Sunday, November 18, 2018
Tripura

People


People
▪Tripuris ▪Halams ▪Moghs

A diverse ethnic element among the people of Tripura is that - there are two major racial elements, namely, the Indo-Aryans represented by the Bengalese and the Indo-Mongloids represented by a few communities like the Tripuris, the Reangs, the Jamatis, the Noatias, the Kukis, the Halams, the Chakma, the Mogh and the Lushai. Besides these nine major tribes, there are ten more tribes. All the nineteen tribes are classified as 'Scheduled Tribes'.

The Tripuris also called Tripuras or Tipras are the original inhabitants of the state. They constitute about a little over 16 percent of the total and 57% of the tribal population of the state. The formal rulers of the land is believed to be the descendants of the Kshatriyas. In course of time, a section of this community came into close contact with the Bengali settlers, and  was much influenced by their language, culture and custom. Then a new community, now known as Natun Tripuris, a sort of breakaway group of the original (Puram) Tripuris.   

A few among the Tripuris who were close to the royal family (known as Thakur) settled in and around Agartala. They are quite advanced in education and general enlightenment. High public officials, writers, musicians, engineers and doctors are found among them. 

The other group who live on the hill-slopes are not much improved regarding economic status or nature of occupation. They practice jhooming (or shifting cultivation), fetch wood from the forests, sell vegetables and bamboos. The women help men in jhooming, weave cloth on their traditional loin looms and take care of pigs, fowl etc. Their houses made of bamboo, are built five to six feet above the ground to avoid hazards from wild animals.

The Reangs the tribal group constitute about 14% of the tribal and 4% of the total population of the state. They are broadly divided into two groups. Meksha or Mechka and Marchai or Malchai. The former is again sub-divided into Masha, Raichak and some other sub-groups, while the principal sub-groups among the latter are Apet and Champung. The community is governed by a well-defined hierarchical institution; the chief enjoys the title Rai.

The Reangs are considered as one of the strongest pillars of the states military forces. The Reangs are Hindus and generally believers in the Sakti cult. Like other tribals they also believe in animism.

Another section of the Tripura community is known as Jamatia - the term seems to have originated from jamayet, which means a gathering or mobilization. Like the Reangs, the Jamatias also constituted the fighting force during the time of Tripura King.Their system of worship comprises both Hindu practices and animistic rites. Having many social institutions in common with the Bengalese, the Jamatias are taking to plough cultivation in preference to jhoom and are now settling down in the plain areas of the state.

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