Hmar people

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(Mar, Mhar, Khawthlang, Old Kuki)
Total population
400,000 +
Regions with significant populations
(Manipur · Mizoram · Tripura · Assam · )
(Chin State · Sagaing Division)
(Chittagong Hill Tracts)
Hmar · Mizo · Hindi · English
Christianity · Judaism(Bnei Menashe)
Related ethnic groups
Lushai · Chin · Kuki · Mizo · Zomi

Hmar is the name of an ethnic group in the North Eastern States of India, western Burma and eastern Bangladesh. They speak some 40 languages, most of which are intelligible to one another and these languages again have many dialects. Khawsak language, popularly called Hmar ṭawng, has been adopted as the lingua franca and standard medium of communication


Nomenclature issues[edit]

Early writers and so called historian often clubbed Hmar under Chin-Kuki-Mizo due to their insufficient resources and lack of knowledge. People often refer to the Hmars as Chin in Myanmar, Kuki by the Bengali, Old Kuki by the British and Mizo during the Mizo Union Movement in Mizoram. But the Hmar people do not consider themselves to fall under such umbrella terms. Even though some Historian, Scholars, Anthropologist might have clubbed the Hmar amongst the Chin Kuki and Mizo in their books for their convenience, the Hmar in its original stages is much older than Chin-Kuki-Mizo. Studies from Linguistics confirms that the Hmar language is the oldest amongst the said group, and from this perspective incline to the conclusion that the different tribes belonging to the Chin-Kuki-Mizo were once Hmar before they became independent clans and later tribes. Literally, Hmar means North or Northern people, as they are living north to the Lusei people. *But this is hotly debated among the community itself*. This theory was believed to be brought up by the Mizos to belittle the Hmar tribes. The early Dictionary made by the missionaries in Aizawl clearly mention that the word Hmar is the name of tribe, the word Hmâr is the name of cardinal points meaning North and also the same word Hmâr means people living North of the Lushais. People living on the northern side of the Lushai include Kuki, Sukte, Gangte, Vaiphei, Zou, Hmar etc. Some scholars are of the opinion that the cardinal point North in local name Hmâr comes from the name of the tribe, the Hmar, who were living on the Northern side of the Lushais, not the other way around. Some scholars are of the opinion that the word originated from the style of tying the hair knot on the head.


The Hmar spread over a large area in the northeast and are recognised as Scheduled Tribe under the 6th Schedule of the Constitution of India in 1956 under the initiative of Rev Dr. Rochunga Pudaite. He met the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in Delhi in 1951 and requested him to give Scheduled Tribe recognition to the Hmar tribe of Northeast India by wearing a traditional Hmar attire. The PM then asked him if he knew of the existence other tribes which had not been included in the list. Rochunga then added the tribes of Anāl, Kom, Paite, Vaiphei, Ralte, Chothe and others, thus paving way for their recognition. So, when the Scheduled Tribes list was reorganised in 1956, Hmar became officially recognised

History and clan fragmentation[edit]

The Hmars in olden days were known as war people and head hunters.[1]. The Hmar traces their origin from Sinlung dating back to the second century BC. The glorious civilization of the Hmar was at Shan in the fourth century AD(present day Myanmar). Scholars believed that it was during this prosperous civilization that the Hmar started dividing themselves as Clan and make settlement according to their clan. It is believed that it was during this time that the Lushais, Kuki, Sukte, Ralte and various clan emerge from the Hmar and later move away from the main family. This theory gave meaning by studying the pattern of their later migration. The Hmar migrated from Shan to Khampat/Kabaw Valley and then to present day Mizoram. The migration did not happen suddenly and ended, it took more than 600 years for the majority of the clan to settle in the present state of Mizoram by crossing the Ṭieu river. Scholars believed that the migration happen from the early 12th century and ended in the early part of the 18th century. Even now, a particular Hmar tribe called Hualngo still reside in Burma. Majority of the Hualngos have not crossed the Ṭieu river, only a section of them called the Saksuok/Chhakchhuak have entered Mizoram. Their neighbors (Chins, Lais, Zomis) call them Mar and their language as Mar ṭawng


They are now currently under the administration of Pherzawl District, Churachandpur District and Jiribam District in Manipur, Sinlung Hills Council in Mizoram, North Cachar Hills Autonomous District Council, Karbi Anglong Autonomous District Council and Barak Valley Hill Tribes Development Council in Assam, Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council in Meghalaya and Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council in Tripura[citation needed]


Hmars live mostly in the hills of south Manipur, Mizoram, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Myanmar and Chittagong Hill Tracts. Although these areas are within different administrative divisions, they are geographically connected. In Manipur, the Hmars reside in the south, especially in the Pherzawl District, Churachandpur district, Jiribam district and its adjoining areas. These areas, except Tuithaphai, are hilly. Tuiruong (Barak), Tuivai and Tuithapui are some of the important rivers flowing through this area. In Mizoram, the Hmars live mostly in the north, especially around the Sinlung Hills Council [2] Area. In Assam, the Hmars live in the Barak Valley, Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao. In Meghalaya, the Hmars live in the East Jaintia Hills District and Shillong in East Khasi Hills District. In Tripura, the Hmars mostly live in and around Darchawi, a village on the Mizoram – Tripura border.



