songs are completely different from that of all other types of traditional songs. The mourners may even
“debate“ in such a way, if they think someone‘s recallings are unfair, or if the recallings of a woman are not
complete, some other women may come to her help - of course also by composing in poetic words as
lamenting songs. People therefore carefully listen to mourning songs at funerals. But nobody verbally
intervenes in such a debate.
During the duration of a funeral service - which may take from two to seven days - all the
autobiographical songs that belong to the deceased himself or his forefathers/mothers will be sung. And
particular dances and songs that are meant for such an occasion are performed. It happened very often
that if the songs are sorrowful, those who take part in the singing and dancing may even weep and cry
although those songs may have been composed several generations ago. Besides, every clan has its own
mourning songs and these songs cannot be used by any other clans. The dead can be taken out of his
compound for burial only after all his clan‘s songs have been fully sung. Among the Sizangs, the dead
could be taken out of the house only after the “Thang Ho leh Lian Do“ songs had been sung.
The Chin/Zo traditional musical instruments are gongs of different sizes, drums made of wood and
leather, bamboo flutes, mouth organs made of gourd and bamboo, gaur/buffalo horns, cymbals, five-
piece (five tunes) wooden xylophones, etc. The typical traditional drum of the northern Chins is made of
hollowed wood about 35 cm in circumference and 45 cm in length which is covered on both sides with
leather.
15.6. Folk Dances
As mentioned above, originally there should have been several dances among the Chin/Zo people before
they were christianized. But at least more than 100 original dances from various regions have still
survived, without counting the number of variations that some of them have. For example, the “Pa Lam“ of
the Sizangs has two different variations - a seven-step version and a three-step version - for different
occasions, yet it has only a single name. The name of the dance itself means “Dance of Men“ or “Male
Dance“. It is danced solely by men and only on the occasions of funeral and festival celebrating the killing
of remarkable wild animals. At important funerals(of important persons) and festivals celebrating the killing
of remarkable animals the seven-step version was used and at ordinary funerals and festivals celebrating
the killing of lesss important animals the three-step version was used. Remarkable wild animals are Elephant,
Rhinoceros(Sumatrensis), Rhinoceros(Sondaicus), tiger, panther, leopard, and gaur(bison). And less
remarkable animals are bear, wild boar and deer. Only hunters who have really killed any of the animals
mentioned above can celebrate these festivals.(When the British arrived there still were quite a number of
both kinds of Rhinoceros in Chinland. But they were already extinct along with some other rare animals, like
Malayan sun bear, at the turn of the last century which the British recorded then.(Cary & Tuck, Vol. p. 10)
In Mizoram there are about eight major dances. But out of these dances the “Chai Lam“ has four
versions and the “Tlang Lam“ has several variations. Another example is “Sar Lam“. It is a warrior dance
and has several variations, too. It is danced in many regions in central Chin State, Chittagong Hill Tracts in
Bangladesh and in two districts in of Mizoram. Several tribes have different versions of bamboo dance.
Bamboo dances are not performed only on joyous occasions, but they were also parts of religious rituals as
well. The Maras for instance performed in olden days a special version of it to send the souls of the dead to
the worlds beyond at funerals.
________________________________________
Note: Since traditional songs are complex and therefore should be explained by someone who is well-versed in them, the information mentioned
above should serve only to give the reader some sketchy ideas about these songs. I myself am not qualified at all to elaborate further in this field.
For instance, traditionally, “A Kai“ was sung only at funerals, but later - when funeral services were no more conducted in traditional way - it was
integrated simply into autobiographical songs; and “La Thal Kai“ was traditionally composed and sung only by women as a medium to express
freely what they thought and observed about in their own families or clans or communities which they could not spell out verbally. When “La
Thal Kai“ songs were sung only specific amount of musical instruments were used and sung by not less than seven or eight women. However,
nowadays these songs are simply integrated into autobiographical or biographical songs. Author
* Here are some examples of normal and poetic words of the Sizangs and some of their neighbouring tribes, such as Tiddim, Sukte and Zou, etc.
