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The All Tai Ahom Students’ Union (ATASU) has flayed former Batradaba MLA Angoorlata Deka

ATASU slams Angoorlata Deka for 'anti-Ahom' slogan, stages protest in All over Assam
Assam: The All Tai Ahom Students' Union (ATASU) has flayed former Batradaba MLA Angoorlata Deka, the incumbent president of the Assam State Mahila Morcha, the sister wing of the BJP, for her alleged anti-Ahom slogan. In this connection, the Lakhimpur district committee of ATASU took to the streets on Thursday to oppose the alleged anti-Ahom slogan by terming it to be an 'insult' to the community. Slamming her regarding the issue, the organization staged a two hour-long sit-in in front of the Deputy Commissioner's office of Lakhimpur as a mark of protest. ATASU central committee vice-president Achyut Borgohain, organizing secretary Mridul Konwar took part in the protest programme. Later, the organization submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma through the Deputy Commissioner of Lakhimpur demanding action against her. In the memorandum, ATASU Lakhimpur district president Pradip Gogoi, working president Dhrubabrat Gogoi and general secretary Tankeswar Gogoi said that Angoorlata Deka had insulted the Ahom community by shouting anti-Ahom slogan in the anti-Congress rally taken out on July 29. Through the same memorandum, the organization demanded the Chief Minister to launch a probe into the alleged insult to the community and to take action against Deka.

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COMSTUME OF THE AHOM KINGS IN MEDIEVAL ASSAM

 

 COMSTUME OF THE AHOM KINGS IN MEDIEVAL ASSAM (DR. AJANTA SAIKIA GOGOI)

In medieval Assam from the reign of Sukapha (1228-1268) to that of Sudangpha (1397-1407) or Bamuni Konwar, principal dresses of the king were “kun-Min –kun-kha” (long shirts, headgear, bachoal and takgali).Gradually, royal dresses became more gorgeous when the kingdom extended and the power of the king increased, as it was accompanied by enrichment of royal treasury and acquisition of new properties.
Pratap Shing (1603-1641 A.D) got collected seven sets of royal dresses from seven different kingdoms with a view to adopting their styles and designs for the Ahom royalty, the royal dresses were kept in the royal wardrobe under an officer called Choladhara phukan, whose office according to J.P Wade is analogous to that of the “Lord chamberlain of the United Kingdom”. The royal dresses could be taken out from the royal stores on permission from the three Gohains and six civil phukans and the king could wear the dress including those received as gifts from the neighbouring kingdoms only after an officer called Bezbarua examined them thoroughly as a measure of security. When the Rajmel (court meeting) was over, the Choladhara phukan took off the dresses out of the person of the king and put it in the royal store.
The under mentioned folk-song indicates a pattern of the dress, the king preferred to were, while making his appearance at the royal gateway-
“Svargadeo olale batcharar mukhale
Duliai patile dola
Kanate jilike makore kundale
Gate gomchengar chola.”
(wearing a Gomcheng Chola (shirt made from Gomcheng cloth) on his body and a pair of glittering Makara kundala on his ears, the king appears in the royal gateway. The Dulias ( persons carrying palanquin) busy themselves in arranging the palanquin for the king who comes out to see the Bihu performance and different games of amusement in front of the Ranghar.)
Court dress of the king :
While in the court, the king used to wear a Churia or Dhuti made from very fine Pat or Mezankari. Upon it he wore a shirt of soft silken cloth. He also wore a Jama embroidered with gold thread. On the head, he put on a Pag woven out of white silk. Beyond the page a border embroidered with gold thread was tied around along the upper rounded part of the ear. On his feet, the king wore Paijar, made of the skin of the deer fitted with a lining of pat or Mezankari and the outside of it was decorated with Banat ( thick woolen cloth embroidered with Guna). The king’s crown was made of gold and embroidered with precious stones like diamond and emerald. At the time of coronation ceremony called “Singari-Gharat-Utha”
The king wore a special type of dress meant for that occasion, which was preserved in the royal store. In the paintings or Hastividyarnava, king Siva Singha is depicted wearing a Muglai pag and a Kuhumbulia Butadar Satinar Chola with an embroidered Cheleng of red colour.
Travel robe of the king:
The king generally got carried with him one or two sets of royal dress and ornaments when he undertook his journey to the far off places or out of the capital for one or two days only. This included a kind of head gear called Srimara Paguri. EKgachola, Churia of pat or Mezankari and cheleng and juria or double clothes embroiderd with Guna. He wore the same type of dress even when he was out for a single day and travelled on Dola (Palanquin) He used different dresses on different occasions like war, hunting and attending festival etc.
ORNAMENTS OF THE KING
The Ahom kings wore many valuable ornaments which were kept in the royal storehouse under an officer called Choladhara phukan. It is said that during the reign of king pratap Singha (1603-1641 A.D.) seven types of royal dresses were collected from seven.
Countries, such as Burma, China, Mung-Kong, Bengal, Delhi etc. and keeping conformity with those dresses, seven sets of royal ornaments were mde and kept in the royal store. “The nine jewels set on the gold plate of the royal ornaments were diamond, emerald, ruby, moonstons, amethyst, gem, pearl lapis lazuli, agate etc. Different kinds of necklaces known as Pachsari. Satsari, Navasari, Chandradhar, Gezera set with pendant of pearl etc. were also invented during the period. Other ornaments used by the kings were different kinds of ear-rings, suck as karna-bhusn, Makarakundala, Hangs-Kundal, Kundala and Lokapara, different kinds of bracelets and head dresses, such as Sirpaoes, Kalki, diadems Called Kiriti, Mukt etc.
King’s courtly ornaments:
At the time of ascending the throne, the king was given to wear at first Nepur, Made of gold and set with stones. He also wore Ujanti, Which was tied to the Nepur with a gold chain and ten rings on the toes attached to the Ujanti. On his fingers, he wore ten finger-rings set with diamond and on the wrists, two bejeweled Navaratnas and Gam-Kharus. Above the Gam-Kharu, he wore four Balas, two in each hand, one of them being bejeweled with stones and the others plain. On the arms, he wore Bajus, set with stones. But the middle of it was wide and both the ends were pointed. He also used necklaces of pure pealrl, Such as panch-sari, satsari, Navasari, Chandrahar etc. Twenty one Dugdugis were enclosed with the string of pearls as a pendant. His ear-rings called Hansakundala or Makar-Kundala designed like a goose or a designed like a goose or a dragon
Respectively were made of gold inlaid with pearl or diamounds on the head, he wore Sirpaos set with diamond and emerald, kalkis and crowns of precious metals.
The king could put on coronation dresses and ornaments with the approval of the three great councilors – Buragohain, Borgohain and Barpatragohain, Generally they were called Dangarias, meaning ‘great men’ They along with the Barbarua (Chief executive) and the Barphukan (Governor of lower Assam) formed the council of ministers called Patra Mantries. All of them had to be present on the occasion of the coronation ceremony or on any other festival or ceremony held in the royal campus. The whole throne with seven steps was made with special workmanship and decorated with coloured and precious metals, stones or jewels.
It was a custom to present tributary to kings with ornaments and clothes, when they paid their visit to offer obeisance to the Ahom king. Thus the Kachari king Tamradhvaj was gifted – one set of head-ornaments and one set of necklace each inlaid with precious stones, one set of Dugdugi set with pearls, two pairs of flowershaped ear-rings, gold Pechandar (Pendant) and four ridged gold bangles by Rudra Singha.
During the days of Kamaleswar Singha (1795-1801 A.D) also, when the envoys of the kachari court came to offer obeisance to the king, they brought a number of presents for the latter. At the time of their departure, the former gifted each of the envoys one pair of ear-rings made of two Tolas of gold and one pair of silver
Bangles of twelve tolas inlaid with gold, besides cloth and many other item of dress
The ahom and silver ornaments for distributions among the high officers and nobles on suitable occasions and for presentation to the mughol emperor. An idea of the quantity of ornaments preserved in the royal store for the purpose can be gatherd from the amount of gold silver ornaments carried by captain welsh in his boat from the captain of Rangapur in 1793 to Calcutta. According to the tunkhungia buranji,this consisted of 4,00,000 pieces of gold ornament, 40,00,000 pieces of silver ornaments and gold to the value of 2,00,00,000 rupees.
Notes and references :
1 B.C. handiqui, ‘Asamar purani sajpar’, Asam sahitya sabha patkika (ed), A. sattar, vol. 1, twentyninth year, jorhat, 1972, p. 39
2.J.P. wade, an account of assam, (ed) B. sarma, sivasagar, 1927 p. XXIX
3. s.rajkumar, ithase soaura chashata bachar, Dibrugarh, 2000,p75
4. L. gogoi, tai sanskritir ruprekha, 1971, Calcutta, p 110
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About Sukapha Divas or Axom Divas

