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Ethnic and Social Formation of Paite Society: A Review Study

Written by  Dr. H. Thangtungnung Published inThathang Hangshing Sunday, 21 September 2014 12:53
Ethnic and Social Formation of Paite Society: A Review Study

Dr. H. Thangtungnung

 

Abstract

The Paites have a unique social system and practices. The chief is the head of the village and all matters are decided by him and his council called Khawnbawl-Upa. At the household level, there is a corporate body called Inndongta. The Paites have a unique system of giving names to new born babies called Naumin Phuah. They practice Puzukholh (offering drink) to the child’s maternal grandparents to show love and respect. The younger brothers used to honour their eldest brother by killing a four legged animal called Tousa. Another unique tradition is sending off a married daughter with bridal’s gifts on a specific occasion called Sialkhumsa by throwing a feast. They practiced a priesthood system in all sacrifices and rituals. The paper highlights the various traditional institutions and structures of the Paite society. The study is an attempt to examine the social and cultural values of the Paite, a distinct trans-border tribe of India and Myanmar.

Introduction

The Paites are a trans-border tribe of India and Myanmar who reside mostly in Manipur, Mizoram, Assam and the Chin State of Myanmar. The Paites of the Chin State are known as Tedim Chins according to the location where they reside. This is because the term, ‘Paite’ is relatively new and it refers to the members of the tribe settled in Mizoram and Manipur from the Chin Hills. The meaning of the term, ‘Paite’ itself denotes their migratory habit, as it literally means ‘goers’ or ‘people on the move’. (Kamkhenthang 1988: 7; Roy 1973: 190).

Ethnic Identity

            Until the late 1940’s, the term ‘Paite’ was not popularly accepted as a symbol of identity by the people themselves. They preferred to be known by the name of ‘Vuite’[1] or ‘Guite’, a chieftain clan within them. (Goswami & Kamkhenthang 1975: 22). This was mainly because these people were under the grip of the Guite chiefs for a long time. The recent term, ‘Paite’ was alleged to be given by the Lusheis during the nineteenth century while the tribe settled in the Lushei Hills. Since then, it was gradually adopted as an affiliated name by the people themselves. The term was officially used for the first time in 1948 with the formation of the Paite National Council (Kamkhenthang 1988: 8), known now as the Paite Tribe Council. The Council submitted a memorandum to the Home Minister of India on 18 November 1955 for the inclusion of ‘Paite’ within the Scheduled tribe lists (Piangzathang n.d: 67; Goswami 1979: 67). It succeeded and the name was included in the Scheduled Tribes lists of the Indian Constitution in 1956.[2] Tribe recognition was felt necessary as the tribe came under a heavy pressure to embrace either Kuki or Mizo. (Kamkhenthang 1988: 8)

            Despite pressure, the Paites did not like to be called either Kuki or Mizo. In their opinion, Kuki was a foreign appellation given to them by some outsiders.  The Colonialists designated them by this derogatory name, which for the Paites, was unacceptable. (Goswami 1979: 87). Even the term, ‘Mizo’ did not suit their interest mainly because it was a newly established nomenclature dominated solely by the Lushei (Duhlian) speaking group of Mizoram.  The Paites felt that ‘Mizo’ is not a correct terminology to represent its meaning (Gougin 1984: 4). Accordingly, the most acceptable term is Zomi according to the orthographic system of their written dialect. (Kamkhenthang 1995: 171f). Moreover, the Paites were of the view that both the Thadous and the Lusheis had a tendency to impose their own dialects on the people who come within the fold of Kuki and Mizos respectively, as they steered the wheel. The Paites had therefore, demanded a ‘Reunification of the Chin People’ of India and Burma in the late 1950’s but without any success. The term, ‘Chin’ was also soon after discarded by the Paites as they felt that this term was also a foreign name, applied to them by the British for those settlers of the Chin Hills in Burma. (Vum Ko Hau 1990: 20)

Paites in Manipur

            The majority of the Paite population in India is found in Manipur state, particularly in the South Manipur Hills, known as Churachandpur District, locally called Lamka. In Manipur, the whole tribal population consists of 902,740, which is 35.1 per cent of the total population according to Census 2011.[3] Out of this, the Paites constitutes around 53,540 persons (Census 2011). They discarded either Kuki, Mizo or Chin as a nomenclature. Instead, the Paites adopted ‘Zoumi/Zomi’ as a generic name and formed the ‘Zomi Council’ as an apex body in 1998 with some other kindred tribes. The tribes which represent the Council are Paite, Tedim, Zou, Vaiphei, Simte, Thangkhal, Kom and Mate.

