(Last Updated on : 27/03/2010)
Chiru tribe is an ethnic group which resides in the diverse regions of India, including Tamenglong, Senapati and Bishnupur. The word 'Chiru' has an etymological significance. It implies 'the seed of a plant'. Over the years, the Chiru tribe developed a tradition of musical recitals, dancing, quite integrated to the entire culture of Manipur. In this manner, the Chiru tribe maintains a similarity with the other tribes of the state. Chiru tribe also belongs to the Kuki tribal family group, diligently following their language, mannerisms. The various rituals and rites of the Chiru tribes are also the same.
It is very easy to identify someone belonging to a Chiru community because of the unique body features of its individuals and this also has a valid reason behind it. Since the Chiru tribes maintain close relations with the Naga tribe
, they too have adopted their style of dressing and hair doing habits. Moreover, Chiru tribes have got physique, quite similar to that of the Naga tribes. Dormitories play an important role in the lifestyle of Chiru tribal society. There are separate quarters constructed for bachelors and unmarried women. In this trend also Chiru tribe is quite similar to any of the northeastern tribal communities of India. The Chiru tribe is also one of the branches of Komrem. Komrem is a united banner which includes, apart from Chiru, four other tribes called Aimol tribe
, Purum tribe, Koireng tribe
and Kom tribe
Chiru tribes sustain their livelihood by taking on the profession of farmer and do farming to meet their daily needs. For practicing mainly shifting and wet farming, rugged terrains of the mountains are ideal. Ample quantities of juicy fruits like banana, orange, lemon, papaya are also grown, both for fulfilling their daily requirements as well as for commercial purposes. Apart from these, there are a very small number of Chiru tribes who have developed the expertise in cottage industries. Exquisite basket and cane works have got a demand in the market of the state of Manipur
. The Chiru tribes of Manipur have also proved their fine skill and artistry in weaving, carpentry and manufacturing of musical instruments.