 


 About Sukapha Divas or Axom Divas ---- Nang Khushi Kolyani Gogoi. (Pancheng)

The perestigious golden era of Assam, the golden heritage of that period. The base for 600 years of the ahom rule was setup by Sukapha. Moung dung Shun kham was the name of the land . He established the ahom capital at charaideo in 1228. The first ahom king being Chao Lung Sukapha. He conferred the name Moung Dung Shun Kham to Axom. Moung dung sun kham meaning The land of garden gold. Today the land is known as assam. Sukapha divas is thus axom divas celebrated on Dec2 every year in memory of father of Bor Axom.
Chao lung Sukupha pe ong le.
Khop chao kha.

The Tai Ahom Language in Assam : Language Shift and The Process of Socio-Cultural Assimilation — Dr. Anita konwar, Asst. Professor, , Donation, Cheraidoi

 


 The Tai Ahom Language in Assam : Language Shift and The Process of Socio-Cultural Assimilation — Dr. Anita konwar, Asst. Professor, , Donation, Cheraidoi



Introduction
                 India beng a land of the people of different caste,community and religion has different regional languages. Assam, the abode of different ethnic groups has different languages and dialects. The Tai ahoms are the descendants of the ethnic tai people that accompanied the Tai Prince Suo Kaa Faa in to the Brahmaputra valley in 1228 and ruled the area of six centuries in the early 13th century, Muong Mao was a small kingdom of tai people, related to the Shan, in present day Yonnan province, China. in 1228, Suo Kaa Gas, a prince of Muong Mao began his journey with about 9000 followers, mostly men. He crossed the patkai hills and reached the Brahmaputra valley in 1228. He moved from place to place, searching for a seat.  He decided not to attack Morans and Borahis but befriend them instead.
Suo Kaa Faa and his followers established the ahom kingdom (1228-1826) and the ahom dynasty ruled and expanded the kingdom until the British gained control of the region through the treaty of yandaboo upon winning the first Anglo-Burmese war in 1826.
The culture of the modern ahom people is a syncretic blend of the original tai culture, the indigenous Tibeto-Burmans and hunduism. Many of the tai followers of Suo Ka Faa were unaccompanied males who subsequently married into the local communities. some ethnic groups, including the Tabeto-Burman speaking borahi people,  were completely subsumed into the ahom community. Members of other communities,  based on their allegiance to the ahom kingdom or the usefulness of their talents were accepted as ahimsa.Gradually, the indo-aryan Assamese language replaced the tai-ahom language as the ahoms converted tho hunduism and other aspects of Indian culture.
The tai ahom dynasty had reigned in Assam over six hundred years. Though they had their own languages,  the tai ahom language which was prevalent during the reign of the ahom kings was gradually replaced by Assamese languages. The language in classified in a north western sub-grouping of South western tai owing to close affinities with shan, khamti and,more distantly,Thai.The language today is used chiefly for liturgical purpose. It retains cultural significance and is used for religious chants and to read literature. Their are different socio-cultural and political factors behind the language shift. The hinduization of the ahoms was one of the major reason behind their inclination towards the Assamese language. Though the Assamese language become an official as well as spoken language for the tai ahoms, the influence of the tai ahom language is also perceptible in the case of Assamese language. Many words of the tai ahom languages have enriched the vocabulary of the Assamese language.
Objective & Methodology:
This paper aims at analyzing those factors leading to the language shift from the tai ahom to the Assamese language and the process of socio-cutural assimilation of the tai ahimsa.The methodology applied in the paper is analytical method.
[05/03 20:03] Kalyan Jyoti: Analysis:
The name of this land was not Assam before the arrival of the tai speaking people. according to Dr. Banikanta Kakoti, the name 'Assam' is associated with the 'Shaan' who came to in 1228 AD. The local people called them as 'Assam, Ahom'. In ahom language 'Sam' means defeated. when 'Aa' prefix is combined win it 'Assam'. After the tai ahoms had come to this land,  they included the bold, courageous men in their group with a view to from one powerful nation bya giving them indication with 'Aao-hom'.
In 1228 AD, Suo Kaa Faa, the predecessor of the tai ahoms landed in saumar after crossing the patkai hills. At that time, the upper part of Assam was known as Saumar and the lower part was known as kamrup. Suo Kaa Faa established his kingdom in charaideo.when swaragadeo Chao Lung Suo Kaa Faa established the ahom kingdom, one question arose regarding the use of language - weather the ahom people will continue the tai ahom language or accept the language of the defeated people. when the tai ahoms came to the new land, there were few men with them. The ahoms started matrimonial alliances with the local people. By accepting the local language. they intermingled with the local people. one of the traditions of the tai ahoms was history writing. so the use of the tai ahom language was confined only to history writing and religious writing.

The ahimsa had reigned for long six hundred years, so they influenced the Assamese language and culture. The ahimsa had cultural exchange with the local people. so the various words of ahom language had an entry into the Assamese language. The tai ahoms had immense contribution to Assamese language in to the field of history writing. The historical writings were started in 13th century and helped in the dissemination and development of Assamese prose style in the 15th century. The tai ahom language has enriched the Assamese language. examples of the assimilation of tai ahom words with Assamese words:

