Karbis Of Assam

Ethnology on the Karbis also Known as Mikirs


Posted by Administrator on October 17, 2009

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Hemtap—Karbi tree-house in the backdrop of a setting sun at Taralangso..Diphu Please click HERE to view the survey result and HERE to vote

Welcome to my world of Karbis! This blog was started with the sole aim to provide necessary information needed to know and understand the sociological structure of the Karbis. Karbis are an ethnic tribal group scattered in North East India with a concentration in Assam. Once they were believed to have lived on the banks of the rivers the Kalang and the Kopili and the entire Kajiranga area, the famous National Park situated in Assam.
In fact the word Kaziranga as it is known today has been derived from a Karbi word, ‘Kajir-a-rong’, which means “Kajir’s Village” or “Kajiror-gaon”. Kajir is a female name among the Karbis.

It is also said that the great Mayong kingdom originated from the days of Xunyta Singha, a Karbi Youth. There is a story which cites that this youth was very handsome and possessed all qualities of a king, which infact coincide with the claims of the Karbis to be the earliest settler of the area around Kolong Rivers.  Mayong could be from the Karbi word ma-e-ong-kerai-adim, meaning maternal uncle’s kingdom, which infact the whole of dumra area around the kolong was once known by the Karbis

General Information about the Karbis

Total Population of Karbis in Karbi Anglong District : 3,53,513 ( 2001 Census).However the actual population figure of the tribe for the whole of NE of India is projected to be more than 800, 000.

Sex Ratio :  180136 males to 173377 females i.e 96 females for every 100 males. ( 2001 Census)

Population Distribution ( Age wise) :

  • 20 % ( aged between 18 to 30)
  • 32 % ( aged from 31and beyond)
  • 48 % ( aged between 0 to 17)

Religion wise Break-up

Indigenous Religion = 70 %

Hindu = 14.64 %

Christian = 15 %

Others = 0.36 %

( Source: 2001 Census Report, Goverment of India)

NOTE: This is an open source information on the Karbis. Visitors are requested to give thier comments and enrich the articles appearing in the blog. They are also free to quote the articles provided they acknowledge the blogsite.

Kardom !!!
Karbi Weaver
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42 Responses to “WELCOME TO THE “KARBI” BLOG!”

  1. milton terang said

    Mr. Phangcho,

    I am very happy that you have taken the initiative to start a website about the little known Karbi people. Very little is written about the people; and most of the books written about them are a result of poor research work, extremely bad SAMPLING work.

    Some scholars are extremely notorious in “inventing” etiologies for other lesser known tribes, especially for Karbi. Their writings are highly culturally colored, therefore, very little objectivity! They are quick to come to conclusions without proper research.

    I quote from your homepage, which I believe is the result of one of those faulty research works, heavy with bias, having no connection the with true karbi story. This is the same story with the etiology about “living in the branches.” Don’t they have the same connotation? MONKEY! thats the label they give to the karbi people!

    • Ruhit gogoi said

      I like to speak the karbi language, to know their culture, customs …
      A few information is available in web but still i am unable to reach the basics.
      Can you help me by giving some links.
      Ruhit gogoi

  2. milton terang said

    Culture is never static but dynamic. Therefore, it is all the more important that we should protect our history. You will have realized that there are numerous etiologies that “scholars” have come up with, most of them recent ones. By now, there are so many versions of our history so that it becomes a gigantic task to find out which ones are closest to the original.

    Unless we try to recover our original story, in no time we will get assimilated with larger societies and be forgotten forever from the face of the earth.

  3. DST said

    Hi Milton,
    These few days I am here in Ghy so I am getting to reply to you as quickly as possible.
    You are right again. Oral histories are always tinged with confusing interpretations. Our best chances now exist only in recording (audio and video)all the existing versions of folk songs, legends, ritual practices etc. and make an inventory at the earliest. Put them to text, transliterate and publish. There is no way out.
    As you have said, culture is dynamic, by this I understand we need to know and appreciate more of other peoples’ cultures to know our own. There is no scope to be exclusive to get our ‘original’. Its therefore a long way and it is certainly not a one-man job. I am looking forward to more concerned people to work on the project. Please kindly use your network to spread the message. Something can happen.
    Kardom and thanks a lot.
    Happy X-Mas and Happy New Year!

    • Manai Engti Kathar said

      You are rightly said Sir. ..the oral history or stories varies from different location and different people. Because those are pass from generation to generation. .no doubts the main them may be same but slight changes occurs or some left out due to time and space. therefore the best way is what you are upto now.recording video and audio. .through this collection and research we may get our true history.along with the pictures of the place mention. Good Work sir. .hoping for the best to happen in future.

  4. I suggest a chapter on the Karbi language and its regional forms.

  5. Alex said

    Your blog is interesting!

