The expansion of this group is largely due to the British policy in India which included many more tribal groups and called them the Kuki tribes. The Kuki tribes are distinctly marked for their lifestyle which includes their economic, political, social and religious structure, along with spread of Christianity. Various changes have been initiated by the government for the upliftment of these tribal groups.
Origin of Kuki Tribes
Kuki Tribe of Manipur can be historically traced back from the Stone Age. While a number of excavations in the region reveal their existence during the Neolithic age, this tribe continues to exist in the ancient India which is visible in the writings of Mahabharata. These hilly tribal clans share a common past, culture, customs and traditions and share common dialects which originate from the Tibeto-Burman group. The Kukis carry the Mongoloid features and are generally short height with straight black hair, dark brown eyes and brown skin.
History of Kuki Tribes
The history of Kuki tribes had been mainly discussed in the folklores and the legendary stories of the land that traces its origin. Since its creation, this tribe remained significant in the ancient history as well as modern history under the British Empire in India till it was defeated in the Anglo-Kuki War of 1917-1919.
Society of Kuki Tribes
Kuki tribe is considered to be one of the original inhabitants of the land who largely reside in the hilly region of Manipur. They can be distinctively marked by the cultural trends that are reflected on the daily life of the Kukis, their festivals, music and folklore which they follow.
Administration of Kuki Tribes
Kuki Tribe of Manipur lives a simple rural life which is concentrated to the chieftainship of the community. This tribe resides in small villages and consider the village as the largest unit of administration. Their village administration is run by the Chief in consultation with the council of ministers and the priest of the village who are some eminent people of Kuki tribes.
Culture of Kuki Tribes
Kuki Tribe of Manipur have distinct cultural trends which are reflected in the festivals they observe and the folklores, songs and music they play. As the society is largely based on agriculture, the festivals of the land are accordingly agro based. Among other festivals some of the most important festivals of Kukis are the Lawm Se' Neh, Chavang kut, Mim kut, Sa-Ai, Chang-Ai, Hun, Chang le Han and Kang kap.
Religion of Kuki Tribes
Kuki Tribes of Manipur are mainly followers of Christianity and Judaism. Along with the modern religions, the tribe has great belief on superstition and witchcraft that mould their local religion. With the advent of British colonial power in the region and establishment of Christian missionaries, this tribe came under Christianity which now forms a major part of their religion.
Thus, Kuki tribes of Manipur are distinctively marked by the customs they follow. In spite of its traditional background this community is facing a number of challenges in the battle between tradition and modernity.