Ahom words              Assamese words
Kai/Chai                        Kakai
Kareng                          Kareng
Buranji                           Buranji
Lao                                Lao(wine)
Phuk                               Phuk(Chant)
Raap                               Raap(Interest)
Khin                                Khin(thin)
Chaklang      Chaklang(marriage system)
Chagmai(cook)   Changmai(a title)
Chao-dang                     Chaodang
Chalk                              Choka(Sharp)
Make            Jak-Jamak(Pompous)
Kai-Ki-Ni          Kakini(Betel Nut)
Ma'am                           Maam(rice)
Lik-Chau                Lik-Chou(servent)
Khi-la-n-ji                 Khilanjia(local)
   Many tai ahom words are assimilated into Assamese language. Though the language, there is a socio-cutural assimilation with the local people and helped in the formation of the greater Assamese society.
Tai ahom influence is also seen in the name of places. For example,
Tingkhong_____ Ting means high, khang means place
Tipam______To means place ,Pam means low (a low place)
Trok_______Place of butter (Ti means place and lok means butter)
Khamti_______ place of gold (kham means gold. Ti means place)
Namti______Place of water (Nam means water and Ti means place)
In tai ahom language, in other to refer to water or river the word 'Nam' is used. For example:
Nam-dang ---------muddy water (Name means water or river, daeng means red)
Namrup--------- The sixth river (Nam means water or river and Ruk means six)
In tai ahom language, the accent is very important. one word man have different meaning depending on the accent of the word. on the basis of accent, same works may have eight to nine meaning. This unique characteristics off the ahom language has influenced the Assamese language. as the Ahom reigned in the upper part of Assam for six hundred years, And assimilated with the Assamese society,so their is a difference in the tonal quality of the language of the lower Assam.
The most significant contributions of the ahoms are the tradition of history writing and the system of administration. The ahoms
[05/03 20:03] Kalyan Jyoti: Though the ahoms were the conqueror, they did not impose their language on the local people. The ahoms become bilinguals with the constant influence of the local languages especially the Assamese languages. one of the important reasons is that few ahom people came with the ahom King, so it was not possible for them to establish a big empire without the help of the local people. it was the administrative diplomacy of the ahom administrators that they employed the local people in different regal affairs.  in this way they work the hearts and support of the local people by showing respect to the local language win its practice in royal interactions. from 17th century onwards, the Assamese language began to have a firm grip where this ahoms started writing their history in Assamese as well as in ahom language. The gradual shifitng of the language reflects the socio-cultural assimilation of the ahoms Wit the local people. The ahoms had matrimonial relation with the local people. The children knew the mother's language and gradually the influence of the ahom language decline in the next generation. another reason for the decline of ahom language is the complexity of the language. This language is tonal and monosyllabic in nature. The phonetic system of language is difficult. The ahom become more interested in a comparatively simple and timeless Assamese language.
within the rise of vaisnative movement initiated bya srimanta sankaradeva in 16th century AD,Assamese came onto the forefront. one of the principal factor of the ahom's inclination towards the Assamese language is the Hinduization process if the ahoms. In the beginning of the 17th century during the region of king Rudra Singha,the process if hunduization started. The Assamese language also got an equal status line that of the Tao ahom language in the royal court. Gradually the Assamese language got more importance and the Tao ahom language faded away. it is because of the hinduization process that the ahom kings accept Hindu names like Rudra Singha, Rajeshwar Singha etc. besides their Tai Ahom names.
Conclusion:
The tai ahom came in contact win different communities like Kachari,Chutiya,Moran,Miriam,Lalung etc. with their diverse cultural and language since this time of their arrival. it is the far-sightedness of the first ahom king Chao Lung Suo Kaa Faa that he assimilated the aborigines to build his kingdom. The socio cultural assimilation is perceptible in the tai ahoms willingness to acknowledged the local culture and language. Tho assimilation leads to the development of the Assamese language.The language shift form the tai ahom to Assamese is the part of the socio-cultural assimilation of the ahoms with the other communities. To build a vast kingdom.it was essential for the king of unite all, irrespective of their socio-cutural differences, language can play a better role in bridging the gap among the different communities. By accepting the Assamese language as the mode of communication,the tai ahoms were successful in establishing a greater Assamese society. Assamese language also attains hybridity by including a large number of ahom words for places ,rivers, hills, And lakes.

