Khelma people

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Total population
Approx. 5000
Regions with significant populations
Predominantly Presbyterianism
Related ethnic groups
Mizo  · Chin  · Kuki

The Khelma or Khelma/Sakachep are one of the old Kuki tribes of Northeastern parts of India.

Brief Introduction[edit]

The Sakachep is one of the small tribe in the Old Kuki community. They mainly inhabit in the areas of Assam's Dima Hasao, Cachar and Karbi Anglong districts. The Sakachep lives in [[Jaintia Hil Their life style and habitat closely resemble the other tribes of the Chin, Kuki or Mizo Community. Among the inhabitants of the Dima Hasao district, the Sakachep (also known as Khelma) are one of the smallest communities. The Sakachep are similar in language, customs and traditions to the Chin-Kuki-Mizo. They used to cremate their dead like the Vedic Hindu. However, 80% of the population are Christians today.[citation needed] They are entirely dependent on agriculture for their livelihood.[citation needed].


There are twelve clans in the Sakachep community. They are 1.Neibom 2.Saithuvai(Saith) 3.Sumtinkha 4.Thirsu 5.Vaichai 6.Kholum 7.Telengsing 8.Langkai 9.Kelphung 10.Thingphun(Motsun) 11.Nisatarai and 12.Zeite.


The Sakachep also celebrate different festivals which are connected with the worshiping of different gods and goddess during the year. Saakthar,Rubu-khat, Parsem-kut, Inmuthung and Rubuthum are such festivals. Rubuthum is the most important of all the ceremonies of the Khelmas during the time when they used to worship nature.It is believed that one have to perform the ceremony to bring peace in the family. Parsem Kut is one of the biggest festival they celebrate in the month of April. The Khelmas have a good number of folk songs for different occasions,which are generally slow tuned.

Customs and traditions[edit]

The traditional attire and ornaments of the Sakachep are very interesting. The women wear strings of different beads and coins around their neck. Today, majority of the young boys and girls of the villages wear pants, shirts and traditional Mekhela. The older men simply wear a Dhoti|dhuti. The Sakachep bear a close resemblance to the Rim(Halam-Komrem) tribes, in language, customs and tradition. The traditional social administration of the "Sakachep’’ is known as the Halam, it is headed by a Kalim and Kabur. In the Khelmas community, the young man has to serve his father-in-law for four years before he is allowed to take his wife home. This system is called the Maksa. The Sakachep also celebrate different festivals, which are connected with worshiping of different gods and goddesses during the year.

The first Sakachep Doctor: Dr. P. Sakachep, S/o: Kumar Thoi Sakachep and Bibini Sakachep from Zailian, Karimganj, Assam, India.

External links[edit]