01. Aal bang da(poetic word)= he/khua ngai(spoken word)=sad
02. Ang kawi(poetic)= pasal/zi (spoken)= husband or wife
03. buan bang niil(poetic)= vawk(spoken) = throw away/abandon
04. ciin leh tuai(poetic) = u leh nau(spoken) = (elder)brother and (younger) sister
05. Daal lum(poetic) = lum(spoken) = shield
06. Hau ta(poetic) = ngual te/ngual dang te(spoken) = strangers
07. Thian Mang(poetic) = Pathian(spoken) = God
08. Tuun nu(poetic) = nu(spoken) = mother
09. Va bang leang(poetic) = khualhaw(spoken) = travel
10. Zua pa(poetic) = pa(spoken) = father
11. Ang lai vontawi(poetic) = ta te(spoken) = children(sons and daughters)
12. Zaata(poetic) = mipi/mihon(spoken) = mass, public, crowd
13. Zaang ni(poetic) = ni (spoken) = sun
14. Zuun thiam(poetic) = vawt thiam, thin neam, thu neam(spoken) = kind, skilled
15. Zang khen kawlciang(poetic) = thau(spoken) = gun
Several dances and customs and traditions have been lost as a result of Christianization, because the
Chin/Zo owe the Animism that they had professed or still are professing in many areas for a large part of
their cultural heritages. That‘s one major reason why so many Christian Chins cannot distinguish religion
from culture and are therefore even ashamed of their cultural heritages. So, several denominations even
forbid their members to perform folk dances, because folk dances used to be parts of religious rituals as
well in Animism. And their religious leaders from the West have never taught them about the importance of
culture for a people‘s identity and survival.
Different dances are used for different occasions or festivals. There are about 24 important occasions or
festivals which are of social, religious and economic nature. The most common occasions are the new
year, the attainment of wealth, harvest, funeral, the killing of one or more remarkable wild animals
mentioned above.*
Since there is no sex segration among Zo society men and women dance tightly together - that is, each
dancer stretches out his hands beneath the arms of the two dancers on his left and right sides and put them
around their waists or hold the hands of the dancers next to his immediate neighbours. At any dancing
occasion everybody is free to choose a place in the row.
Burmese dances are staged performances rather than occasions for social dancing. Zo folk dances,
however, are collective or group dances in which men and women and young and old alike can take part
regardless of social status. Although some of these collective dances do not need special training, there
are a number of dances that demand long hours of training and experience. The bamboo dance is one
example. And there are also some dances that are solely performed by either men or women. Since several
of the Zo dances are collective dances all dancers sing collectively while they are dancing arm- in- arm.
Dances are led solely by the drummer.
15.7. Head-hunting and Other Special Ceremonies

A very special occasion among the several festivals of the Zo people was the making of a victory ceremony
with special rituals and dances over one‘s enemy at which the enemy‘s skull(s) was(were) displayed. That is
perhaps a reason why Western scholars and colonial officials called the Zos “head-hunters“ or head-hunting
tribes.
Truly, it was a very common tradition among the Zo people in olden days to cut and take home the heads
of those whom one personally killed in wars. But people did not hunt down innocent human beings - even
among hostile tribes - and cut their heads just in order to make these heads as trophies nor did they
deliberately kill and cut the heads of captured enemy. A captured enemy was usually kept and used as a
slave instead. Even then his family or relatives or tribe still could buy for his freedom. Slavery was widely
practiced among all Zo tribes until the British came, as it was also been widely done in other countless parts
of the world, including the Christian West.
In ancient times mostly only warriors and powerful chiefs made this ceremony because of two main
reasons: First, the Chins used to believe that one must be spiritually superior and more powerful in
worldly terms as well than the dead enemy if one wanted to celebrate this special ceremony, otherwise the
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
* Flint-lock guns, single - and double-barrelled guns to automatic hunting rifles were used for hunting in Chin State up to the late 1960s. However,
all the guns that were registered before 1970 - the year in which a special law was enacted - are confiscated by the Central Government without
any compensations when the registered owners die. No new permit is given since then. Hunting by individuals or combined hunting by men in
every village is a very common pastime for community festivals among the Chin people. And combined fishing as well among several tribes.
Until now there is no law for wild-life preservation or programme in Burma, except against the hunting of endangered animals such as elephants,
tigers and leopards. Author
spirit of the dead would bring him and his family misfortunes; second, it was very costly to celebrate such
a festival. However, not every warrior or powerful chief made this ceremony even though they may not
have lacked self-confidence and the necessary material means. One example was my paternal grandfather. He
was both a chief and a warrior. He led some of the fiercest battles against General Sir White‘s British
troops during the Anglo-Chin war in 1888-89. He had even personally captured a rifle in a hand-to-hand
fighting(see Appendix F). Although he had had ample opportunities then, he did not cut even a single
enemy‘s head nor did he make the said ceremony. He had only made a festival for his killing of a gaur.
Below is one of his several songs which he himself composed on his battle with the British(Vum Ko Hau, p.
234).
Vang Khua Suan tu
Leido vaimang
Ni khat pil bang the nge
Al bang that ing
Hautoi ing ci-ing
Kawltiang tui bang la ing nge
Za lai ah Kansaang ing nge
Enemy attempting to capture
My Glorious Land
I scattered like pebbles
I swore that
I am the son of a highborn Noble
And killed enemies like chickens
Besides capturing an enemy gun
I am exalted among the hundreds[figuratively: the multitude]
Unlike all the other ceremonies this ceremony, which is called “Gal Ai“ in Tedim dialect and “Ral Ai“
in Mizo and several other Zo dialects, was a very rare occasion - at least among the Sizangs. The
celebration of this festival in fact was both an act of revenge and sorrow at the same time, rather than a
joyous occasion. The rituals and dances with which this festival was made were different from tribe to tribe,
but the main essence of it was generally the same among several tribes. In olden days only those who
were true warriors dared to make this festival, otherwise one could easily become just an object of contempt,
or a laughing stock. However, it became somewhat fashionable lately in the mid 1950s and ‘60s - among
the Sizangs to make this ceremony without having ever really fought in a battle or having ever killed an
enemy that only five out of the tweenty two people who had made this ceremony during the 20th century
could be taken seriously. In ancient times those - especially young warriors - who had killed enemies in a
battle cut the heads of the enemies whom they killed and took them home in order to prove their bravery.
Brave people were most admired and respected. A brave man had had much more chance than a coward to
get a woman of his choice.
And here are a few statistics among the Sizangs who had made various celebrations in the 20th century:
Twenty people made the “Sai Aai“ festival - for the killing of one or more elephants; 68 people made the
“Sial Ai“ festival for the killing of one or more gaurs; six celebrated both festivals: “Sai Ai“ and “Sial Ai“;
three made the “Sahang Ai“ festival for the killing of one or more tigers; three made both festivals: “Sai Ai“
and “Sahang Ai“. (I‘ve got a full list of them.) Among the festivals mentioned above the “Sahang Aai“ is also a
very special one, like the “Ral Ai“. Only those who had had self-confidence and brave ones dared made it. It
was believed that if someone is not really superior to the “spirit“ of the tiger he had killed and then made
this ceremony, when he died his remains would be exhumed and lacerated into pieces by tigers. And this
really happened occasionally. People therefore used to say, when someone who had made this “Sahang Ai“
died, “Let‘s wait and see which one is superior“. They meant the hunter or the tiger which he killed. Burials
were always made in the evening and if nothing happend to his grave during the first burial night, then
people said the next day that the hunter was indeed superior to the tiger.
Zu and meat of different animals play so many crucial roles among several Zo tribes that their
explanations would fill several pages. On special occasions, for example, Zu is not drunk just in order to
get drunk, but as a social function that cements a community or communities. On such occasions each
family or household will bring a pot or several pots of different sizes of rice beer and this beer will be
drunk directly from the pot through one or two bamboo pipes. The rituals of consuming this Zu at formal
events are very strict - at least at the beginning or until people get drunk. Equally crucial are the roles that
meat of various animals also play. I will mention briefly here only about this matter among the Sizangs.
Domestic animals are classified into three categories: 1. Mithan, water buffalo and cow; 2. goat; 3. pig.
There are two different rituals of cutting the throat of these animals depending on the occasions, or the
purpose of each event - marriage ceremony, funeral service (during and after), a feast made in honour of a
relative on one‘s mother‘s side, etc. And the meat is also prepared differently depending on the occasions.
For general occasions 14 portions, and for marriage ceremonies only 3 portions are prepared from
specific different parts of the animal killed, and these portions are distributed among relatives according to
the six major and two minor categories of relationship. However, the meat of an animal which is
slaughtered for the sole purpose of consumption without any specific purpose is prepared without any
rituals. And it is a very common practice for people to slaughter any of the above-mentioned animals for
someone as a gesture of gratitude for some past favour. Several other Zo tribes are also still widely
practising such traditions and customs of their own although they have been professing the Chrisitian faith
for three, four generations.
Actually, not only because of the traditions and customs mentioned above, but also because of many
of the codes of social relationship and kinship were - and still are in many regions - rather complex that
the traditional Zo society as a whole could generally be defined as very conservative.
