India | Tripura


A Tribal Group of Northeast

Chakmas are a tribal group of the northeastern states of India. They are settled mainly in the states of Mizoram, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh. Chakmas are believed to have migrated from the Chittagong Hill tracts of West Bengal to the Mizo hills. It is also believed that the Chakmas migrated from the Champa kingdom in Cambodia. The Lushais called Chakmas as Tui-chek, which means the people who lived near water. Chakmas have close resemblance to Mongolians of the Tibeto-Burman group.

'Khyangtha' and 'Thangtha' are the two groups with in Chakmas. They are classified on basis of the place where they live. Khyangthas live on the banks of river while Thangthas, also called Jhumias, live on hill tops.

Chakmas believe in Buddhism and have a language and script which is similar to Burmese and Sanskrit scripts. Agar Tara, a version of Buddhist scripture is their oldest scripture. It is read on special occasions like marriages, funerals, etc.

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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