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The Ahom or Tai-Ahom (pronunciation: ), is an ethnic group from the
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
n states of
Assam Assam (, ) is a state in Northeast India, northeastern India, south of the eastern Himalayas along the Brahmaputra Valley, Brahmaputra and Barak River valleys. Assam covers an area of . The state is bordered by Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh to ...

Assam
and
Arunachal Pradesh Arunachal Pradesh (, literally "land of dawn-lit mountains") is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ...

Arunachal Pradesh
. They are the admixed descendants of the
Tai people Tai people refers to the population of descendants of speakers of a common Tai language The Tai or Zhuang–Tai languages ( th, ภาษาไท or , transliteration Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script ...
who reached the
Brahmaputra Valley The Brahmaputra Valley is a region situated between hill ranges of the eastern and northeastern Himalayan range in Eastern India. The valley consists of the Western Assam, western Brahmaputra valley covering the regions of Goalpara region, Goal ...
of Assam in 1228 and the local indigenous people who joined them over the course of history.
Sukaphaa Sukaphaa (), also Siu-Ka-Pha, the first Ahom king King is the title given to a male in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is , which title is also given to the of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contemp ...
, the leader of the Tai group and his 9000 followers established the
Ahom kingdom
Ahom kingdom
(1228–1826 CE), which controlled much of the Brahmaputra Valley in modern Assam until 1826. The modern Ahom people and their culture are a
syncretism Syncretism is the combining of different beliefs and various schools of thought A school of thought, or intellectual tradition, is the perspective of a group of people who share common characteristics of opinion or outlook of a philosophy, Li ...
of the original Tai and their culturehttp://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/8154/10/10_conclusion.pdf and local
Tibeto-Burman The Tibeto-Burman languages are the non-Sinitic languages, Sinitic members of the Sino-Tibetan languages, Sino-Tibetan language family, over 400 of which are spoken throughout the highlands of Southeast Asia as well as certain parts of East Asia ...
people and their cultures they absorbed in Assam. The local people of different ethnic groups of Assam that took to the Tai way of life and polity were incorporated into their fold which came to be known as Ahom as in the process known as Ahomisation. Many local ethnic groups, including the Borahis who were of Tibeto-Burman origin, were completely subsumed into the Ahom community; while members of other communities, based on their allegiance to the Ahom kingdom or the usefulness of their talents, too were accepted as Ahoms. Currently, they represent the largest Tai group in India, with a population of nearly 1.3 million in Assam. Ahom people are found mostly in
Upper Assam Upper – Assam (also Soumarpith) is an Divisions of Assam, administrative division of the state of Assam comprising the undivided Lakhimpur district, Lakhimpur and Sivasagar district, Sivasagar (previously, Sibsagar) districts, of the upper reaches ...
in the districts of
Golaghat Golaghat ( ''Gʊlaɡʱat'' ) one of the largest subdivisions Subdivision may refer to: Arts and entertainment * Subdivision (metre) In music, metre ( Commonwealth spelling) or meter ( American spelling; see spelling differences Des ...
,
Jorhat Jorhat () is one of the most important cities and a rapidly growing urban centre in the state of Assam Assam (, ) is a state in Northeast India, northeastern India, south of the eastern Himalayas along the Brahmaputra Valley, Brahmaputra ...

Jorhat
,
Sibsagar Sivasagar (Pron: or ) ("the ocean of Shiva Shiva (; sa, शिव , , ISO: , , ), also known as Mahadeva (), is one of the principal deities of Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion and ''dharma'', or way of life. It is ...

Sibsagar
,
Dibrugarh Dibrugarh: The Tea City of India (pron: ˌdɪbru:ˈgɑ:) is an industrial city in Upper Assam Upper – Assam (also Soumarpith) is an Divisions of Assam, administrative division of the state of Assam comprising the undivided Lakhimpur distric ...

Dibrugarh
,
Tinsukia Tinsukia (Pron: ˌtɪnˈsʊkiə) is an industrial town. It is situated north-east of Guwahati Guwahati (, ; formerly rendered Gauhati ) is the biggest city of the of and also the largest in northeastern India. , the capital of Assam ...

