A thread on how the greater Assamese society came to be via perspective of immigration of the 4 main groups in Axom.

Axom can be divided into 4 parts
[The first two constitute the Brahmaputra Valley]
•Ujoni Axom (Upper Assam)
•Namoni Axom (Lower Assam)
•Transtional Hills Region
•Southern Assam (Barak Valley)
The first immigrants were Austroasiatic people. Most of these people were absorbed by the incoming Tibeto-Burman groups.

The HbE gene present among many Tibeto-Burman people of Assam indicate this.

The only remaining people of this group are Khasis and Jaintias in Meghalaya
The next group to arrive were the Tibeto-Burman people.

About 60-75% of the native populace of Axom has full or partial Tibeto-Burman ancestry. While some of them got detribalized, some retained their tribal status.

Many Mongoloid non-tribals are former Tibeto-Burman tribals.
The Kachari (meaning Koch race) are a collection of various Tibeto-Burman tribes who share a common ancestry and originally spoke a Tibeto-Burman language although some have adopted Indo-Aryan in course of time.
Based on an 1881 census, there were 19 groups within the Kachari classification:
•Lalung (Tiwa)
•Sonowal Kachari
•Saraniya Kachari
The ancient land of 'Kirat' is also referred to the land of the Kachari.

Some of the most prominent kingdoms founded by the Kochari people (কছাৰী) were Kamata, Chutiya, Dimasa-Kachari and Twipra kingdoms.
Bodos are one of the most prominent of the Kochari tribes. They inhabit the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts, an autonomous region in Lower Assam.

They are practicioners of Hinduism and Bathouism.
The famed ancient kingdom of Purgajwngtipur (Pragjyotishpura, or "City of Eastern Lights") was first ruled by the Bodo king Mairong Raja (Mahiranga Danava), who founded the Danava Dynasty.
Bodo is a Tibeto-Burman language of the Baric (Bodo-Garo) branch. It is one of India's 22 Scheduled languages. It's the only Tibeto-Burman language to have that status apart from Meiteilon.
Dimasa are another Kochari tribe who inhabit the Dima Hasao district of Assam in the Central Hills region.

They worship Hidimba, the wife of Bheem who is also called Bhutandevi.
They believe that they are the children of Bangla Raja and the divine bird Aarikhidima. The six sons namely- Sibrai, Doo Raja, Naikhu Raja, Waa Raja, Gunyung Brai Yung, Hamyadao born to Bangla Raja and Arikhidima are their ancestors and their ancestral gods
Their historic capital Dimapur now falls in Nagaland.

They used to rule as far as the Barak Valley when the Ahoms encountered them.
Paintings of Raja Govina Chandra Hasnu, the last Dimasa king.

In 1832, the Dimasa Raja, died leaving no heir and hence British annexed his territory, Cachar. Similarly in 1854, North Cachar, the territory of the Dimasa Senapati Tularam Hasnu was also annexed
Dimasa has considerable mutual intelligibility with Bodo being from the same branch.
Dhimal are another Kochari group who also inhabit the Terai region of Nepal.

Their language of also of similar Tibeto-Burman extraction.
Garo (natively called A·chik Mande i.e. Hill people) are another Kochari ethnic group. They form majority in the Garo Hills Region of Meghalaya.

The present CM of Meghalaya @SangmaConrad belongs to this group.

Their traditional religion Songsarek is now replaced by Christianity
Hajongs are another Kochari group. They also initially spoke a Tibeto-Burman language, but in due course of time their language has become Indo-Aryan having a high mutual intelligibility with Axomiya.
Hajong women are easily identifiable with their brightly red stripped dress called Pathin.
Hajongs are ~100% practicioners of Hinduism, even if some of them have English names nowadays.

Idols of deities in native wear.
Their variation of Hinduism is called Dyaoism which incorporates a lot of animistic traditions.

They have shamans called Dyaoshi who perform rituals and sacrifices.
There is a considerable diaspora in Bangladesh as well.
Koch Rajbonshis (কোচ ৰাজবংশী) are probably the most numerous of the Kachari people. The name of the group comes from them.

