Ralte people

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The Ralte tribe is found scattered in the Lushai villages to the north of Aizawl, India. About 200 years ago the Raltes lived mostly near Champhai. Mangkhaia was an important Ralte chief there. He was killed in course of events following his clash with a Lushai chief. Mangkhaia's memorial stone has been famous throughout these hills. The Raltes zealously maintained their individual identity and resisted absorption into the folds of the Lushais. As of today most Ralte clans do not specify their tribe and carry on with Ralte and (mostly uses Lusei dilate or also call as Duhlian tawng), which makes them the most populous group of clans in Mizo society.

Origin of the Raltes[edit]

Traditions has it that when the Ralte couple, Pu Hehua and Pi Leplupi came out of Chhinlung/Sinlung cave, they were chattering so much that it led God (Pathian) to believe that too many Raltes came out, which resulted in God closing the entrance of the cave. This, according to the Raltes, is the main reason for their low population. The Raltes trace their descent from Zahonga, the grandson or younger brother of Songthu (Chongthu). Zahonga was said to have a son 'Hongliana' (or Duhliana). Duhliana was said to have three sons viz. Phuluma, Lianluma and Lungluma. From Phuluma, the Buites, the Dulians( Khalas, Pauluts, Keivoms, Nungate etc.), the Raltes, the Khautes, the Khiangtes, the Faihriams, the Khawlhrings etc. are descended. From Lianluma, the Suantaks /Thautes ( Sizang, Baite, Luangte, Sailo, Ngawn, Zadeng, Palian etc. ), the Thangniangs, the Renthleis, the Gangte (Rangte) etc. are said to have been descended. From Lungluma, both Sunthla and Thlapa are said to have been descended. Sunthla was said to have two sons viz. Hranglung and Hringlum who are said to have been the two main progenitors of the Pois or Lais. From Thlapa, the Lushai/ Lusei people ( Tochhawngs, Vanchhawngs, Chawngtes, Hnamtes, Chhakchuaks, Hualnams, Pachuaus, Chuaungos, Chuauhangs etc.) are said to have descended. The Vaipheis, also being descended from Zahong, claim that between Zahonga and Hongliana (Duhliana), there was Vaipheia in the line of descent. The old Ralte dialect is closely akin to Vaiphei. Among the Vaipheis, the Duhlian of the Khaute/Khauva clan regarded the Raltes as descended from Pu Chinmanga, an elder brother to Pu Pauluta and Pu Khala (progenitor of Duhlian/Dulian, Nunga and Keivom clans). According to them, Pu Khautea was said to have two sons viz. Pu Namtinsawma {progenitor of the Vangsa (Tualtung, Tungnung, Tunglut, etc.), Vanglua ( Ellu, Chonlu, Chontung, Phaltual, Hatlei, Hatlang, Hatzaw, Langel etc.), Neihtham, [Neihsial],etc.} and Pu Guisuma (progenitor of the Ralte, Duhlian, Keivom, Nungate etc.) . Pu Guisuma was said to have a son named 'Musia'. Pu Musia was said to have three sons viz. Pu Chinmanga, Pu Pauluta and Pu Khala. Pu Chinmanga was said to have a son 'Raltea' or 'Galtea'. Pu Raltea was said to have to two sons viz. Mangkhaia ( not to be confused with the great Chief Mangkhaia, the son of Mangthawnga) and Zaluna. Mangkhaia was said to have a son 'Hehua'. Hehua son was 'Lekluka', the father of 'Khuangphuta'. 'Khuangphuta' was said to have a son 'Kulzawnga'. 'Kulzawnga' was the father of 'Siakenga' and 'Kheltea'. On the other hand, 'Zaluna' (younger brother of Mangkhaia) was said to have two sons viz. 'Kawlnia' and 'Lelhchhuna'. Kawlnia was said to have a son viz. Ralkhama who was the father of Zahuata and Mangthawnga (father of the great chief Mangkhaia). Zahuata was said to have two sons. viz. Chalbawka and Doubula. From Chalbawka, 20 clans are descended whereas from 4 clans are descended from Doubula.