Social System

            The Paite society is a patrilineal society and the father heads the family. He is succeeded or inherited by his eldest son after his death. In case he has no son, his nearest kin becomes his inheritor. Traditionally, a woman cannot inherit property but now this practice has been lax as the Paite Customary Laws permits a female to inherit property except in the case of Chiefship.[4]

            Family and Village: Family is the basic institution in the Paite society. There are two types of family—Lukhat and Innbul. Lukhat means a nuclear family whereas the joint family system is called Innbul.[5] The father and mother in a family are known as Innteekpa and Innteeknu respectively, and the two of them collectively look after the household affairs of the family. Generally, a family consists of 5-10 members who lived in a village. A big village consisted of around 300 houses while the small ones were of only about 40 houses. (Zamzachin 1992: 37-38) Each village has its own chief who looks after the village. Besides, small and big villages have the Chief’s council called ‘Hausa-upate’, a priest called ‘Siampu’, a blacksmith known as ‘Siksek’ and a village crier called ‘Tangkou’. (Ibid.).

            Chief and His Council: At the village level, the chief (Hausa) was the head of the village and all matters were decided by him. He was assisted by his council known as Hausa Upa. All village lands and their products therein belonged to the chief and he had the privilege to collect various kinds of taxes. Some of the important taxes levied by a Paite chief were:

i.  Tax on killed wild animal called Saliang.

ii. Tax on agriculture called Buhsun-Tangseu. This was collected from his

     subjects in the form of baskets of paddy after the harvest.

iii. If a villager shot an elephant or a tiger, the chief had the right to claim

     the tusk of the hunted animal.

iv. The chief had the privilege in selection of jhum land.

v. His house was constructed by the villagers without any payment in   

     return.

vi. No villager was permitted to leave the village without the prior consent

     of the chief. In such a case, the chief could forfeit his house and property

     known as Innkhak-loukhak. (Nengkhopau 2009: 27-28).

               Like the chief, a Hausa Upa (chief’s councilor) also enjoyed the following privileges— (Nengkhopau Ibid.: 28; Piangzathang op. cit.: 69)

              i. Exemption from Saliang and Buhsun Tangseu.

              ii. Exemption from forced labour known as nikhotha.

              iii. Selection of jhum lands.

            However, with the introduction of Manipur Village Authority (in the Hill Areas) Act, 1956 by the State Government in the Hill areas of Manipur, some of the privileges enjoyed by the chief were curtailed and the chief’s council, Hausa Upa was replaced by Village Authority. The Chairman of the Village Authority (VA) is of course, the village chief but all the other members of the VA are directly elected by the villagers by means of adult suffrage. The Village Court has the judicial jurisdiction of trying civil and criminal cases and can impose necessary penalty upon whom it found guilty except for the death sentence.[6] The Act further states that a village of more than 20 houses, which pays revenue to the Government, might form a village council.[7]

            Village Priest (Siampu): The priest played an important role and occupied a significant position in the Paite society. Every village had a priest, who offered sacrifices and acted as a medicine man for the villagers. Every ritual was performed under the priest who offered sacrifices to propitiate evil spirits believed to cause a certain sickness or harm upon the people.  In return for his service, the priest was exempted from the payment of Buhsun-Tangseu (agricultural tax), and had the privilege to collect a basket of paddy from each house, known as Lohbeu/Phaidam for whom he offered sacrifices during the year. He could claim a portion of the meat killed for sacrifices and could choose a jhum land of his own choice. He was also exempted from forced labour. (Tualchin 1993: 85-86; Luaizakham 1991: 43)