Tinsukia
(south of Brahmaputra river); and in
Lakhimpur
Lakhimpur
,
Sonitpur Sonitpur district is an administrative districts of Assam, district in the state of Assam in India. The district headquarters is located at Tezpur. Etymology The name of the is derived from a mythological story found in Indian epic poetry, Hin ...
and
Dhemaji Dhemaji ''(Pron: deɪˈmɑ:ʤi or di:ˈmɑ:ʤi) is the headquarters of Dhemaji district, Assam Assam (, ) is a state in northeastern India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It ...
(north). There is a significant presence in
Karbi Anglong Karbi may refer to: Places * Karbi, Armenia * Karbi Anglong Plateau Karbi Anglong plateau is an extension of the Indian peninsular plateau in the Assam Assam (, ) is a state in northeastern India India (Hindi: ), officially th ...
and
Lohit District Lohit () is an administrative district in the state of Arunachal Pradesh Arunachal Pradesh (, literally "land of dawn-lit mountains") is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly ...
of Arunachal Pradesh. Even though the already admixed group Ahom made up a relatively small portion of the kingdom's population, they maintained their original
Ahom language The Ahom language or Tai-Ahom language is a dead language An extinct language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) ...
and practised their traditional religion till the 17th-century, when the Ahom court as well as the commoners adopted the
Assamese language Assamese (), also Asamiya ( ), is an Indo-Aryan language The Indo-Aryan or Indic languages form a major language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestur ...
, and
Ekasarana dharma Ekasarana Dharma (literally: ''Shelter-in-One religion'') is a neo-Vaishnavite religion propagated by Srimanta Sankardeva Srimanta Sankardev (; ; 1449–1568) was a 15th–16th century Assamese polymath A polymath ( el, πολυ ...
and
Shakta Shaktism ( sa, शाक्त, , ) is one of several major Hindu denominations Hindu denominations are traditions within Hinduism centered on one or more gods or goddesses, such as Vishnu, Shiva, Shakti and Brahma. Sometimes the term i ...
sects of
Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent. These religions, which include Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, ...

Hinduism
.


History


Origins

The Tai speaking people came into prominence first in the
Guangxi Guangxi (; alternately romanized as Kwanghsi; ; za, Gvangjsih), officially the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (GZAR), is an autonomous region An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, uni ...

Guangxi
region, from where they moved to mainland
Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Southeast Asia
in the middle of the 11th century after a long and fierce battle with the Chinese. The Tai-Ahoms are traced to either
Mong Mao Mong Mao, Möngmao (; tdd, ᥛᥫᥒᥰ ᥛᥣᥝᥰ; shn, မိူင်းမၢဝ်း; my, မိုင်းမော) or the Mao Kingdom was an ethnic Dai state that controlled several smaller Tai states or chieftainships along the ...

Mong Mao
of
South China South China () is a geographical and cultural region that covers the southernmost part of China. Its precise meaning varies with context. A notable feature of South China in comparison to the rest of China is that most of its citizens are not ...
or to the Hukawng Valley in
Myanmar Myanmar, ); UK pronunciations: US pronunciations incl. . Note: Wikipedia's IPA conventions require indicating /r/ even in British English although only some British English speakers pronounce r at the end of syllables. As John C. Wells, John ...

Myanmar
.
Sukaphaa Sukaphaa (), also Siu-Ka-Pha, the first Ahom king King is the title given to a male in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is , which title is also given to the of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contemp ...
, a Tai prince of
Mong Mao Mong Mao, Möngmao (; tdd, ᥛᥫᥒᥰ ᥛᥣᥝᥰ; shn, မိူင်းမၢဝ်း; my, မိုင်းမော) or the Mao Kingdom was an ethnic Dai state that controlled several smaller Tai states or chieftainships along the ...

Mong Mao
, and a band of followers reached Assam in 1228 with an intention of settling there. They came with a higher technology of wet-rice cultivation then extant and a tradition of writing, record keeping, and state formation. They settled in the region south of the
Brahmaputra river The Brahmaputra (), called Yarlung Tsangpo The Yarlung Tsangpo, also called Yarlung Zangbo () or Yalu Zangbu () is the upper stream of the Brahmaputra River The Brahmaputra (), called Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet, Siang/Dihang River in Arun ...

