TODAY -

"Kukis'' as recorded in the Royal Chronicles of Meitei and Tripura Kings

Kendy Pamei *



Shri. Ngulminthang has brought us the most significant article on the captioned subject in the Imphal Times on May 29, 2017. It was always an opportunity to read new articles and acquired the knowledge, however I wanted to reiterate to the article through this rejoinder and in-fact my intention was to clear few of my doubts and there is no intention to revile the history of our Kuki brethren.

The question of dominance or the ownership of land has always drawn great interest to the humankinds. The facts that the writer has sedulously and sagaciously pointed out were in fact scurrilous to many Meitei and Naga in particular.

Sir. J Johnstone (1897) wrote "'The kukis are a wandering race consisting of several tribes who have long been working up from the south. They were first heard of as Kukis, in Manipur, between 1830 and 1840; though tribes of the same had long been subject to the Rajah of Manipur"'. It is clear that the author doesn't talk about the year when they first contacted, as claimed in the above mentioned article.

Rather, Sir. J. Johnstone clearly pointed out the fact, that Kukis has long been subject of the Rajah of Manipur. T.C Hudon (1911) quoted the words of kuki man "'we are like birds of the air, we make our nests here this year, and who knows where we shall build next year"', such writings manifest that the Kukis are indeed migrating from places to places even during the 1800s, whereas the Nagas and Meiteis at that time has already set up a proper village and social structure. The probability of the Kukis migrating upward from the Burma can be attributed to scare of their powerful kindred, was undeniable.

The proclamation made in the article that the Kuki are the only inhabitant of the Hills areas of Manipur and they were the sole owner of the Hills is risible to all the intellectuals irrespective of which tribes or communities. "'The new immigrants began to cause anxiety about the year 1845, and soon poured into the hill tracts of Manipur in such numbers, as to drive away many of the older inhabitants........ Seeing that the Kukis had been driven north by kindred but more powerful tribes, and that their first object was to secure land for cultivation; McCulloch, as they arrived, settled them down, allotting to them lands in different places according to their numbers, and where their presence would be useful on exposed frontiers"' (Sir. J. Johnstone; My Experiences in Manipur and the Naga Hills; 1897).

Had McCulloch, the then political agent of British in Manipur had not been handed the management work of the new arrivals, it is uncertain as to where the history of our brethren Kukis would have been now. It was obvious that during the 1820-1850 AD, the Kuki migrated to Manipur and Major McCulloch was gracious enough to arrange them a place for their settlement. It is also still evident till date that, the Kuki are mostly settled in the frontiers areas as stated above.

Despite allotting them land, the Kukis are not satiate with the land, as such the only mean to satisfy their thirst for more land and to secured more land, they drive out the original inhabitants, T. C Hudson "'I have stumbled across ruins of large villages in the jungles south of Nongba, and learnt that they were the ruins of Kabui villages that had been destroyed by Kukis"', Sir. J. Johnstone "'Just before we started for the Naga Hills, I received the news of an attack by the Chussad Kukis on the Tankhool Village of Chingsow, to the north east of Manipur, forty –five people were said to have been killed or carried off; and the excitement was all the greater from the belief entertained that the attacked has been instigated by the Burmese''.

Such are the pictured of the Kuki on rampage killing of Nagas and forced taking of the land. Pu. Ngulminthang rightly pointed out that the Manipuri Nagas who were subjects of the Kuki Chieftainship do not have any rights to question, however this doesn't meant the Naga are not the original settlers of the Hills of Manipur, histories of the world hardly tell us that the subject of the Kings or Chief has the rights to question them, the Nagas in many instances were captured and subsequently became the subject of the Kuki waging warriors.

"'The census of 1881 gave the population of the capital as 60,000, that of the rest of the valley an equal number, while the hills were estimated to have around 100,000"'. (Sir. J. Johnstone). It is the well known fact that the population of the Manipur both Valley and Hills boomed only after 1900s. It would be wrong to claim the ownership of the Hills on the basis of the Population.