They are estimated to make up 19-23% of the total population of Assam.
They are also the native inhabitants of North Bengal and are also found in Rangpur region of Bangladesh Kishanganj region of Bihar and some eastern parts of Nepal.
The Koch royalty played a very important role in Hinduization and Sanskritization of various ethnic groups in Northeast.

The present Kamakhya temple was rebuilt by Koch King Naranarayan after it was destroyed by Alauddin Hussain Shah, a Sultan of Bengal.

Nartiang temple (right)
King Naranarayan (Malladeva) and his brother Chilarai (Shukaldhwaj) expanded the kingdom to immense proportions by defeating Meiteis, Tiprasas, Jaintias and other kingdoms. Although the kingdom split soon among his songs into Koch Hajo and Koch Behar.

General Bir Chilarai
Koch kingdom was also called Kamatapur after the goddess Kamateshwari. In due course of time, the Tibeto-Burman speaking people adopted Kamrupi Prakrit which became the Kamatapuri language.

The language has a high mutual intelligibility with Axomiya.
Ahoms and Kochs were bitter rivals and would clash from time to time.
Ahom King Susengphaa (Pratap Singha) married Koch princess Mangaldahi, daughter of Parakshit Narayan in 1608. Mongoldoi is named after her.
The Ahoms adopted the worship of goddess Durga during the rule of the king. Durga was worshipped with earthen idols at Bhatiapara near Sibsagar under his rule for the first time.

The expanding Ahoms would later go on to absorb the Koch Hajo.
A third branch at Khaspur would be absorbed into the Dimasa Kachari kingdom when king Bhim Singha's only child, princess Kanchani married the Dimasa king in 1745.
Nartiang Shaktipeeth came to be when Jaso Manik (1606–1641), the Jaintia king married Lakshmi Narayan, the daughter of king Naranarayan. She influenced the Jaintia royalty to convert to Hinduism.

He never imposed the religion on his subjects but influences can still be seen.
Behdienkhlam is the most important festival of the Jaintias where they use chariots called "rots". It is held at the same time as Rathyatra.
Another important figure is Srimanta Sankardev, a 15th century saint-scholar who started Eksarna Bhagwati Dharma, a school of Vaishnavism most Axomiya follow.

Under patronage of the Koch royalty, he was able to initiate lots of tribals into his school of Vaishnavism.
Paan is offered to people by the community as a polite gesture when they go to their households.
The process of sanskritization by the Koches reached its peak under the Kshatriyazation Movement led by Panchanan Barma (1866-1935) in Bengal. This led to the Koches of North Bengal to be more Indo-Aryanized in comparison to their counterparts in Assam.
HH Jitendra Narayan
HH Jagaddipendra Narayan, his son and the last king of the kingdom of Kochbehar
HH Maharani Gayatri Devi, the daughter of king Jitendra Narayan and the Rajmata of Jaipur
The western dialects tend to be more intelligible to Bangla speakers because of influence of Bangla while the ones in East have been largely unaffected by such influences.
This music video was produced by HH Indrajit Narayan Dev, of the Beltala branch of the royal family.
Tiwa or Lalung are another Kochari group that inhabit Assam. The Tiwa language is from the same branch as Bodo and Dimasa.

They are divided into hill tribes and plain tribes with somewhat varying cultures.
Hill Tiwas follow an amibilineal system. They speak the Tibeto-Burman language.

They are halfway divided between animists and Christians.
Plain Tiwas are more detribalized in nature. Most speak Axomiya as their first language.

Their variation of Hinduism shares amany elements with Assamese Hinduism.
They have kings called "Deurajas" who is considered to be vessels of the divine.

Statue of Tiwa king Jongal Balahu, son of King Arimatta.
Songs and dances are the life spirit of the Tiwa community; the tribe is considered to have one of the richest reservoirs of folk songs and dances in the state of Assam and Meghalaya.
Mech tribe are essentially the same as the Bodos since they speak the language. Mech was the term used to refer to Bodos by other groups.
Morans are another such Kochari group. They came from the Hiking Valley in the Kachin state of Myanmar.

