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Tangkhul Naga elder in a ceremonial dress
|680,000 approx. (India and Myanmar)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Tangkhul language, other Tangkhulic languages and other Naga languages|
|Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, Baptist,Adventism, animism.|
|Related ethnic groups|
The Tangkhuls are a major ethnic group living in the Indo-Burma border area occupying the Ukhrul and Kamjong district in Manipur, India and the Somra tract hills, Layshi township, Homalin township and Tamu Township in Burma. Despite this international border, many Tangkhul have continued to regard themselves as "one nation".Tangkhuls living in Burma are also known as Hogo Naga/Eastern Tangkhul/Somra Tangkhul. Also Kokak Naga and Akyaung Ari Naga are included tribally within Tangkhul Naga tribe but their language are quite distinct. The Tangkhul (Somra/Hogo) language in Myanmar is very different from Tangkhul (Ukhrul) spoken in India. The villages in the north like Jessami,kuingai, Soraphung and Chingjaroi (swimai) have quite a different culture than the main Tangkhul group but have more cultural ties with that of the Chakhesang (Jessami and Soraphung) poumai (chingjaroi )tribes.
The Tangkhuls, as with other tribes on the hills, came to Manipur, Nagaland, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh from Myanmar entering their present habitats in successive waves of immigration. The Tangkhuls came together with the Angamis, Chakhesangs, Zeliangrongs, Maos, Poumais, Marams and Thangals because all of them have references to their dispersal from Makhel, a Mao village in Senapati district. They had also erected megaliths at Makhel in memory of their having dispersed from there to various directions.
The Tangkhuls point to the association of their forefathers with the seashore. Most of the ornaments of the Tangkhuls such as kongsang, huishon, etc. were made of sea shells, cowrie and conch shells a prominent feature of the people who live on the shore.
The Tangkhuls as also other tribes who travelled from Myanmar and from there finally they came into their present land traversing through innumerable snow-covered landscapes, mountains and wild forests confronting wild beasts and wild tribes may be grouped collectively as Naga on the basis of ethnicity. The exodus of the Tangkhuls from China to Myanmar and finally to India is indeed a story of heroism of human courage and endurance in the face of great famine in China during those days.
In course of time every Tangkhul village became a small republic like the Greek city states. Every village had an unwritten constitution made up of age-old conventions and traditions. The Tangkhul villages were self-sufficient except for salt, and self-governing units ruled by hereditary or elected chief assisted by a Council of Elders. The chief was a judge, administrator and commander rolled into one.
Hunphun was the headquarters of the Tangkhul Long (Tangkhul Assembly). The Tangkhul annual fair locally known as "Leih Khangapha" used to be held at Somsai in Ukhrul.
The boundary of Manipur and Burma (Myanmar) was laid down by an agreement signed between the British authorities (East India Company) and Burma on 9 January 1834 on the river bank of Nighthee (Chindwin). The Article No.4 (iii) of this agreement relates to the Tangkhul country. "Fourth (iii) - On the north, the line of boundary will begin at the foot of the same hills at the northern extremity of the Kabaw Valley and pass due north up to the first range of hills, east of that upon which stand the villages of Chortor (Choithar), Noongbee (Nungbi), Nonghar (Lunghar), of the tribe called by the Munepooriis (Manipuris) Loohooppa (Tangkhul), and by the Burmahs Lagwensoung, now tributary of Manipoor." As a result of this boundary demarcation without the knowledge let alone consent of the Tangkhuls, many Tangkhul villages situated in the Somrah hills, Layshi township, Tamu township and Homalin township are included under Burma. Later, when India and Burma attained national independence, the Tangkhuls found themselves belonging to two different countries.
The Tangkhul tribe has hundreds of regional dialects. Each village has its own dialect including Khangoi, Khunggoi, Kupome, Phadang, Roudei and Ukhrul. Ukhrul Tangkhul is the literary standard and is used as a lingua franca with most Tangkhul speaking it as a second language. Also Hogo Naga or Eastern Tangkhul or Somra Tangkhul in Burma speak the Somra dialect.Some northern villages(Chingjaroi, Jessami,Soraphung Razai)in Tangkhul area have language more closely related to the Angami-pochuri language group.