The exact population of the Hmars in Mizoram is not known. In the first census census of 1901, there were 10411. However after 60 years it came down to 3,118 in 1961 and 4,524 in 1971.[3]

By observing the successive census records of Mizoram, it could be deduced that the population of Mizoram had increased by more than three foId from 1901 (82,434) to 1971 (332,390). If the population of the hmar tribe had been increasing at par with those of their kindred tribes of Mizoram, it could be assumed that the Hmar population now would, at least, be around 150,000 or more in Mizoram. One fact is clear, that majority of the Hmar were included in and counted as part of the larger Mizo tribe after the Mizo Union.


In Assam, there are also numbers of Hmar populations, but the number of Hmar population are counted in the census (Data on Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe) records, only from the two hill districts viz. NC Hills (Dima Hasao) and Karbi Anglong which is 15,745 as per the 2011 census of India. Though, we have no census record of Hmar population in south Assam, but the Barak Valley Hill Tribes Development Council, Silchar, has recorded Hmar population at 62,859 persons as on 28/06/13. In Cachar, they have recorded 37,194 Hmar populations and 5,313 houses and 99 villages. In Karimganj district, they have recorded as 16,038 Hmar populations with 2205 houses and 56 villages. In Hailakandi District 9,627 Hmar population with 1,389 house and 52 villages.

Note: Some of the Hmar clans like the Biete,Hrangkhawl,Faihriem, Sakechep/Khelma, Chorei, etc.. are either recognised as a separate tribes or recognised as Any Kuki Tribe which carries a series of difficulties in accurately determining the exact Hmar population. So taking all the above said into account, the Hmar population in Assam will be around 145,000 or more.


According to 2011 census, there are 48,375, mostly concentrating in the Churachandpur Valley,Pherzawl District, Southern Jiribam, and few in Tamenlong district. Since most of the clan are recognized as separate tribes, it is difficult to know the exact number of the Hmar in Manipur.[4] However, very rough estimates put the total Manipur Hmar population at 4,18,637.


The Hmars are recorded as Halam or Old Kuki in Tripura so, the exact population of the Hmar in Tripura is not known. Adding up the population of Halam and Old Kuki, the number reached 68,175.


The Hmars in Myanmar are mostly of the Hualngo clan though other clans like Vaiphei, Khuangsai, Varte, Khawlhring, Ngawn, etc are also present. They are present in Sagaing Division and Chin State. Collectively, they would number around 2,00,000.


The Hmars in Bangladesh are found in the Chittagong Hill Tracts where Hmar clans such as Bawm, Pankho, Khumi, Khiyang, and their population is approximately 30,000.


Religion among Assam Hmar[5]
Religion Percent

Place of Origin[edit]

The Hmars trace their origin to Sinlung, the location of which is hotly debated. The term “Hmar” is believed to have originated from the term “Hmerh” meaning “tying of one’s hair in a knot on the nape of one’s head”. According to Hmar tradition, there were once two brothers, namely, Hrumsawm and Tukbemsawm. Hrumsawm, the elder one, used to tie his hair in a knot on his forehead because of a sore on the nape of his neck. After his death, all his descendents followed the same hair style and the Pawis, who live in South Mizoram, are believed to be the progeny of Hrumsawm. The younger brother, Tukbemsawm, however, tied his hair in a knot on the back of his head. The Hmars, who continued Tukbemsawm’s hairstyle, are believed to be the descendants of Tukbemsawm (Songate, 1967).

Several theories have been put forward regarding the origin of the Hmars, but it appears historically evident that the Hmars originally came from Central China. A Hmar historian, H. Songate (1956), proposes that the original home of the Hmars might be the present Tailing or Silung in South East China bordering the Shan state of Myanmar. According to Songate (1956), “The Hmars left Sinlung because of the waves of Chinese immigrants and political pressure drove them away to the south. The exact time of departure from Sinlung and the original route they followed is not known to this day. However, traces have been found in poems and legends that they came to the Himalayas, and the great mountains made it impossible for them to continue their southward journey. So, they turned eastward of India from there.”

The Hmars are part of the Chin-Kuki-Mizo groups of people found in North East India, Burma and Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. The Hmars still treasure and garner their traditional arts, including folk dance, folk songs, handicrafts, etc., representing scenes of adventure, battle, love, victory, and other experiences throughout history.