When the Ahoms arrived, Sukhaphaa married daughters of the Borahi and Moran chiefs.
Overtime the Borahis got assimilated but Morans retained their identity.
Sonowal Kacharis and Saraniya Kacharis are detribalized communities of the stock.

Present CM @sarbanandsonwal and former CM Jogendra Nath Hazarika are from the Sonowal Kochari community.

Sonwal Kochari
Saraniya Kochari
Bohua dance of Sonowal Kochari

Sonowal men performing rituals
Saraniya women
Sonowal women performing Bihu
Sonowal Kacharis and the CM in native wear.
Thengal Kacharis were a part of Greater Kachari kingdom in ancient era before rise of Ahom kingdom. After the collapse of the Great Kachari Dynasty, they worked under Ahom King as soldiers.
Deoria were given status of priestly class. At a time, they were the priests of the Kamakhya temple.
They have 4 classes
(a) Dibongia (b) Tengaponiya, (c) Bogeenya. and (d) Patorganya

Only the people of Dibongiya class can speak their own mother tongue, and almost all the other classes mysteriously lost their language.
Rabhas are another Kochari group who inhabit Assam and Meghalaya. Their culture is quite close to Hajongs and Koch. Some Rabhas tend to call themselves Koches as well.
Modahis are related to Rabhas as Mech are to Bodos.

Many Rabhas speak Axomiya as their mother tongue now.
Chutiyas (pronounced Soo-tee-yaas 😒) are one of the most important communities in Assam and Arunachal. They established the Chutiya kingdom which controlled vast swathes of land in Upper Assam and Arunachal and reigned from 1187 to 1673.
They were initially practicioners of Bon but adopted Hinduism in time.

Deoris were originally part of the Chutiya community but separated and became distinct later on.

Originally they spoke a Tibeto-Burman language, but speak Axomiya now.
A portrait of the last Chutiya queen, Sati Sadhani. She was the daughter of the Chutiya King Dharmadhwajpal also known as Dhirnarayan.

The Chutiya kingdom was eventually defeated by the Ahoms and annexed. When offered to marry an Ahom general, she preferred death.
Tiprasas are another group of the Kochari stock who largely inhabit the hill state of Tripura.

Kokborok has high degree of mutual intelligibility with Dimasa and Bodo language.
You can go through this thread for more detail on the community 👇

Maharaja Bir Chandra Manikya with Queen Manamohini
Queen Kanchan Prabha Devi who signed the instrument of accession

HH @PradyotManikya is the present king of the Tripura.
Karbi (also known as Mikir) are a Tibeto-Burman group of the Kuki-Chin branch which also includes Mizos, Kukis and many Nagas.

They inhabit the district of Karbi Anglong.
There are five clans among Karbi:
Lijang - Ingti
Hanjang - Terang
Ejang - Inghi
Kronjang - Teron
Tungjang - Timung

About 85% are Hindu while 15% are Christian, although most in Meghalaya are Christian now.
Mishing (also known as Miris) are a Tibeto-Burman tribe of the Tani stock.

The are found in Arunachal and scattered throughout Assam.
They have various types of dances like Gumrag, Lotta, etc.

Mishing are mostly animistic in nature.
There are various other tribes of the Tibeto-Burman stock in the state. But most people carry atleast some ancestry from this group.
The third group to arrive in Assam were the Indo-Aryans.

Brahmins from various places like Kanyakubja (Kannauj), Karnataka, Gauda were settled by kings to aid in the process of Sanskritization.

They started arriving during the reign of Bhutivarman (518-542 CE).
Brahmins in Assam strictly follow deity worship though they may pray and worship saints of Assamese community. Assamese Brahmans are less rigid than Brahmins of other parts of the country regarding religious and communal matter.
The Kalitas in Assam are considered next only to the Brahmins in the hierarchy. According to legends, they are "the non-Vedic Aryans" who are responsible for bringing Aryan culture to Assam.
The Hindu castes can be divided into Brahmins and Sudirs (non-Brahmins). The Sudirs are again divided into the following castes:

Kalita, Kayastha, Ganak, Kaibarta, Hira, Kumar, Jogi, Keots etc.
The fourth wave to arrive were the Tai people.