    Keep up the good work!

  6. Aiyushman Dutta said

    Commendable intiative!! Great content and design. All the best!

  7. joyanto phangcho said

    keep the karbi clan alive and taking it to the world is a great job. really fine

    • Hi Mr Joynato….Thanks for visiting and commenting…if you have any inputs or suggestions pl do so at your convenience…also pl kindly tell your friend circle about this modest attempt of ours so that we can together contribute something to the Karbi cause….Kardom and Jurvangthu…

  8. Arijit Chowdhury said

    The content is fabulous,but to be honest I opened this site for another purpose. Can anyone help me… I am searching one of my school friend. Sukur Singh Rongphar,we studied together in Don Bosco Hojai. Only clue I have is that one of his elder brother is named Ram Rongphar, and he has some political activity. If anyone finds him please lemme know. My cell is 9903855339

  9. Michael S. Amkachi said

    The karbi blog is really interesting and enriching.I’ve read almost the whole thing of it.It would also be nice to have in karbi about the news and culture.

    It would also be nice to have the dictionary in karbi ,the karbi official grammar and the rich karbi proverbs. If it has already existed please let me know. I am interested.


    • Dear friend Michael,
      Thank you for your visit to our blog and thank you for showing interest in Karbi grammar and dictionary. If you’re already in Amkachi, Fr Joseph Teron also knows about the situation in Karbi language. We have many ‘grammars’ but technically they are not correct. Proverb books are there. You may contact the Karbi Lammet Amei or its officials (one is Mr Sikari Tisso of Diphu). They have some in their stock.
      Kardom and all the best..

  10. Dear Sirs

    I accidentally stumbled upon this site and I must confess, I am amazed at the brilliant and commendable work being done. Your initiative of chronicling and preserving the cultural heritage of the Karbi race will not only augur a better tomorrow for the generations to come, but will also surely inspire other people to undertake such groundbreaking initiatives. Kudos!! You guys are doing an excellent job. Best wishes from my side….

    I am currently pursuing my Bachelors Degree in English Literature from Cotton College, Guwahati….will surely share this wonderful and informative resource with my friends.

    Love and warm regards

  11. CHENG LI-EH said

    I would like to know if the census of 2001 was sincere enough that 80% of karbi as Hindu?.If it is so where are the bulk of karbi living in remote villages practising their own indegenous
    religion?.The Hindu worship idols but The Karbi does not worship
    idol nor the names of Gods or Godness worship by the Karbi had any similarity with that of the HIndu.

    • Yes….for this please read our article “Understanding Karbi Folk Religion’. And coming to your question about the ‘sincerity’ of the ‘census’….it is always a politically motivated exercise where under-count and over-count are deliberately done to suit the political needs of the system/government. ‘Hinduising’ Karbis is part of the game whiich is aimed at culturally destroying all smaller ethnicities with distinct identities in order to merge them to the bigger all India identity. It is good that you are questioning the census authenticity.

  12. CHENG LI-EH said

    Good effort,it would be much better if more photos and videos Karbi people is added to it.

  13. I am very happy to read about Karbi people.As an anthropologist i will look forward to your blog.

  14. Eliza Hanse @ New Delhi said

    Mr. Phangcho, you have done a very great job. It is one of the most interesting site. Carry on and keep it up.

  15. BARIJ said

    Mr. Phangcho i am from Nagaon Assam. I am very much engaged in all the activities and join in all functions of karbis in KarbiAnglong and other places in assam

    this is a very nice website

  16. Rimpi said

    I am honestly very happy to see this website.. Actually i am a research Schlar of Linguistics (Department of Linguistics, University of Delhi). I desperately want to work on this particular language… Can you kindly tell me whether any proper linguistic work has done in this language or not… I will be very happy if i get the answer quickly…

  17. Ibon Teron said

    Dude, firstly I would like to thank you for this wonderful initiative. I would like to express a few thoughts here that are entirely personal but worth sharing. We, the Karbis, didn’t have any written history so it became extremely easy for certain vested interests to paint their own versions of our history for a gullible, illiterate population to lap up. Now, we probably have two major divisions, the so called ‘A-ban-a-ron’ (Hindus) and ‘A-ron-kimi’ (Christians) according to my understanding. Now, looking at it from a plainly logical sense, we ain’t either of these and all our old animist traditions have almost been lost to our new generation. I bet none of the Karbi bloggers in this forum knows anything about them. I would like to be pleasantly proved otherwise. In fact, what’s more disturbing is the fact that the non-Christians believe that all old animist practices are Hindu practices which is totally bull-crap. As a micro-finance professional, I’ve been deployed to many rural pockets of India where there are tribals like the Bhils and the Gonds and it seems, particularly in Orissa, that there is a constant tug-of-war between the two religions with these poor people being the mangled rope. Please catch the zest of what I’m hinting at. When we profess to work for maintaining our traditions and beliefs, first we must find the original traditions and beliefs that made our ancestors ‘Karbis’ and do away with the current adulterations, otherwise there’ll be no bedrock on which to base our identity. However, these views aren’t intended to offend any beliefs as long as religion remains a personal issue and not imposed or ‘preached’ upon anyone. I would be happy to carry on this discussion and have your views on this. Please find my mail id and send me your views if you think this discussion is worthwhile.
    Thank you