Brahmaputra river
and to the east of the Dikho river; the Ahoms today are found concentrated in this region.
Sukaphaa Sukaphaa (), also Siu-Ka-Pha, the first Ahom king King is the title given to a male in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is , which title is also given to the of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contemp ...
, the leader of the Tai group and his 9000 followers established the (1228–1826 CE), which controlled much of the Bramhaputra valley until 1826.


Initial formation in Assam

In the initial phase, the band of followers of
Sukaphaa Sukaphaa (), also Siu-Ka-Pha, the first Ahom king King is the title given to a male in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is , which title is also given to the of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contemp ...
moved about for nearly thirty years and mixed with the local population. He moved from place to place, searching for a seat. He made peace with the Borahi and Moran ethnic groups, and he and his mostly male followers married into them, creating an admixed population identified as Ahoms. And initiated the process of Ahomisation. The Borahis, a Tibeto-Burman people, were completely subsumed into the Ahom fold, though the Moran maintained their independent ethnicity.
Sukaphaa Sukaphaa (), also Siu-Ka-Pha, the first Ahom king King is the title given to a male in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is , which title is also given to the of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contemp ...
established his capital at
Charaideo Charaideo or Che-Rai-Doi (Literally: ''the shining city on the hills'' in Ahom language The Ahom language or Tai-Ahom language is a dead language An extinct language is a language A language is a structured system of communication u ...
near present-day
Sivasagar Sivasagar (Pron: or ) ("the sea of Shiva Shiva (; sa, शिव, lit=The Auspicious One, Śiva ), also known as Mahadeva (; ɐɦaːd̪eːʋɐ, is one of the Hindu deities, principal deities of Hinduism. He is the God, Supreme Being ...

Sivasagar
in 1253 and began the task of state formation.


Ahomisation

The Ahoms believed that they were divinely ordained to bring fallow land under the plow with their techniques of wet-rice cultivation, and to adopt stateless shifting cultivators into their fold. They were also conscious of their numerical minority. As a result, the Ahom polity initially absorbed
Naga Naga or NAGA may refer to: Mythology * Nāga The Nāga (IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation Romanization or romanisation, in linguistic ...
, Borahi and Moran, and later large sections of the Chutia and the Dimasa-Kachari peoples. This process of Ahomisation went on for till mid-16th century when the Ahom society itself came under the direct
Hindu Hindus (; ) are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic re ...

Hindu
influence. That many indigenous peoples were ceremonially adopted into Ahom clans are recorded in the chronicles. Since the Ahoms married liberally outside their own exogamous clans and since their own traditional religion resembled the religious practices of the indigenous peoples along with Hindus, the assimilation under Ahomisation had a little impediment.