The majority of the Hmars are cultivators. The Hmars in South Manipur were introduced to Christianity in the year 1910 by Watkin Roberts, a Welsh missionary [6]


According to the Hmar people, their earliest known ancestor is Manmasi. The genealogy of Hmars starting from Manmasi is as follows:

  • Manmasi
    • Miachal
      • (unknown descendants)
    • Niachal
      • (unknown descendants)
    • Nelachal
      • Hrumsawm (progenitor of Lai-Pawi)
      • Tukbemsawm (progenitor of Hmar)
        • Nelvan
        • Nelsun
        • Nelpuising
        • Nelsung
        • Nelkhup
        • Nelphiel
        • Nelkim

These seven sons of Nelachal from which all the tribes of Hmar are descended are known as "Paruol-sari hai"


  • Chawnbul
    • Vanso
      • Zote including Neitham, Hrangate, Neisiel, Ngaite, Saihmang(Mangte) and Parate sub-clans
      • Khiengte
    • Sawnngai
    • Ṭhiekatuol
      • Ṭhiek including Buhril, Hnamte, Chhangte and Vantawl sub-clans
      • Chorei







The exact origin of some tribes could not be traced. Some tribes are a combination of various other tribes of Hmar and as such, cannot be placed in the genealogical tree. Eg: Kom, Darlong, Halam, etc. Some versions of Hmar genealogy states that Hrumsawm and Tukbemsawm are not the names of the ancestor of any tribe but rather a term used to group the Manmasi descendants into two categories:

  • Hrumsawm - Those who tie their hair in a knot on their forehead.
    • Miachal is the progenitor of the Lai, Pawi, Mara, Lakher and Maring tribes
  • Tukbemsawm - Those who tie their hair in a knot behind their heads
    • Niachal is the progenitor of Lusei, Ralte, Thadou, Paite, Gangte, Simte, Vaiphei and Zou tribes
    • Nelachal who is the progenitor of the Hmar tribes like Zote, Biete, Leiri, Darngawn, Kom, Anal, Bawm, Pang, Halam, Darlong, etc

Sub-tribes of Hmar[edit]

The Hmar tribe comprises numerous sub-tribes or clans (Pahnam in Hmar language). All Hmar clans , irrespective of their identity now, can trace back their ancient settlement to Ruonglevaisuo which is the present Tipaimukh constituency. In the past these clans had their own villages and their own dialects. But, today only a small fraction of the Hmar population use pahnam (or clan) dialects, such as Ṭhiek, Saihriem etc., while majority of the Hmar population use Hmar language. However majority of the Hmars in Mizoram use Mizo/Lusei/Dulien dialect and have no working knowledge of the Hmar language. The Hmar sub-tribes are:[7][8][9]

Sub-tribes of Hmar people


  • Vanso
  • Sote/Shoute
  • Pusiete
    • Siete
  • Chuonkhup
    • Chawngfawng
    • Chuonvung
    • Sielut
  • Sailung/Failung
  • Hriler
    • Lalsinghla
    • Lerkhawlsun
      • Chawnhrang
  • Darkhawlai
    • Batsing
      • Lalchawnghli
      • Hilkhawkhal
  • Chawnghau
    • Singnei
  • Chawngvawr
  • Chawngsieksim
  • Buonsuong
  • Chawngtuol
  • Chawnnel
  • Tlangte
  • Parate/Parte
  • Dawthang
  • Darkai
  • Pasulate
  • Saibung


  • Saiate
  • Hmangte


  • Khawthang
  • Thangnawk
  • Vaithang
  • Maubuk


  • Hrangate
    • Hrangman
  • Hrangsote
    • Hrangdo


  • Hauler/Hlihler/Hriler
    • Tlurha
      • Saichawnkhup
      • Sailientuol


  • Singphun
  • Chawnhning
  • Khawthang
  • Vaithang
  • Thangngawk
  • Thangleh
  • Maubuk


  • Aikhaw
  • Engtheng
  • Thanghing
  • Naulai
  • Tungling
  • Dawlbak
  • Liengen
  • Singtawn
  • Thagen
  • Banawng
  • Sumngak
  • Haunung


  • Khupthang
  • Khupsung
  • Kumsung
  • Khello
  • Muolvun
  • Singbel
  • Chawngte


  • Ngaite
  • Sihsing
  • Teilawn
  • Zasuong
  • Zawngngil
  • Munzo
  • Hauhup
  • Hlupbieng
  • Haizing
  • Hawpte
  • Khiengte


  • Mihriemate
  • Sawngate
  • Infimate
  • Nungate
  • Intoate
  • Lungchuong
    • Inbuon
  • Pasulate
  • Keivom/Leivon
  • Ṭamhrang
  • Sielhnam
  • Theisiekate
  • Shunate
  • Thlawngate
  • Pachawmtu


  • Khumthur
  • Khumsen


  • Neichir
  • Hnechong
  • Luophul
  • Lamthik
  • Chonzik/Chawnzik


  • Athu
  • Amaw
    • Chalhril
    • Hmunhring
  • Buhril
  • Tuolawr
  • Thluchung
  • Hekte
    • Chawnghekte
    • Ralsunhekte
  • Kungate
  • Selate
  • Tuolte
  • Thlihran
  • Zate
  • Kangbur
  • Hnamte
  • Tamlo
  • Hmante
  • Tamte
  • Kelaite
  • Zawngte
  • Ṭaite
  • Chawnnel
  • Thilsawng
  • Chawngkal
  • Khawzawl
    • Lalum
    • Laldau
    • Saibung


