Mishings: A Portrait of the Traditional Social System                Page : 16

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Dr. Jatin
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Dr. Jatin
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The Gams thus appointed, used to draw few hundred pieces of silver per annum from the Royal treasury of the Ahoms[Pegu: 1956].Thus, the Mishings have a distinct place in the Ahom history.Some of them held important military post as Miri Hadinque (officer).Besides, the Ahoms giving recognition to the proficiency in displaying the bow and arrow, recruited many Mishings for their battalion of Karhis (archers). The Karhis played a magnificent part in the military operations of the Ahom kings. Some Mishing families belonging to the pegu clan, still bear the title of Karhi-Pegu (Pegu:1956).
           The present site of Dibrugarh town was inhabited by a few Mishing villages till the British built their fort on the bank of the Dibru river, which eventually led to the formation of Dibrugarh town. The presence of Miri-Pather near Dibrugarh town bears testimony of it to this day(Pegu : 1956). The Mishings took active part in the Independence movement. Sahid Kamala Miri, who lost his life  in the Independence movement, bears testimony of Mishing participation in the freedom movement. After the Independence of India, the Mishings have been recognised as a part of the Assamese community. Excepting their tribal customs and traditions, the Mishings are now-a-days  a part of the regional Assamese culture  through language, technique of production and polity.
                                                         
III
As regards their deities, religious beliefs and practices, theMishings regard the Sun (Doynee) and the Moon (Polo) as their ancestors. They regard the Moon as their father and the Sun as their Mother. And therefore in any ritual performance, they first recite the name of ane'  Doynee (Mother Sun) and Abu Po: lo (Father Moon). As per their legends (Pegu,1956:II), Kiling-Kange was the original abode of the Mishings (now in the Adi area of Arunachal Pradesh) from where they came down to Regi-Regam and spread to the South. On their way down from the hills, they were confronted with a rapid (gili) stream with extremely steep banks on either sides. Their effort to cross the stream having failed,they began to worship the Sun (Doynee) and the Moon (Po:lo), their generators. One day, they found two huge creepers of golden colour (Maying and Mankong) growing by the bank, which, on cutting formed a bridge across the stream. These creepers they usually refer to as two golden ladders by which their forefathers came down from heaven (Kiling-Kang). Shedi Babu (Father Shedi) according to them, is the creator of all animates and inanimates. His predecessor - Pudolondo-the Divine one, emerged out of  Infinity (Tapapumang). Shedi Babu first created the Melo-Nane (Mother Melo).All others on the Earth are created by Shedi Babu and Melo Nane. Accordingly, the Mishings trace their clan organisation.Legends in this context are collected by Payengkataki (1935) around the rivers Siang and Subansiri of Arunachal.


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