Rongmei Naga

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Rongmei Naga
Total population
Approx. 150,000
Languages
Rongmei language (Tibeto-Burman), Songbu dialect
Religion
TRC(Tingkao Ragwang Chapriak) and Christianity
Related ethnic groups
Other Naga people

The Rongmei are a major Naga tribe indigenous to Assam, Manipur and Nagaland in North-East India. The Rongmei Naga are a scheduled tribe under the Constitution of India.[1] The Rongmei have a rich culture, customs and traditions.

The Gaan-Ngai festival (post-harvest festival) is celebrated annually between December and January. It follows the lunar calendar and is celebrated on the 13th day of the Wakching or Gaan Ngai buh. It is celebrated to worship the Supreme God Haipou Tingkao Ragwang. Among Naga tribes, they are known for colorful dances and traditional attire. The Zeliangrong movement of Haipou Zadonang and later on Rani Gaidinlu gave protection to Zeliangrong religion and culture.

The major clans are Kamei,Gonmei, Gangmei,Rongmei or Longmei. Four clans have subclans.

Homeland[edit]

The ancestral home of the Rongmei Naga is in the mountain ranges of Tamenglong district (including Noney district) and the adjacent Peren district, NC hills (present day Dima Hasao District) and cachar district of Barak Valley. The term Rongmei means "the southerners" and refers to the traditional Rongmei settlement south of the Zeliangrong[2] Naga. Those settling in the southern part of Manipur call themselves Rongmei.

Rebellion[edit]

Rongmei territory was conquered by the British in the nineteenth century. In 1891, they imposed a house tax on the people of Tamenglong. The Rongmei tax refused to pay any tax from 1891-1894. In response, C.L. Crawford, Assistant Political Agent of Manipur, used force to collect the tax from the Tamenglong hills in 1894. Four years of defiance by the Rongmei and its consequences aroused national consciousness among the Rongmei.[3] Eventually, under the leadership of Haipou Jadonang[4] and his successor Rani Gaidinliu,[5] the Rongmei rebelled against British rule in the 1930s. This rebellion gave momentum to and garnered support for the vision of Naga Raj. The government of India recognized Rani Gaidinliu as the most prominent freedom fighter from the Northeast India region.

Economy[edit]

The Rongmei are agriculturists. Jhum cultivation is especially common. Artisans are skilled in bamboo, wood, blacksmith, and pottery works. Bamboo baskets, mats, shields, etc., are manufactured in abundance.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes): Order, 1950". Ministry of Law and Justice (India).
  2. ^ G. K. Ghosh, Shukla Ghosh (1997). Women of Manipur (illustrated ed.). APH. p. 4. ISBN 978-81-7024-897-2.
  3. ^ Puanthanh Gangmei (November 19, 2017). "The Struggle And Plight Of The Rongmei Tribe During The British Era". Rihpyan. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
  4. ^ G. K. Ghosh (1 January 1992). Tribals and Their Culture in Assam, Meghalaya, and Mizoram. Ashish Publishing House. ISBN 978-81-7024-455-4. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  5. ^ Kusumlata Nayyar (2002). Rani Gaidinliu. Ocean Books. ISBN 978-81-88322-09-1. Retrieved 12 June 2013.