Inclusivity of Meitei society and arrival of Thadou Kukis-Part 1

LB Singh
Contd from previous issue
The Sootie Kookies again committed a number of atrocities on the frontier, but it was observed that a considerable number of them came to Manipur and took up cultivation there (Mackenzie, p206). However, the raid by Soktes became less fierce and less frequent and ceased after 1892 AD (BS Carey, p124).
The Nwite, Vaipe, and Yo Chins, who within the memory  of man resided in the Northern Chin Hills, have now almost disappeared entirely recrossed (Thadou believe that their place of origin was in the North) the Northern border either into the hills belonging to Manipur or to the South of Cachar.
The Thadou and the above tribes have almost disappeared from the Northen Chin Hills, and reference need only be made to them while dealing with the Sokte tribe (BS Cary, 1896 p2, 3).
Although occupants of the hills of the South of the valley of Manipore, their (Thadou Kukis) traditions do not give the Southern hills as the place of origin, but rather lead them to belief that it was in the North (BS Carey, p136). None of the beliefs of Khongjais, Nagas, Meiteis and records in the history of Manipur agree with it. However, the belief may be due to the custom of passing down orally for generations that their origin was in the North.
The general direction of upper courses of the Yangtze and Hoaing-Ho rivers, Tibet etc. is in the North.
Most of the Thadou and kin tribes have already migrated in Manipur before the Boundary Commission 1894 AD. In1892, the Political Officer of Chin Hills made a short Gazetteers of Thadou, Yo and Wnite and many of them was found on the Manipur side of the boundary. It is mentioned that the above villages were awarded to Manipur (BS Carey, p140).
However, it would be cleared from the succeeding paragraphs on the demarcation of Southern boundary that BS Carey gave Thadou villages between Tui Sa and Tui Pu to Burma and no additional territories with Thadou villages were awarded to Manipur in the demarcation.
Demarcation of Southern Boundary (Boundary Commission 1894)
The British Government of India directed the Commission to select the boundary with reference to the natural features in about the latitude of Pemberton’s line, but drawn to exclude Lenacot from Manipur and then run west so that no compensation was required to be paid to either Manipur or Burma.
BS Carey helped a young 20 years youth, How Chin Kup, to become Chief of the Kamhow (Kanhow) tribe despite serious claims by his uncles. He provided him with old British weapons and encouraged him in maintaining peace among the tribes in the South of Manipur (Pau Pum Khan, 2006). How Chin Kup and the chiefs of Thadou villages Haulkam and Hianzam who pay tribute to him were present on the site at the time of the demarcation. A Porteous, the Head of the Manipur team may not be aware of the relation between BS Cary and How Chin Cup.
The Tui Sa was selected instead of the Tui Pu (which was probably 1834 AD Pemberton’s boundary, namely Namsailung) in order to keep the above Thadou Villages in Burma. In about 1834 AD, there used to be five villages called Pinzin, Haulkam, Hianzam and two other villages between Tui Sa and Tui Pu. However, according to Pau Pum Khan (2006), after the demarcation, six Thadou villages remained with the Chin Hills.
As in February 1894 AD, during the actual demarcation, there were only two villages namely Haulkam and Hianzam constituting 8 and 60 houses respectively. The possibility of migration of the remaining Thadou villages between Tui Sa and Tui Pu to Manipur can’t be ruled out.
On the Western side of the Manipur River, the rivers marking the boundary line ran through the uncultivated and uninhabited areas.
There, were no villages closed to the new boundary and at the junction with Tui Vai, the boundary was a few hundred yards to the South of Chibu Salt Spring (Naoroibam Indramani,  2019). Therefore, no additional territory with Thadou villages came to Manipur as a result of the Boundary Commission 1894 AD.
The Tuibai (Tipai) river was made the boundary of Manipur from the time of King Garibaniwaza.  In 1735 AD, the king set up a stone at the junction of the Kwai, Tuibai (Tipai) and Tanganglok rivers. It is inscribed with the Manipuri character on the stone that the land on the Northern side of Tuibai or Toowai belongs to the king of Manipur. The inscription is still legible. In 1786 AD, Maharaja Bhagyachandra went to Tipai and settled the boundary of Tripura and Manipur (Naoroibam Indramani, 2019).

The writer is a Retired Captain, NM, Indian Navy.
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