Localisation and Loss

In the 16th- and 17th-centuries, the small Ahom community expanded their rule dramatically toward the west and they successfully saw off challenges from
Mughal Mughal or Moghul may refer to: * The Mughal Empire The Mughal, Mogul, or Moghul Empire was an early modern The early modern period of modern history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's past. ...
and other invaders, gaining them recognition in world history. The rapid expansion resulted in the Ahom people becoming a small minority in their own kingdom, of which they kept control. Eventually, the Ahom court, as well as the Ahom peasants took to
Ekasarana dharma Ekasarana Dharma (literally: ''Shelter-in-One religion'') is a neo-Vaishnavite religion propagated by Srimanta Sankardeva Srimanta Sankardev (; ; 1449–1568) was a 15th–16th century Assamese polymath A polymath ( el, πολυ ...
,
Shaktism Shaktism ( sa, शाक्त, , ) is one of several major Hindu denominations Hindu denominations are traditions within Hinduism centered on one or more gods or goddesses, such as Vishnu, Shiva, Shakti and Brahma. Sometimes the term i ...
and
Saivism Shaivism (; Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia a ...
over the traditional Ahom religion;"Not only at the Ahom court, but also among Ahom farmers, the Indian religion gained adherents: Saivism, Saktism, and Vaisnavism spread and largely replaced the old Tai Ahom religion. and adopted Assamese over the
Ahom language The Ahom language or Tai-Ahom language is a dead language An extinct language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) ...
for secular purposes. The modern Ahom people and their culture are a
syncretism Syncretism is the combining of different beliefs and various schools of thought A school of thought, or intellectual tradition, is the perspective of a group of people who share common characteristics of opinion or outlook of a philosophy, Li ...
of the original Tai and their culture and local
Tibeto-Burman The Tibeto-Burman languages are the non-Sinitic languages, Sinitic members of the Sino-Tibetan languages, Sino-Tibetan language family, over 400 of which are spoken throughout the highlands of Southeast Asia as well as certain parts of East Asia ...
peoples and their cultures they absorbed in Assam. Some local ethnic groups, including the
Tibeto-Burman The Tibeto-Burman languages are the non-Sinitic languages, Sinitic members of the Sino-Tibetan languages, Sino-Tibetan language family, over 400 of which are spoken throughout the highlands of Southeast Asia as well as certain parts of East Asia ...
speaking Borahi, were completely subsumed into the Ahom community; while members of other communities, based on their allegiance to the or the use of their talents, too were accepted as Ahoms. Even though the Ahom made up a relatively small portion of the kingdom's population, they maintained their original
Ahom language The Ahom language or Tai-Ahom language is a dead language An extinct language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) ...
and practised their traditional religion till the 17th-century, when the Ahom court, as well as the commoners, adopted the
Assamese language Assamese (), also Asamiya ( ), is an Indo-Aryan language The Indo-Aryan or Indic languages form a major language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestur ...
, and
Ekasarana dharma Ekasarana Dharma (literally: ''Shelter-in-One religion'') is a neo-Vaishnavite religion propagated by Srimanta Sankardeva Srimanta Sankardev (; ; 1449–1568) was a 15th–16th century Assamese polymath A polymath ( el, πολυ ...
and
Saktism Shaktism ( sa, शाक्त:, ') (lit., "doctrine of energy, power, the eternal goddess") is one of major Hindu denominations, wherein the metaphysical reality is considered metaphorically a woman and Shakti is regarded as the supreme godhe ...
religions. The everyday usage of Ahom language ceased completely by early 19th-century. The loss of religions is also nearly complete, with only a few priestly families practising some aspects of it. While the written language (and ritualistic chants) survive in a vast number of written manuscripts, much of the spoken language is lost because the Ahom script does not mark tone and under-specifies vowel contrasts.


Revivalism

Though the first political organisation (All Assam Ahom Association) was created in 1893 it was in 1954 when Ahom connection to other Tai groups in Assam was formally established.


Society


''Ban-Mong'' Social system

The traditional social system of Tai-Ahom people was known as ''Ban-Mong'' which was related to agriculture and based on irrigation. The ''Ban'' or ''Ban Na'' is a unit composed of families that settled by the side of the rivers. While many ''Bans'' together forms a ''Mong'' which refers state.


Ahom clans

Ahom clans, called ''phoid''s, formed socio-political entities. At the time of ingress into Assam, or soon thereafter, there were seven important clans, called ''Satghariya Ahoms'' (Ahoms of the Seven Houses). There were Su/Tsu (Tiger) clan to which the Chao-Pha (Sukaphaa) belonged; his two chief counselors
BurhagohainBuragohain ( Ahom language:Chao Phrung Mung) was the first of the two original counsellors in the Ahom kingdom. He was selected by the Ahom king from members of the Ahom nobility (''Satgharia Ahom''), who was not eligible for the position of Ahom k ...
(''Chao-Phrung-Mung'') and
BorgohainBorgohain (Ahom language: ''Chao Thao Lung'') was the second of the two original counselors in the Ahom kingdom. He was selected by the Ahom Dynasty, Ahom king from members of the Ahom nobility (''Satgharia Ahom''), who was not eligible for the posit ...
(''Chao-Thao-Mung''); and three priestly clans: Bailung (''Mo-plang''), Deodhai (''Mo-sham''), Mohan (''Mo-hang'') and Siring. Soon the ''Satghariya'' group was expanded—four additional clans began to be associated with nobility: Dihingia, Sandikoi, Lahon and Duarah. In the 16th-century
Suhungmung Suhungmung () was one of the most important Ahom Kings who ruled at the cusp of Assam's medieval history. His reign broke from the early Ahom rule and established a multi-ethnic polity in his kingdom. Under him the Ahom Kingdom expanded greatl ...
added another great counselor, the
BorpatrogohainBorpatragohain was the third of the three great ''Gohains'' (counsellors) in the Ahom kingdom. This position was created by Suhungmung Dihingia Raja in the year 1527 when Koncheng was made the first Borpatrogohain. The designation was borrowed from ' ...
and a new clan was established. Over time sub-clans began appearing. Thus during the Suhungmung's reign, the Chao-Pha's clan were divided into seven sub-clans—Saringiya, Tipamiya, Dihingiya, Samuguriya, Tungkhungiya, Parvatiya, and Namrupiya. Similarly, Burhagohain clan were divided into eight, Borgohain sixteen, Deodhai twelve, Mohan seven, and Bailung and Siring eight each. The rest of the Ahom gentry belonged to clans such as ''Chaodangs'', ''Gharphalias'', ''Likchows'' etc. In general, the secular aristocratic clans, the priestly class, and the gentry clans did not intermarry. Some clans admitted people from other ethnic groups as well. For example, Miri-Sandikoi and Moran-Patar were Sandikoi and Patar from the Mising and Moran communities, while the founders of Chetias and Lahons were from the
Chutia The Chutia people (Pron: or ''Sutia'') are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or at ...
community. This was true even for the priestly clans: Naga-Bailung, Miri-bailung and Nara-Bailung.