A slightly modified English alphabet is used. Tangkhul Language is included in the CBSE syllabus and is the first Tribal language from North East India to be included in the CBSE syllabus.
Because of the diversity in dialects and lack of a standardized language, it is difficult to gauge the literacy level. However, if the knowledge of Tangkhul is taken as an indicator, most young Tangkhuls are losing their grasp of the language, often preferring to use the English language to describe more complex ideas. There are some important factors that contribute to the standardization of English language as the primary medium of learning and communication. Firstly, there are various concrete and abstracts objects and ideas which cannot be termed in Tangkhul language, simply because unlike the English language it does not have a rich vocabulary. Secondly, the emergence of western education, which rapidly change and uplift the live and standard of Tangkhuls led the people to neglect learning the language and hence became a secondary subject. Thirdly, the idea of globalization captures the attention of the people to neglect their own language and culture.
English is taught in primary schools, and the number of people able to read the Roman script is high. Almost all young people can read and write the Roman script; older people are less proficient. The literacy rate is 79%.There are English and bi-lingual publications, such as the magazine The Legacy and the Bi-lingual (Tangkhul & English) newspaper The Aja Daily. Aja is edited by Mrs. Valley Rose Hungyo, the only lady editor of the state. A new bi-lingual daily newspaper The Shirui Lily Times was started in Ukhrul district headquarters from 16 August 2010. Owned and published by Shimreingam A.Shatsang, The Shirui Lily Times is jointly edited by the publisher himself and another dynamic editor Ngakuini A Shatsang. With this new edition-Ukhrul now has two local dailies published in Tangkhul.
There are approximately 380 Tangkhul villages in India and 50 Tangkhul villages in Myanmar.[ citation needed ] The villages in the west include Hongman, Aheng, Champhung, Changta, Hoome, Kachai, Lamlang, Leisan, Maichon, Ngainga, Phalee, Ringui, Roudei (TM Kasom), Seikhor, Shokvao, Sinakeithei, Sirarakhong, Somdal, Taloi, Tanrui, Teinem, Theiva, Tora, Zingshong etc. And villages in the north include Pui, Huishu, Halang, Chingai, Chingjaroi, Kalhang, Khamasom, Kharasom, Kuirei, Longpi, Lunghar, Ngahui, Marem, Phungcham, Paorei, Peh, Sihai, New Tusom, Varangai, Razai, etc. And villages in the middle frontier are Choithar (Ruithar), Hatha, Hungpung, Hunphun, Khangkhui, Langdang, Lungshang, Nungshong, Pharung, Phungcham, Ramva, Shangshak, Shangzing, Shirui, Tashar. Villages in the east includes Alang, Apong, Bungpa, Chahong, Chamu, Chatric, Chungka, Grihang, Godah, Hangao, Kachouphung, Kanpat, Kalhang, Kuirei, Khambi, Khayang, Khamasom, Khunthak, Koso, Kumram, Langkhe, Langli, Leishi, Longpi, Loushing, Maileng, Maku, Mapum, Ningchao, Ningthi, Nongman, Khonglo, Nungou, Patbung, Pheishat, Phungtha, Phange, Pushing, Ramphoi, Ramsophung, Roni, Ronshak, Sampui,Sehai, Shakok, Shingcha, Siyang, Skipe, Sorathen, Shungri (Sorde), Sorpung, Yedah, Zingsui, Hangou Kaphung (H.kaphung) etc. Villages in the south include Bohoram, Chadong, Island, Irong Kongleiram, Joyland (Muirei), Kankoi, Keihao, Kaprang, Kashung, Kasom, Laikoiching( Bongso), Lairam, Lamlai, Leingaching, Leiyaram, Lishamlok, Lambakhul, Litan, Lungpha, Lungtoram, Manthouram, Mapao, Maryland, Mawai, Nambashi, New Canaan, Ngarumphung, Nongdam, Nungthar, Poirou, Riha, Saman, Sailent, Sharkaphung, Marou, Shingta, Shingkap, Tamaram, Tangkhul Hungdung, Itham, Thoyee, Wunghon, Zingshao,Yeasom, Irong, etc.