            No social ceremony related to religion or family ritual was done in the absence of the Siampu. Minor rituals could be performed by a Siampi[8] within a clan who acted on behalf of the Siampu.                                                           

Rituals and Festivals

 The old Paite society performed numerous rituals and sacrificial rites quite similar to those of the Jews in the Old Testament days. The performance of animal sacrifice and priestly ritual had much resemblance with the Levitical sacrificial laws and priesthood system of the Bible. (Khamkam 1995: 295; Sing Khaw Khai 1995: 164) A few of them were:

 Khobawl: It is a sacrificial ritual performed during March or April when the people completed the arduous task of Louvat (jhum clearing). On this occasion, they offered sacrifices to Pathian (God) for bountiful harvest and prepared a common feast. Khobawl was interlinked with village rituals performed to cleanse the village from the influence of evil spirits. On the previous day, the village priest would sacrifice a goat and its head would be fixed on a post at the village entrance. (Piangzathang op. cit.: 256) When the actual day began, the whole village observed a taboo called ‘Zehtang’ and singing, dancing and music were prohibited. It coincided with the Jewish new year of the Old Testament.[9]

Tualsuang At:Tualsuang was a stone platform used as a sacrificial altar.It was a seven days ritual performed with the blood of goat or dog similar to the Levitical rite. (Sing Khaw Khai op. cit.: 178) Taking of Zu (rice beer) and other fermented drinks were prohibited until the end of seven days and Zubel (beer pots) were kept outside the house. During this occasion, the village priest killed a chicken and offered it as a sacrifice to propitiate the spirits at the water point of the village. (Khamkam, op. cit. 257)

            Sumtong Kithoihna: Performed around the month of June, no food and Zu was taken until sunset on the day of the Sumtong ritual. It was a day of atonement meant to appease the spirits or in any case, the Pathian through a sacrifice. The village priest performed the sacrifice by killing a pig. This was believed to be a form of ancestral worship began by the two mythological orphan brothers called Thanghou and Liandou. (Neihsial 1993: 92)

            Ton Sacrifice: It is another type of ancestral worship which involved killing of many animals including a couple of mithuns meant for feast. Ton was a sacrificial feast to the ancestral god in which much Zuwas sipped and a hundred baskets of millets were used. But Ton sacrifice was confined to the well-to-do families in the society. They would invite friends and relatives to the sacrificial feasts. The basic aim of performing Ton was to attain prominent social status, though it was also done to enjoy physical health and wealth. This feast could last for days, and a sacrificial pillar called Ton Song was erected and sacrificial bamboos called Ton Mung were planted as a symbol. This was believed to perpetuate the married life of the couple who performed the Ton sacrifice. (Ibid.: 93-94)

The Paites also celebrated many feasts and festivals usually associated with harvesting and other cycles in agricultural production. All the native festivals were also co-incidentally similar to festival rites of the Israelites in the Old Testament.

Mim kut: It was celebrated during the month of August or September wherein Mim (millet) cake was prepared for offering to the spirits of the deceased persons in the family. Traditionally observed for a day, each member in a family offered Mim cake and the first fruits of their jhum fields to the spirits. It was an event directly connected with mourning.[10]

Khodou Kut:Khodou was the largest and most important festival of the Paite. Directly connected with the harvesting season, it marked the end of one annual cyclic agricultural activity. Khodou was generally celebrated in October every year as a harvesting festival for over a week. It was a joyous occasion of singing and dancing in merriment so as to celebrate the completion of a year long labour in the jhum fields. People feasted lavishly in addition to drinking Zu.Boughsof plantsand trees were hanged at door posts and house walls quite similar to what the Israelites did during their Feast of Tabernacles.[11] The exact reason is not known except what the Bible mentions about why the Israelites should do this. The Bible says,

‘.......when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto Yahweh seven days,......and ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of fruit trees, branches of palm-trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before Yahweh your Elohim seven days..... That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt......’[12]

The other name of this festival is Pawl Kut, but the celebration has disappeared in Northeast India today. Nevertheless, it is still celebrated by the Tedims (Paites) of Myanmar to this day, and three days are kept aside as a National holiday by the Myanmar Government.[13] The only such tribal festival observed in Manipur as a State holiday is Chavang Kut, celebrated on 1 November every year.