Literature

The Ahoms were literate with a writing system based on the
Ahom script The Ahom script or Tai Ahom Script, is an abugida that is used to write the Ahom language, a dead (but being revived) Tai language spoken by the Ahom people till the late 18th-century, who established the Ahom kingdom and ruled the eastern part of ...

Ahom script
, which fell into disuse along with the language. The
Ahom script The Ahom script or Tai Ahom Script, is an abugida that is used to write the Ahom language, a dead (but being revived) Tai language spoken by the Ahom people till the late 18th-century, who established the Ahom kingdom and ruled the eastern part of ...

Ahom script
evolved from an earlier script of the
Tai Nuea language Tai Nuea or Tai Nüa (Tai Nüa: ; also called Tai Le, Dehong Dai or Chinese Shan; own name: ''Tai2 Lə6'', which means "Upper Tai" or "Northern Tai" or , ; Chinese: ''Dǎinàyǔ'', 傣那语 or ''Déhóng Dǎiyǔ'', 德宏傣语; th, ภาษา ...
which developed further under the present
Chinese Government The Government of the People's Republic of China () is collectively the state authority in the People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the e ...
. There exists today a large corpus of manuscripts in this script on history, society, astrology, rituals, etc. Ahom people used to write their chronicles known as ''
Buranji Buranjis (Ahom language The Ahom language or Tai-Ahom language is a dead language that was spoken by the Ahom people, that is undergoing a revival. Ahom is an important language in Tai studies. It was relatively free of both Mon-Khmer and In ...

Buranji
''. The priestly classes (Mo'sam, Mo'hung, Mo'Plong) are the custodians of these manuscripts.


Calendar

The Ahom people used to use a
lunar calendar A lunar calendar is a calendar A calendar is a system of organizing days. This is done by giving names to periods of time, typically days, weeks, months and years. A calendar date, date is the designation of a single, specific day with ...
known as ''Lak-Ni Tao-Si-Nga'' with its origins in the middle kingdoms (Chung-Kuo). But is still in vogue in
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
and
South-East Asian Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is the United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions that are geographically south of China, east of the Indian subcontinent and north-west o ...
Tai people Tai people refers to the population of descendants of speakers of a common Tai language The Tai or Zhuang–Tai languages ( th, ภาษาไท or , transliteration Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script ...
.


Culture


Housing

There is a lot of affinities of a style of the living house. Like the rural
Thai people Thai people ( th, ชาวไทย; ''endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast ...
of
Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia. It is located at the centre of the Mainland Southeast Asia, Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , wi ...

Thailand
, the house rural Ahom families have been made of wood, bamboo, and two roofs are typically designed by the thatching grasses. Every families orchard and plow land are situated near their house. The houses of the inhabitant have been built in scattered fashion within the bamboo groves. At one time, The Ahom built their house on still called Rwan Huan with about two meters high above the ground level.