Tai people originated around Guangxi province of modern day China and expanded south.

The most prominent of the Tai groups in India are the Tai Ahoms.
Chao Su Kha Phaa was the first Ahom king who brought Ahoms to the Brahmaputra Valley in 1228.

The Borahis, a Tibeto-Burman people, were completely subsumed into the Ahom fold, while the Moran maintained their independent ethnicity.
It took him 13 years in his journey from Mong Mao to Axom.

The progenitor of a kingdom that would shape the history of Assam and Assamese culture.
আহোম ৰাজ্য

The coat of arms
Ranghar, the royal sports pavillion at Rangpur, the capital of the Ahom kingdom.
It was under king Sudangphaa (also known as Bamuni Kunwar) that Hinduization of the Ahoms started occuring.
Overtime Ahoms adopted Axomiya as their mother tongue.

Rajkumar Ajit Narayan Singha, the last of the Tai Ahom princes.
The Tai Maw language spoken in the Nam Kham town of Myanmar is the closest living relative of the language.
Under the leadership of General Lachit Borphukan, they were able to give the Mughals one of the most crushing defeats and remove Mughal influence from Assam's soil.
Like other Tai people, they were initially practicioners of Satsana Phi but were eventually absorbed into the Hindu fold as they became Assamese.
Tai Ahom surnames and their modern Axomiya equivalents.
Apart from Tai Ahoms, there are 5 other Tai communities which have managed to retain their Tai languages.

• Tai Aiton
• Tai Phake
• Tai Khamyang
• Tai Turung
• Tai Khamti

These communities are all Buddhist in comparison to the Tai Ahoms.

Tai Shan people
Tai Phake is the branch of the great Tai race that entered Assam in the latter half of the 18th century. The word Phake has been derived from the Tai words ‘Pha’ meaning wall and ‘Ke’ meaning ancient or old.
Across a span of hundreds of years, the Tai Phakes migrated from Mong Mao of South China, across Myanmar and then the Patkai hills. They finally entered Assam through the Pang shau pass in 1775 AD and embraced the Brahmaputra valley as their home
The Tai-Khamyangs belong to an area called "Khamjang" which lies in the Kachin state of Myanmar. This small unit of Tai-Khamyang people migrated from "Mong Mao Lung dynasty" (764-1252 CE) in present-day Yunan Province of China and settled near Kopdup river in Upper Myanmar.
Tai Khamti are another group of Tai people who came from the Kachin state of Myanmar and settled in Upper Assam and Arunachal.
The language of the Tai Aiton people is said to have a high degree of mutual intelligibility with Thai.
Tai Turung are also of similar extraction having emigrated from Upper Myanmar. During migration, they were captured and made slaves by the Singpho people and hence have had a lot of Singpho influences on their culture, language, and lifestyle.
The 6 Tai communites of Assam and Arunachal are closely related to the Tai Shan and other Tai people of Myanmar and the Thai, Lao/Isan people.
Assamese culture has been built on generations of assimilation of various ethnic groups.

Gamusa, Jaapi and the Mekhela sador are symbols of Axomiya culture.

About 75% of the native populace of Assam has Mongoloid ancestry formed by various waves of immigration.
Austroasiatic people like Khasis were the first settlers in Assam, although very sparsely.

Tibeto-Burman people came next and absorbed the few Austroasiatic.

Indo-Aryan and Tai people arrived later.

"North-East India: Land, People and Economy" - K.R. Dikshit, Jutta K Dikshit
Goriyas + Moriyas are result of miscegenation of soldiers.

Nashya Sheiks (Desi Muslims) are converts from various Kochari groups

"Humankind, Volumes 2-3, p152"

"Socio-Economic Status of Deshi Muslims of Goalpara District, Assam (India)" - Dr Abdul Wali Ali
"Encyclopaedia of the World Muslims: Tribes, Castes and Communities, Volume 1" - Nagendra Kr Singh, Abdul Mabud Khan
Here's the entire genealogy of the present Koch dynasty from Hari Mech, a Bodo marrying daughters of Hajo(Sailaraja), a Koch king/chieftain.

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