In fact the population growth can be attributed to the work of British officers; it was through their efforts that the rampage killing of innocent people were reduced tremendously in the Hill areas of Manipur. Sir J. Johnstone wrote "'I sent a message to the Choomyangs and other Kukis who had given trouble, telling them that they were undoubtedly within Manipur, and that I gave them forty-two days in which to submit, or clear out, adding, that if at the end of that time they gave any trouble, they would be treated as rebels and attacked without more ceremony"'.

Nagas on the other hand though being the older settler of Hills of Manipur did not, in most case retaliate the Kuki's attacked for some unknown reasons. The story of the Writer's Tangkhul Friend depicts the cruelty and barbaric nature of the Kuki Chief rather than their power of dominance over the Nagas.

On the issue of head hunting among the Nagas, unlike the Kukis, the Naga warriors gave the highest respect to the victim and in some cases the head are often returned. Such mutual respect for the victim or enemy is seen among the Naga, it can also be seen that for three years all kinds of raids against the victim village was forbidden (T.C Hudson; the Nagas tribes of Manipur). The head huntings were often portrayed as brutal by the western writers, however, they do not try to understand the concept behind it.

It was not fair to term the Nagas as head hunting tribes, when such practice was very much existed among the Kukis. In this regards, B. B Kumar (1941) wrote "'Some Kuki-Chin tribes, such as Thadou Kukis, and the Lakhers also indulged in head-hunting. The Koms, a Kuki Chin tribe of Manipur, also claim to be head-hunters in the past. Thadous needed a freshly cut head to adore the grave of their chief"'.

T.C Hodson (1911) was careful enough to point out the fact that the Kukis do settled in the southern part of Manipur. "'A line drawn across the map following the Kubo valley road via Aimole and joined to the Cachar road which traverses the western hills from Bisnupur in Manipur to Jiri Ghat on the western boundary of the state separates the Nagas area from the Kuki area without excluding more than a few small Kabui villages which lie to the south of Nongba"'.

Having quoted the above lines, we get the clear picture of the Naga and Kuki area, the Nagas in whatsoever condition never claim Churchandpur as the Naga dominated area whereas the Kuki are claiming the whole Manipur as their land. Neglecting the factual facts of our history to repress the others will do no good in the coming generation.


