Untitled Document

PROJECT ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
RESEARCH ON TRIBE: MISSING TRIBE OF ASSAM


     

The Mising people or Mising also called Miri are an ethnic tribal group inhabiting the districts of Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Sonitpur, Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Sibsagar, Jorhat and Golaghat of the Assam state in India. The total population is more than 1 million in Assam but there are also more than 50,000 Mising , divide among three districts : East Siang district, Lower Dibang Valley, and Lohit districts of Arunachal Pradesh. Few of them have settled themselves permanently in National Capital Delhi and few hundred in Mumbai which is the financial capital of India. The Mising tribe is the second largest tribe among the other tribes of North- East India. The Mising belongs to Yilueto- Burmese group, sub- race of Mongoloid race. The people of this tribe have been choosing agriculture as their main occupation.
     
 
 

Traditionally Mising people live near the bank of river and they build their "Chang Ghar" with the help of timber, bamboo, thatch, etc for comfort living. The language used by the Mising people is known as "Mising language". It belongs to the Yileto- Burma family of language. However all Mising people can speak Assamese language also.

Mising tribe is divided into two groups,-"Degdoong" and "Dagdok". Mising people live in the North bank of river Brahmaputra generally belongs to Degdoong group, while who leaving in South bank of river Brahmaputra belongs to Dagtok group. It is easy to identify whether he or she belongings to Degdoong or Daktok group from his / her surname. On the basis of the dialect used by the Mising people the tribe is also sub- divided as "Pa:gro , "Sa:yang" , Mo:ying" and "Samuguri". These dialects of these sub- groups differ from each other in pronunciation, sentence formation, word- usage etc. The people belong to Samuguri sub-group do not speak any Mising dialect, but speak Assamese.

Mising surname reflect the clan they belong to and they are divided into three main clans -"Mili", "Pegu", and "Doley". The classification of brotherhood is special feature of Mising tribe. The "Patir" and "Lagachu" are regarde as brother of "Pegu" and "Kutum". "Kulis" are regarded as brother of "Milis". The classification of brotherhood was made primarily for marital reasons. Clans belong to "Pegu" brotherhood are not to marry within the clans. Same rule is applicable to "Mili" and "Doley" brotherhood. However there is an another clan that can freely marry within either "Mili" and "Pegu" subgroups. Surnames like "Panging", "Morang", "Payeng" etc belong to this group.

Mising tribe,one of the branches of Assamese, secure highest position in making colourful attires. Mising women are expert in weaving and making colourful dresses. The colourful traditional attires that Mising ladies wear are -"Yakan Age-Gasar", (Black Mekela Sadar), "Ribi Gasor" (Sadar), "Gero" (Pothali kapur). The traditional dress of man of this tribe is "Gonro ugon" (Dhuti), "Mibu galuk" (shirt), "Dumer (Gamucha) etc.

Mising people are easy going, very simple living and are fond of festivals. The main festival is "Ali-Aye-Ligang" which is the most colourful spring festival held every year on first Wednesday of the month "Gimur polo"(Feb-March). The festival is mainly related to agriculture. "Ali" means root and seeds, "Aye" means fruit and "Ligang" means sown. On the day of celebration of "Ali-Aye-Ligang" sowing of paddy is started. People wear traditional dresses on the day of celebrating the festival. All people gathered in the festival, dance by stepping, flinging, flapping of hands and swaging of hips reflecting youthful passion. Food items like "Poro Apong" (rice beer), "Nogin Apong"(black beer), pork and dry fish are essential for the feast in the festival. The festival continues for five days. During this festival certain taboos with respect to cutting bushes, fishing, ploughing, burning jungles are strictly prohibited.

The Mising way of life is reflecting in their folk tales and songs. These have been going on for generation after generation as message among the people. The folk song and tales narrate their lifestyle of their ancestors. "Oinitom" are the famous folk song of the Mising used as a media of sending personal message among themselves. The Mising youths express their love and affection toward their beloved by singing "Oinitom".

They believe the Sun (Do:nyi) as their mother a nd, the Moon (Po:lo) as their father. Recently, this belief has been organised as Do:nyi Po:lo Yélam, literally meaning Do:nyi Po:lo religion. Many Misings has converted to Do:nyi Po:lo Yélam recently. But now most Misings follow Hinduism along with their age old religious rituals, and there are a few Christians who follow the Catholic or Baptist faith. It has also been verified that some have converted to Islam.

For the prevention of unknown diseases they worship their ancestors with "pujas" like “Dalevar", "Dotgang", "Uram", "Apin" etc. They also worship their ancestors for protecting their farm and families from damage and misfortunes. They believe that the evil spirits which cause sickness or misfortunes are looking around the "Adi-uyu"(mountains), "Yumrang"(forest) etc. To protect themselves from these evil spirits they worship by the village experts. At the time of performing the "Dabur puja" they construct a gate at the main entrance of the village. The gate is a sign of caution to the outsiders so that no outsiders can enter into the village at the time of the puja. The annual ancestor worship (Urum-posum) is a common feature of Mising tribe for health and happiness of the family members.
 
 
 
 

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