  • Buolsuok
  • Bawlsim
  • Tlau
  • Thangum/Thlangum


  • Pangote
  • Pangulate
  • Khawbuol


  • Khumthur
  • Khumsen


  • Darchuon
  • Pamte
  • Vawknghak
  • Kawlchi
  • Nghakchi
  • Lungte
  • Chawnglun
  • Lumthang
  • Tumpha


  • Langkai
  • Puipai
  • Saiṭhuoi
  • Nisatarai
  • Hmartarai
  • Bawngcher
  • Chawlkha
  • Bawng
  • Khiengte
  • Hmarchaphang
  • Neibawm
  • Muolphei
  • Thirsu
  • Thingphun


  • Neibawm
  • Bawmlien
  • Khawlum
  • Thingphun
  • Keiphun
  • Thirsu
  • Zeite
  • Sumtinkha
  • Telengsing
  • Vaichai
  • Saithuvai


  • Saichal
  • Saiphu
  • Jaiche
  • Rakhou
  • Rangla
    • Khouchung
    • Khounoi
  • Mariem
  • Seilawn
  • Makan†
  • Keilaam†
  • Inthiet†
  • Neisaam†
  • Thanjol


  • Banzang
    • Chawnghmunte
    • Famhoite/Famhawite
    • Sanate
    • Lamchangte
    • Sinate
    • Fatlei
  • Ruolngul
  • Faiheng
  • Khamchangte
  • Sote/Shoute
  • Sawnte
  • Tlau
  • Faipho
  • Vanlal
  • Saza
  • Mauruong
  • Palchup
  • Darkhuong
  • Sakum
    • Donghel
    • Hauhmang
    • Hauhnieng
    • Kilawng/Kilong
    • Dongul
  • Pakhuong
    • Khuongpui
    • Buongpui
    • Hranngul
    • Luhawk
    • Kamsing
    • Khelte
      • Sierchuong
      • Singlu
      • Hausel
      • Hmaimawk
      • Lutmang
        • Chiengkhai
        • Tuolthang
        • Zahlei
      • Thatsing
      • Vangkeu
      • Chiengthir
        • Hauvawng
        • Keuluk
        • Lawnghau
      • Vangtuol
      • Vohang
      • Vohlu
      • Zahlei
      • Zaucha


  • Zasing
  • Lienhlun
  • Thangthlawi
  • Tinkul
  • Tinthang
  • Sawnnel
  • Thuondur
  • Sawnghek


  • Fente/Fenate
  • Pangamte
  • Pazamte
  • Riengsete
  • Bunglung
  • Laising
  • Muolphei
  • Vuolte
  • Ṭente
  • Phunte
    • Siersak
    • Siertlang


  • Siersak
  • Sierthlang


  • Hrangchal
    • Laiasung
    • Sielasung
    • Darasung
    • Tungte
      • Tungnung
      • Tunglut
      • Tungdim/Lhungdim
    • Tlawmte
    • Khuolte
    • Hangzo
    • Hanghal
  • Sungte/Chhungte
    • Lienchawngtu
    • Hnuongte
    • Pachawngtu
    • Pieltu
  • Varte
    • Valte
    • Khupchawng/Khuptong
  • Suomte
  • Kawilam
  • Chawnsim
  • Parate
  • Tlangte


  • Singate
  • Tluongate
  • Buongzal
  • Lelawn


  • Pieltu
  • Sawrte
  • Arro
  • Buite
  • Zate
  • Aite
  • Hnungte
  • Seldo


  • Sanate
    • Pusingathla
    • Saidangathla
  • Parate
  • Saingur
  • Bangran
  • Ṭaite
  • Chiluon
  • Singa
  • Thothla
  • Ramte
  • Zawllien


  • Chawlkha
  • Pena/Penatu
  • Dumkher
  • Phuoitawng
  • Chalvawn
  • Kelai
  • Thirlum
  • Achung
  • Rawipu
  • Simvai
  • Darza
  • Samphier
  • Saituol
  • Tuoltek
  • Malakha
  • Zolekha
  • Zuorriel



  • Sungphun
  • Uisa
  • Lengman
  • Mapu
  • Nawkham
  • Nawmpar
  • Lourak
  • Singar
  • Achep
  • Lungthung
  • Dourai
  • Tuisum
  • Rawnte


  • Korset
  • Sunzang
  • Dorai
  • Chingar
  • Lungthung
  • Sengtei
  • Senghawr
  • Lungthung vawmte
  • Lungthung sente



  • Bawngpui
  • Chawrei
  • Irying
  • Rawnte
  • Vatawk
  • Hakmung†


  • Chawngnam
  • Laitluong
  • Seizing
  • Khuolhring
  • Palang
  • Bawngkhuoi
  • Leihang
  • Singla
  • Rama
  • Dawn
  • Nilai
  • Piekpachal
  • Pipilang
  • Laibur
  • Seken
  • Serai
  • Lainguk
  • Ruolleng
  • Vanzang
  • Palo
  • Resa
  • Luongngo
  • Tera
  • Leisato
  • Puolnam


  • Leihang
  • Lawnsing
  • Khawnglawt
  • Thangtu
  • Sekhawng
  • Titilang
  • Palang
  • Khuolhring
  • Sezawl
  • Leitak
  • Aineh