* Kendy Pamei (a Freelance Writer) wrote this article for Imphal Times
This article was posted on June 05, 2017.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • A trip to Moreh #1 :: Gallery
  • 219th Death Anniv- Bhagyachandra:: Gallery
  • Breach of Privilege & Contempt of the House
  • Career option in History
  • Cry of a Dying River - 1 :: Poem
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand : Timeline
  • Condemn provocation against Pangal
  • Meetei Demand Of Scheduled Tribe @ Delhi
  • Resolutions adopted by NPF Central HQs
  • TSA-GHQ calls off agitation
  • Diverting filled cylinders from hills
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #6 : Ooba
  • History of Printing in Manipur
  • Hydro Electric Power: A must for Manipur #1
  • Why Total Knee Replacement is necessary
  • Self-styled godmen and mental darkness
  • The Dawn of Knowledge :: Poem
  • Consideration for Govt on UTLA camp attack
  • Bloody Phanek premiere in South Korea
  • Memo to Satywati College against Hindi
  • NE militant in Myanmar may face problem
  • Putting the limelight on O Ibobi
  • Bamboo - our green treasure
  • Jadonang: Indomitable faith of martyrdom
  • 12th Manipur State League #3:: Gallery
  • Cyberbullying
  • British rule in India: blessing or curse?
  • Candle light for Pravish Chanam at Delhi
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • Concern over Cambodia media crackdown
  • Present crisis a blessing for NPF: MLA
  • Medical Camp at Tokpaching, Chandel
  • High promises, high expectations : BJP Govt
  • Traffic regulation still yet be improved
  • Traditional Ritual @Khurkhul #4 :: Gallery
  • Athokpam Tomchou :: Sahityabhusan
  • Kanglasha & Kangla Fort :: 360 ° View
  • Mapithel Dam: Tumukhong village's sorrow
  • Earthen Pots of Thongjao :: Poem
  • Protest Rally at Uchiwa on Pravish's death
  • Three former insurgents killed in Manipur
  • Frisking exercise intensifies along borders
  • Manipur await to deport Rohingya prisoner
  • Culturals @ Pineapple Fest #2 :: Gallery
  • Boisang, Yaronsho, Thangmeiso :: eMing
  • MSL: NISA Vs FC Zalen :: Gallery
  • Fund the Athlete: Support Sumanta Naorem
  • Carbon Sequestration Vs Agroforestry tree
  • PHYNYX changes name & going global
  • NEFIS reaches HM on Pravish death
  • SSP admits lapses; suspends 2 more cops
  • Expecting the expectation
  • Priyogopal : Senior Film Artist :: eRang
  • Ningtham Charei fashion catwalk :: Gallery
  • My Japanlan memoir after 4 score yrs- D
  • Candle light: Justice for Pravish Chanam
  • Science as a Christian vocation
  • Yesterday Today and Tomorrow :: Poem
  • Early Childhood Education Impact Study
  • Condemn the attitude of Noida Police
  • Protest at Noida SSP's office
  • A Child Cannot Decide Its Parent
  • Notification from COHSEM for Class XI
  • Threat to ban movement of non-local
  • Re-defining Mr. Clean perspectives
  • Hathei Phanit @Sirarakhong :: Gallery
  • Education in Manipur- reform & vision
  • Career option in Political Science
  • A Robe of Love :: Poem
  • Memo to CM regarding dead in Noida
  • Meghalaya edition of NH7 Weekender
  • Away from Imphal centric: Govt-Hills Bhai!
  • Panchayat election matters...
  • Reception for CM at CCPur :: Gallery
  • 239th Heikru Hidongba #2 :: Gallery
  • Buddha Said: The More The Govt... #2
  • R & R anomaly in Mapithel dam
  • Letting go :: Poem
  • Bedtime beauty hacks to look young
  • Warepnaba Meefam Saruk Yabiyu
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • Civil Sectt crawling at snail pace
  • Perplexity trends
  • Heitha Leithaba @Kekrupat #2:: Gallery
  • Ningtham Charei :: Fashion Show
  • ISKCON Temple, Imphal #2 :: 360 ° View
  • Remote Villages conditions remain same
  • General Meeting & Social Gathering of EMA
  • Leadership management
  • Karo Sambhav School Program at Tripura
  • Blood Donation Camp at RIMS
  • Another spell of cooking gas shortage
  • Parking paralysis
  • Manipur Univ of Culture #3 :: Gallery
  • Sub Junior Boys Basketball #2 :: Gallery
  • Binalakshmi Nepram: NE Excellence Award
  • Manipuri in Proto-Sino-Tibetan Family
  • Lamka: Urban character with rural admin
  • MUTA Colloquium : 3 decades of teaching
  • Vigil up in Manipur over influx
  • NPF removes Manipur state unit president
  • IIHEd Seminar : The Rohingya Conundrum
  • Inter Village Volley Ball at Chandel
  • Trafficking story from CCpur
  • Local body election matters
  • Pottery Crafts of Manipur #1 :: Gallery
  • Techniche, IIT Guwahati :: Gallery
