Dima HASAO at a glance

 

 

About the Dima Hasao District

The lone Hill station of Assam, Dima Hasao, formerly known as N.C. Hills, has been called the ‘Cradle of nature’, ‘Abode of clouds’, ‘Pleasure trove’ and by different names.  Nature can be readily and easily enjoyed in this picturesque and panoramic District which offers calmness, a sense of spiritual well-being in a busy hectic lifestyle that many people live nowadays. Its beauty will mystifies senses, entices with its celestial beauty, and engrosses with all its splendid history, yet so much is gone, but still striving and surviving to retain its hue-‘The Land of colourful people’.

NEIGHBOURHOOD

The Dima Hasao district, has common boundaries  with three North-Eastern States and three other Districts of Assam. On its eastern side are the States of Nagaland and Manipur.  On its South the Cachar Districts of Assam. On the western side is the State of Meghalaya. On its north are Nagaon and Karbi Anglong districts of Assam.

HISTORIC DIMA HASAO

           The place where, today , the inviting aspect of the picturesque hill station rises from its pleasant green surroundings was a part of Dimasa Kingdom before the British occupation that extended at the time upto the whole area of Cachar District, the present Karbi Anglong District, a major portion of Nagaon District and parts of Nagaland including Dimapur right upto Nichu Guard on Dimapur-Kohima Road. The Dimasa Kings had their capitals at Dimapur (Nagaland), Maibang (Dima Hasao), Khaspur and lastly at Haritakhar now in Cachar District. The Kingdom was annexed to the British Empire under the Doctrine of Lapse on 15th August, 1832 after the assassination of the Last Dimasa King Maharaja Govinda Chandra Narayan in 1830 AD. Yet even after the death of the last Dimasa king the territory North of Barail Hills was ruled by the last Dimasa General named Tularam. His sovereignty over the territory was also acknowledged by the Britishers.But with his death in 1854 AD, succession to this kingdom by his son was denied and the entire territory was annexed to Nagaon District. Later on the portion now occupied by the Dima Hasao District (formerly North Cachar Hills) was attached to the newly created Naga Hills District. In the early eighties of the last century an administrative Unit with its headquarters at Asalu was established. Shortly after that Dima Hasao was separated from Naga Hills and tagged to District of Cachar as its Sub-Division. In 1880 AD the Sub-Divisional Headquarters was established at Gunjung. Finally in 1895 AD the Sub-Divisional Headquarters was again shifted to Haflong. Since then it remained as the Headquarter. Since its amalgamation with the District of Cachar, Dima Hasao was a Sub-Division of that District and was administered as an Excluded Area till India attained Independence in 1947. This is how the name of the district came to be known as North Cachar Hills (present Dima Hasao). Later in 1951, it was amalgamated with Mikir Hills (Present Karbi Anglong District) and formed a separate Civil District of United Mikir and North Cachar Hills (present Dima Hasao). North Cachar Hills (present Dima Hasao) remained as a Sub-Division of that district until February 2nd , 1970 on which date it attained its present status as a full-flagged Civil District.

THE PEOPLE

       Perhaps nowhere in India, such a spectrum of people representing a number of distinct ethnic groups reside within so small a geographical periphery like Dima Hasao.

•    The different tribes as colourful as they are in their attires, customs and traditions, though they speak in their respective dialect, have adopted a common link language called as “Haflong Hindi” with peculiar overtones of phonetics for communicating among themselves

•    The main constituents of the hilly tribes living in the district are the Dimasas, the Zeme Nagas, the Hmars, the Kukis, the Biates, the Karbis, the Khasis, the Harangkhols, the Vaiphes, the Khelmas and the Rongmeis a sizeable number of other non-tribals like Bengali, Assamese, Nepali, Manipuri, Deswali and others also live in Dima Hasao

DIMASAS

The Kacharis are the most widely spread tribe in northeast India. They are said to be the earliest inhabitants of the Brahmaputra valley. The Kacharis belong to the Indo Mongoloid (Kirata) group which includes the Bodos and their allied tribes.

ZAME NAGAS

The Zeme Nagas are distributed in Dima Hasao( formerly North Cachar Hills) and parts of adjoining Manipur and Nagaland states. They are classified by the anthropologists as one of the sub-tribes of the Kacha Nagas.

HMARS

The Hmars are a fairly large group of tribes, sub- tribes, clans and sub- clans forming a scattered section of the tribal groups living in NE India. They form a part of the great mongolian race found all over South- East Asia.

KUKIS

The Kuki is a generic term for a number of mixed groups of people who have migrated into India through Burma from central Asia. In Burma they are called Chin and in Indian frontier states they are the best identified as Kukis.

KARBIES

The Karbies belong to the great Tibeto-Burman race. They are divided into three groups called Chinthong, Ronghang and Karbi. These names in all probability refer to their habitats. Amri seems to be a Khasi river name and Ronghang is the legendary site of the Sot Recho capital. The real tribal exogamous division is called Kur(a Khasiword). The five principal Kurs are- Ingti, Teron, Lekthe, Timung and Terang. Each of these Kur is further sub-divided into a number of sub-groups. All the Kurs are socially on an equal status

BIATES

Believed to be an off shoot of the Lushai-Kuki-Chin group, the Biates migrated from Central China and entered India to settle in northern part of Mizoram from where they were pushed by later immigrants to present day North Cachar hills in the early 19th century.

HRANGKHOLS

Differently described by the ethnographers as Hrangkwal, Romngkhol or Hrongkhol, this tiny group of people of the great Kuki tribe is scattered thriving in the North Cachar Hills. Mainly agriculturist, they practices Jhum cultivation and built their houses on wooden stilt and use bamboo profusely for the floor as well as the walls and thatch for the roofs

SAKACHEP (KHELMAS)

Among the inhabitants of N C Hills district, the Sakachep also known as Khelmas are one of the smallest community. Racially, the Sakachep have close resemblances to the Hrangkhols and the Baites. This community is entirely dependent on agriculture, which is the age-old traditional shifting jhum cultivation.

VAIPHEIS

Vaipheis are a small community in N.C.Hills district. They mostly inhabit in the Ditochera-kai-eng River valley, consisting of about eight villages. Though small in respect of their population, yet the Vaipheis are good in the field of arts and crafts so as in education too.

KHASI -PNARS

The Pnars or Jaintia tribe of N C Hills popularly known as Khasis mainly inhabits the valley of the river Jatinga. The Pnars follow matrilineal system, which means that their descendants carry on the family’s name after the mother’s title.

RONGMEI NAGAS

The Rongmeis, one of the Naga tribes formed a small community in N.C. Hills. Ethnically the Rongmei belong to the Tibeto-Burma group having considerable similarities of language and cultural traits to those of the Zeme tribes of N C Hills District.