Religion and Belief

The Paites had a rudimentary form of religion as was evident from the various sacrificial rituals, feasts and rites associated with death and burial as well as the belief in life after death. The priesthood of the Paites could be comparable to the Levitical priesthood of the Old Testament. (Sing Khaw Khai 1995: 164) It resembles the beliefs of the ancient Israelites.

The Paites were rather monotheists than animists, who believed in one Supreme Creator, Pathian who created the Universe. (Khamkam op. cit. 295). The worship of Pu-sa (ancestor god) signifies the belief of this Supreme Being and Pu-sa represents the supreme god of the household. Pu-sa seems to be the only deity worshipped from generation to generations. When the rite of ancestor worship was administered, the clan priest recounted the personal names of the pedigrees of successive generations, orally passed down through the clan priesthood. Pu-sa was invoked with reference to the personal names of the ancestors. This deity must be referred to as the Supreme God which the Paite ancestors worshipped from times immemorial. (Sing Khaw Khai op. cit.: 162-183)

The Paites adored the Supreme Creator and prayed to Him in times of great dangers and extreme hardship. Men were believed to be created by God as they possessed immortal soul. (Khamkam op. cit.: 296). The spirits were offered sacrifices in order to propitiate them because it was the belief that evil spirits (dawi/kau) caused harm, sickness and diseases to human beings if they were displeased or not appeased. Recourse was to chant certain verses to frighten away the spirits from human environs. One such chant is—

“Adawi akau na kihemkhia un,

Singzung suangzung lamsak a omte,

Lamkhang a omte na kihemkhia un...”[14]

Free translation:

Move away you evil spirits,

Trunks and stones of the side ways,

Leave us all alone...

            The Paites believed in the existence of life after death, known to them as Sihnung Thu. They believed that, after dead, the soul goes to the dead man’s abode known as Misikhua by crossing the Pial river. This separation of the soul and body is known as Khakia. (Neihsial op. cit.: 106-07). But before reaching the Misikhua, the soul had to pass through a celestial gate guarded by a mythological goddess called Sahnu. The way to Misikhua involved much toil. Therefore, the killing of at least one cattle was required at the time of the funeral ceremony. (Sing Khaw Khai op. cit.: 135)

            After the soul stayed at theMisikhua for some time, if the dead person in his life time had killed big games like deer, bear, tiger, etc and performed Sa-aih or Gaal-aih or at least a Ton, then his soul would go to a place of eternal bliss called Pialgal. It is a place where there is no pain, wary and hunger because Khuazing, the god of darkness, does not reside there. (Thangtungnung 2010: 49-50)

Birth and Death

            Naumin Phuah: A name giving ceremony is a joyous occasion in the Paite society. In general, name is given to a newly born baby on the third day after birth. Otherwise, it is done within seven days because it was the belief that evil spirits called dawi are fond of giving names to newborn babies ahead of this ceremony. (Kamkhenthang 1988: 115). The first born baby is christened after the name of his/her paternal grandfather or grandmother. The next issue is christened after the name of the child’s maternal grand parents. The third after the relatives of the child’s father and so on. But in olden days, every male child was christened with his paternal grandfather’s name in order to perpetuate the family line. (Kamkhawtuan 2010: 42).

            After a child is born, a customary practice of Puzukholh is performed at the house of the child’s maternal grandparents or uncle at a convenient time, as a sign of respect and love. Puzukholh literally means offering wine to maternal Pu (father or brother) but wine has been replaced by tea with the adoption of Christianity.

            When a person died, it was a traditional practice to keep the dead body for many days, upto the extent of three months. The corpse was dried up by keeping near the hearth and attended by the second tanu, who was a married sister or daughter. On the day of burial, the corpse was taken outside the house and a grand ceremony ensued in front of the house. The corpse was made to wear a head gear called Akgesawm and it was made to sit on a bamboo stretcher called ‘Laang’ and Sa-aih, Gaal-aih and Taang-aih songs were sang and a funeral dance was performed. When they reached the graveyard, the Tanupi (oldest sister) brought a fire stick to the grave saying, “Kikhin un, kikhin un dawi leh kaute kikhin un, Manmasi tate hong lum diing hi (Move away, move away evil spirits, move away, the children of Manmasi will lie down).[15] Then a departure song called Sikhaakla was sung and the corpse was buried.

