Mishing (Miri) Tribes of Assam - Traditional Institutions of the Miri or Mishing People | Assam Journal

Mishing (Miri) Tribes of Assam - Traditional Institutions of the Miri or Mishing People

The Mishing (Miri) are the riverine plain tribes of Assam which is the second largest group of scheduled tribe (plains) of the state. The Mishing tribes are mainly found in Lakhimpur, Jorhat, Sonitpur, Dibrugarh and Sivasagar districts of Assam and their total population was recorded as 4,16,493 in the year 1987. They are generally the medium statured people with appealing features and characteristics of the Mongoloid type of people. They are simple and straight forward and the visitors always seems to be pleased at their hospitality. As a riverine tribe, the Mishings construct their houses in raised platforms about five feet from the ground which is typically about 30/40 meters in length and 40/40 persons lives in a hall without compartments with a separate place in front portion of the house where guests generally non-mishings are entertained. But now-a-days, they have also changed some of their old traditions and their lifestyles have also undergone many changes with the passage of time.

Traditional Institutions of Miri or Mishing tribes of Assam

The traditional institutions of the Mishing tribe plays a key role in their Socio-religious life. Some of these important traditional institutions are as follows:-

Every Mishing village has a "Kebang" which is formed with the elders of the village and it is the supremo of the socio-cultural and religious matters of the village which congregates in the house of the village headman. The head of the each Kebang is called as ‘Gaam’ who is responsible for conducting the proceedings of the Kebang. The village headman presides over the Kebang and it thereby takes all the complains from the people and delivers judgement and also punishes the offenders after hearing both the parties concerned. In short, it can be said that the Kebang solves complaints in a village. However due to the introduction of Panchayati Raj system, party politics has cut in to the vitals of the traditional Mishing corporate social life. "Bane Kebang" is same with Kebang but it is involved with more than two villages. The elder persons of the villages forms the 'Bane Kebang' and decides various cases and issues concerning the village affairs. The headman of the village where the 'Bane Kebang' is convened presides over it and the judgement are delivered by the Jury consisting of selected elderly persons which everyone must abide by.

"Murang" is the bachelor dormitory of the Mishing tribes which is treated as the training Institute among them which performs the role of protecting the villagers from the enemies. "Mimbir Yame" is formed by the unmarried boys and girls of the village above 12-13 years of age. Discipline and tribal ethics are taught by the trained officers to the members of the Mimbir Yame. They also engage themselves to extend help to the needy villagers in erecting their houses, wedding, paddy cultivation etc. "Rikbo Ginam & Daglik Alik" is also another traditional institution of the Mishings where the young boys and the girls of the village gather in their traditional "Morungghar" and forms the "Rikbo Ginam & Daglik Alik". When a family of the village need any help regarding manpower, wedding, anniversary, party etc. then the headman of the family formally invites these youths and they perform the assigned duties. It is because of this that their importance among Mishing people are very widely recognized.


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Mr.Prasanta - who is the well-wisher and correspondent of Assam Journal.

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