(Last Updated on : 02/12/2010)
Maram Tribes are mainly found in Tabudi sub-division of Senapati district
. Many scholars have considered Marams as a part of Tibeto-Burman family of Mongoloid race. They linguistically belong to the sub-family of the Sino-Tibetan family. According to Linguistic survey of India the dialect of Maram tribe comes under Naga group which show Austric linguistic characteristics.
Origin of Maram Tribes
Maram tribes are mainly scattered in various areas like Senapati distric, Tadubi Sub-division and also Kangpokpi region. They have close affinity with Koireng, Maos and Angami, Paomei, Naga, Zeliangrong and Thangal groups. Along with the special Mongoloid features, Caucasoid traits are also found in the people of the Maram tribes. The origin of Maram tribes has a rich heritage behind it. In their cosmology, amongst three sons Karambungsa, the eldest brother Makikangba is considered to be ancestor of the Maram tribes.
Clan Organization of Maram Tribes
The Maram tribe follows the ascending and descending genealogical lines through males only. Maram tribes have three localized descent groups - Lamkana, Magai-Bungnamei and Kagama. Each of the clans of Maram Tribes is an exogamous unit and has a number of sub-lineages. These major clans are Punglunamei, Rangnamei, Karangnamei, Naguina or Naguna, Bungnamei, Magaimei, Puinarnei, Najangmei or Nakijkoinamei or Majangmei and Kashammei or Kishumei.
Society of Maram tribes
Among the Maram the dormitory for the unmarried boys is called Hangsaki and Kailiu for the dormitory of the girls. The members learn their customs, folklore, folktales, dance, music, song and discipline from their seniors. Due to the influence of Christianity the role of youth dormitory is weakening gradually.
Monogamy is the common form of marriage and polygamy is rare. They follow serial monogamy and straight monogamy. Tattoo painting is prevalent among the women. Maram tribes are agriculturist and all agricultural activities are governed by their own customs. Shifting cultivation is the main cultivation practiced by them. They are also into wet cultivation. Paddy and vegetables like maize, millet, bean, pumpkin, turmeric, ginger, chilli, cucumber, gourd, sweet potato, pulses and taro are grown through Jhum cultivation. Hunting is the secondary occupation of Maram tribes. They hunt whatever the animals or birds they get to see in the nearby forest. Basketry is a traditional occupation.
Religious Life of Maram Tribes
Maram tribes are the worshippers of supernatural benevolent and malevolent beings. They offer worships by performing various rituals. These rituals satisfy various spirits and drive them away. They mainly worship Pantheon. Akrkot is their house deity, while powmungba is a wind deity. Sara Kachinu, Paranhaba are some of the deities of Maram.
Festivals of Maram Tribes
Maram celebrate around twenty festivals a year. However Ponghi, Rakak and Kanghi are the main festivals. Invocation and glorification of gods is one of the main characteristic of the festivals of Maram tribes.
The Maram tribes are very rich in dance, folksongs and traditional music. They perform dance and music in all socio-economic and religious occasions. Sarukatu dance is a war dance which is also very popular. Pahakatu is a traditional female dance which is performed by young girls. Pasuba is a dance performed by married girls. There are few other types of dances like the Bangkatu and Ngang katu which are performed in big festivals.