(Last Updated on : 28/06/2011)
Tribes of Assam are the aborigines of the land who have inhabited the area for ages. They represent the trends of Caucasoid race. The state of Assam which is surrounded by all the other six sisters of north East with Arunachal Pradesh
is located at the centre of these with a population of 26,655 528 people. The land of Assam is decorated with a number of Hills which include Karbi Anglong and North Cachar hills and expansive rivers like Brahmaputra and Barak which create the valley of Assam. Overall the state of Assam has been important within Indian polity for it represents a large group of Indian tribes who belong to various groups of tribal origin.
Origin of Assamese tribes
Tribes of Assam are often recognised as the first inhabitants of the land who belong to various tribal groups. The origin of the tribal groups which exist in Assam can be traced within the Negritos, Dravidian, Alpines, Tibeto-Burmese and Aryan race which travelled from far off areas and settled in the centrally located regions of Assam. These tribes unite to form the colourful tribes of Assam.
Assam which is formed between the large rivers of Brahmaputra and Barak is largely populated by the Tibeto Burmese tribal race that forms the Bodo tribe
and Mishing tribe
. The tribes of Assam include a number of tribes Chakma, Dimasa, Garo, Hajong, Hmar, Khasi, Jaintia, Khamti tribes
, some Kuki tribes, Lakher, Barmans in Cachar, Boro, Borokachari, Deori, Hojai, Kachari, Sonwal, Lalung, Mech, Miri, Rabha who form the core of Tribal community of Assam.
Tribes of Assam along with other tribes include a huge group of the Deori tribe
who form a major part of tribal community of Assam. The Deoris are one of the major plain tribal groups of Assam. They are settled in the districts of Dibrugarh
, Sisagar and Lakhimpur
. The Deoris are divided into three divisions - Dibongias, Tengapanias and Borgias.
Tribes of Assam also include Karbi tribes
who are found in the hilly areas of Assam. Their domain is Karbi Anglong district. Some are also found in North Cachar Hills District, Nagaon
, Kamrup, Jorhat
, Sonipur and Lakhimpur districts of Assam. The karbis originally belonged to the western China and entered Assam from central Asia through migration. This community initially settled in the Khasi and Jaintiya hills from where they slowly migrated to other areas. Traditionally this community lives like small villages that have one village head and is divided into three subdivisions of Ronghong, Chintong and Amri. They are further divided into five clans called `Kur`. These are Terang, Teron, Enghee, Ingti and Timung
Tribes of Assam further include the Mishing tribes who are also called as Miri by the local people. They are supposed to be a branch of Adi tribes of Arunachal Pradesh, who came down to Assam as a result of inter-tribal feuds. They are mainly concentrated Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Sibsagar, Jorhat, Golaghat, Darang, Sonipur, North-Lakhimpur and Dhemagi. Linguistically they belong to Tibeto-Burman sub-family. They also speak Assamese language. In this sense they are bilingual. Dimasa tribes
are other tribes found in Assam. Dimasa tribes are another group of tribal community found in Assam which represents an example of Patri-matrilineal tribe. They are mostly found in the North Cachar district
and the Karbi along districts of Assam. Dimasa is their mother tongue which belongs to the Bodo group of the Tibeto-Burman family of languages. And lastly there are the Bodo tribes who are supposed to be the earliest tribes of the land. They are no more restricted to the some particular area but are scattered in all parts of Assam and are largely found as the workers in the tea plantation. As the Bodos are the oldest tribal group they bear distinct cultural trends which mark them separately. Along with this there are the Phake tribes who reside in Dibrugarh and Tinsukia district of Assam, along Dihing River. Phake tribe are said to have come here from Thailand in the late 18th century and speak Assamese language as well as Phake language.
Thus the land of Assam has been rightly called the unexplored paradise which has provided livelihood to a number of tribal communities. These tribes are no more restricted to any particular area or the hilly regions but are scattered over the entire state with distinct cultural trends.