Food Habit

The food habit is one of the important variables of the culture of Tai-Ahom. Most of the Ahoms, particularly in the rural areas are mostly
Non-vegetarian Non-vegetarian (non-veg) is an Indian English word that is used to refer to food items containing meat (red meat, poultry, seafood, or the flesh of any other animal), and sometimes, Egg as food, eggs. It also refers to a person who eats meat, as o ...
still maintain a traditional menu of their own food like the other
Tai Peoples Tai people refers to the population of descendants of speakers of a common Tai language, including sub-populations that no longer speak a Tai language. There are a total of about 93 million people of Tai ancestry worldwide, with the largest eth ...
. Besides porks, chicken, duck, slices of beef (Buffalo), frogs, many kinds of fishes, hukoti maas (dry preserved fish mixture) Muga lota (Cocoon seeds of endi and muga worms) eggs of red ant are their typical items of dishes. Even, some kinds of insects are also good food, for the Ahoms. Rice is the staple food and Lao (homemade rice beer); Luk-Lao or Nam-Lao (rice beer, undiluted or diluted) are traditional drinks. They consume "Khar" (a form of alkaline liquid extracted from the ashes of burned banana peels/bark), "Betgaaj" (tender cane shoots) and many other naturally grown herbs vegetables which possess medicinal properties. Ahom food habits resemble Thai cuisine. Some of them are Thu – dam (black lentil), Khao – Moon (Rice Frumenty) "Xandohguri" (a powder made from dry roasted rice), "ChewaKhao" (steamed rice), " Chunga Chaul" (sticky rice cooked in tender bamboo tubes),"Til pitha" (sesame rice rolls prepared from sticky rice powder), ''Khao-tyek'' (rice flakes). The process of preparation of this item was quite unknown to population other than the Ahoms and the Thais, Khao (unboiled soft rice prepared from a special variety of sticky rice with a unique technique), Tupula Khao (Kind of rice cooked packing with a particular kind of plant leaf with good smell called, 'tora pat' and preserved bamboo sauce are some of the favourite food items of the Ahoms which are almost similar to the traditional diet of the this. Like the Thais, the Ahoms prefers to take boiled food having little spices and directly burnt fish, meat and vegetable like brinjal, tomato, etc.


Wedding

''Cho Klong'' is the main marriage ritual among the twenty marriage rituals of Tai Ahom people. The name Cho Klong is derived from the Tai
Ahom language The Ahom language or Tai-Ahom language is a dead language An extinct language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) ...
ho=to combine, klong=ritual The ritual is described in an ancient Tai Ahom script ''Lai Lit nang Hoon Pha''. 101 ban-phai-s (earthen lamps) or lights are lit. The bride offers the groom a ''heng-dan'' (sword) to protect her, their children/family, the race and the country. Sum of twenty rituals are performed in ahom wedding along with cho klong . Some of Those are - *Ju-ron *Rik-Khwan *Aap-Tang ap=Bath, Tang=devineref name="Gogoi">
*Chow Ban orshipping sun*Jon-ming lessing given by Moloung priestsref name="Gogoi"/>


Religion

Most Ahoms today return Hinduism as their religion, although there is an effort to revive the traditional Ahom religion. Nevertheless, Me-Dam-Me-Phi is widely celebrated. The Ahom religion declined during the reign of Suremphaa Rajeswar Singha, who ordered
Sanskritisation In sociology, Sanskritisation (Indian Indian or Indians refers to people or things related to India, or to the indigenous people of the Americas, or Aboriginal Australians until the 19th century. People South Asia * Indian people, people ...
. All funerals were to be practised under the Hindu cremation rites, conducted by a
Maithil Maithils (Tirhuta The Tirhuta or Maithili writing system, script is the primary historical script for the Maithili language, as well as one of the historical scripts for Sanskrit. It is believed to be originated in the 10th century CE. ...
Brahmin priest and a traditiona
Deodhai
priest.


