Acculturation Among the Mishings                                              Page :38

 
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       Now,let us try to explain what new religious institutions have been added to the villages under study. In Mohmora and Duhutimukh, all families belong to the Nisamalia sect, whereas, in village Barpamua except 20 families, all others are followers of Nisamalia sect. In Mishing villages, both sects are having their seperate Namghars.In all the three villages, there are Namghars of Nisamalia but Bhagawatias are having their Namghar near village Barpamua. Both sects have preserved their contacts with Murong(dormitory), Kebang(tribal council) and the tribal festivals.
        If we take the help of a few case studies, we shall be able to explain the nature of Vaishnavism, and its adoptive-mechanism with tribal rituals and customs.

Case Study 5.1
          Shri Ingreswar Pegu(age 45 years) of Barpamua village is one of the pioneers in adopting Vaishnavism in Jengraimukh area.According to him, it is difficult to convert the Mishings into Bhagawatia as they are incapable of leaving their traditional customs. Those who are converted do not strictly follow the rule of Vaishnavism. He himself participates in tribal rituals, though he is an ardent follower of Vaishnavism. The main aim behind his conversion into Vaishnavism is to reform the religious practices of his community. But, he fails in his attempt. For the sake of the satisfaction of his co-villagers, he participates in traditional rituals also. Like Shri Pegu, the other the newly converted disciples are doing the same thing. As a matter of fact, Bhagawatia sect is trying to synthesise the animistic form of religious activities of the Mishings with Hinduism. This has created a situation of marginality also.
Case Study 5.2
          Shri Kanai Doley (age 48 years) belongs to Nisamalia sect. He was secretary of the Mishing Kristi Sangha during 1956-58, and was President in 1959. As a result of contact with the Gosains, several villagers along with him accepted Nisamalia sect. But still, they have not discarded their primitive religious practices. Therefore, lots of traditional rituals are performed by his fellow community members. The performance of tribal rituals requires a lot of wastage. Shri Doley has been trying to make people conscious on this point. And he asks villagers to perform only those rituals which are less harmful to their economy.The followers of Nisamalia sect have tried to find out the common elements between tribal forms of worship and Hinduism as practised at the folk level in Assam.
        It is worthmentioning that in certain cases the people are conscious about their traditional institutions and sometimes revivalistic trends are also visible. For instance, in my first visit to Mohmora,  there was a Namghar in the village but there was no Murong. I asked the villagers whether they are interested in traditional institutions or not. After one year, when I revisited the village, I found a newly constructed Murong.


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