Inndongta (The Household Council)

            A type of democratic self governance existed at the grass root level within the Paite society. Every household maintains a household council called the Inndongta, which acts on behalf of the household family in all important matters. Inndongtais a kind of corporate association of relatives and friends within the society where none could stand alone. (Kamkhenthang 1988: 15). It is formed at a household level and acts as an institutional organization in which the head of the household who formed the Inndongtaremained as the Inntekpa (house holder). The other important offices are Thallouh (Chief Presider), Thusapi (Main Speaker), Thallouhmang            (Deputy Speaker) Pupi (Observer) and Tanupi (Work-in-charge).

Funtions and Privileges: When one establishes an Inndongta, it is also a sign of forming a nuclear family separated from the joint family to manage own his own and stand on his own feet. The members of the Inndongtaare official members who stand on behalf of the householder called Innteekpa. The Thusapi speaks for the Innteekpa/householder in any matter concerning the household. It is the responsibility of the Thallouh to ably organise matters so that deliberations proceed smoothly.

                Inndongtaplays a commendable role in matters relating to death, loss, sorrow, joy, marriage and dispute within the household of the householder. Execution of work is carried out in accordance with the mutual decision of all the Inndongta members. Though the final decision of the householder is given recognition, but in most cases the joint decision of the Inndongta is binding. The householder has the right to veto the resolution or decision of his Inndongta if he feels that it goes against his interest or is displeased with. But as this can result in discord, it is not usually resorted to. (Thangtungnung op. cit.: 27-28).

            The members of the Inndongtahave the privileges of getting a portion of meat when a four legged animal is killed for a feast thrown by the householder. They may also be rewarded in one way or another from time to time.

Tousa                         

 Tou means one’s eldest brother and sa means meat and ‘Tousa’ literally means ‘elder’s meat’ or ‘meat in honour of one’s eldest brother’. It is a customary practice among the Paites to kill a four legged animal at the house of one’s eldest brother called Innpipa as a mark of respect and honour. This is generally done by the younger brother after he established his own house. The  Tousa symbolises that the younger brother is now on his own, and his property is now exclusive to him. On the day of Tousa, he may be given a part of his father’s property by his eldest brother to whom he offered Tousa.

Marriage

 The traditional form of marriage among the Paite society was arranged marriage. This means that the boy’s parents would arrange for their son a partner of their own choice. The household Tanupi (eldest sister of the boy’s father and head of Tanu in the Inndongta) would fetch Zu (rice beer) to the girl’s parents for asking for her hand. If the girl’s parents agreed, negotiations would follow at the Inndongta level. In every negotiation, Zu was involved which should be offered by the boy’s party. Marriage payment or bride price was paid before the girl was taken to the boy’s house. Arranged marriage has now given way to Church marriage in which the marriage is consecrated by a Pastor in the presence of the other Church members. In both cases, the marriage ceremonies take two days, the first day is for sending off the bride and another day for the wedding, which is performed at the bridegroom’s place in cases of traditional marriage and in the Church in case of Church marriage. (Priyadarshni 2008: 169).

Types of Marriage: Broadly speaking, three types of marriage are common in the Paite society— (1) Marriage by elopement and (2) Church Marriage and (3) Arranged Marriage. Marriage by way of elopement generally takes place between two lovers who are not supposed to marry for some reasons as for example, Christian doctrine. The main reasons may be opposition by the girl’s parents, economic constraints as Church marriage involved huge amount of money, or ignorance of the importance of the sacrament of such marriage. But this type of marriage is condemned by the Church as immoral and one who resorts to it is usually ex-communicated by the Church for a specific period, normally six months. Church marriage may result because of the decision of the couple involved or may be arranged by the parents but the consent of both the parents is essential.

