Zo peoples of Manipur and Mizoram: ethnicity, religion, a shared history.

Source: The post is based on the article “Ethnicity, religion, a shared history: ties that bind the Zo peoples of Manipur & Mizoram” published in Indian Express on 5th July 2023.

What is the News?

Mizoram’s Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) has called for a reunification of the Zo people in view of the continuing ethnic violence between the dominant Meiteis and the Kuki-Zomi tribes in Manipur.

Who are Zo people?

The Zo people are an ethnic group which inhabit areas of India, Myanmar and the Chittagong hill tracts of Bangladesh.

The Chin Hills or Indo-Chin hill ranges in northwestern Myanmar is the home to a large number of tribes that come under the Zo umbrella.

Zo group includes many sub-tribes and clans such as the Chin, Kuki, Mizo, Lushei, Zomi, Paitei, Hmar, Ralte, Pawi, Lai, Mara, Gangte, Thadou, etc.

These tribes are believed to have migrated from China through Tibet to settle in Myanmar, and speak a group of Tibeto-Burman languages.

Constant feuds among the tribal clans and their kings (chieftains) drove many of the clans westward to modern-day Mizoram and parts of Manipur in the 17th century. 

They settled in new villages but even so remained socially and emotionally connected with the Chin tribes of Myanmar.

Apart from ethnicity— the tribes are also connected together by Christianity

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