  • Masum
    • Hunsu
    • Huten
    • Hulawng
    • Kanthum
    • Daizal
    • Wangsawl
    • Khumlo
    • Wangawng
    • Nula
    • Paya
  • Murchal
    • Lamhaw
    • Sawmpti
    • Sinrung
    • Dasel
    • Sertum
    • Ritun
    • Vanglum
    • Rundar
    • Bundawn
    • Sertur
  • Pasen
  • Chaltung
  • Runlal
  • Hrangbung
  • Yasa


  • Simputi
    • Ngawruh
    • Kiirii
    • Thumhli
    • Ngawru-Hranglum
    • Chahliii
    • Eenhla-Buwangjir
    • Serbum
  • Rinheti
    • Rawhin
    • Wanglar
    • Thesawng
    • Hawngam
    • Sawngsir
    • Khartu
    • Khartu Bungpi



  • Sankhil
    • Suwngnem
    • Tlingmun
    • Kampurchuwm
    • Sakla
  • Edar
    • Thawlung
    • Jangvei
    • Silsii
  • Dilbung
  • Kangten
  • Leivawn
  • Khular
  • Surte



  • Songthu
    • Chungnung/Tungnung
      • Rengphamak
      • Rengkhumak
    • Nawineng
  • Yeite
  • Teltu†
  • Thamte†
  • Ulrei†
  • Khawnglung†
  • Meriem†



  • Riamroi
  • Bariampan
  • Inka
  • Khumba
  • Baling


  • Suantak (with 16 sub clans)
  • Khaute (with 10 sub clans)


  • Ngaihte
  • Buhil/Buhril
  • Thangsing
  • Leivang
  • Khumlai
  • Naulah


  • Thangzawm
  • Mate
  • Thanglun
  • Hilkhieng


  • Lelsun
  • Kawlni
  • Siakeng
  • Khelte


  • Huolnam
  • Huolngo
  • Huolhang
  • Lunkhuo
  • Saksuok


  • Saivate
  • Bapui
  • Tuollai
  • Tuimuol
  • Khawkhieng
  • Khawlum
  • Khawhreng
  • Sekawng
  • Thlanghnung
  • Seiling
  • Saihmar
  • Tusing
  • Dulien
  • Khawral
  • Sote/Shoute


(Descendants of Faihriem's Chunthang, Brother of Saivate)

  • Chunthang
  • Lalnam
  • Lungen
  • Lozun
  • Leidir
  • Midang
  • Milai
  • Pieltel
  • Rawlsim
  • Thlaute
  • Suokling
  • Parte
  • Pautu
  • Buongzal
  • Sehlawn/Chhehlawn


(Vangsie is a younger brother of Khuolhring)

  • Invang
  • Vanghawi
  • Dosil
  • Tlukte
  • Theiduah
  • Zapte


(Berva-Chunthang thla)

  • Changfieng
  • Chawngdang
  • Chawnthik
  • Chamte
  • Hawnzawng
  • Lienhna
  • Halte
  • Thamau
  • Ṭamva
  • Suonhawi


(Descendants of Faihriem's Ngendum. Ngendum is the brother of both Saivate and Chunthang)

  • Chawnghawi
  • Dosak
  • Dothlang
  • Lailo
  • Laitui
  • Laihring
  • Tuolngun
  • Zawngte
  • Zawhte
  • Bawlte


(Berva-Ngendum thla)

  • Neilut
  • Khupmang
  • Suonte
  • Dosawn
  • Suonzawng
  • Luolang
  • Sunman
  • Mannghil
  • Zawmthuok
  • Hlunthuom
  • Ngaituong
  • Suonlam
  • Sawndo
  • Thuonsawn
  • Khiepthang


  • Khumsut
  • Khunthang
  • Khuntel
  • Haukai
  • Vanchieu
  • Maluon
  • Chingruom
  • Thangsung
  • Saithleng
  • Thlangum/Lhangum


  • Makan
    • Makanpi
    • Makanlailu
    • Makante
  • Mareem/Mahrim
    • Pilian
    • Rimkelek
    • Rimkung
    • Rimphunchawng
  • Yulhung/Zuhlung
  • Thao/Thau
    • Thaokung
    • Thaunun
    • Taya/Tazu
  • Hrangshai
  • Parpa-Rakung
    • Parpa
    • Rakung
  • Khiyang
  • Aihung
  • Roulpu
  • Khyianginpi
  • Khyianginte


  • Chawngawm
  • Chawngthu
  • Lanu
  • Laita
  • Chaithu (Karong/Kilong)
  • Leivon
  • Mangte Laita
  • Serto Lanu


  • Dingthawi
  • Mangte
  • Danla/Dalla
  • Sampar(Karong)
  • Chawngdur


  • Zilchung
  • Zilhmang
  • Ngulṭhuom
  • Ngawiṭhuom
  • Hrawte
  • Hranhnieng
  • Chaileng
  • Thangngen
  • Kellu
  • Armei