Worked Cited:
Boruah, Sri Bimalakanta. Tai Bhasha.Jorhat:Assam Sahitya Sabha, 1974.
Buragohain, Sri Hem, ed. Che-Rai-Doi. Sibsagar:Hemkosh Press,1984.
Gogoi, Chow Lokeswar. Tai Jana Sanskriti, Part I. Gauahati:Chukapha Research Center, 1994.

Tai Ahom Culture And The Modern World Some Thought By— Dr. Stephen Morey, Professor, Lastrob University, Australia

 

 Tai Ahom Culture And The Modern World Some Thought By— Dr. Stephen Morey, Professor, Lastrob University, Australia

                   
All around the world communities are trying to preserve and revitalize their unique languages, traditions, songs and stories. In an ago of globalization, where we  can all talk to each on facebook and where we can all listen to the same songs, watch the same movies and eat the same foods.there seems to be a loss of diversity and the richness of the human experience.
Actually there is a nothing new about this - the Tai ahom language, spoken as a mother tongue since the time that Chao Lung Siukapha arrived in assam (1228 AD), ceased to be spoken as amother tongue more than 200 years back, long before hindi films and Facebook. But although the language stopped being used every day,and was not thought by mother's to their children, yet the Tai ahom language does remain today.
The two most important locations of the tai ahom language today are (1)the traditional rituals, such as Me Dam Me Phi, and (2)the many Tai Ahom manuscripts which are preserved by the Deodhai in their homes across the Tai ahom area - but particularly in sibsagar district.
These tai ahom manuscripts cover a large range of different subjects:  The histories (Buranji) are reasonable well know, detailing the story of the Ahom Kingdom from Chau Lung Siukapha up to the 19th century. But there are many other types of manuscripts; some, like the poun ko miung, deal with the creation of the world and the foundation of the tai States form which the tai ahom came. These may be literal histories, or foundation myths, or something in between, but they tell a great deal about the basis of the tai ahom culture are political structures.
Perhaps most of the manuscripts, however, deal with ritual: predictions, spirit calling, prayers and information relating to the traditional calendar (Lakni) .These prayers are in some cases still performed as part of the Me Dam Me Phi Ceremony.
AS far as l have been able to understand, the current practice of celebrating Me Dam Me Phi on 31st January as a public ceremony dates back perhaps 40 to 50 years. Me Da Me Phi pays tribute to the various spirits of ancestors and others whose benevolence is required for the good management of society. I have witnessed prayers, described as Me Dam Me Phi, beng performed in traditional tai ahom houses and including similar prayers to those which will be performed across upper assam on 31 January.
The kitchen of a traditional tai ahom house is a most important location for the family. and a place where the ancestors are honoured. I have observed that in the traditional mud houses. Shoes are to be removed three, even when in the rest of the house they can continue to be worn.This is the location where some of those traditional houses prayers are to be said.
Much more study and research is needed on the contents of the tai ahom manuscripts and on the way in which the tai ahom rituals are performed, as well as the language and meaning of the prayers. Most of the tai ahom manuscripts remain untranslated and their meaning is not fully clear. The revival of the ahom cultural needs to be fully grounded in a clear understanding of all the richness that has been preserved in the ahom manuscripts. Over the last 10 years or so, I have been involved in a project to photograph the manuscripts.  Documenting conserving and archiving the tai ahom manuscripts of assam (http://rap.bl.UK/database/overview_project.a4d? projilD=EAP373), as well as work on the tai ahom dictionary (http://sealang.net/ahimsa). This work needs to go on, because their is much more still to be understood about the traditional tai ahom language, culture and ritual.
As i mentioned at the top of this article, we all face the challenges of globalization and modernization. All culture is undergoing change,and one way of meeting that change is the adapt our traditions to the modern world. So it that Me Dam Me Phi has developed into a public event. I have attended many such celebrations where the traditional rituals are performed, the prayers are intoned, some sacrifice and offering is made. In addition, there may be some show - singing of modern songs in Assamese or in tai ahom are maintaining their cultural uniqueness and adapting to the modern world.
I send my very good wishes to the Me Dam Me Phi committee in Teok. The annual Me Dam Me Phi festivals are an important part of the tai ahom identity. Your tai ahom culture is important. Study it, preserve it, practice it and promote it.


