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The Mishing or MisĂ­ng or Miri, are an ethnic group inhabiting the districts of Dhemaji, North Lakhimpur, Sonitpur, Tinsukia,Dibrugarh, Sibsagar, Jorhat and Golaghat of the Assam state in India. They belong to greater Tani people community which comprises many tribes in Arunachal Pradesh in India and Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) in China.

All Tani tribes share linguistic, cultural and ritual similarities. All Misings trace back their root to Abutani or Abo Tani (The first man on earth) like any other Tani tribes. Legends says that they came into contact with more civilised communities living in plains of Assam as early as in the 16th century. Because of this, they lost their violent tribal nature and many embraced the Vaishnavite religion. Though they belong to Tani group of tribes and they used to be hill dwellers, they started living on the banks of rivers in the plains of Assam. Misings presently living in the plains of Assam were not a one single tribe, but evolved into one when many tribes from various Tani tribes in Arunachal Pradesh migrated to the plains of Assam in search of fertile land as well as in search of civilisational

progress. The Misings believe Abotani as their ancestor and is supposed to be a son of mother Sun and father Moon of the Heavenly abode. The Mising people inhabiting by the Plains believe Gumin as one of the earliest ancestors, the forefather of a lineal family of Abotani. The sons of Gumin are grouped in clans, the names of which are represented by the existing surnames in the society. They are all blood related brothers with a social restriction of matrimonial relationship among them. A few non-Mising speaking groups like Bihiya, Samurguria etc. are predominant. These groups write some of their surnames as Saikia, Baruah, Medhi, Kachari, Patgiri Changmai etc. and soon forget their Gu:min and Opin Identity. The division into Borgam and JANUARY 2017 | WWW.WISHESH.COM


Wishesh Magazine January 2017