  • Neingaite
  • Puruolte
  • Pudaite
  • Pulamte
  • Puhnuongte
  • Thlandar


  • Karong
  • Serto/Sertaw
  • Mangte/Hmangte
  • Leivon
  • Lupheng
  • Thingpui
  • Luphobo
  • Saichepa
  • Thlangompa


  • Lunkim
  • Lhungdim
  • Changsan
  • Lienthang
  • Khollhou


  • Ṭhiek
    • Chawngkal
    • Hmante
    • Hnamte
    • Kangbur
    • Vankal
  • Faihriem
    • Saihriem
    • Khawhreng
    • Saihmar
  • Zote
    • Siete
    • Saite
    • Chawnnel
    • Chawral
  • Hrangchal
    • Khuoltu
    • Tlawmte
  • Ngurte
    • Rante
  • Biete
    • Fatlei
  • Lungṭau
    • Songate/Sawngate

The Hmar people are the worst victims of the British "Divide and Rule Policy". They have been divided and separated by international lines of India, Myanmar and Bangladesh. Even in India, they are divided in six states- Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura; and Chin State and Sagaing Division in Myanmar. Due to this and an unequal distribution of the various sub-tribes, some have been recognised as separate and distinct tribes. This separate recognition started with the British conquer and rule. So numerous Hmar sub-tribes such as Halam, Kom, Chiru, Aimol, Chothe, etc are having separate identity. Other sub-tribes like Liangmai and Lamkang have also taken up completely different identities(Pakan Naga, Zeliangrong Naga) due to the internal conflict before the British era even though their tradition and folklore state that they came out/originated from Sinluong (Liangmai) and Senlung (Lamkang)which is very similar to the Sinlung claimed by the present mainstream Hmars. The only sub-tribes which are not recognised separately and collectively form the present Hmar community are:

  • Zote
  • Faihriem (Saihriem)
  • Lungṭau
  • Chawnthei
  • Ṭhiek
  • Darngawn
  • Khawbung
  • Ngurte
  • Leiri
  • Lawitlang


Rice is the staple food and wheat, maize, millet are the substantial cereals, which can be prepared for consumption in various ways. Large quantities of cooked rice, meat, and vegetables are consumed with various kinds of chutney, ginger, garlic, chilies, and spices. Two heavy meals of almost identical preparation a day is consumed and all else are comestibles of little significance. Since jhum cannot supply all the vegetables and meat, they constantly go to the forest seeking for vegetables, and hunting for deer, fowl, trap small game like squirrels, birds, etc. In preparation, nothing is discarded; chitterlings, such as the brain, hide and innards are all included. The Hmars eat lots of hot chilli (pepper) but with very little spice. Some of the famous dishes are chartang (mixture of meat, vegetable and hot pepper, hmepawk (stew), and changalhme (vegetable or meat cooked with hot pepper and soda made from the ashes)(Pudaite, 1963). Also, the Hmars enjoy sathu (a kind of fermented fats mostly of pork) and prepared in various dishes. The preparation for fermentation is that fat of pork is cut into pieces and cooked well. It is then put into an airtight container (preferably a traditional gourd) for some days until it is fermented. Sathu forms one of the main traditional seasoning agents for curries. Some other seasoning items like "sithu" (made from fermented sesame seeds), "bekanthu" (made from fermented soyabeans), etc. are also commonly eaten. The diet of the Hmar people is very simple. It is a typical tradition of Hmars to make a kind of porridge prepared by mixing boiled rice with almost any kind of meat (however, mostly pork, chicken, beef, some meats of wild animals) and leaves of "sizo" a wild tree with hard and a slightly bitter tasting leaves. Lye(soda) is added to dissolve the leaves thereby producing yellowish green colour. In most of the community feast, the preparation of such porridge (changal hmepawk) is a regular feature. Chutney made of very hot chillies also is very popular among the Hmars. A typical "Hmehro" prepared in such a way that any species of vegetables are dried and preserved for eating during off season also is commonly practiced by the Hmars.


The Hmars have various kinds and forms of dances for various occasions and ceremonies befitting the occasions. Some of these dances have almost been forgotten. The following are some of the prominent dances forms.


This is an ancient victory dance. It is performed in honour of successful warriors and great hunters. The Hranglam songs are believed to be among the oldest songs of the Hmar people. They hearken the past glories as well as the miseries of the people in different stages of their past history.

Pheiphit Lam[edit]

This dance may also be called the Pipe dance because it is performed to the accompaniment of playing of small bamboo flutes (pipes) of different sizes and length to produce different pitches of sound. The dancers themselves blow the pipes to play certain tunes of music as they dance in circle, the males and females positioned alternately. The leader of the dance conducts the dancing with the beating of a drum which he carried. He can also play the flute while beating the drum and dancing. A gong is also sounded at intervals, and victory songs Hlado are sung by the successful hunters and warriors. This is one of the popular dances performed during any In-ei ceremonies.