The culture of Tangkhul revolves around traditional beliefs and custom exercises being passed down, and ancient tools and materials, like spears, swords, shields, bows, axes and spades. Culturally, the Tangkhuls share close affinities with the Meiteis of the Imphal Valley.
The Tangkhuls are fond of singing, dancing and festivities. For every season, there is a festival that lasts almost a week. Luira phanit, the seed sowing festival is the major festival.The Tangkhuls are an egalitarian society. There is no caste or classes in the society. Every person is equal in the society and the society follows patriarchal system.
The life and art of the Tangkhul are attractive and captivating. Their different clothing, utensils, architecture, monumental erections and memorial set-ups depict their dexterity in art, which also speak of their sense of beauty and fitnesse. Though there are common articles of unisex clothing, there are also some articles of clothing exclusively meant for men or women. Some of the traditional clothing Clothes/Shawls Man's Women's 1. Haora (man's mostly) 1. Malao 1.Phangyai 2. Chongkhom (women's mostly) 2. Laokha 2. Kahang Kashan 3. Tangkang (for man and woman) 3. Kahang Malao 3. Seichang Kashan 4. Luirim (man’s mostly) 4. Thangkang 4. Thangkang Kashan 5. Raivat Kachon (common) 5. Khuilang Kashan 6. Khuilang Kachon (woman’s mostly) 6. Kongrah Kashan 7. Phingui Kchon (common) 7. Shanphaila 8. Phaphir (common) 8. Kuiying Muka (upper cover) 9. Phorei Kachon (man’s mostly) 9. Zingtai Kashan 10. Luingamla Kashan. 11. Machung (Rose) kashan↵. One of the unique feature that beautify the dress of Tangkhul man is "Mayong Pasi".It is a headband/headgear worn by Tangkhul men during important festivals/events of Tangkhul Naga tribe. The indigenous headband is originated from Mapum Village in the eastern part of Ukhrul District and has now spread across all the Tangkhul villages.
Tangkhuls are music lovers and their songs are soft and melodious. Apart from encoding into the music the varied seasonal and cultural ideas and philosophies, music is a medium wherein historical events are also related in the lyrics. In as much as religious fervor is incorporated and composed in the songs, the romantic nature of the people also finds its expressions in the music. There are various varieties of songs, some are mood special, some are festival/seasonal specials. These folk songs and folklores can be taught and sung by anybody, anytime, but there are also some specific musical expressive melodies of every region or area. People are restricted from singing certain songs outside of particular seasons or occasions[ citation needed ]. Some festivals have ceased since the introduction of Christianity to the region.
These folk songs and folklores can be played or accompanied by musical instruments. Some of the musical instruments are tingteila (violin), tala (trumpet), pung (drum), mazo (woman's mouth-piece), sipa (flute), and kaha ngashingkhon (bamboo pipe).
Corresponding to the rhythmic composition of the songs, the dances of the Tangkhuls are also rhythmic and these are eventful and vigorous. There are also some special occasional dances, like the Kathi Mahon, a dance for the dead; Laa Khanganui, a virgin dance during Luira Festival; and Rai Pheichak, a war dance. Rewben Mashangva, a member of the Tangkhul community, is instrumental in popularising the music of the community to the world. The majority of the youth know how to play the guitar and other musical instruments. However, Western culture has been blamed for the declining popularity of some ancestral songs.
Christianity is the major religion of the Tangkhul Nagas. Tangkhuls were the first community in Manipur to become Christians. Christianity was first brought to the Tangkhul people by Rev. William Pettigrew in 1896.The first christian church of Manipur, Phungyo Baptist Church was set up among the Tangkhuls in Ukhrul. The story goes that the chief of Hunphun, Raihao, had stories about his great grandfather dreaming that a white missionary would come to Ukhrul. Because of this, when Rev. Pettigrew showed up, Raihao allowed him to live among them and work as a missionary. When the chief was converted, the whole villagers converted as well, and Christianity has remained a prominent religion among Tangkhul Nagas to this day. The New Testament was translated into the local language in 1924. Also Tangkhuls (Hogo/Somra) in Burma follow the religion of Animism, Buddhism and Christianity.
