(Last Updated on : 16/11/2009)
Lushai tribe has drawn the admiration of all the eminent anthropologists of the whole of the Indian Territory. This tribal community is said to be one of the primitive tribes of India. Though the Lushai groups are also located in Mizoram, they are found especially in every hook and nook of the hilly provinces of Manipur state. The etymological meaning of this Lushai tribe is 'Head cutters'.
The people of these Lushai tribes are strong and sturdy. They also have got typical Mongolid features, similar to almost all the tribes of north-eastern India, especially Manipur
. These Lushai tribes also have developed exclusive style of dressing and hair doing. Both males and females of this tribal community keep their hairs quite long and also tied their hair locks in a beautiful knot, in the backside of the neck. Hair is also beautifully parted in the middle.
The whole of the tribal society, according to the survey of anthropologists, is backward as evident from the problem of having high infant mortality rate. Almost all the members of these Lushai tribes have adept to the profession of accumulating as well as assembling forest products. In order to earn more money, some of them even took up professions like that of creating beautiful baskets from bamboo. These baskets have got huge demand in the market of the whole Manipur state, ensuring earning of more money. Their artistry is exhibited in the types of baskets called Emsin, Paiem, Paikawng, Dawrawn, Tlamen, and Fawng.
Lushai tribes have developed expertise in swimming and hunting. That they are good archers are apparent from the fact that they can nicely handle 'Sairawkher'. It is a bow made locally that is discerned by its utility of clay shots instead of arrows.
The way they dress shows that these Lushai tribes have got aesthetic sense. Lukhum is a special hat worn by the Lushai tribes. It is sharp in shape, mainly prepared from 'bamboo splits'. Special open-hexagonal weave are used for weaving these hats.
For proper administration, the whole of the Lushai society are segregated into clans and castes, nicely run by a village head. Different is the way in which they practice the 'Sakhua sacrifice'. These Lushai tribes are pious.
For administrative facilities, these Lushai tribes live in the small village colonies. They also made their houses by using wood and bamboo. Another interesting thing of these Lushai village settlements is that since the whole region is quite rugged and hilly, most of the houses too are made on the hilly slopes. In order to give ample support and balance to these houses, special posts made from wood are used. These posts are of different 'lengths' and also cross beams are being imposed on them.
Different languages are being spoken by these Lushai tribal communities. Amongst them, Lushai is their original language. Although it is part of the Dravidian language
family group, written documents are yet to be found.