Tuesday, 10 January 2012

BRIEF HISTORY OF HALAM IN TRIPURA


BRIEF HISTORY OF HALAM IN TRIPURA
BY: MALSAWMA DARLONG
SAIBUAL.

 Halam is one of numerous communities under the so-called Kuki-Chin group. As far as our knowledge goes, the Halam population is to be found in all the four District of  Tripura. Though their distant past history is still in obscurity, their long stay in Tripura is an established face. Historically and culturally, they are very close to the Mizos, Hmars and other Kukis communities. No worthwhile studies were done earlier on the Halam following which our knowledge on these communities is very limited and also inaccurate.
They are of the Tripura tribes which is believed to have been originated from the Kuki clan. The historical archives of Tripura state that the Kukis who accepted the dominion of the Raja of Tripura later knownas Halams. The mainstay of the Halam community is jhum cultivation.The people of Halam tribe are known to follow the Visanava faith and theSaka cult. Originally, there were 12 groups found in the Halam tribe. However, today there are 16 sub-sections in which the Halam communityis divided. Malsum is one of the prominent sub-groups of the Halam tribe.The people of Halam tribe in Tripura are quite superstitious by nature andbelieve in the spiritual powers. While offering prayers to their holy Deity,the Halam people expect that no evil spirit attacks their crop field.The integrity among the various sub-groups of Halam tribe is quiteinspiring. Apart from harmonious co-existence the sections of Halamcommunity also gathers during major festivals. These festivals becomeoccasions of social meeting when the groups of Halam community solvethe various disputes peacefully.The various festivals of Halam tribe showcase the rich tradition of this oldclan of Tripura. The Hai-Hak dance of Halam tribe is performed by thepeople to worship goddess Lakshmi. Specially performed when theharvesting of crops is over, the Hai-Hak dance of Halam has become amajor cultural attraction of the state.Halam tribe, with its rich historical past and flourishing present state, israpidly coming into the forefront of tribal communities of Tripura.

Halam (Molsom) Community -
Molsom is one of the 12 groups belonging to the Halam Community of Tripura. Halam, again, originally hailed from one of the branches of the Kukis had lived in the Tripura even before the Tripuris came into conquer the land. Those of the Kukis who had submitted to the Tripura ³Raja´came to be Known as Halams originally the tribal was divided into 12 sub groups or Dafas but in course of time these sub groups have further split into sections and as many as new sixteen clans are found to be making up for the whole Halam community. Malsum belongs to one of these 12 groups. The Halams are as followers of the sakta cult, but the influence of vaisnavism is quite marked, particularly, in two sections of the community. They believe in the existence of sprit too. Their worship is solemnized with offerings and sacrifice so that nothing calamitous befalls the community in the form of crop failure or epidemic or any other natural, disaster. During the festivals, they sit together to settle all internal disputes, try cases or crime and inflict punishment on the offenders, which make the Puja a useful social gathering in keeping peace and harmony within the community

Dance of Halam (Malsum) Community:

Hai-Hak dance -
Like other tribal community of this state the social and economic life of the Halam community also revolve around jhum cultivation. At the end of the harvesting season the Malsum traditionally adore goddess Laxmi. They enjoy this festive occasion for their famous Hai Hak dance. It is also a community dance with exquisite beauty. Rhythms of the dance reflect the tradition inherited from distant past.

Tripura Tribes represent a range of human communities that are livingin the state from quite a long time. The Tripuri Tribe of the state constitutes a large percentage of the total tribal population of Tripura. The Lebang Boomani and Garia are the two prominent folk dance forms of Tripuri tribe. Reang tribe of Tripura, although has a large population, yet it lack sufficient educational and economic independence. It is believed that this community is inhabiting the land of Tripura from as early as 15th century. Chakma tribal group of Tripura belongs to the Buddhist faith. There are various sections in which the Chakma tribe is divided in Tripura. The Mog tribes of Tripura have come to inhabit the land in 957 AD. People of Mog community follow the ritual customs of Buddhism. Halam tribe is yet another ancient clan of Tripura which has many sub-sections. Being the followers of Saka faith, the Halam community of Tripura has Molsom as one of its groups. Murasing community of Tripura has derived its name from the fact that the ancient people of this tribe used to hang horns of animals in their homes. There are a total of 19 tribes in Tripura. All these tribal groups of Tripura have their own festivals, rituals and customs. Living on the land of Tripura from a long a time, the various tribes of the state are known for their peaceful existence. Agriculture is the main source of livelihood of all the major tribes of Tripura. Inhabiting the different parts of the hilly terrains of Tripura, the tribes of the state contribute significantly towards the cultural and economical  richness of the place.
 [
 History
The Halam people are descended from the Kuki-Chin group of people who are said to have lived in Tripura before the Tipra came to that land. Those of the Kuki who submitted to the authority of the Tipra Raja came to be known as Halam.

Folklore have the Halam people come from Khurpui babum,[3]somewhere in Manipur.[1][4][5]Mualhuam, Kaihpeng andBawngcher are the first group to enter Tripura, they are in record during the reign of Raja Omar Manikya, 1584-1586 A.D.[6]Other sub-groups have immigrated from Cachar district of Assam, Mizoramand  Chittagong Hill Tracts. It is evident from their folktales and folksongs that Halam people once passed through Mizoram on their way to reach Tripura.
Demography In 1951, the Indian census showed 1,644Halam living in Tripura. In 1961 the figure was16,298. It rose slightly to 19,076 in 1971.[7]

 Sub-Groups
he following names and spelling are written as per the how Mizo themselves write. It may be different from other authors.
 1.Bawng
2.Bawngcher 
3.Dap
4.Hmarchaphang
5.Hrangkhawl
6.Kaihpeng
7.Kawlawi
8.Kawrbawng
9.Langkaih
10.Langrawng or Ranglong
11.Mualhuam (or Mawlsawm)
12.Rupini
13.Saihmar
14.Sakechep
15.Thangachep
16.Chorei (living karimganj dist , Vill Manikbond )

Religion:

There is a reason why the Tripura Raja differentiate Halam from Kuki, Halam people do not have king or chief nor their own  god to worship. So, the Raja appointed Sordar  to rule Halam people, and an idol for each clan to worship. E.g. Mualhuam sub-clan are given an idol made from Gooseberry tree, they called Zobawmthang [8]
Bawngcher sub-clan are given
Thirlum
hirphrai
.Thirlum is an iron ball smaller than the size of cricket ball,
Thirphrai is an iron plate, a size of thumb. Both have no inscriptions on them.[9]

 Hinduism
Unlike other Mizo clans, majority are Hindu, while worshipping their traditional religions. According to 1961 census, Hindu numbers 16,044 while Christian are only 253.

Christianity:
 The first person baptised was Haia Sungchongram Hrangkhawl, in 1942
. In 1987, the total number of Christians among Halam was 373. Now however majority of them like Ranglong,Mawlsawm, Keipeng, Hrangkhawl and other have Christian majority. [10]

 References:
1.Varman, S.B.K.: The Tribes of Tripura - A dissertarion. Gov't Press. Agartala.Directorate of Research. 1986.2nd Edition. p.25
2.Tripura state website cultures section 
3.Also written as Khurpuitabhum or Khorpintabhim
4. Sailiana Sailo: The Bongchers. Agartala. Bharat Offset.1992. p.2
5.Tripura District Gazetteers. Agartala. 1975. p. 150.
6.Gowswami, Dr. D.N.: The Bongs of Tripura. Agartala. 1995. p.26.
7.Gan-Chaudhuri, Jagadis.Tripura:The Land and its People
. (Delhi: LeeladeviPublications, 1980) p. 10
8.Lalthangliana, B.: History and Culture of Mizo in India, Burma & Bangladesh. 2001. Aizawl. RTM Press. p. 85.
9.Sailiana Sailo: The Bongchers. P.27.
10.Hnehliana, Rev.: Tripura Baptist Christian Union. 1988. p. 75-76.

No comments:

Post a Comment