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Khamyang, also known as Shyam, is a tribal group found primarily in Tinsukia, Jorhat and Sivasagar districts of Assam as well as adjacent parts of Arunachal Pradesh. Their population totals about 3,5000 of which only a small minority speak the native Tai Khamyang language. The Khamyang are followers of Theravada Buddhism and are closely related to the Khampti. They maintain good relations with other Tai Buddhist tribes of Assam.
The Khamyangs, who are popularly known as Noras, are of Thai-stock. "Khamyang" itself is a Thai word, deriving etymologically from "kham" (gold) and "yang" or "jang" (to have)"Kau means I","Khau means Rice", and meaning "people of gold". They ruled an independent principality in Mungkong until the end of the 18th century.
Many Khamyang have historically used "Shyam", which is a cognate with "Siam", the old word for Thailand, as a surname. The modern trend is for most Khamyang to use family names including Chowlu, Chowlik, Wailong, Pangyok, Thaomung, Chawsong, Tungkhang, Phalek, Chaohai.Tai Khamyang family is Nine to Assam Live...
The Khamyang, as a distinct tribe, are found in Balijaan Shyam Gaon, Na Shyam Gaon and Betbari Shyam Gaon (Betoni)near Titabor in Jorhat district, Disangpani, Chalapather Shyam Gaon and Rahan Shyam Gaon near Sapekhati in Sibsagar District, Powaimukh Shyam Gaon near Margherita in Tinsukia district and Rajmai Shyam Gaon near Sarupathar Golaghat District.There are also a few Khamyang villages in Arunachal Pradesh, concentrated near Namchai in Lohit district.
The Khamyang language, along with its close relatives, Khamti, Tai Phake, Turung, Tai Aiton and Shan, is classified with the Northwestern subgrouping of the Southwestern Tai languages in the Tai-Kadai language family. Khamyang, however, is not in use among the Khamyangs of Assam except in a small settlement of approximately 200 people seven miles downstream from Margherita in Tinsukia district named Powai Mukh. The majority speak Now Tai although many Khamyang (Tai) terms are still retained in their vocabulary. Thus, in language and some other cultural traits, the Khamyangs are in the process of harmonious assimilation to the local Khamyang culture.
The Tai Khamyangs, after crossing over the Patkai, got divided into two groups namely the Mon Nam or Pani (Lao Land Nora). They are called Khamyangs in view of the fact that after their migration from Mungkong they settled at a place having that name. With regard to their migration to Assam, it may be noted that some Noras had accompanied Swargadeo Sukhapha and later on their separate identities were merged with the Khamyang. History bears testimony to the fact that in 1524 Swargadeo Chukungmong married the daughter of the Nora Raja and Nora Raja equally was honoured with an Khamyang damsel. It is quite probable that some Noras might have accompanied the princess in 1576. Swargadeo Chukhamfa also married one Nora princess. The princess was accompanied by a Nora prince, a priest and 1000 Nora people. According to the Khamyangs (Nora) people had a kingdom somewhere on the otherside of the Patkai range and it was known as Khamjang.
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- Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh