Mishings: A Portrait of the Traditional Social System                 Page : 18

 

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Dr. Jatin
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Clan and Kinship Organisation
   Clan organisation of the Mishings is interesting from the sociological point of view. The Mishings trace their clan from the name of their forefather or from the name   of deities. According to their beliefs, there is a Creator of the universe. They believe that the living being of the world were created by a supreme being   and therefore they trace their Opi'n (clan) from the name of that creator. According to them, the mystery prior to the creation of the earth is the Kooyum. From the Kooyum six incarnation or evolution took place. They were  Yumkang, Kashi, Shiang, Anbo, Bamuk, Muksheng and She:di.Prior to She:di, which universal name is Me:lo , nothing was created in the universe. Later on after the creation of She:di and Me:lo ,several incarnations or evolutions took place. They were She:di , Di Ling, Li tung, Tu:ye, Yepe, Pe dong .As they believe, the Pe dong is the Supreme Creator or Mother who created the Gods and Goddesses, human  beings, animals , plants, insects and other creatures of this world. All the evolutions are regarded by them as deities. But the Mishings cite the name of Mother Pe, dong(mother rain) when they count their clan, because she is regarded as the creator of all.
  Some of the Mishings clans are Kuli,Kutum,Koman,Kagyung,Doley,Pegu,Pangging, Mo:do, Mo:rang,Mipun,Lagachu and so on.The Mishings have sub-clans and clan-deity also.For instance, Le:dang,Le:tung,Gejera,Patiri are some of the sub-clans of Doley clan and their deity is known as She:bo.Clan-deities are not so important now-a-days in their social activities.There are few clans among the Mishings which came into being as a result of the contact with the Chutias,the Ahoms and the Bhuyans.Some of the chutias took shelter in the Mishing villages when they were defeated by the Ahoms(1376 A.D.).Later on,they married Mishing women and became Mishings.The name chutia-miri or miri-chutia is the result of those inter-community marriages.
        Like the chutias,during the Ahom reign and the Burmese aggression, many Ahoms took shelter in the Mishing villages and settled down permanently.Hence,many Mishing families have adopted Chutia and Ahom surnames (e.g.Konwer,Handique,Gogoi,Gohain,etc.).The surnames are not regarded as clan names though they use them after their names.
       Till the last part of nineteenth century,the Mishings did not use their clan name as suranmes.At that time,the Mishings introduced themselves according to their father's name.Later on,the name of the father was regarded as the clan name and from then onwards clans have been playing an important role in all their social activities,Now-a-days,a man is not allowed to enter into the household if he does not know his own clan and clan-deity.  Ofcourse it is not strictly followed by them.
        Among the Mishings, the patriarchal joint family system is popular. However, a husband and a wife usually like to live together, separate from the main family. Within the patriarchal joint family, there are varying degrees of closeness in relationship. The relationships can be seen from kinship organisation of the Mishings; the geneological pattern (table p.120) shows the nature of their relationship.
        It is seen that FaeBr, FayBr are regarded as Babatta, Baboi or Apang.Similarly, FaeBrWi and FayBrWi are regarded as mother of the ego. The relationship is consanguinal. To show the consanguinity kai(Br), Bi'ro(Br), Mamo(BrWi), Oi(Mo) etc. are used. On the other hand if the relationship is affinial, the Mishings use Magbo (SiHu), Yigo((WiBr),Yigne`


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