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The People


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Kukis

Physical Features | Houses | Dress & Ornaments | Profession | Food | Customs


 
The Kukis are also known as Khongjois. They are distributed widely in Manipur, occupying the south-western, south and south-eastern hills which spread  in the district of Churachandpur, Tangnoupal district and Sadar hills in the north Manipur. There are different beliefs about their origin. Some of the Kukis believe their origin is in the north at a place Maikel. Some traces the Kuki's links with Zomi, who migrated from China. The term Zumi is an ancient and historical name of the Zo ethnic groups (Zo means cold region and Mi means men). With the reference to the alpine climate, the people living on the hills could be named as Kuki. The Kukis who came to Manipur during 1830 and 1840  were a nomadic race. Some authorities consider them having traces to Malaya  peninsula. There are different groups among Kukis. Those who migrated from Mizoram are called Mizos and are educationally advanced. Another group of those migrated from  Burma side in 1830 is like the Paite. Manipuris  consider Kukis to be of two groups, old Kuki and new Kuki. The new group of Kukis is the group comprising those who migrated to Manipur during the region of Raja Nar Singh. The old Kukis of Manipur are the Thadao and Vaipei. The Thadao group consider themselves the superior clan as compared to others. They are mostly inhabiting the hills between Churachandpur and Tipai Mukh. Thadaos are divided into larger clans like Thado, Shingsol, Chongloi,  Hangseen, Keepgenand Hankep. The other clans  which are consider slightly  inferior are Chongfoot, Telnok, Helting, Mangnoong and Voongtung.

Physical Features

Kukis  are of Mongoloid stock. The Men are short as well as medium sized. Their face is broad and round. The cheek-bones are prominently bulged with small eyes. Men are physically smart with muscular body. The skin colour is generally wheatish. The skin colour is generally wheatish. The hair is dark and rarely turn gray by age. The woman too have prominent Mongol features. They are generally  of  short stature. In general the facial structure is square, but among some tribes it is round. The nose is short and particularly flattened at the nostrils. They look smart with their stout body. The skin colour is white and wheatish  in general but some women of the south-east hills are slightly darkish. Their lips are prominently thick. Their hair is luxuriant and puffy. 

Houses

The houses of Kukis are raised above the ground. The floor is made of split bamboo and if wood is available, then of wooden planks. The walls are made of split bamboo and the roof with thatching of grass or tree or banana or fan plant leaves. The house of a Thadou chief is large as compared with other houses in the village. On Churachandpur, Thanlon, Parbhum and Tipai Mukh line there are several village chiefs who are appointed as Extra Departmental Postmasters. They are very courteous. Their houses are made of good material. Modern furniture like chair, table, dressing table, cots, sofa set and carpets are displayed in their houses.


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