Nagas are various ethnic groups native to the northeastern India and northwestern Myanmar. The groups have similar cultures and traditions, and form the majority of population in the Indian state of Nagaland and Naga Self-Administered Zone of Myanmar; with significant populations in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam in India; Sagaing Division and Kachin State in Myanmar.
Ukhrul/Hunphun is a town in the state of Manipur, India. Ukhrul is the home of the Tangkhul Naga. It is the administrative headquarter of the Ukhrul district. There are also four sub-divisions in the district for administering the villages in and around it. The villages, however, are governed by the 'village heads'.
Ukhrul District is an administrative district of the state of Manipur in India with its headquarters at Ukhrul, that is Hunphun. The district occupies the north-eastern corner of the state and it extends between latitudes of 24° 29′ and 25° 42′ N and longitudes 94° 30′ and 94° 45′ E approximately. It shares an international boundary with Myanmar (Burma) on its eastern side and is bounded by Nagaland state in the north, Senapati district and Kangpokpi district in the west and Kamjong district in the south. It has the distinction of being the highest hill station of Manipur. The terrain of the district is hilly with a varying heights of 913 m to 3114 m (MSL). Ukhrul, the district HQ., at an altitude of 2020 m (MSL) is linked with Imphal, the state capital by NH 202 which is about 84 kilometres apart. The district covers an area of 4,544 square kilometres including Kamjong district making it the second largest district of the state after Churachandpur district and has a population of almost 1,83,998 according to Census of India 2011 comprising about 6.44 per cent of the total state population.The Tangkhul Naga tribe constitute the major bulk of the population with other communities such as Kukis, Nepalese and other non-tribals constituting a small percentage of the district population. Administratively, the district which comprises around 200 villages was divided into five sub-divisions, where their boundaries were coterminous with that of the Tribal Development Blocks. There was no statutory town in the district except one census town which was formed in 2011 Census. Recently, Kamjong district was carved out from Ukhrul District as a separate district. Ukhrul District has three assembly constituencies before the bifurcation of the district which are Phungyar Assembly Constituency (43-ST), Ukhrul Assembly Constituency (44-ST) and Chingai Assembly Constituency. The district is best introduced by its rare Shirui Lily,. Also, the district has provided two of Manipur's chief ministers and the only from amongst the hill districts of Manipur, Yangmaso Shaiza the first tribal chief minister of Manipur and Rishang Keishing who is also the first MP from Outer Manipur. William Pettigrew (missionary), an educationist and a Scottish-British Christian Missionary pioneered the western system of education and introduced the Christianity faith among the Tangkhal Naga tribe. Phungyo Baptist Church, Tangrei, Ukhrul, the oldest and the first Christian church of Manipur which still stands today is a testament to his passion for missionary work.
The Tangkhulic and Tangkhul languages are a group of Sino-Tibetan languages spoken mostly in northeastern Manipur, India. Conventionally classified as "Naga", they are not clearly related to other Naga languages, and are conservatively classified as an independent Tangkhul–Maring branch of Tibeto-Burman, pending further research.
Peh pronounced "Pe-h" is a village in Ukhrul District, Manipur, India. The village was earlier called 'Paoyi', which is a misconstrued derivative of the original name 'Pehyi' given by outsiders. Peh is approximately 35 kilometers north of Ukhrul district headquarter. The village is partially connected by National Highway 150, Imphal–Kohima via Ukhrul–Jessami Highway. The village comprises two settlement areas: Proper Peh and Peh Ngahurum. The total population of the village is around 3800. The village panchayat (Sangvui) consists of the representative from different clans headed by an elected chairman is the Apex body of the village. All administrative, political and judicial decisions are taken by them. The judiciary power is partly held by King(raja); also known as khulakpa.
