Jumma people

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The Jumma people is a collective term for the indigenous peoples of the Chittagong Hill Tracts region of present-day Bangladesh. They include the Chakma, Marma, Tripuri, Tanchangya, Chak, Pankho, Mru, Bawm, Lushai, Khyang, Gurkha, Assamese, Santal, and Khumi.[1]

The name jumma ("jum farmer") is derived from jum cultivation, or slash-and-burn farming.[2] It is a reappropriated term originally used by outsiders.[3] They are also known as Pahari, which simply means "hill people".[4]

The Jummas are native speakers of Tibeto-Burman languages, unrelated to Bangla spoken by ethnic Bengalis. Religiously they are distinct as well, most being Buddhist, some Hindu and some are Christianized, with only a small number of having converted to Islam. In addition, they have retained some traditional religious practices.[5]

Persecution by Bengalis[edit]

Bengali settlers and soldiers have raped native Jumma (Chakma) women "with impunity" with the Bangladeshi security forces doing little to protect the Jummas and instead assisting the rapists and settlers.[6]


  1. ^ Van Schendel, Willem (2001). Willem van Schendel, Erik J. Zurcher, ed. Identity Politics in Central Asia and the Muslim World. I.B.Tauris. p. 141. ISBN 978-1860642616. 
  2. ^ Roy, Rajkumari Chandra Kalindi (2000). Land Rights of the Indigenous Peoples of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. IWGIA. p. 28. ISBN 978-87-90730-29-1. 
  3. ^ Ghanea-Hercock, Nazila; Xanthaki, Alexandra; Thornberry, Patrick (2005). Minorities, Peoples and Self-determination. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 115. ISBN 90-04-14301-7. It differentiates them from their plains neighbours and was initially used in a derogatory manner. 
  4. ^ International Labour Office (2000). Traditional occupations of indigenous and tribal peoples: Emerging trends. International Labour Organization. p. 78. ISBN 978-92-2-112258-6. 
  5. ^ Samaddar, Ranabir (2003-07-04). Refugees and the State: Practices of Asylum and Care in India. SAGE Publications. p. 251. ISBN 978-81-321-0377-6. 
  6. ^ McEvoy, Mark (3 April 2014). "Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh – rapists act with impunity". Survival International - The movement for tribal peoples.