Impact of Modern Communication                                             Page :52

 
Dr. Jatin
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Dr. Jatin
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    (a) among themselves and with the tribes of the hills, they used their own  dialects;          
         (b) to barter and to interact with their neighbouring communities, they had to pick up  Assamese language; and
         (c) in the process of interaction, they came within the field of Hinduism and Assamese became more prevalent among them.
          In the isolated tribal system, barter, conversion and growing interaction with the neighbours influenced their pattern and  range of communication. Since they were settled on the banks of the Brahmaputra, Subansiri and other small rivers, they were linked  with their  neighbours and other villages by boats. The Mishing  were expert boatmen and since time immemorial, they used to construct their boats. In this respect, after migration to the plains, their technique was much developed. They use boat for fishing also. Boats are used
to go to the field, to transport the products to the local markets and to participate in festivals and ceremonies.
           Traditionally, the Mishings were expert elephant catchers and trainers. Formerly, almost all well-to-do Mishing families used to have elephants. Even today, possession of elephant is a symbol of social prestige.
           While they were within the isolated tribal system, sending of intra village message were done mostly by individual messengers, beating drums or by holding kebang . The Mishings were having associations within the village. The kebang(village council), Yame-member(youths) associations had recruited persons for sending messages. Within the village, the messages of the kebang were circulated to the villagers by the Barik(messanger) either by beating drum or delivering the news loudly. The date of holding and the decisions of the Kebang were the usual messages circulated by the Barik within the village. For the circulation of the messages of the yame-member association, Deka Bora(messenger of the boys) and Maiki Bora(messenger of the girls) were appointed. All these recruitments were for a term of one year only. After one year, new recruitments were done. Concessions in all matters within the village were given to them during their term of office as messengers
       The Mishings way of life is reflected in their folk tales and folk songs These have been going on for generation after generation as messages among the people . The folk tales and songs inform them about their ancestors, their way of life etc. Oinitom , the famous folk song of the Mishngs , is used as a media of sending personal messages. Among the youths, sending of personal messages through Oinitom have been going on since time immemorial. They usually express their love and effection towards their beloved by Oinitom. Signs and symbol are also used as a means  of informing other people. For instance, at the time of performance of Dobur Puja , they construct a gate at the main entrance road of the village. The gate is a sign of caution to the outsiders, so that no outsider can enter into the village at the time of puja.
              As mentioned earlier, the means of inter-village communication were mainly the boats and elephants. In sending messages to other villages,usually the intra-village messengers were entitled to use the same. These included the communication among themselves and also with other communities.  


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