In Search of Ancient Religion of The Tai āļĢ Dr. J.N. Phukan Professor , Department of History Guwahati University

 In Search of Ancient Religion of The Tai āļĢ Dr. J.N. Phukan Professor , Department of History Guwahati University

www.TaiAhom.Com

For the past many years it has almost been a fashion to ask the question what major religion, if any, the Tai of Assam, now better known as the Ahom, held when they first came to the Brahmaputra vally in the 13 th century? The attempts made by a number of writters to get answer to this question have resulted in several views which are often conflicting and cinfusing. According to Haliram Dhekial Phukan, who wrote as early as 1829, it was a sort of animism. Acharyya Suniti Kumar Chatterjee told that the Ahoms followed their old animistic religion. Padma Nath Gohain Baruah says on one occasion that the Ahoms were worshippers of Mahavishnu and such they were Vaishnsvas. But another occasion, he says that they were Budhists. The second view was held by Rai Sahib Golap Chandra Baruah in his book " Laitu Ba Laophala " published in 1905 and said that Ahoms were Buddhists and called their God by the name, " Phura Tara Along " . It is however, interesting to note that in the preface to his Ahom-Assamese - English Dictionary published in 1920, he indicated that the Ahoms were not Buddhists when they came to Brahmputra valley. They migrated to Assam before thr Tais were converted to Buddhism. And the Ahoms maintained their own religion in fact till the begining of the 15th century. P.R.T. Gurdon also says that Ahoms were possively not budhists. In Vol.111 OF the Encyclopedia of Religion and Eyhics, J. George Scott in his article, however, says that the Ahoms were Buddhists and established Buddhism everywhere excepts the hills. For four hundred years they maintained themselves and Budhism..... Dr. Surya kr Bhuyan also thinks that the Ahoms were followers of Buddhism and writes that definites traces of buddhist-Hindu influences can be found in the Ahom scriptures which they brought from their original land. Hiteswar BarBaruah in his presidential adress of history section of Assam Sahitya Sabha Session at Nagaon in 1925 maintained that the religion of Ahoms was mixture of Mahayana and Hinayana forms of Buddhism but didnot elaborate what that mixed form was. Purna kanta Buragohain, who spent many years in Burma, in his book, " Amar Adi Buranji " published in 1946 says that tha Ahoms were not Buddhists but followed " Phra long " religion in which animals wete sacrificed. But in 1956 in an article titled, " Tai Jati " published in Tai Sankrity he maintans that the Ahoms were " Ttyiyist " which is also called, " Taioism " . He, however, never explained whether this " Ttaoism " was the same with the " Taioism " of ancient China, and hence left the readers to gusses. Khetradhar Borgohain in his presidential Adress in All Assam Buddha Mahasabha held at Balipathar in 1946, observed that The Ahoms were Budhists of the " pa- kyang " sect and " phura lung " was nothing but a form of Mahayana Buddhism in which Amitava, or Padmapani or Avalokiteswara is prominants. 

Thanuram Gogoi, who was the president of the Buddhist Society of Phra Lung Culture, North East India, in a leaflet publised in 1946, claims the Ahoms were followers of phra long sect which is a section of Mahayana Buddhist and thus they were Mahayanists and the Ahom priests maitained their religion through out the Ahom rule. The Assam District Gazetteer Sibsagar district says that " their original religion approaches Taioism, " . In an article published in 1974, Dr. Lila Gogoi wtote that at the time of of their of coming to Assam, the Ahoms were the followers of a debased or corrupted form of " Tao " or Buddhism. Two years later hr, however, said that the Ahoms were basically followers of Taoism and not are buddhism . Curiously enough, five years later, in another article published in Prakash, he said that the Ahoms were originally followers of Taioism and Phra Tra of the Ahoms are nothing but Tao. But the Ahoms who came to Assam were Budhists, the adoption of the Indian Brahmi scripts, the practice of planting of tree by the Ahoms kings, and the chak-lang marriage form of the Ahoms support this claim. These are all features of Buddhism. Harendra Nath Phukan, in an article published in 1982, thinks that Ahom religion concepted with Mahayana Buddhism. Dr. Padmeswar Gogoi who is the only scholar to conduct a critical study of the problems of the Ahom religion says " The Ahoms of Assam brought with them not Buddhism but their racial religion may be with a mixture of Buddhistics influences. By quoting W.A.R Wood he says that the racial religion was the worshipping of " ths benrficent spirits of the hills, forests and waters and propitiating numerous demons with sacrifices and offering. In 1974, in an article published in the " Journal Of Assam Research Society " he said that it was more probable that the Ahoms were influenced by Theravada Buddhism of Burma which made them perform puja like Phra Long of Lord Buddha. But in 1979 in another article titled " Tai Ahome ki Dharma loi Assamat Pravesh korisil? He said that the Ahoms were Buddhists when they entered Assam. 

