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Sunday, March 2, 2008

mizogurl came from chhinlung!!!

lemme introduce the Mizo people to you- not so much from History books as from what the folk have preserved and believed over the years-
The Mizo[1] people trace their origin to Chhinlung, a crevice within the earth literally meaning ‘closed stone’. Based on the rich oral tradition that has been passed on from father to son through many generations, they believe their forefathers emerged from this fissure in couples to populate the earth. The oral tradition, in the absence of a written language, had given the Mizo his identity, origin and history. The language of the people, also called ‘Mizo’, is what was originally the Duhlian dialect of the dominant Mizo sub-tribe known as the ‘Lusei’ or ‘Lushai’ clan. Capt. T.H.Lewin[2] assigns the name ‘Dzo’ to the tribes inhabiting the hills east of the Chittagong district in Lower Bengal, for whom the term ‘Kuki’ is applied by the inhabitants of the plains. Although the term ‘Kuki’ was frequently used in referring to the inhabitants of present Mizoram (formerly called Lushai Hills), this term was replaced by ‘Lushai’ after the Expedition of 1871-72. This was in its turn replaced by the generic term ‘Mizo’ since 1950. (Chatterjee 1) The various clans and sub-tribes have now come to be included under the term ‘Mizo’. Capt. Lewin found the Lushai dialect to be common and understood by all the ‘Dzo’ tribes, it being “the clan tongue of the great family from which all the chiefs are said to have sprung” (3). The creation of this common dialect is credited to a Sailo chief called Lallula around 1740 AD (Thanga, 17). This dialect did not have a known written form till the advent of the Christian missionaries who framed the Mizo ‘A Aw B’ or the Mizo alphabet in the 19th century. Oral folk tradition tells a different story asserting that the Mizo had been gifted the art of writing or a script in the form of a leather parchment. However, this gift was lost when a dog ate it because the Mizo had been careless with its safekeeping (Zawla,K. 5). Whatever be the truth, the fact remains that the British colonizers found the language of their subjects without a written form in the early years of their encounter. This did not mean, however, that the Mizo did not satisfy their literary inclinations. Their literature, though oral, found expression in the art of telling stories, legends, parables and a rich body of songs, which are now preserved as the folklore of the Mizo people.
[1] The Mizo people are the people inhabiting Mizoram and spread over other hill states in North East India.
[2] Capt. Thomas Herbert Lewin was the Deputy Commissioner of Chittagong Hills

1 comment:

Franky Sailo said...

Very nice post u got here..