16.0 PRESENT PLIGHT OF THE CHIN/ZO PEOPLE IN BURMA
16.1. Television and Radio Broadcasting Programme
Since the Chin State, which is just slightly smaller than Switzerland, has only about 1700 km of motor
roads and most of them are dry-season-only roads, it‘s almost impossible for the great majority of its
people to travel to its other regions to study or observe the traditions and ways of life of their fellow folk.
And there is no chance at all for them to see such things on television either, because there are only a few
thousand television sets in its 12 townships. Even those who have tv sets themselves cannot see tv
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Note: The Sizangs classified the wild animals that they hunted and celebrated into three categories: Sa Mang(literally: kings of animals); Sa
Pi(literally:great animals), and Sano(small animals). The animals in the first category were Tiger, Leopard and Panther; in the second category were
Elephants, Rhinoceros and Gaur; Bear, big wild boar, bear and deer were included in the third category. Dances and rituals of celebrations differred
according to these categories.
Information concerning Traditional Songs, Folk Dances and Head-hunting ceremonies mentioned above are that of various tribes from Tiddim and
Tonzang townships in Burma and a part of Manipur State in India. Even among these tribes there are a number of variations in these fields. But
since it‘s not possible to describe these variations in detail, I have simply generalized them all. I know only in general that several other Zo tribes
also made or still make similar festivals, but do not have detailed information on them. Author
programme full-time since they do not get electricity sufficiently and regularly.
There is only one state-owned radio broacasting station and two television stations in Burma. The Chins,
like all other major ethnic nationalities, get only a 30-minute radio programme daily which is directly
broadcast from Rangoon. This 30-minute programme is the official mouthpiece of the central government
and it is divided into two parts - 15 minutes for news, and the other 15 minutes for songs. And those
nationalities do not get any television programme in their own languages. Even with the radio programme,
they do not have any say at all.
Despite the great sacrifices that they have made for Burma, which were mentioned at the beginning of
this paper, a great number of them in Chin State today cannot even afford the cheapest rubber sandals.
Even their attempts for self-improvement have always been in one way or another sabotaged by the
authorities. The same things have been happening to all other so-called indigenous peoples, too.
“Indigenous peoples“ is the ruling ethnic Burman politicians‘ favourite term the beginning of this paper, a
great number of them in Chin State today cannot even afford the cheapest rubber sandals. Even their
attempts for self-improvement have always been in one way or another sabotaged by the authorities. The
same things have been happening to all other so-called indigenous peoples, too. “Indigenous peoples“ is
the ruling ethnic Burman politicians‘ favourite term to denote all the native peoples living in the country,
excluding the two alien ethnic groups: Chinese and Indians. In contrary to this, the economic and
commercial fruits of the land are overwelhmingly enjoyed only by these two mainly urban-dwelling alien
nationals, who have had never shed blood and tears in the ruthless 56-year old civil war, together with
corrupt native elites. Of course, a number of half-caste of both Chinese and Indian ancestry with their
host nationals have had indeed lost their lives in the decades-long internal political conflicts. While
several thousands of women and girls of the “indigenous peoples“ and ethnic Burmese women as well in
politically disturbed areas have had been raped - and a great number of them were bestially murdered- by
Burmese government soldiers for decades, none of the women and girls of these two alien ethnics is known
to have met the same fate at the hands of Burmese soldiers. While millions of those indigenous people are
uprooted from their historical birthplaces, and their homes and properties are destroyed, none of those
alien national is reported to have suffered similarly. See my 37-page paper Burma‘s 56 - Year Old Civil
War(1948-2004): A Brief Chronology for more information on the plight of the so-called indigenous
peoples.