Tangkhul is a Sino-Tibetan language of the Tangkhulic branch. It is spoken in 168 villages of Ukhrul district, Manipur, India, with speakers scattered in Nagaland and Tripura as well.
Phalee also called as Phadang is a village located west of Ukhrul in Ukhrul district, Manipur state in India. It lies in the Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hot-Spot Region of the world wherein the flora and fauna diversity are very rich. It occupies total area of about 49 sq. km. It has Red Sandy Soils and annual rainfall of 2000-2400mm. It has subtropical pine forest climate with distinct four seasons. The average temperature is in the range of 23°C. It experienced reverse monsoon in winter and four distinct seasons. As per 2011 census, the village has a total of 794 households with 3742 persons of which 1934 are male while 1808 are female. Of the total population, 11.60% are in the age group of 0–6 years. The average sex ratio of the village is 904 female per 1000 male. The literacy rate of the village is 81.35%.Phalee is flanked by Ngaimu and Tolloi in the East, Somdal and Hoomi north, Tuinem and Lamlang in the south and Champhung and Tora in the west. The village is assumed to be more than 600 years (approximate) since the first settler settled in relation to the sixteen generation back. The village has a total of 794 households with 3742 persons of which 1934 are male while 1808 are female.
Chingjaroi, originally known Asinei or Asewnei alternatively called Zingchui/Zingjui by the tangkhul, Shomai by the Poumai and khatchomi by the chakhesangs is a large village located in northern Ukhrul district, Manipur state, India and bordered mainly by villages like Jessami, Tasom, Chingai, Marem, Peh, Phaibung and Laii (Gaziphema)originally. Later villages like Razai, Namrei and Kharasom came to settle in the land of chingjaroi and became its neighboring villages. The village consists of three sister villages, namely, Chingjaroi Khullen, Chingjaroi Khunou and Chingjaroi Christian Village. Chingjaroi Khullen the nearest from the National Highway 150 is approximately 84 kilometers from Ukhrul district headquarters.
Kharasom is a village located north of Ukhrul in Ukhrul district, Manipur state, India. The village is fully connected by National Highway 150, Imphal-Kohima road via Jessami. It is 85 km from the District headquarters and approximately 170 km from the state capital Imphal. Kharasom is flanked by Chingjaroi and Razai Khunou in the south, Laii in the west, Wahong and Soraphung to its Northeast, Tusom in the East and Jessami to its north.
Poi is a village located north of Ukhrul in Ukhrul district, Manipur state, India. The village is partially connected by National Highway 150, Imphal-Kohima road via Jessami. Poi is 68 kilometers away from Ukhrul via Awangkasom and about 3 kilometers and 5 kilometers away from Indo-Myanmar border pillar number 126 and 130 respectively. Poi is flanked by Challou in the North, Chingai in the north west, Ngahui, Kuirei and Marem in the west, Huishu and Khamasom in the south. MK Preshow Shimray, the Ex- MLA from Chingai Assembly Constituency and also the Deputy Speaker of the present Manipur Legislative Assembly hails from this village.
Khamasom is a generic reference to four villages located north of Ukhrul in Ukhrul district, Manipur state, India. The four villages are Khamasom Khayangkho, Khamasom Walely, Khamasom Phungdhar, and Khamasom Phungrei. The settlement is approximately 25 kilometers from Ukhrul and partially connected by National Highway 150, Imphal-Kohima road via Jessami. Khamasom is flanked by Sihai in the south, Huishu in the northwest Nungbi Khullen in the west and Myanmar in the east. The inhabitants speak Khamasom dialect which belongs to the Tibeto-Burman language family. The four villages are under one chieftain.
Lunghar village is located north of Ukhrul in Ukhrul district, Manipur state, India. Lunghar villagers call Lunghar as Lunghir, Lunghar village is very fertile and rich in vegetation and fruits. People all around the Manipur are enchanted by the beautiful spot in the village such as Phangrei, Jorcheng, Tingloi, Phungrim which is just 25 km from Ukhrul Town. National Highway 150, Imphal-Kohima road via Jessami passes through Lunghar and the village is about 18 kilometers from Ukhrul. Lunghar is flanked by Sihai in the east, Longpi in the north, Phungcham and Halang in the west and Shirui in the south. Locally inhabitants speak Lunghir dialect which belongs to the Tibeto-Burman language family. The village is divided into five major tangs; Soso tang, Layin tang, Hashunao tang (Haotang), Asai tang and Jorcheng tang.