Pu Siakenga and Pu Kheltea were said to be at odds over the distribution of their father's goods. Pu Kheltea, the younger, was said to have taken possession of all their father's goods and was said to have set up separated villages. From him are descended all the chiefs of the Raltes. Pu Lutmanga, the youngest son of Pu Kheltea, was said to have been the first to make cloth out of the khawpui fibres. Siakenga family was divided into 11 families while that of Kheltea into 10. Oral traditions mention names like Kotzawl, Thangmual, Thanghem, Dimpi, Dimlo, Suklui etc. The Raltes mainly divided themselves into four clans namely – Siakeng, Khelte, Kawlni and Lelhchhun.

(i)SIAKENG:- Engkai, Engkhung, Siakhang, Hilthang(Thangsiam, Damphut & Tukhum), Haizang (Chawnthang & Chawnchhin), Khumchiang (Chawngtual, Hmundin & Chhanzo), Hillu, Khelhau, Darkim, Manglut, Hnawtsut, Hnawtkhel, Khumtung, Lehvung, Thangbur, Tipawm/Kipawm, Chhakawm, Hauhniang, Chhuanhu, Zongai, Ailet, Hualkhung, Zaucha(Sawithang, Hauthual, Luahphung, Thawmlo, Hualthang, Kulsep, Seldam, Kaihlek),etc.

(ii)KHELTE:- Lutmang(Chiangkhai, Tualthang & Zahlei), Vankeu(Keuluk, Hauvawng, Chiangthir & Lawnghau), Thatchhing, Chhinghlu, Chhiarchuang, Hmaimawk, Hausel, Vangtual, Vohang, Vohlu, Zahlei and Zaucha.

(iii)KAWLNI:- Chalbawk(Kawlvawm, Chalchiang, Chalsawp, Chaltum, Chuangeng, Lawisut, Helhlah, Thasum, Thangkawp, Saphaw, Khonghawr, Hlamvel, Holut, Baleng, Bairek, Kawltung, Chalchung, Bungsut, Uikhawl, Arte, etc.) and Doubul {Renghang ( Rengsi & Rengngo)& Bungsut},

(iv)LELHCHHUN.:- Chhunthang, Chhiarkim, Vawngsual, Tunglei, Leihang, Hangdem, Chuanglawk, Thangbung, Hauphut, Selpeng, Hratchhum, Chhunghleh, Haudim,etc.

The Vaipheis regarded the Raltes/Galtes as their sub-clans and claim that the Raltes are descended from Khauva/ Khaute, the progenitor of the Khaulun/ Vangsa [ Khuanghau ( Tualtung, Tungnung, Tungdim & Tunglut ), Khuangdal, Vukmang ( Ngulvung & Thavuk), Mangtong & Jaktong ],, Neitham [Chonniang, Singphun, etc.], Neihsial (Haulai, Thagen, Lengen, Dawlbak, Nunthuk etc.), Vanglua ( Chontung, Chonlut /Chonglut, Chonmang, Chonlu, Phaltual, Ellu, Hatlei, Khantun, Hatlang, Langel, Hatzaw, Hatziam etc.), Duhlian ( Khala, Keivom, Nungate etc.)etc. Khauva /Khautea is said to have two younger brothers viz. Khaupho( the progenitor of Hoinge clan) and Khauza or Buite or Berhvate [ the progenitor of the Zomsing, Thuksuang, Faihriem ( Bapui, Khawkhiang, Khawlum, Sakum {Hauhmawng, Hauhniang & Kilong}, Sote, Tualai, Tuadal, Tusing etc.), Chunthang (Vangsia /Vangchhia, Khawlhring, Paute etc.), etc.]. Many historians noted that the Raltes used to lived in Khawzim, the former Vaiphei capital in Myanmar which was destroyed by the Pois. According to the Vaipheis, with the destruction of Khawzim and also their other settlements such as Khawvaiphei, Sialkal, Khawhiang/ Khawhring etc., many clans of the Vaipheis like the Raltes, Faihriem, Khawlhring etc. scattered in different areas and came to live within the fold of other Zo tribes or came to exist as an independent clan.