Language

The Ahoms today use the
Assamese language Assamese (), also Asamiya ( ), is an Indo-Aryan language The Indo-Aryan or Indic languages form a major language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestur ...
after the traditional language, the
Ahom language The Ahom language or Tai-Ahom language is a dead language An extinct language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) ...
, fell into complete disuse. The Ahom language, a member of the Tai branch of the
Kra–Dai_languages The Kra–Dai languages (also known as Tai–Kadai and Daic) are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. ...
is now dead, with its tone system completely lost. Nevertheless, it is being revived by some Tai Ahom organisations. Starting in the late 20th and continuing into the early 21st century, there has been renewed interest among the Ahoms in their culture and language leading to increased study and attempts at revival. The 1901 census of India enumerated approximately 179,000 people identifying as Ahom. The latest available census records slightly over 2 million Ahom individuals, however, estimates of the total number of people descended from the original Tai-Ahom settlers are as high as eight million. The
Ahom script The Ahom script or Tai Ahom Script, is an abugida that is used to write the Ahom language, a dead (but being revived) Tai language spoken by the Ahom people till the late 18th-century, who established the Ahom kingdom and ruled the eastern part of ...

Ahom script
also finds a place in the Unicode Consortium and the script declared the topmost in the
South-East Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...
category.


Ahom people today

Ahom people today categorised in
other backward classes Other Backward Class (OBC) is a collective term used by the Government of India to classify caste Caste is a form of social stratification characterized by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a style of life which often includes an occupat ...
(OBC) caste category ; also there is discussion and demand for the Schedule Tribe for a long time. The term "ethnic Assamese" is now associated by the
Indian government The Government of India (ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requiremen ...
with the various indigenous Assamese people. According to Anthony Van Nostrand Diller, possibly eight million speakers of Assamese can claim genetic descent from the Ahoms. However, historian Yasmin Saikia argues that in pre-colonial times, the Ahoms were not an ethnic community, but were a relatively open status group. Any community coming into the socio-economic fold of the Ahom state could claim the Ahom status with active consent of the king. The Ahom Kings called '' Swargadeo'' (
Ahom language The Ahom language or Tai-Ahom language is a dead language An extinct language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) ...
: ''Chao-Pha'') used to give titles or designations to the important people working with them depending upon the type of job they were entrusted with. The descendants of these people proudly used their forefather's titles/designations as their surname till today. Rajkonwar (meaning "Prince") and Konwar surnames are exclusively reserved for the descendants of Ahom Kings.


See also

* Ahom Dynasty *
Assamese people The Assamese people are a socio-ethnolinguistic identity that has been described at various times as nationalistic or micro-nationalistic. This group is often associated with the Assamese language, though the use of the term precedes the na ...
*
Burmese invasion of Assam There were three Burmese invasions of Assam between 1817 and 1826, during which time the Kingdom of Assam (Ahom) came under the control of Burma Myanmar (; my, မြန်မာ ) or Burma ( my, ဗမာ ), officially the Republic of the ...
* Ahom history *
Battle of Saraighat The Battle of Saraighat was a naval battle fought in 1671 between the Mughal Empire The Mughal, Mogul, or Moghul Empire was an early modern The early modern period of modern history Human history, or world history, is the ...
* Singarigharutha *
Kingdom of Pong The Kingdom of Pong or Pong Kingdom was an ethnically Tai people, Tai state that controlled several smaller states along the frontier of what is now Myanmar and Assam. It was bounded on the north by the mountain ranges that divide present-day Mya ...
* All Tai Ahom Students Union *
Tibeto-Burman and Tai peoples of Assam The Sino-Tibetan and Tai people of Assam are the different groups of people who migrated from East Asia and Southeast Asia into the Brahmaputra Valley during the ancient and medieval period. Today, they represent a major portion of the population of ...


Notes


References

* * * * * * * * * * *


Further reading

* Phukon, G. (1998). ''State of Tai culture among the Ahoms''. ssam, India? G. Phukon. *


External links

* *
The Tai-Ahom connection
by Yasmin Saikia i

June 2005.

several references are made to a Tai Ahom kingdom in this translation of an important
Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the Dynasties in Chinese history, ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol Empire, Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynas ...

Ming dynasty
historical source * {{DEFAULTSORT:Ahom People Assamese nationalism Tai history Tai peoples Social groups of Assam Ahom kingdom Ethnic groups in Northeast India Tribes of Assam Ethnic groups in South Asia Ethnic groups in India