MISING POPULATION AND SOCIAL STRUCTURE
The population of Mising in Assam is estimated to be 1,257,596 as per 2006 census. But the Mising organisations like Mising Ba:ne Ke'bang, TMPK (Takam Mising Parin Ke'bang)- All Mising Student Union, claims it to be more than 1200,000. The Mising population in Arunachal Pradesh is estimated to be 15000, a sizable number. Literacy rates of Mising tribe is quite high. It is more than 78% among males and 59% among women averaging to be 68.8% which is higher than that of Assam as well as India.
Mising constitute sizable number of officers of Assam government with ratio much higher than their population. There are now many Mising successful businessmen. Traditionaly, Mising businessmen were into construction line by Assam Government departments like PWD, Irrigation, E&D, NEC(North Eastern Council) etc. But recently, there are many Mising businessman who are into auto mobiles, IT industry too.
Mising Social Structure
While there are presence of variety of clans among the Misings, they generally classify themselves under two broad groups/clans- Pegu and Doley. All Misings with other surnames align themselves with either Pegu or Doley. There is no marriage within same clan, i.e. a Mising man with Pegu surname will never marry a Mising woman with Pegu surname. A Doley will marry Pegu and vice versa.
Misings classify themselves in many subgroups. I think it is interesting to see many sub grouping among small tribal group like Misings. Here are few groupings Mising make :
These groupings are based of style of dialect each group speak. Only Pegu and Doley belong to Pagro group. Rest belong to other groups. Samuguri or Samuguriyang are the people who follow every Mising rituals, but they do not or can not speak Mising langauge. Most probably, Oyan were the people who were under Adi tribe in Arunachal and fled to Assam and assimilated with Mising. Mising speaking style of Oyan is almost same as Adi.
Mising with surname Medok, Kaman etc. belong to Sa:yang. Pame, Modi, Bori, Taid etc belong to Moying.
[To be edited as facts are being ascertained]
Till few years ago, marriage between Pagro and other communities were discouraged.
The other grouping of Misings are :
1. Barogam ( 12 Gam)
2. Dogam ( 10 Gam)
3. at gam ( 8 Gam)
Here also, Pegu and Doley belong to Barogam, highest hierarchy. Others like, Mili, Kutum belonged to Dogam. Theory Says that, These groupings were based on some title (Khel) by Ahom kings and the vaishnavization process of Srimanta Sankardeva. It is a resultant of the process of building a larger Assamese identity, wherein the the Assamese community embraced the other smaller tribes into their culture and assimilated them. But one interesting feature to be noted here is that the Misings, however assimilated they have become have yet maintained their cultural aspects with sanctity. This dual presence of both Assamese culture and their indigenous culture within the tribe has captured the interest of many anthropologists.
Pegu and Doley also have many groupings themselves. For example :-
Pegu has the following subgroups :-
They consider themselves to be same brothers.
Doley has the following sub groups
There are certain clans of Misings which have been traditionally more advanced than many tribes in Assam in terms of education, prosperity, land owning etc. They are normally found on the banks of river Subansiri (Abonori in Mising language). Also they belong to two most populous, wealthy as well as advanced Mising clans, Pegu and Doley. It is noteworthy here that, Misings of all other surnames align with these two surnames only. Namely, A Mising with surname Patir ( For example, Rajani Kanta Patir, former Chief Secretary of Arunachal Pradesh), aligns with Pegu and Misings with surname Pegu and Patir never intermarry as they consider themselves to be brothers and sisters. Same way, a Mising with surname Kutum ( For example, Late Ganesh Kutum, former Assembly Speaker of Assam Assembly) aligns with Doley and they never intermarry as they belong to same clan.
The yearly floods ensured that majority of Misings lived a life of abject poverty and misery. Agriculture being their main occupation, floods affect them in more ways than one. Moreover, due to their affinity towards living close to river banks brings about Malaria and water-borne diseases. But 94% of them still continue to live along the banks of Brahmaputra and its tributaries, unfazed by the disasters striking them.
To be updated.
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