16.2. THE MARCH 31, 2004 ANNOUNCEMENT OF PROJECT MAJE
Project Maje, an independent information project on Burma's human rights and environmental issues, has
released a new report, "Mithuns Sacrificed to Greed: The Forest Ox of Burma's Chins." The report contains
information about the little-known mithun, a large domesticated ox traditionally used for ceremonial
purposes by the Chin and Naga tribes of Western Burma and Northeast India. Mithuns stand five feet tall at
the shoulder and are related to the forest-dwelling gaur. An essential element of indigenous culture, these
docile bovines are now the subject of commercial meat-trade schemes by Burma's regime, and there have
been reports of confiscation of mithuns from Chin villagers. These developments pose a threat to Chin
culture, and possibly to the future survival of the mithun, which is the least in number of all the large
mammals domesticated by humans./The report is available at Project Maje's website: www.projectmaje.org
-----Ursprungliche Nachricht-----
References:
Von: Edith Mirante [mailto:maje@hevanet.com]
Gesendet: Sonntag, 4. April 2004 00:42
Betreff: New Report: "Mithuns Sacrificed to Greed"
From: "salai.kipp" <salai.kipp@gmx.de>
To: "chinland" <chinland@yahoogroups.com>,
____________________________________

16.3. PROFESSOR DR. SALAI TUN THAN
“... It was only after a desperate search of two weeks that the family finally learned that Dr. Tun Than was
being held in Rangoon's notorious Insein prison...Sources told a reporter of the Irrawaddy On-line News
last week that the former rector of Yezin Agricultural University had been arrested near the city hall in
Rangoon while distributing leaflets calling for free elections in the country... His family has been able to
send him medicine through the International Committee of the Red Cross. Dr Salai Tun Than, a retired
agronomist, has devoted himself to rural development in Ngaphe township of Magwe division since his
retirement a dozen years ago. In 1993, he established the Myanmar Integrated Rural Development
Association (MIRDA) with the assistance of the Myanmar Council of Churches and the World Council of
Churches. The group assisted since his retirement a dozen years ago. In 1993, he established the Myanmar
Integrated Rural Development Association (MIRDA) with the assistance of the Myanmar Council of Churches
and the World Council of Churches. The group assisted villagers with the cultivation of oranges, coffee and
tea in the area in which it operated its project in Ngaphe. But the military government did not permit MIRDA
to function officially as an NGO. The group faced continual disturbances from the regime and donors were
prohibited from visiting MIRDA sites. The regime at one point destroyed over half of MIRDA's orchards. Dr
Salai himself was also prohibited from conducting agriculture-training workshops, according to a source
familiar with the MIRDA. A Christian and a member of the Chin ethnic group, Dr. Salai Tun Than earned a
Ph.D. in Agronomy from the University of Wisconsin and had served as rector at the Yezin University of
Agriculture in Pyinmana until 1990. The Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission made an
urgent appeal this week for increased international response to the doctor's arrest.“ (Burma Courier No. 306;
Chin Human Rights Organisation‘s report & Irrawady Online News/January 30, 2002)
Even Mr. Khun Sa, the most famous drug warload in the world and the number one on the U.S.‘s
wanted list as a drug trafficker(he is living in Rangoon since 1996), and other internationally well-known
big drug traffickers such as Lo Hsing-han and Wei Hsueh-kang (all of them, including Mr. Khun Sa
himself, are either pure Chinese or of Chinese ancestry) are enjoying special privileges under the present
regime and they are investing hundreds of millions of dollars of their drug money in all kinds of lucrative
busineses such as banking, transports, constructions, real estates, tourism, hotels, etc.
... It is an open secret that the 2 banks(Asia Wealth Bank & Mayflower Bank) mentioned above have links with the drug lords.
A long time ago, Interpol issued a warrant for the arrest of Khun Sa and the junta refused to hand him over. The two banks in
question extensively deal with black money and army officers are share holders not only of these banks, but of money
enterprises run illegally... The drug lords run domestic airlines, some railways lines, road transport, departmental stores and many
other economic activities where army officers are dormant co-partners... (Source: Money Laundering: A Dilemma for Burma‘s
Junta - By B. K. Sen(Senior Advocate): Mizzima News (www.mizzima.com) January 2, 2004.
Several senior military officers‘ involvement in drug business is an open secret among the people of
Burma since the 1960s.
