(Last Updated on : 28/04/2011)
Chakma tribes are mostly found in Tripura's south-eastern hills bordering Chittagong Hill tract. Traditionally the Chakma tribes are good cultivators. The social life patterns and religious beliefs and practices of the Chakma tribes are different from other tribes of Tripura. Their life patterns and religious beliefs are different. Religiously the Chakma tribes are Buddhists by religion. The language is very much related to Bengali language
The origin of Chakma tribes can be traced to the ancient kingdom of Champaknagar. One of the king's sons had marched east with a large army with an aim to conquer new lands. He captured the kingdom of Arakan in Burma by crossing the "sea" of the Meghna River and settled there. The last king of this dynasty was Sher Daulat.
Chakmas are divided into clans (gojas), which are further subdivided into subclans (guttis). Members of the same subclan are forbidden to marry each other. The Chakma community is divided into several clans - Amu, Baga, Barbara, Barsega, Barua, Bongia, Bong, Dionya, Dewan, Karoa, Karboa, Kora, Khanbe, Khiung, Lembacha, Laskar, Larma, Lebya, Malima, Mangala, Mu, Onga, Poa, Poma, Phakas, Phedangsa, Phedangsiri, Phema, Ranen, Sangoloja, Seygeya, Sekhva, Tianya and Thea.
This tribe follows Theravada school of Buddhism. The Chakma also celebrate Pre-Buddhist rites and rituals. Their form of Buddhism has aspects of Hinduism
. Their religion is a mixture of pre-Buddhists beliefs and Buddhism
. Every Chakma village has a Buddhist temple and the Buddhist priests or monks are called Bhikhus. Biju is a pre-Buddhist ritual which is celebrated in April. Biju dance is also performed during the festival of Biju. This dance is ritualistic and calendric. Animal husbandry, basketry, horticulture, foraging, fishing and weaving are the subsidiary occupation.
Udaipur, Kanchanpur, Kailsahahar, Belonia, Sabroom and Amarpur are dominated by Chakma tribes. Chakma tribes have a leader who is colloquially known as Dewan. He is entrusted with the development and welfare of his tribe. The people obey their Dewan and seek his advice if any crisis arises in the community. The Chakma tribes believe that their tribe was originally close to or the same as the Sakyan clan tribe of Lord Buddha himself who lived in India in 5th century.
The Chakma of Tripur
a has been influenced by neighbouring an Eastern Indo-Aryan language. Many linguists now consider the modern Chakma language as part of the South-eastern Bengali branch of Eastern Indo-Aryan languages.