Missing tribes in Assam

Essay, 2013

24 Pages, Grade: A



1. Introduction:

2. Importance of the Study:

3. Objectives of the Paper:-

4. Methodology of Study:

5. Origin of the word ‘Miri’ and ‘Mising’

6. Findings of the Study:



1. Introduction:

The North Eastern part of India is the abode of innumerable tribes speaking different languages, using diverse dialects, practicing different customs and rituals and following different traditions. However the various tribes have not attained the same level of moral and material development. Sociologists have tried to probe into the reasons for the unequal development amongst the tribes of this region by using certain common models of social change in development. Such studies have revealed that the rate of development was not evenly distributed in Assam. The Mising is a major ethnic group of north east India and second largest tribe in Assam. As per 2001 census the Mising constitutes 17.8 percent of the tribal population of Assam and the total numbers of Mising population is 587,310. They are found mostly in Lakhimpur, Jorhat, Dibrugarh Dhemaji and Golaghat Districts of Assam. The Mising were originally a hills tribe who inhabited the Abor and Mishimi hills in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. They migrated to the plain of Assam prior to the advent of Ahoms and settled in the riverside areas of the Bahmaputra and the Subansiri. They belong to the Tibeto-Burman family of the Mongolian group. Traces of beardless cheek broad shoulders etc. of the Mongolians are easily visible. The Mising, being riverside people, have special liking to live on the riverbanks in spite of the fact that they have to face the flood of the river during the monsoon. Sometime flood force them to shift their villages. A village generally consists of about fifty houses on two sides of the village roads. The Misings are still maintaining the join family system. Agriculture is the principal livelihood of the Misings but it is still at the subsistence level. As per 2001 Census 98.2 percent Mising population live in the rural areas and the literacy rate among the Mising is 60.1 percent, which is less than the literacy rate of national level and state level. The Mising are still very backward and their socio-economic conditions have not developed. This paper attempts to explore the socio-economic condition of Mising people of Assam.

2. Importance of the Study:

Assam, the North-East frontier state of India is inhabited by various tribes. These different tribes, speaking different languages represent different social and political institutions. The Mising is one of the main tribes in the region. The Mising are divided mainly in to two sections, The Hill Mising live in the hills and the Plain Mising live in the river bank. They are the indigenous people of the state. The constitution of India provides various political and economic safeguard to the tribal people. But even after sixty two years of independence they are still underdeveloped. There is a huge regional disparity among the various parts of the nation. Assam is one of the state which still unable to bring an economic development through proper utilization of natural resources. There are about 12% tribal people in Assam. Without the development of these people, the development of Assam is an impossible dream. The tribal people are very poor in all aspects. Amongst the tribal people the Bodos are the largest one and the Mising is the next. But in Golaghat district the number of Mising population is highest. They are living in the river bank of the Bahmaputra. So it is important to study the Socio-Economical status of this backward tribal people.

3. Objectives of the Paper:-

The following are the objectives of this paper:

1) To analyze the socio-economic condition of Mising people.
2) To formulate a comparative investigation of socio-economic condition of Mising people with the general people of Assam.
3) To know the use of modern practice in the socio economic life of Mising people

4. Methodology of Study:

Among the states of Assam, Golaghat district is considered for socio-economic study of Mising people as a lots of Mising people is found in Golaghat, district. This study is based on the both primary and secondary data. The secondary data will be used to study the macro economic study purpose only and to compare the socio economic status of Misings with the overall status of Assam. Secondary data is collected from the publications of various organizations viz., Govt. of Assam publications, Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Research Publications of individual and institutional etc.

The primary data will be collected by undertaking field study in Golaghat District. For present study the sample survey will be conducted following multi stage sampling method of probability sampling. In this study five villages will be selected randomly on the condition that some amount of Mising people are present there. From these five villages namely Maaz Bankual, No1 Bankual, Bankual Kalabari, Nikari, No 3 Halukaguri, 20 households will be selected again randomly which generates 100 sample household.

5. Origin of the word ‘Miri’ and ‘Mising’

The Misings are called Miris by the plains people of Assam. The origin of the word Miri is shrouded in mystery. The origin of the word Miri was first carried in an Assamese daily as far back as 1947. 2 Reference may also be made to some of the other views regarding the origin of the word Miri. E.T. Dalton believed that this word was coined mainly because of the fact that the Misings were the main source of communication between Assam and the Abor tribes. For a long period under the Assam Government, the Miris managed to keep to themselves the entire trade between Assam and the Abors; and as being thus the only medium of communication between the two peoples, they obtained this name Miri, which means mediator or go between, and is the same word as ‘miria’ or ‘Milia’ used with the same signification in Orissa.

6. Findings of the Study:

A. Social Status of Mising tribes:

Social background which covers the social condition of the Missing families, encompass the values of the people, their perceptions, outlooks and enthusiasm that are affected by socio-economic development. Edification, family size, way of livelihood, dress and food behavior, religious outlook, political awareness etc. are a part of the social setting which is affected by better livelihood conditions.

1. Education:

Education encompasses both the teaching and learning of knowledge, and technical competency which focuses on the cultivation of skills, trades or professions, as well as mental, moral and visual development. The group of people under survey showed a keen interest in acquiring education. Though majority of the elders were illiterate, the younger generation appear to have acquired at least a minimum degree of formal education mainly due to the low growth of L.P. Schools, M.E. Schools, and High Schools and colleges in the surrounding area of their villages. The tables-1, below indicate the progress of education amongst each of the villages of the Assamese speaking Misings.

Table- I

Educational Qualification in Sample Villages

illustration not visible in this excerpt

The over all picture reflects that the literacy rate of the farmers is 38% which is much lower than Assam literacy rate of 64.28% (according to 2001 census). So the illiteracy is one of the problems of the Mising people. But comparing the illiteracy rate, the female illiteracy rate is much higher (62%) as compared to male (38%).

School Building in a Mising Village

illustration not visible in this excerpt

In the opinion of the village headmen and the L. P. school masters, almost all the students started their primary education with a great deal of enthusiasm but the rate of dropout was very great and only a few showed genuine interest in pursuing higher studies. There is, however, no doubt that the majority had come to consider education as the foremost criteria for the development of their society.


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Missing tribes in Assam
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Economics, Sociology, north east India
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Dr. Hemanta Saikia (Author), 2013, Missing tribes in Assam, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/286521


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