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The Lesser Known Tribes of Mizoram

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Quarantining has got me nowhere to travel or explore – not even to explore Mumbai. So, I have been reading a lot about the places about their culture. Something, I have love doing anyways. But #SelfIsolation and due to COVID-19, I have got some more time to read and learn about the different places. 

I have been to North-East India, but there are still places left to be explored. During coronavirus lockdown I got sometime to talk to some of my long lost friends and we were discussing about our plans, where somehow the conversation about Mizoram popped up. This was then attracted me towards them and below is my study and some travel information that might also inspire you to visit Mizoram.

Mizoram is a landlocked state in North East India .It is a land of rolling hills, valleys, rivers and lakes. It is majorly a hill state with plains scattered here and there. Its southern part shares long international borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh, and northern part share domestic borders with Manipur, Assam and Tripura. 

It is the fifth smallest state of India. Mizoram is popularly known as the songbird of India. After independence, Mizoram was carved out as a separate state from Assam after decades of insurgency when the hill folk demanded for self-rule. Peace was restored in 1986 and ever since Mizoram has become a peaceful and highly literate Christian state where the air carries folk, music and scents of flowers.

The culture of Mizoram clearly reflects the roots of the Mizos. The word Mizo itself defines ‘Mi’ meaning people and ‘Zo’ meaning the hills. Mizos are traditional and simple people .The state’s culture is highly affected by Christianity, with it being the religion of a major part of the population. 

The Mizo society strictly follow its important code of ethics teaching them to be kind, humble, generous and hospitable to others irrespective of their caste and creed. Dance and music are important part of the people’s lives here. 

Folklores are passed on from one generation to another. The Mizo people are expert with handicrafts. They are amazing craftsmen and weavers. Bamboos are used in abundance to craft bags, hats, stool, and utensils amongst other things. The mizo women weave wonderful shawl, jacket and other attires.

It is a beautiful state with diverse mix of different tribes and cultures residing together. It is known for the diversity of ethnic groups, languages and religion .There are different tribes and tribal culture in Mizoram including the Pawis and Dimasa tribes. The Pawi community people mostly reside in the southern part of Mizoram. The people of Mizoram mainly comprises of various Tibeto-Burman groups of Kuki tribe such as Hmar, Lushai, Ralte, Pawi, Thadou and Zou.

Below are some insights of the locals of Mizoram and the tribes, in general:
  • However with a sense of unity they prefer to call themselves as Mizo as most of the tribes speak Mizo Tawng, the common language
  • The term Kuki, referring to the frontier highlanders, was used by the neighboring Bengali people of the plains
  • They are also referred as Chin people by the Burmese
  • The Mizo tribes dwell mainly in the Lushai Hills and also in the surrounding mountains of Chin region of the Kingdom of Myanmar.


Mizos are mainly divided into tribes and sub-tribes. The major tribes that are found in the land of Mizoram are Chakma, Dulien, Ralte, Poi, Jahao, Pankhup, Lakher, Paite, Falam, Tangur, Khuangli, Dalang, Sukte, Fanai, Leillul and Mar. Some of them are as follows:

Chakma Tribes of Mizoram: Chakma tribes are the most important tribal group of Mizoram who practice a combined religion of Hinduism, Buddhism and animism. The Chakma tribes are largely influenced by the Indo Aryan culture which is reflected within their language. They speak a language which is closely associated with Bengali.

Pawi Tribe of Mizoram: 

Pawi tribes are named after the place where they largely inhabit instead of the name of the clan which is the usual trend of the Tribal community.

Ralte Tribes of Mizoram: 

Ralte tribes are another tribal group which inhabit in Mizoram. This group is largely settled in the Lushai villages located in the northern provinces of Aizawl.

Kuki Tribes of Mizoram:

The Kuki tribes who traveled from upper regions of the continent are also found in the region that inhabit in the hilly regions of the land.


Mara, earlier known as Lakher, is the predominant community of the southeastern district of Saiha. They have maintained their language through education, initially supported by the work of Christian missionaries. The Mara have a high literacy rate. While their language is different, they can comprehend Mizo language.


The Paites are socially and culturally distinct from other tribes of Mizoram. Major Shakespeare, the then first Superintendent of Lushai Hills said that Paite dialect is unintelligible to Lushai. He also recorded that Paite have distinct culture and custom.


The people have maintained use of their language in the community and in their education.Lai people speak both Lai and Mizo languages (the latter is official in the state).

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0 thoughts on “The Lesser Known Tribes of Mizoram”

  1. Mizoram sounds like a fascinating place. Aside from its beauty of hills, valleys, rivers and lakes, I find their culture and history of their different tribes to be very interesting. This is a part of India I would love to go and experience.

  2. This is the first time that I've heard about the tribes of Mizoram and they seem to have a colorful and interesting background. I like that they try to be faithful to their culture like still using their language/dialect despite being exposed to other cultures. This is an insightful post!

  3. Your post makes me wanted to visit that place.I enjoyed seeing your photos. It is really inviting and exciting to more about this place.

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