During the last ten years there has been a further increase of writting on the Ahom religion at many levels. Many of the writtings are, however, based on rudimentary and popular arguments, and are devoid of acceptable substance. Several of these seem to have written to support a particular form of religion. As a result, the Ahom religion question become more and more conflicting and confusing.

The views of the writters given above sufficiently prove that there does not exist any unanimity among writters about the religion of the Ahoms when they made their entry into the Brahmputra valley in the early 13 th century. In order to arrive at the truth, a historical and scientific approach must be adotedv. It is also essential to make a thorough study of the various religious scriptures of the Ahoms written in the Ahom scripts and language and also study the practices and sacrifices which had been observed by the Ahom priests in propitiating the gods and spirits. Attempts must also be made to draw a comparative study of the Ahom gods and spirits with those in Mahayana Buddhism and Taoism. Further, a comparative study of the forms of sacrifices and ritues of the Ahom religion with those in Mahayana Buddhism, if it had any, and in Taoism will greatly correct our views on things. In this context a broad comprehension of the findings of scholars about the religion of the Tais of Burma and Thailand of the same period will be great help , for, The Ahom religious question must not be srudied in isolation. It is accepted by all that before the greatest dispersal of the Tai Fan, like during the 13th century, most of them lived together in southern China and northern Vietnam complex and some in the northern extremity of Burma and Thailand. During the period they held their religion, customs and practices in common.

Some 45 years ago Reginald LE May in his work " The Culture of South-East Asia " raised the question about the religion of the Siemese ( now Thais) and wrote " but what religion, if any, they held when they first came to Siam is not established "( p. 154) . Besides LE May's answers to this question have been attempted by several renowned scholars like Phya Anuman Rajadhan, H.G. Quaritch Wales, Professor Rong Syamanand and several others. All of them agree that the Thais of Thyland adopted Hinayana form of Buddhism after they were in the Menam valley when they came into contact with the Mons and the Khmers. According to Prof. Syamananda, they followed Mahayana Buddhism which they had adopted before their change over to Hinayana Buddhism. Prof. Saeng Chandragram of Chiangmat University also holds the views that when the Tais came from Southern China to the Menam Vally they brought with them Chiness Mahayana Buddhism. According to Phaya Anuman Rajadhon " it is not known what religion was in their homr land before their exodus from their original home into Thailand and before they become forerunners of the present day Thai. It is almost certain that animism formed the part of the early belief and there maypperheps have some tracrs of Buddhism through Tibet and China. According to H.G. Quaritch Wales, ," the religion is not known, butvit is probable that they recieved Mahayanism at a fairly early period. He also says that Thais must have been animist. According to Erik Seidenfaden, the original religion of the Tai probably was animism, perhaps coupled with ancestor worship. Another Thai scholar, Luang Suryabongsa also thinks that thecreligion of the Thais when they lived in Yunnan was animism and ancestor worship. These are some of the views of the scholars on the religion of the Thais before they adopted Hinayana Buddhism in the Menam valley. 

Turning to the Shans of Burm a similar question has been raised.It is well known that the Tais of Burma who are better known as the Shans adopted the present form of their religion only during the 14th century. It is believed that the Tais of Burma had definite influence of Mahayana Buddhism. Erick Seidenfaden, however , thinks that prior to their arrival in the Shan Land, the Tai Yai were animism and perhaps few of them have imbibed the tanets of Taioism and Mahayana doctrines.

A correct answer to the problem of the Ahom religiom can be had only after a critical and thorough study of the all the different situations and sources. Till then any sweeping observation or view will be, at best halg truth, if not distorted.

The Belongings carried by Chao Lung Suo Kaa Faa — Chao Nagen Hazarika

 




