Paite people

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Total population
c. 150,000[1]
Regions with significant populations
Assam, Churachandpur, Karbi Anglong, Mizoram, Myanmar (Burma)
Paite language
Related ethnic groups
 · Thadou  ·  · Hmar  · Mizo  · Simte  · Vaiphei  · Zou  · Paite

The Paites are indigenous tribes of Mizoram under the Greater Assam state since 1300 AD. The Tribal Research Institute of Mizoram in their published book,”Paite in Mizoram” stated that the Paite people entered the present Mizoram along with Palian Chief of Lushai around the first half of the 17th century. The first census of Lushai Hills by the British in 1901 have recorded that there were 2,870 Paites in Mizoram. In 1921 census, there were 10,460 Paites in Mizoram. If census is carried correctly on ethnic line, the Paite population will not be less than one lakh (1,00,000) in Mizoram state. The Union Government has recognised Paite as one of the tribes in Mizoram vide The Gazette of India Notice No. 10 of 2003 date January 8, 2003 of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Orders (Amendment) Act, 2002.The Paite are not a refugee they are the original inhabitants of Mizoram. Truly speaking, Paites are larger than the Lushai; they live in Chin state of Burma, southern Manipur and north eastern part of Mizoram.

The essential criteria for the creation of Autonomous District Council which is mentioned in the sixth schedule of the Constitution of India.[8] such as; distinctive culture, geographical isolation etc. are fulfilled by the Paites of Mizoram. P.R.Kyndiah, former Governor of Mizoram in his book “Mizo Freedom Fighters” stated that the northern territory of Mizoram was inhabited by Paite and their kindred groups. At present the Paite people are living in thirty two(32) compact villages in the north eastern part of Mizoram. The geographical area occupied by the Paite people is about 2,000 Sq. km which is fit for creation of new District Council to meet aspiration of the Paite community. The Paites are socially and culturally distinct from other tribes of Mizoram. Major Shakespeare, the then first Superintendent of Lushai Hills said that Paite dialect is unintelligible to Lushai. He also recorded that Paite have distinct culture and custom.

Apart from Mizoram, the Paite people are also dwelling in Bangladesh, Burma, and India. Paite anthropologist H. Kamkhenthang writes that "The Paite as a whole can either be Zomi, Mizo, Chin or Kuki according to the group feeling and group interactions."[2] They use different nomenclatures in Bangladesh, Burma, and India. In India they are recognised as 'Paite', a Scheduled Tribe in the states of Manipur and Mizoram, India.[3]

Their main concentration is in Manipur where more than 48,379 Paite speakers were recorded in the 2001 census. [4]

These days Paite speakers are also found around the world.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Distribution of the 100 non-scheduled languages, n° 73 Paite
  2. ^ Kamkhenthang, H. (1988). The Paite, a Transborder Tribe of India and Burma. South Asia Books. p. 10. ISBN 978-8170990703. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  3. ^ "List of notified Scheduled Tribes". Census India. pp. 7–8. Retrieved 15 December 2013
  4. ^ "List of notified Scheduled Tribes". Census India. pp. 7–8. Retrieved 4 August 2015
  5. ^