Note. Dr. Salai Tun Than was released from prison after the International Red Cross had intervened and was allowed to fly to the
United States. He attempted to go back to Burma via Thailand in 2004. However, he was not allowed by the Burmese government
to enter Burma. Since then he has been living in the United States as an exile. This news item is still included in this paper
anyway, as a proof of the continuing persecution under which his people, the Chins, and the entire population of Burma as a
whole, are still suffering. Author
________________

Author
Thang Za Dal(Mr)
Grindelallee 141,
20146 Hamburg,,
Germany
Last Update: September, 2007
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
REFERENCES
01. Carey, Betram S., Assistant Commissioner, Burma, and Political Officer, Chin Hills, & Tuck, H.N. Extra
Assistant Commissioner, Burma, and Assistant Political Officer, Chin Hills:The Chin Hills: A History
of the People, our dealings with them, their Customs and Manners, and a Gazetteer of their County ;
Volume I & II , Published by Firma KLM Private Ltd., Calcutta - 700012; On behalf of the Tribal
Research Institute, Aizawl, Mizoram; First Edition: 1896; Reprinted: 1976/(iv)
02. C. Chawngkunga, Pu : Genealogical Tree of Mizo; Aizawl, Mizoram(India), 1996
03. Vum Ko Hau, Dr. : Profile of A Burma Frontier Man, 1963 (self-published)
04. Union of Burma: Customs and Culture of Indigenous Peoples - The Chins
Published by the Burma Socialist Programme Party, February, 1968
05. K.A. Khup Za Thang, Capt. : Genealogy of the Zo(Chin) Race of Burma, 1974(self-published)
06. Khup Za Go, Rev.: Christianity in Chinland: The Beginning and the Growth of the Baptist Church in
the Chin State ofBurma. 1985; Christian Literature Centre, Guwahati, Assam, India
07. Vumson, Dr.: Zo History,1986(self-published)
08. Zan Hta Sin, U : Democracy Byaungpyan (Democracy Upside-Down); Aungsitdee Publishing House,
Rangoon. 1990
09. Documents of Salai Kipp Kho Lian(Hamburg) and Salai T.H. Mang(Basel), 1997
10. Lalrimawia, Dr.; Mizoram - History and Cultural Identity : 1890-1947; Spectrum Publications,
Gauwahati & New Delhi.l, 1995
11. H.L. Malsawma, Dr. : Sociology of the Mizos, Spectrum Publications; Guwahati & New Delhi, 2002
12. Khoi Lam Thang: A Phonological Reconstruction of Proto Chin, Payap University, Changmai,
Thailand, 2001. (Thesis for the degree of Masters of Arts in Linguistics)
GL0SSARY
(See NAMES: 8.6)
Terms of Kinship and other Prefixes
Lia a poetic word used to designate the status of an unmarried woman. See 8.6. NAMES
Pu grandpa. father‘s father; mother‘s father; mother‘s brothers, overlord. Also an address form
of respect regardless one‘s age or kinship
Pi grandma; father‘s mother; mother‘s mother; lady; wife of maternal uncle. An example:
The name of my eldest maternal uncle was Suan Neam. So I addressed her as Pi Neam,
or Pipui(great aunt). The name of her husband was Khup Ko Thang. I addressed him as
Pu Thang or Pu Pui. But both paternal and maternal grandfathers and paternal and
maternal grandmothers are simply addressed as Pu and Pi respectively. Also an address form
of respect regard of age or kinship
Pa father; father‘s younger or elder brother; address form of respect for a middle-aged
man.
Nu mother; mother‘s sisters, cousins; address form respect for a middle-aged woman; wife of
paternal uncle. An example: The wife of my father‘s younger brother is called Hang Za
Cing. So I address her as Nu Cing. The name of my mother‘s elder sister was Ciang
Ko Cing. So I addressed her as Nu Cing.
Ni father‘s sister
Ni address form toward an elderly domestic female slave; for male slave is Pa - these two
usages, that is, the address forms for female and male slaves, are confined to the
Sizangs alone)
Ngang father‘s sister‘s husband; seniors are addressed by last name with prefix only.
Pu no/Puno son of maternal uncle(An example: the children of my paternal uncles‘ sisters call me
Puno Thang Za Dal or Puno Dal or Pu Dal - using only the last word of my name.
The nickname of the first son of my maternal uncle(immediate younger brother of my
mother, Thian Ko Khai) is Pauno. So my brother, I and my sisters call him Puno
Pauno. But he simply call us either U Dal, as I am elder than him. He calls my sisters
who are younger than he himself simply by their nicknames.

Nu neau/ daughter of maternal uncle. An example: The nickname of the younger sister of
Nuneau Puno Pauno(see above) is called Dimno. So I call her Nuneau Dimno. But she simply
calls me U Dal.