    • Dear Ibon,

      Thanks for your comments and for pouring in your thoughts. Regarding your challenge that none of the contributor in this site knows anything about the indigenous religion is uttered negligence on your part. This is the forum of all those researcher who really go to the field , collect datas and then present a paper to be published. I would like to let you know that unlike other active/defunct research organisation of KA, we don’t prepare these articles at the comfort of our room. we really do visit the field, observe and then analyst scientifically. However it feels great to know that there are enthusiastic guys like you prowling upon us to be a positive critic to us, which infact will very much help us to produce quality work in the days to come. It is also to be noted that we are not some bunch of students but a profesional researchers doing this kind of work for the last 7-8 years and some even decades. However if you have some reservation about the picture being presented in some article please feel free to point out those. we will be more than happy to discuss in details.

      Had you really been going around villages in KA and Dima Hasao district of Assam then you will realise that the general perception of Christian assuming the aron ban to be be Hindus are absolutely not true. it is the general perception only in town areas such as Diphu, Donka, etc… so please don’t generalise.

      With Warm Regards,

      Morningkeey Phangcho Advanced Editor, Karbi Section, http://www.xobdo.org


      Web Administrator, http://www.karbi.wordpress.com

  18. sarah said

    Dear sirs, I enjoyed your site very much and thought it had alot of enlightening content. Keep up the good work! Its good to see this site going well. Sarah

  19. It is wonderful of you to have a blog solely dedicated to the Karbi’s. I look forward to reading your posts and increase my knowledge on the north east region. Do read my blog, i have been writing about N.E India.

  20. Prashant Hanse Chinthong said

    At our home, we still practice the good old folk rituals. Eg. Ajo-ase(translated as- Night ritual), Vo-lok/Vo-Ik Ase, Sang-Angtar(Identifying and clearing future obstacles. Specialy practised before a journey or doing important work/events), cho-jun(A feast) etc. Etc.

  21. Sarthe Teron Milik said

    I would like to request the admin of the blog to remove the word ‘Assam’ from the tag line ‘Karbis of Assam’ for broader aspects of our community. ‘North East’ any other term may be used for inclusion of the Karbis in Meghalaya and Arunachal.

  22. Nashma beypi said

    its a very commendable initiative… i apreciate u n very pls.. to read… its interesting!! n knowledge gaining blog…
    wishing u gud luck..

  23. Sotrasing Teron said

    Fine job it’s a heart touching article…really awesome….good luck in your works

  24. Roton Teron said

    Thanks for all your hard work Sir,
    i would like to request you Sir, kindly can you please provide me the line, regarding when Karbis were in Tibet one Teron boy is asking for flower with one Kuki Cheng Daipo or something like that” and that Chendai po went and plucked it for the boy; there is one particular lines on that regards please can nyou provide me Sir

    i would be grateful to you!!

  25. Dr.Jangmi Derapi said

    Hello ik its great u have started this blog and keep up the good work :-).. I think it have to be updated to 2011 census as its the latest one ..and expect more information it will be very helpful for us and the youths to know about the karbis as the literature is very limited …

  26. Dr.Jangmi Derapi said

    And regarding the demographic data; according to me we should include rural / urban population, child sex ratio ,age wise population distribution we should add 60 years population as we can have an idea about the life expectancy both male and Female also population density.And some health indicators data so that we can know where to work hard and can intervent or give our suggestions to the policy makers as I have worked in phc I know we hav lots to work on ….

  27. Bhaskar Teron said

    Good to see some blogs about Karbi people. I am a Karbi boy and I was born in Diphu and had grown among Assamese and Bengali community people, so I am struggling a lot in speaking and learning Karbi language. My Parents belong from the plains of Morigaon so they also have a little knowledge about the language to teach me. I searched and browsed a lot in internet to learn some common phrases of the Karbi language but I failed to get a single blog where I can learn Karbi language. I want to know my language and speak my language desperately. Can anybody help me out as how to learn Karbi language? If there is any book or some grammatical notes on the karbi language , then please help me out by texting the name of the book i n the number 8474083224.
    And I hope to see some improvements about information on Karbi tribe, it’s culture and languages on internet by some well known professors and scholars. Wish you a very good luck .

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