On the Chin National Day(February 20th ) some people hold a
traditional ceremony and dedicate a cattle for their God but the animism
festivals are hardly seen today. Yet there still lives several shamans in
southern Chin, one of which is said to be as old as more than 100 years old.
Chin tribe are Tibet-Burman group & there are 52 different clans. The
northern group of Tiddim, Falam and Hakha has 27 clans.
• The Chin state located in the Northwest of Myanmar (latitude 20.40 to 5,
longitude 92.37 to 94.9) is a very ragged land. Its eastern border faces Sagaing
Division and Magwae Division, while the west faces the state of Mizoram in
Bangladesh, north the state of Assam in India and south the state of Rakhine.
• Population is approx. 450,000 and they spread around within some 9 provinces,
which covers some 130,907square miles. Mountain regions start in the north where
steep peaks and valleys continue towards south. The highest peak is Mt. Victoria
(10,200feet/ 3,109m). There run many rivers including River Manipur, River
Kaladam in the southwest of the Chin state which starts in India going through
Chin state into River Rakhine. Rivers in the south-east area of Chin such as
River Yaw Creek, Salin Creek and Mon Creek run toward east. Those streams are
fast and strong as they run in the hills and valleys. In recent years due to the
deforestation for forest resources and cultivation, lot of mud pour into the
stream, causing the frequent flood after heavy rain.
Mindat is located between latitude 21.19 and 21.47, longitude 93.23 and
94.29. Its southern region has provinces like Matupi and Paletwa. Eastern border
faces Saw region and south Kanpellet and Tilin. It is approx.1
PeopleChins belong to the Tibet-Burma group. There are 52 sub-tribes (
some say 42)among the Chin. Many Chins living in the center to the north of the
state tend to call themselves Mizo. There are 9 official groups in the Chin
state; Tiddim in north, Falam and Hakha with 27 sub-tribes, southern divisions
of Mindat, Kanpellet and Matupi have 12, Paletwa and Daletmay have 8, and others
In the hilly Chin state farming is done at the terrace fields. It is also
recommended as terrace fields will strengthen their land and prevent
deforestation . In their mountain areas, cattle farming are difficult. There is
no large-scale market because it is too hilly for people to walk long distance
and gather at one place for daily needs. Chins grow???corns, rice, beans,
potatoes, mustard, coffee, mandarins, apples, mulberry, and grapes.
In the central and northern villages of Chin state, some has more than 500
houses and a single tribe chief governs the whole village, whose position is
inebriated only by his son. On the other hand, most villages house as little as
15 to 20 units in the southern region and they all belong to the same family,
thus family head governs the others. Even today Chin villages in the Mt.
Victoria continues this style.
Today it is not common to see the female Chins with tattoos on their faces
in north and central Chin state, but Mindat and other south Chin villages still
maintain this tradition. Especially young women of the Munn tribe in Mt.
Victoria region are keen to do this customs. Munn, Makan and Dine tribes each
has different tattoo design. Munn's tattoo is a line of small circles along the
neck, straight lines making half moon shape for the cheeks. Dine put a lot of
dots all over the face. Another tribes of Chin group in Arakan state uses a
spider-net pattern tattoos which are not found around Mindat. Dine females are
also said that they used to be slaves and its evidence was a ring shaped tattoo
around the ankles which they still have today.
Men of Dine plays this very unique musical instrument when he asks a woman
to marry him, as a means of proposes! Some say women also play the nose
flute as a token of her acceptance to get married.
FestivalsOn the Chin National Day(February 20th ) some people
hold a traditional ceremony and dedicate a cattle for their God but the
animism festivals are hardly seen today. Yet there still lives several
shamans in southern Chin, one of which is said to be as old as more than 100
A former British military called Maning has married a daughter of northern
Chin tribe's chief before WW2 who fought the war against the Japanese troops
with his guerilla party of Chins. He stayed with the Chins till the end and
died after the war in the village. It would be very interesting to follow
his steps in the Chin regions some day.
It would be very interesting to follow his
steps in the Chin regions some day.