Tang or Taang: A poetic word to denote an unmarried young man. See 12.6. NAMES
Sungh pa address form of a married man towards his father-in-law & male relatives of his wife
Sungh nu address form used by a married man towards his mother-in-law
Sunghte address form used by a married man towards all relatives of his wife‘s
To pasal father-in-law(address form used by a married woman towards her husband‘s
father
To nupi mother-in-law(address form used by a married woman towards her husband‘s mother
Mak pa son-in-law(term used by parents and relatives of a married woman towards her husand
Mak te ddress form used by parents and relatives of a married woman towards her
husband‘s relatives
Nu phal address form of a married man towards the husband of his wife‘s sister
Mo address form used by female relatives of a married man towards his wife
U elder(brother or sister); also an address form of respect toward an elder man/woman
U Nu address form of a married man towards the wife of his elder brother
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HOW ZO PEOPLE IN TIDDIM & TONZANG TOWNSHIPS in CHIN STATE, BURMA, and MANIPUR STATE in INDIA , ARE NAMED
DIAGRAM 1( ON MY PATERNAL SIDE)
(Digrams 1 & 2 show how we - my brother, I and my five sisters - got our names from both our paternal and maternal sides. Thang Za Dal)
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
(See 12.6 for explanation)
Khup Lian + Vung Hau
_________________
Suang Hau Thang Ciang Ko Vung(f) Vum Thawng Mang Khai Pau Tual Khai Ko Hau Suang Ko Zam
(Mun Neam) (Pau Cin) (Vung Ciang) (Vung Pau) (Khup Ko Dim) (Hang Za Cing) (Ciin Ko Man)
_______________ _______________ ______________ ______________ _______________ _____________ ______________
Hau Za Cing(f) Ciin Za Cing(f) Lian Za Nang Hau Za Dim(f) Hau Za Man(f) Lian Khan Khai Lian Langh Pau
Khup Hen Cin Hau Cing(f) Kaang Za Thang Hau Za Pum Lian Khat Pau Kipp Ko Lian Thuam Lua Thang
Niang Ko Hau(f) Suang Za Khai Vung Ngo(f) Lian Khan Cin Thang Za Dal Hau Kho Neam(f)
Pau Kaang Cing(f) Thawng Za Pum Hau Ko Dim(f) Thawng Vai Nang Hau Khan Huai(f) Ngiak Za Dim(f)
Lian Za Dal Cing Za Man(f) Cingh Ko Mang(f)
Khai Za Cing(f) Lian Za Cing(f) Cing Khan Huai(f) Vung Man Cing(f) Cin Lamh Mang
Cing Za Dim(f) Lian Za Pau Suak Cin Pau Ngiak Ko Man(f) Neam Khan Cing(f) Vung Khan Dim(f)
Khai Za Pum Khai Za Nang Mang Cin Lian Thang Za Kap Cingh Ko Hau(f) Cingh Ko Man(f)
Dim Za Pum(f) Thang Cin Nang
Khai Khan Thang
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Note: These two diagrams have been made at the suggestion of Ms. Edith Mirante of Maje Project(www.projectmaje.org), and I am very thankful for that.
Those whose names are printed in black got their names either from their maternal grandparents or paternal and maternal uncles and aunts. In these two diagrams I‘m using my own
family as an example.
DIAGRAM 2(My Maternal Side)
______________________
Suang Thang + Ciang Hau
______________________
Khup Kho Thang Ciang Ko Cing(f) Khup Ko Dim(f) Thian Ko Khai Thawng Za Cin Hau Ngaw Cin Pau
(Suan Neam) (Kim Pau) (Pau Tual) (Ciin Za Cing) (Cing Za Lian) (Dim Ko Mang)
________________ ________________ _______________ ________________ __________________ ______________________
Hau Ko Man(f) Dim Ko Hau(f) Hau Za Man(f) Thang Za Pau Thang Khan Cin Thang Van Pau
Suak Ko Cing(f) Suang Do Lian Lian Khat Pau Hau Khan Dim(f) Thang Cin Khai Pau Do Thawng
Thang Cin Mang Hau Khan Za Cing(f) Thang Za Dal Zam Cing Hau(f) Thang Za Mung Hau Cingh Huai
Mang Ko Niang(f) Thang Ko Pau Hau Khan Huai(f) Khup Za Cing(f) Hau Za Cing(f) Thang Za Mang
Vai Do Pau Kam Cin Kang Vung Man Cing(f) Hau Cingh Mang(f) Dim Khan Pum(f) Dim Dal Cing(f)
Vung Ngaw Cing(f) Cingh Zam Cing(f) Neam Khan Cing(f) Thiang Za Mung
Thian Dei Cing(f) Cingh Ko Hau(f) Thang Za Man(f)
Pau Khan Khup Za Nang
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