Mizoram, etymologically meaning the ‘Land of the Hill People’ is situated on the southern tip of north-east India amid lush bamboo groves, vertical cliffs and mighty mountains, glittering waterfalls and abundant wildlife. This land of the Highlanders shares its borders with Assam and Manipur in the North, Myanmar in the east and south while Tripura and Bangladesh in the west. The bountiful green fields and wandering rivers adds to picturesque landscape of the state endowing this land of lively people with a serene and pleasant atmosphere.
Mizoram : At A Glance
Humes Bar Tailed Pheasant (Vavu)
Dancing Girl (Aiting)
Herhse or Nahar (Mesua ferrea)
Number of Major Tribes:
976 females for each 1000 males (Census Report of India, 2011)
52 per square kilometer
Tea, Rubber, Coffee, Tung Oil
Longitude 92 o 15' E to 93 o 29' E & latitude 21 o 58' to 24 o 35' N
Mizoram covers an area of 21,081 sq. kilometers with 8 districts under its domain.
Mizoram has a current population of about 1,097,206 with 555,339 male and 541,867 female populations. (Census Report of India, 2011)
The literacy rate of Mizoram is 91.33% with a male literacy rate of 93.35 % and female literacy rate of 86.72%. (Census Report of India, 2011)
Mizoram possesses a calm climate with a comfortable and cool summer and not very cold winter. The temperature in summer remains between 20’ C to 29’ C and in winter it varies from 11’ C to 21’ C. Monsoon hits the state with heavy downpour from May to September. Very minimum rainfall occurs during the rest of the months. Average annual rainfall is 254 cm per annum.
Agriculture occupies more than 70% of the economy if Mizoram. Jhum cultivation is extensively practiced by the inhabitants of the state. Cottage industry and small scale industries also add to the economy of the state.
History of Mizoram
The Mizos are believed to have migrated from China to Myanmar (Burma) and eventually to India. Mizo history during the 18th & 19th C was characterized by some settlement issues. The Mizos quarreled among themselves and conducted raids attacking other tribes. As a result, the system of Chieftainship was introduced in Mizoram with Zahmuaka of Lusei clan as the first Mizo chief. The successors of this clan had been dominant rulers upon these hills for several years.
As a result of British supremacy engulfing entire part of Indian subcontinent, the Lushai Hills was annexed in 1891 AD as a district of Assam. The Lushai Hills Autonomous District Council was renamed as the Mizo District in 1954. This council failed to work upon the needs of the people of the land. The representatives of District Council and the Mizo Union appealed to States Reorganization Commission (SRC) for inclusion of Mizo-dominated areas of Tripura and Manipur with the District Council in Assam. Amidst such political scenario, a famine ravaged the Mizo Hills in 1959. The Mizo National Famine Front (MNFF) played a savior role of supplying relief materials to the famine victims thereby attracting the attention of all the sections of the people. This act of the organization infused a strong longing for peace and sovereign rule of Greater Mizoram.
The Mizo District Council delegation put forwarded a petition for a separate statehood of Mizoram before the then Prime Minister of India, Smti. Indira Gandhi in May 1971. Initially, the status of a Union Territory was conferred to Mizoram on 21st January, 1972. The historic event of Mizoram attaining full-fledged statehood came into being on 20th February, 1987 by an amendment in Indian Constitution.
Culture of Mizoram
Mizo people are distinguished by their friendly and pleasant nature. Their code of etiquette is based on ‘Tlawmngaihna’ meaning being impartial and kind to others.
The people of Mizoram are characterized by their unique racial and traditional identity which has been derived from various cultural forms of multiple tribes, mainly Tibetan, the Chinese and Burmese cultures. Mizo people include tribes namely Paite, Ralte, Poi, Sukte, Dulien, Fanai (Molienpui), Pan Khup, Jahao, Molbem, Lakher, Taute, Mar, Dalang, Khuangli, Leillul, Tangur and Falam (Tashous).
The society of the Mizos is patriarchal dominated society, the family property being inherited by the youngest son of the family. Caste differences and gender discrimination is entirely discouraged among the Mizos. Christinity is followed by a majority of the people and the Christian Church Organization greatly influences the socio-cultural life of the Mizos.
Most of the festivals of Mizoram are celebrated with a harvest theme connected to it. Some of the famous harvest festivals are Chapchar Kut, Mim Kut and Pawl Kut. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy of the state, so such festivals dominate the entire festive scenario of Mizoram. To promote booming tourism and preserve the cultural heritage of the state, Thalfavang Kut and Anthurium festival is widely celebrated by the Mizos. Most importantly, Christmas is an important festival marked by a majority of the population with great gaiety and fervor.
Folk songs and colourful dances rejuvenate the entire spirit of celebration of festivals. Soft and gentle country style music adds to the soothing rhythmic tone of the songs sung during the festivals. Some of the common community dance forms are Bamboo Dance or Cheraw Dance, Chheih Lam, Chai Lam, Khuallam, Parlam Rollu Ram, Solakai, Chawnglaizawn, Sarlamkai, Tlanglam and Zangtalam.