Marriage Restriction: The Paite can marry within and out of the clan. There is no clan restriction or class rigidity which controls the marriage rules or sex life of the people. But a man cannot marry (1) a member of his household, (2) Father’s sister’s daughter, (3) Sister of his brother’s wife and (4) Sister of his sister’s husband. (Kamkhenthang 1988: 97).

A boy is not permitted to marry a girl from a household to which his own sister is married. A wife-giving household cannot be a wife receiving household at the same time. A man cannot also marry a daughter of his half-sister by the same father. Local groups with different local customs in the matters of paying meat to mother’s brother were also traditionally taboo. A person who was believed to be possessed by Kau (evil spirit) was also carefully excluded. Another restriction is marriage of two brothers with two sisters, as it is not permitted for brothers to be nuphal (brother-in-laws). (Ibid.: 99-103)

Marriage Payment: There are two parts of marriage payment—(i) Thaman and (ii) Manpi. Thamanis the advance payment before the principal is paid. It was fixed at Rs. 2 but subsequently increased to Rs. 20/- and now, Rs. 200/- in a recent amendment made by the Paite Tribe Council (PTC) on Paite Customary Law Codes. Manpi is the principal marriage payment which consists of Sial nuta (a mithun and a calf). The British fixed the monetary amount as Rs. 40/- for a mithun and Rs. 20/- for a calf. (Parry 1928, 1976: 24-34). Thus marriage payment for a Paite girl was Rs. 60/- till 1986 when the Paite Customary Laws, formulated by the Paite Tribe Council increased the amount to Rs. 1000/- for a mithun and Rs. 500/- for a calf and the total marriage payment amounted to Rs. 1500/- which was in use till the recent revision.[16] It has now increased to Rs. 2000/- and Rs. 1000/- for a mithun and a calf respectively, and the total payment amounted to Rs. 3000.[17]

Sialkhumsa

It literally means ‘killing a mithun’ by the bride’s natal parents as and when they accept the full payment of the bride price from the bridegroom. It is a necessary part of marriage ritual. It is also the occasion when the bride’s wedding gifts like hoe-blade, axe-blade, trousseau, etc are presented to the groom’s family by the bride’s parents. (Kamkhenthang 1988:105-08). The household council members of both the bride and bridegroom dined together as a symbol of mutual respect. The bride’s parents shall give a portion of the animal killed to the bridegroom’s family in a formal way, sending it in ‘Seng’ (basket), covered with a Puandum (traditional cloth).[18] In olden days, bride price or marriage payment was paid in terms of Sial (mithun) only and as such, the term, Sial-khum-sa (Mithun-killing-feast) was evolved. As the bride price is paid in monetary value today, it has also become Sumkhumsa (Sum-khum-sa= Money-offering-feast), meaning ‘holding a payment feast’.

Sialkhumsais a very important feast among the Paites. It is regarded as a customary obligation. Some relaxation is permitted if the entire marriage payment is not paid. The general practice is deducting Rs. 500/- from the total amount of Rs. 1500/- brought by the boy’s party as a marriage payment if the girl’s parents are not in a likely position to hold a Sialkhum feast.

Concluding Remarks

 The chief is the fountainhead of the Paite society. The administrative and judicial functions of a village are carried out by the chiefs and his council members. The village priest is another respectable figure whose main role is to perform sacrifices and rituals. He is not only exempted from payment of taxes but also has the privilege to collect paddy from the villagers in lieu of his service. The Paites celebrated a number of festivals like Khobawl, Mim Kut and Khodou Kut apart from various seasonal ritual sacrifices. These festivals and rituals are not only associated with their agricultural activities but also reflect their religious beliefs and tribal traditions. The Paite’s forefathers had the knowledge of God as Supreme Creator but rather offered their sacrifices to malevolent or benevolent spirits to propitiate them to escape from harm and diseases. They buried their dead and had the belief in life after death. They follow the tradition of giving names to new born babies within a week by way of lineage. Inndongta is a democratic institution relating to the family affairs of a household. Tousa is another unique custom organised to pay respect to the eldest brother in the family. This practice preserves the dignity of this position in the Paite family.