 The Belongings carried by Chao Lung Suo Kaa Faa — Chao Nagen Hazarika


    Chao Lung Suo-Ka-Fa came to mung kla (Bai Sa Li according to same tai Buddhists) or summer, not to conquer this land but with a view to migrating form mung mit (Mung Mow Lung under the present day P.RC) and so  settle here per manently. According by he was accompanied by not less than nine thousand followers of both sexes and different age and various labours. This is necessary along with the migrants for their living in the new place or migration and so also the companions of Chao Lung Suo Ka Faa carried along with them th mimimum belongings necessary of their living in this new place.
Books of history such as the Ahom buranji edited by Rai Saheb Gopal Chandra Boruah,tells us that ai khum lung and ngi khum lai the ancestors from Mung fie to Mung Ri Mung Ram, bought with then the following animals - alligators, bears, tigers, sarpents,monkeys, seven crowa,nine hogs and ten lizards. What more were carried along with them were - Somdeo (Chao Fra Rung Seng Mung)  a magic sword (Henge Dang) ywo drums, four heavenly cooks,guns (Pasupat), laws and rules, royal umbrella, throne, gold mat, silver mat,big drum,ryal stick, instrument of punishment, pu fie -suo, the god of forest to rule over the forest by living on a Tung Rung Rai (thee),one big elephant etc. etc.
   Such was the case with Chow Lung Suo Ka Fa who carried all that he required for him and his companions in the new land. Now the question naturally arises as to what were those belongings. Form inferences and historico-empirical generalizations made from different traits and writinga ,we may say that the following among many others were brought to and introduced in Assam by Chao Lung Sou Ka Fa.
   (1) Water rich cultivation - Historical evidence reveal to us that there no sail kheti (water rice cultivation) in this north east part of present days geographical India prior to the advent of Chao Lung Suo Ka Fa. What there was only kheti (winter rice cultivation)  here made by splash and burn. It is Chao Lung Suo Ka Fa who brought with him sali paddy and introduced sali kheti culture in Assam. One of the varieties of sali paddy, carried by him is til now called ahom sali, the other varieties of paddy carried bya Chao Lung Su Ka Fa, as know, were khati neuli,borax and borbora paddy (to prepare luk lau = rice beer,khow mung = adhesive rice which is so popular in Yunnan and other areas of tai inhabitation) .Hol pona paddy, Sarag Fata paddy (Fa-La is an ahom term, Fa = Heaven,  La= to be born, to happen and 'Fa-La' if Assamecised becomes 'Saragar para ana' on to have been brought from heaven and here the Assamese word 'Sarag' is led to co-exist with the ahom term 'Fa-La' to imply the same meaning)  etc.
For talking up water rice cultivation, Chao Lung Suo Ka Fa brother with him a much improved varity of buffalo,  called in Assam the 'Asamia Moh''( Assamese buffalo) and aslo the buffalo.It is to be seen that the variety of buffalo found in lower Assam in of lower programs and ploughing is made with two Buffalo,  and the Tai people have the civilisation of ploughing with one buffalo only.  Moreover the culture of construction of embankments (Mo-Thap-U-Ri) for flood protection and of cutting carals for Saki Kheti were --
 (2) Ramie - Popularly known as 'Chinese Grass' Ramie has its origin in China. It was  carried to Assam bya Chao Lung Suo Ka Fa. It being the strongest and the most long lasting Fabre was used in Assam prion to the advant of the British in preparing Fa Bin Bai Ram (Tongali on Lavas) , ropes for cattle and elephant, fish nets, nets to catch tigers, in making bridges over small rivers, in preparing montars (coment)  popularly known as hon sufa for brick construction etc. Above all Chao Lung Suo Kaa Fa used ramine fibres in constructing rope bridges for crossing the hilly rivers as traditional folk- lores tell us.  Ramine in Assamese is called Riha pat.
 (3) Jute - (Corchenus Capsularis/Corcherus Olitorius) - Jute is found growing wild in Yunnan faling under the then Mung Mow Lung. It is said that Chao Lung Suo La Fa bought this botane form there with him and from Assam it went to Bengal. The land producing the highest quality of jute. Ramie is comparatively superior or ramie. Moreover the specious of Mitha Mora (edible non - better jute plant).Tenga Mora (ahom meat and) were brought to Assam by Chao Lung Suo Ka Fa as vegetables,
   (4) Som on Chom tree and Mugabe Silk- The Assamese word 'Chom' or 'Som' is derived form the ahom word 'Chom' meaning 'to get attached to (something); In other cases of sericulturing, the food leaves are plucked and supplied to the silk worms an vessels but in case of Mugabe the silk worm is had attached to the tree containing the fead leaves and therefore the tree is called in ahom language 'Tun Chum ' (Tun = Tree) . Chum tree (Antheraea Assam) and 'Muga ' cultivation were brought bya Chao Lung Suo Ka Fa to Assam from his 'old country ' and therefore it was called ' Mung Kow ' (Mung = country,  Low = old)  and the Assamese word 'Muga' is a derivating of 'Mung Kow'.Putnam Kant's Boragohain While travelling in Yunnan of P.R.C found in tun hung village a tree called 'Chum Fet' which is but chum tree of Assam, and it was till few years back used for production of silk. This produces an evidence for the coming of the chum tree and the coming of the chum tree and the Muga culture to assam form Mung Mow Lung. Besides the silk culture and the erendi silk culture were brought to assam by Chao Lung Suo Ka Fa. It was after seven hundred years that in 1905 A.D. Mr. Lafroy scientifically cultured erendi and mulberry silk and India after coliecting from Assam and introduced in kashmir, Mysore, Kanchipur and other place of India. ''The ahom introduced into Assam silk like = Muga and pat ...."