Kalhang is a village located north of Ukhrul in Ukhrul district, Manipur state, India. The village is approximately 39 kilometers from Ukhrul. National Highway 150 Imphal-Kohima via Jessami passes through the village. Kalhang is one of the villages that used to make indigenous salt from natural salt springs and supply to other Tangkhul villages before the introduction of common salt. The village is flanked by Phungcham and Peh in the west, Khamasom in the east, Longpi in the south and Kuirei in the North. Locally inhabitants speak Kansang dialect which belongs to the Tibeto-Burman language family.
Shirui also misnomerly called 'Shiroy'/Shiroi is a village located north of Ukhrul in Ukhrul district, Manipur state, India. The village is 15 kilometers from Ukhrul. National Highway 150 Imphal-Kohima via Jessami passes through the village. The village is divided into two parts Shirui ato and Shirui aze, however, both the parts are under one chief. Shirui is famous for the rich and flora found on Shirui Kashong or Shirui peak and especially for blooming of the rare Lilium mackliniae during the start of Monsoon. The village is flanked by Ukhrul in the west, Langdang in the south, Mapum in the east, Sihai in the North east and Lunghar in the north. Locally inhabitants speak Shirui dialect which belongs to the Tibeto-Burman language family.
Langdang is a village located north of Ukhrul in Ukhrul district, Manipur state, India. The village is 13 kilometers from Ukhrul. National Highway 150 Imphal-Kohima via Jessami passes through the village. The village is divided into two major parts, Langdang Khullen and Langdang Phungthar; however, both the parts are under one chief. The village is famous for largescale plum cultivation. The village is flanked by Mapum in the east, Shirui in the north, Ukhrul in the west and Choithar in the south.
Choithar (Rithar) is a village located east of Ukhrul in Ukhrul district, Manipur state, India. The village is 12 kilometers from Ukhrul. National Highway 150 Imphal-Kohima via Jessami partially connects the village. The village is about 6 kilometers from the National highway connected earlier by an old British road. There was a proposal to construct a new road under PMGSY for which there were reports of discrepancies on the part of the executing agencies. Choithar is flanked by Ukhrul in the west, Choithar in the north, Nungshong in the south and Khangkhui in the east.
Pushing is a village located south east of Ukhrul in Ukhrul district, Manipur state, India. The village is about 32 kilometers from Ukhrul and is partially connected by National Highway 150 that connects Imphal and Kohima via Ukhrul and Jessami and Kamjong-Imphal state highway. The village is flanked by Mapum in the north, Gamnom in the south, Ronshak in the east and Khangkhui in the west. Locally, the inhabitants speak Pushing tui which belongs to the Tibeto-Burman language family.
Razai is a generic reference two villages, Razai Khullen and Razai Khunou Ukhrul in Ukhrul district, Manipur state, India. The village falls under Chingai sub division. National Highway 150 that connects Imphal-Kohima via Ukhrul and Jessami passes through the village. Razai is about 50 kilometers from Ukhrul; and is flanked by Peh in the west, Awang Kasom in the south, Chingai in the east and Maremphung in the north. Locally, the inhabitants speak Razai dialect that belongs to the Tibeto-Burman language family.
The Reverend William Pettigrew was a British Christian missionary who came to India in 1890, eventually introducing western education in Manipur, and converting the Tangkhul Naga Tribe, inhabiting Ukhrul District to Christianity, "in masses".
Khamlang village is situated on the southern part of Ukhrul District, Manipur, India. It is inhabited by Khameon a Tangkhul Naga tribe. It is situated 2 km away from headquarter of Sub-Division, Kasom Khullen, 137 km away from district headquarter Ukhrul and 59 km from state capital Imphal, Manipur.