Thursday, June 4, 2020

The People


The Mikirs 

The Mikir  tribes are scattered over the Golaghat subdivision of the Sibsagar district, Nowgong, Kamrup, Khasi Hills and North Cachar Hills.

The complexion of the tribes is generally yellowish brown but some are quite fair. The men are comparatively tall. The Mikir dress is elegant. The men put on a long striped coat (choi) without sleeves and with fringes covering the lower part  of the body up to the knees. They wear a short dhoti called Rikong, sometimes of silk. On the head they wear a pagri (pohu). In cold weather they cover themselves like the Assamese  with a wrapper or bor-kapor of eri-silk which is warm. The woman wear a petticoat (pini) fastened round the waist with the ornamental  belt (vankok ) exactly like the Lakhers of the Lushai Hills.

The upper part  of the body is covered with a wrapper (jiso) passing under the arms and drawn tight over the breasts. Both men and women draw their hair back which is tied in a knot above the nape.The women insert a silver tube in the ear lobes. Ear rings of gold and silver are suspended  from the upper part of the ears. Necklaces, rings, bracelets of gold  and silver are worn in Khasi-fashion. Feathers of the horn bill adorn the head of both men and women on festive occasions.

The Mikirs build their houses on  the floor several feet above the ground. House are built of spilt, flattened out of bamboo, the roof being thatched with sun grass. The house is divided into separate compartments. The furniture of the house generally consist of a raised platform of spilt bamboo which serves as a bed, a block of wood corresponds to the Assamese pira or low stool, Baskets of bamboo serve the purpose of wardrobes, in which Paddy, house hold goods and clothes are kept. Joints of bamboo are used  as containers for water as well as ornaments and other valuables of the family.