 (5) Orange - (Mak Dow in Ahom)  The original abode of orange is China, Shan states, kohima, China etc. India is known to have imported orange form the first time in 1852 A.D .Only from Malta for ultivatime in northern India but before that is 1828 A.D, Oranges were expected from Assam to Europe. It is futhuer known that some of orange is sylhet And at the foothills khasi - Jayantia hills in 1830 - 35 A.D .in an area covering about 100 square miles and as per C. Brownal's report (1869 A.D ) orange is abundance were produced there and in 1902 - 03, a quantity of 74,000 manunds of orangea (worth of Rs 28,000/=) was exported out of undivided assam.
     The above shows that orange was cultivated in Assam muck period to 1826 A.D .when it was aunexed to British India. In Assam orange is known as  Sumthira Tenga, Kamala, Narangi (Bihari Hindi) Santra ( Urdu/ Hindi) etc. ''Sumthira ' appearing to be an Assamese word is actually a derivatives of ahimsa words Sum+Thiu+Ra (Sum=sour on soy fruit, Thiu = good testing,  good looking,  Ra = Much, meaning - very good looking good testing sour fruit)  and the people of upper Assam generally use the word "Sumthira Tenga " for orange more than there of lower Assam. In ahom orange is also called Mak Dow as found in ahom Laxicons (DHAS) which was compilshd in 1795 A.D .In view of the above and also in view of the original abode of orange bring China. It may be empirically generalised that Chao Lung Suo Ka Fa brought this species of botane Wit him from Mung Mow Lung.
 (6) Ahom Bagari (Ahom Plum) - The name itself implies that this type of plum (presently) was of ahom belonging. It was bought to Assam by  Chao Lung Suo Ka Fa. Tho plum is very delicious and ahoms have a respect of this tree, may be due to the fact that Lao Tse,  A Tai fore father and Scholar was born under and ahom Bagari tree. The fire wood made of this tree is very suitable for preparing duck roast and the refore till today. Packing duck (Beijing Duck) is roasted in this fire wood and sold in the main gate of the forbidden city of Beijing. Beside they ahom plum,  the Nora plum (Nora Bagari)  was bought along win Chao Lung Suo Ka Fa from the Shaw states.
 (7) Other Botane - Chao Lung Suo Ka Fa brought with him also the following - (a) Takou (A kind of plum tree called 'Tongkou ' or Tun - Nyto Tong ' in ahom)  tree to use the matured leaves for roofing. (b) Tea plants ('Tun -Cha' in ahom)  to use as medicine and preparing intoxicating beverage. (c) Nefafu ('Neu Fak Fu 'in ahom)  to use as medicinal vegetables to take Wit park and bef in orther to keep boold pressure right. (d) Sinkara flower plant (Blok - Sing -Far in ahom language, meaning the sacred flowers of Haven which is compulsory used in all the religious fictiona of the ahoms). (e) Raidang (Rai = Shine,  dang = big stik)  cane, (f) Thorny bamboo to plant on the ramparts and fort's.  (g) HUN DA banana called HUNDA KAL or Baratmani banana in Assamese.  (h) MONICHAL tree (Soap nut tree)  called TUN MAK SAK in ahimsa. (I) The culture of eating of matural betelnut  after soaking for month together,  Jaba (JA+FA=Ahom tree) , Kopou phul (ahom orchid).
 (8) RIHA MEKHELA - "The Riha Mekhela ensemble, specialiy the Ribs was introduced with other Tai races of Thailand and Indo - China " This waste carried by the women companions if Chao Lung Suo Ka Fa along with other stihed garments of Chap-kon  pot -lung, khip-Tin, etc. And untitched garments like,the Stiched garment cultural us Chaos Lung Suo Ka Fa's contributions.
 (9) FIRE ARMS - "Its is belived that it is the same people who in ancient time first discovered gun powder and guns which passed from assam to pegu,  and from pego to china. This is the reason why this discovery is generally ascribed to the Chinese.
  (10) OCTAGONAL PLAN IN ARCHITECTURE .....it's octagonal plan is definitely an ahom innovation, not to be found in any of the earlier structure, indigenous on exolice ...." The octagonal plan of architecture is a contribution of Chao Lung Suo LA Fa along with dragon culture in architecture.
 (11) DANCE AND MUSIC - Warrior are always culture of dance and music and so were also like ahom. Car rying of KONG (drum) from fie to mung ri  mung ram by the tais is a history. What were brought with Chao Lung Suo Ka Fa were - the bihu DHOL, bihu dance, bihu songs, TOKARI (Tuk Kai) , BHOR TAL, PEPA made of Buffalo horn TOKA (Tong -ka) , TEMEKA (Teu-Me-Ka) , Dhun Tuk (DUn -Tak)  and what rot which were later on adopted by other communities of Assam. lai lung kham other dances within ahom fold.  Meji (Me+ji) culture is choa lung suo ka fa's contribution.
  CONCLUSION  :  what else were carried by Chao Lung Suo Ka Fa along with him on his way to MUNGLLA can not be hastily Summarized without doing a thought research. In shot the present a though reachers. In short the present day "Assamese culture " is but the contribution this great explore who carried these culture traits alone with while being to Mung Dun Sun Kham. However we may refer to the following which were carried along with Chao Lung Suo Ka Fa ----(1) Writing on Sanchi Pat (cahn+chi=ahimsa term) and preparation of it (2)prose writing (3)writing history (4)Bamboo culture (5)Japi (head cover made of bamboo sticks and Tokou leaves and other materials)  (6) Road network culture (7)Nag pota, placing while digging tanks (8)Ramparts (9)Veterinary medicine booka (Lit Sang Sang Sa Ri on Hastividyarnava Ghora Nidan on Lit Sang Sang Sa Ri Ma) , (10) Planned homestead,  planned village paik system of administration (11) Production of mortar (cement)  by mixing molasses, matimah (Phaseolustraditions) line Bonali fish, duck egg, mustard oil,  resin,milk, Bora rice powder, limestone and Rami fiber etc.  (12) Upswept cave in architecture,  (13) Moidam (Moy + Dam = Ahom term) ,(14) Some science,  (15) Coinage and owing culture, (16) Ban Bati, Ban Kanhi, Mai Hanger ,(17) Brick culture (18) Bronze culture, (19) Jade and Jang Fai culture, (20) Dragon,  (21) Collection of gold particles from river sands etc. And above all SECULARISM and a DEMOCRATO MONARCHY.
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