Khuol Lam[edit]

This is a colourful dance performed as a gesture of welcome accorded to a distinguished visitor to the village. It is also called Chawn Lam and the rich are often entertained during Inchawng festivals. The dancers dance around in circle, holding on to two corners of Hmar puon cloth and making movement of pulling down the corners to accompany the bending of the legs on the knees.


This is a war dance and is performed during big festivals. Each of the dancers carries a shield in his left hand and a sword in his right. He brandishes the sword and moves the shield swiftly as he dances. Songs of victory are sung and this is mainly the dance of the men folk and warriors.

Lal Lam or Vai Lam[edit]

This is a royal dance accorded to the Chief. It resembles the dances of the people of the plains and hence the name Vai Lam. It is performed by two or more dancing girls during the coronation of the village Chief, or high officials like the Kalim in some tribes.

Feitung Tawl Lam[edit]

This is a peculiar dance performed during Sa-in-ei as the hunter’s dance. The dance imitates how the hunter has killed the animal with the use of his spear. A spear is held in position of throwing by the dancers, and imitates the hunter as he stalks the prey.

Dar Lam[edit]

This is a common dance. It is most elaborate and is performed with orchestral music. It is performed to the accompaniment of a set of gongs of different sizes called Dar-bu, Rawsem and Chawngpereng. Theihle is the flute made from Bamboo, Rawsem is a reed instrument made with gourd and bamboo tubes, Chawngpereng is another bamboo pipe instrument. Dar Lam is usually performed during threshing of rice paddy.

Butu Khuonglawm[edit]

This is a dance performed as dancers sow the seeds of rice in the jhums. It is a community activity of sowing rather and cannot be strictly said to be a dance form. However, orchestrated movement and singing with drums to the accompaniment of sowing with hand hoe in the field. And therefore may be said to be a dance form.

Besides there are a number of other forms of dances which are no longer danced and have become obsolete and forgotten. Some dances are performed at random, whereas there are others that needs elaborate preparations. There are many folk songs for every occasion. Besides what has been mentioned there are also folk musical instruments like Bison horns, tingtang, darbenthek, darmang, darkhuong, darlaipawng etc. which are also in use.

Political movements[edit]

In July 1986, after the signing of the Mizo Accord, some Hmar leaders in Mizoram formed Mizoram Hmar Association, later renamed the Hmar People's Convention (HPC). The HPC spearheaded a political movement for self-governance of the Hmars in Mizoram demanding Autonomous District Council (ADC) comprising Hmar-dominated areas in north and northwest of Mizoram for the protection of their identity, culture, tradition, language and natural resources. To quell and suppress the political movement, the Mizoram government deployed the Mizoram Armed Police (MAP) against the HPC activists which forced the HPC to take up an armed struggle by forming an armed wing, the Hmar Volunteer Cell (HVC). The armed confrontation continued until 1992, when HPC representatives and the Government of Mizoram mutually agreed to hold ministerial level talks. After multiple rounds of talks, a Memorandum of Settlement (MoS)[10] was signed in Aizawl on July 27, 1994 between the Government of Mizoram and the HPC. Armed cadres of the HPC surrendered along with their weapons in October 1994 and later the Sinlung Hills Development Council (SHDC) was established. Some of the HPC leaders and cadres however rejected Memorandum of Settlement and broke away from the main HPC, and formed the Hmar People's Convention - Democratic (HPC-D), which continued an armed movement for autonomy in the form of Autonomous District Council under the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India within Mizoram.[11] Over one hundred militants of HPC-D surrendered with their weapons in April, 2018 following a peace pact signed with the Mizoram state government and led to the formation of the Sinlung Hills Council [12] [13]