  • Anger begets hope & constructive action
  • World's oldest Parliamentarian
  • Convocation of Assam Don Bosco Univ.
  • Times I Live In :: Poem
  • Sadar Hills District Demand: News Timeline
  • Date with Sep 11 : Setting new benchmarks
  • Angaoba Film Scenes #2 :: eRang
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • My Japanlan memoir after 4 score years- C
  • Flood & Ithai Barrage: A brief reflection
  • Indigenous people must be consulted...
  • When a Star Finally Dies :: Poem
  • Job openings at The Rice Company
  • Lesson need to learn from Gouri Lankesh
  • Sumi Hoho calls on Nagaland CM
  • #NeverStop Guwahati: fitness enthusiasts
  • Protests against Myanmar govt
  • Culturals @ Pineapple Fest #1 :: Gallery
  • 12th Manipur State League #1:: Gallery
  • Tete a tete with the Education Minister
  • Freak and frank job interview
  • Buddha Said: The More The Govt... #1
  • Dichtung und Wahrheit :: Poem
  • Protest: Myanmar for persecuting Rohingya
  • Subroto Football under 14 yrs at Delhi
  • Performance anxiety: and its election again
  • Heitha Leithaba @Kekrupat #1:: Gallery
  • Heikru Hidongba Definition: Bijoy Govinda
  • Shri Shri Govindaji Temple #2 :: 360 ° View
  • Era gone with Rishang Keishing demise
  • International Literacy Day, 2017
  • De-notify Disturbed Area tag & repeal AFSPA
  • Waiting for a Good Morrow:: Poem
  • Annual Fresher's Meet, MSAD
  • Clogged waterways: Plastics, plastics...
  • Life is to be lived, not to merely survive
  • State level Teacher's Day :: Gallery
  • MU Inter-College Basketball :: Gallery
  • Half Step Rock signs up PHYNYX, now 'LEN'
  • RIST Talk 31 : metal cholate hydrogels
  • Day 3 at Techniche IIT Guwahati
  • Response to "need male empowerment"
  • Condemns murder of Gauri Lankesh
  • Condemns murder of Bengaluru journalist
  • NPF on impersonation of its President
  • Pre-recruitment Training for Chandel Youth
  • Where are the Ojas in teachers ?
  • Another stunt, but things remain the same
  • Bhoot Ki Thoujal :: Funga Wari
  • 52nd Hunger Marchers' Day #3 :: Gallery
  • Global development agenda & local realities
  • Sita :: Poem
  • Career in Audio/Sound Engineering
  • Education for conflict
  • Bikram's Blog :: 10 Year on Web
  • 7th Pay & the fiscal reality of the State
  • Of Patriot and patriotism
  • 2nd Conclave of NEDA
  • Kang Tournament #2 :: Gallery
  • NE Fashion Week #2 :: Gallery
  • Beauvoir's Second Sex & Maam's teaching
  • Face to Face with Rishang Keishing
  • ...real fact nobody wants to tell naked truth
  • to whom it may concern :: Poem
  • Importance of yoga
  • 'Court Arrest Prog' on Teachers' Day
  • Recruitment drive at Globizs, Imphal
  • JCILPS back after a brief lull
  • Culture of respect
  • 239th Heikru Hidongba #1 :: Gallery
  • Oinam Doren wins award in Italy (Lessinia)
  • For Chester : Tribute Concert :: Gallery
  • Make Manipur 'Gateway' to ASEAN
  • For all plasti-zens
  • Sailing in the Troubled Waters :: Poem
  • CM's advisor interacts with students
  • Discussion: Scenario of Indian Politics
  • Catching up with former CM, former CSs
  • Id-ul-Zuha @ Hatta, Minuthong :: Gallery
  • Tribute to Rishang Keishing #3 :: Gallery
  • Heikru Hidongba
  • Result: 3rd Imphal National Photo contest
  • Japanlan memoir after four score years- B
  • NE needs moral guiding force like Rishang
  • STDCM na sougatli
  • Battling the cancer of corruption
  • First day of IIT Techniche 2017
  • Haipou Jadonang day :: Gallery
  • Sub-Junior Football for NE :: Gallery
  • Haipou Jadonang - The Martyr #2
  • NHPC's Loktak Project: Curse for Manipur
  • Of War and Peace :: Poem
  • Techniche 2017 kick starts in IIT Guwahati
  • Software Engineer @ Cobigent Tech
  • LPG cylinders sold like potatoes
  • Consistency containing nature vagaries
  • Xth Pineapple Fest @CCpur :: Gallery
  • Translation of "Puya" in English
  • L Devendro & Diana Chanu :: Reception
  • L Devendro : O Bembem :: Arjuna Awards
  • Ige KNliye kabita Ama :: Seireng
  • For Chester : Graffiti Work :: Gallery
  • Karong Children home wash away:: Gallery
  • State bids adieu to Rishang :: Gallery
  • Rishang Keishing : A profile
  • Tribute to Rishang Keishing #2 :: Gallery
  • Tamu, Myanmar- Moreh border #2 :: Gallery
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • Nungbi Khullen, Ukhrul #2 :: Gallery
  • Singcha Wuya Won (flower) #3:: Gallery
  • Landscape of Ukhrul District #2:: Gallery
  • Landscape of Manipur #7: Wallpaper
  • Featured Photo for 2017 #3 :: Gallery
  • SPONSORED ADS