Marriage in the Paite society is done by following certain procedures. It cannot take place without fulfillment of certain marriage payments mainly called Thaman. When the full amount is paid, the girl’s parents arranged a send off ceremony of their daughter by killing a mithun known as Sialkhumsa. This custom is rarely found in any other community and therefore, depicts the highly organised system of the Paite society. A proper study reveals that these basic social structures as examined above makes the Paite a distinctive tribe till today. These are obtained through the processes of time and are still retained with validity even if there are variations.

The present study concludes that the Paites possesses rich social traditions which need further research. As they also resemble the Jewish culture of the Old Testament especially with reference to priesthood and ritual system, an in-depth analysis may divulge their ethnic identity and background to some extent. More information regarding their old tribal organization can also be established with such a study. The democratic structure of how a Paite village has functioned under its chief and functioning of the inndongta at the household level is an important feature of this society. It must be concluded that the Paite society is formed by the distinctive structures of those traditions consciously or unconsciously practiced through the ages.

The paper/article appeared in Man and Society, A Journal of North-East Studies, Summer Vol. XI, 2014, ICSSR Publication.

Notes:



[1] Vuite is a Lushei version for Guite. See J. Shakespear (1912, Rep. 1975). The

   Lushei Kuki Clans, Aizawl: TRI, p. 139.

[2] H. Kamkhenthang (1975). ‘Historicity of the Paite,’ a Seminar paper on the 

  History of Manipur, presented at J.N. University Centre, Imphal.

[3] Manipur: Final Population of Data of Census 2011, Released by Census 

  Operations, Manipur on 5 June 2013.

[4]Paite Pupa Ngeina (Paite Customary Laws 1986), Lamka: The Paite National

  Council, Manipur, 1986, p. 27; Paite Customary Laws (1st Amendments) 2004,

  Lamka: published by Paite Tribe Council (H.Q.), 2004, p. 48.

[5]Documentation of the Zo People, Lamka: published by Zomi Youth

  Association, 2010, p. 2.

[6]Hausa-Upa Vaihawmna Danbu (Village Authority Act, 1956) & Gaalkapte    

  Thuneihna (The Armed Forces Assam & Manipur Special Powers Act, 1956),  

   Paite version, 1985, p. 12ff.

[7]Ibid., pp. 2-3.

[8]  Siampi was a clan priest who usually performed small rituals for the clan.

[9] Thonzagin Hangshing ‘Bible a Kithoihna Dante leh Pipute Kithoihna Dante

    (Biblical and Tribal Traditional Rituals)’ in Manipur Express (An Independent

    Daily), Lamka, 13 September 2009 & The Lamka Post (a local daily), Lamka,

    same date, p. 2.

[10]Documentation of the Zo, op. cit., p. 20.

[11] Thonzagin, op. cit.

[12] The Bible, Leviticus 23: 39-43.

[13] Dal Sian Pau (07-08-61), an interview, 12 February 2010. Cf. Tualchin Neihsial

   (1993). History and Culture of the Zoumis, Ph. D Thesis submitted to Manipur

   University, Imphal. p. 196.

[14] Thonzagin Hangshing ‘Tuana Pupa Sulnung Zui Ni (Preserving the traits of

   forefathers)’ in Manipur Express (An Independent Daily), Lamka: 2 October

   2009 & The Lamka Post (a local daily), Lamka: same date.

[15] Upa V. Thawngkhanpau ‘Manmassi/Manassi Tate (Children of Manasseh)’, 

   Letter to the Editor, Manipur Express, Lamka: 4 October 2009, p. 2.

[16] Paite Customary Laws 1986: p. 16.

[17] Paite Customary Laws and Practices (2nd Amendment) 2013, Lamka: PTC.

[18] Paite Customary Law (Ist Amendment) 2004: p. 34. For detail see T. Gouzanang

   2004. Paite Pupa Ngeina Indongta & Zuhawm Sahawm (Paite Customary Laws

   & Usages), Lamka: pp. 11-13.

 

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Gangte Priyadarshni M. 2008. Customary Laws of the Meitei and Mizo Societies, New Delhi: Akansha.

Goswami B. B. (1979). The Mizo Unrest, Jaipur: Aalekh Publishers.

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