  • Dena, Lal; In search of identity: Hmars of North-East India; New Delhi 2008; ISBN 978-81-8370-134-1
  • Allen BC, Gait EA, Allen CGH and Howard HF. Gazetteer of Bengal and North East India. Mittal Publications.New Delhi 1979.
  • Pudaite, Rochunga. 1963. The Education of the Hmar People. Sielmat, Churachandpur. Indo-Burma Pioneer Mission, 1963.
  • Songate, H. 1956. Hmar History-Hmar Chanchin. Imphal: Mao Press.
  • Songate, H. 1967. Hmar Chanchin (Hmar History).Churachandpur: L & R Press.
  • Pakhuongte, Ruolneikhum. 1983. The Power of the Gospel Among the Hmar Tribe. Shillong, Meghalaya: EFCI. Ri Khasi Press, Shillong.
  • Bapui, VLT & Buruah, PN Dutta. 1996. Hmar Grammar. Mysore: Central Institute of Indian Languages. CIIL Press, Mysore.
  • Bapui, Vanlal Tluonga. 2012. Hmar Ṭawng Inchukna (A Lexical Study of the Hmar Language & Usages). Guwahati, Assam: The Assam Institute of Research for Tribals and Scheduled Castes. Hi-Tech Printing & Binding Industries, Guwahati
  • Cassar, T. 2013. Only 36,000.
  • Cassar, T. 2017. Oh God - Now it's 75K (and it's only getting worse)!.
  • Dena, Lal. 1995. Hmar Folk Tales. New Delhi: Scholar Publishing House. Bengal Printing Press, New Delhi ISBN 81-7172-281-4
  • Fimate, L. Thina Râpthlak.
  • Hmar, RH Hminglien. 1997. Hmangaitu Hmel.
  • Hminga, FT. 1991. Hmar Pipu Thilhming Lo Phuokhai. Churachandpur, Manipur: Dr. FT Hminga.
  • Hminga, FT. 1993. Hmar Ṭawng Indiklem. Churachandpur, Manipur: Dr. FT Hminga.
  • Hminga, FT. 1994. Hming Umzie Neihai. Churachandpur, Manipur: Dr. FT Hminga.
  • Hrangate, HC. 1996. Pathien Kut.
  • Lalhmuoklien, 2009. Gospel Through Darkness. Churachandpur, Manipur: Rev. Dr. Lalmuoklien. SMART tech Offset Printers, Churachandpur
  • Ngurte, SN. 1991. Damlai Thlaler.
  • Ngurte, SN. 1994. Rengchawnghawi.
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  • Pudaite, Rochunga. 1985, The Dime That Lasted Forever. Carol Stream, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers.
  • Pudaite, Rochunga. 2008. English-Hmar Dictionary. Partnership Publishing House.
  • Pudaite, Rochunga. 2011. Ka Hring Nun Vol-1. Thomson Press, Harayana.
  • Pudaite, Rosiem. 2002. Indian National Struggle for Freedom and its Impact on the Mizo Movement (1935-1953 AD).
  • Pulamte, John H. 2011. Hmar Bûngpui. Imphal, Manipur: Dr. John H. Pulamte. BCPW, Imphal.
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  • Ruolngul. Darsanglien. 2013. Kohran. Churachandpur, Manipur: ICI. Diamond Offset, Churachandpur.
  • Sanate, Ngurthangkhum. 1984. Ngurte Pahnam Chanchin. Churachandpur, Manipur/
  • Sawngate, Thangsawihmang. 2012. Hmangaina Parbâwr. Churachandpur, Manipur.
  • Sinate, Lalthankhum. 2001. Kohran Hring.
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  • Ṭhiek, Hrilrokhum. 2013. History of the Hmars in North East India, Guwahati, Assam: Rev. Hrilrokhum Ṭhiek, Bhabani Offset Private Ltd., Guwahati.
  • Ṭhiek, Hrilrokhum. 1996. Maichâma Mei Chu Sukchawk Zing Ding A Nih.
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  • Zote, Timothy Z. 2007. Manmasi Year Book (Vol-II), Churachandpur, Manipur: Manmasi Year Book Editorial Board. BCPW, Imphal.

Notable people[edit]

  • Rochunga Pudaite (The man who included the Hmar as well as Paite, Zou, Vaiphei, Gangte and other clan as one of the Schedule Tribe of India, 1956 and the founder of Bibles for the world )
  • Samuel Lalrozâma Hmar
  • HT Sangliana
  • C.H. Khawtlang Hmar (The first CEM of North Cachar Hills Autonomous District Council 'Dima Hasao district') [14]
  • Lalnghinglova Hmar (The man who revolutionised football in Mizoram) [15]
  • Cyndy Khojol (Bollywood actress)[16]
  • Mami Varte
  • Lalthlamuong Keivom Hmar (The first Indian Foreign Service Officer from Manipur) [17]
  • Lalremsiami (India women's national field hockey team player)
  • Lalram Luaha
  • Pachhunga Hmar (The first president of the first Mizo political party i.e Mizo Union in Lushai hills 1950.
  • Thanglura Darngawn (The first parliamentary Secretary from Assam and M.P (Rajya Sabha).
  • Lalhlimpuii Hmar ( The first Women Minister of State in Mizoram)
  • R.C Thanga Hmar ( The first Advocate General among the Mizo)
  • Darchhawna Hrangchal Hmar (The first Mizo to be honored with International Gold Star Excellency award(1997), Bahrat Joyti award(1998),Best Citizen of India (1998),Padma Shree(2005) etc..)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hazarika, Sanjoy (1994). Strangers in the Mist. New Delhi: Viking Penguin India. p. 238. ISBN 0-670-85909-5.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ {{Cite web|url= PROFILE OF SCHEDULED TRIBES IN INDIA 2013|last=|first=|date=|website=|archive-url=|archive-date=|dead-url=|access-date=2018-04-13}
  5. ^ mad, mad. "Census of India - Socio-cultural aspects, Table ST-14". Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs. Not available online. Available only on CD.
  6. ^ Impact of Religious Journal on the Hmar Tribe in Manipur
  7. ^ Songate, Hranglien. Hmar Chanchin.
  8. ^ Ṭhiek, Hrilrokhum. History of the Hmars in North East India.
  9. ^ "Hmar Clans/Pahnam".
  10. ^ "Memorandum of Settlement Between Mizoram and the HPC". Retrieved 2018-05-17.
  11. ^ "Hmar Struggles for Autonomy in Mizoram, India". Ritimo (in French). Retrieved 2018-05-17.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "103 HPC-D militants to surrender today : Nagaland Post". Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^

External links[edit]