Overview and Concluding Remarks                          Page :73

 
Dr. Jatin
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Dr. Jatin
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importance of the tribal village priests known as Miri or Mibu in all religious activities; and thirdly,the introduction of  Namghar as their religious institution which replaced the significance of Murong in their society.In spite of all these, a considerable number of respondents are found who are converted into bhagavatia or mohapurushia sects of Hinduism which means the further reformative attitude towards their present religion.
          Formerly, the Mishings had no caste system and notion of purity and pollution in their food habits.This study reveals that after the conversion to Hinduism they gave up the habit of eating beef. Now-a-days, like the Assamese Hindus, the villagers offer betel nut (tamul-pan) to the guests.The use of milk,oil, tea is gradually replacing the apong (rice beer) which is looked down by the people who are converted into Vaishnavism.It is found that next to their own dialect,the language of the Mishings is Assamese.Assamese is known to all respondents and Hindi and Bengali are also known to them to a certain extent.
According to the respondents, the process of acculturation in the field of language among the Samugurias is so deep that they have forgotten their own Mishing dialect.The Mantras used by the bhakats,hatulas are in Assamese language which shows the link between rituals and language. Moreover, though the traditional pattern of house-construction is common among the villagers,they often try to construct Assam type pucca buildings.Of course,it is still possible only among the economically sound and educated villagers.The various types of house-styles are found, i.e.,the traditional chung ghar,Assam type pucca building, houses constructed on wooden platform, kaccha mati ghar etc.In regards to the clothes and dress, it is found that the indigenous practice of weaving is gradually declining.At present, excepting the women, the dress-pattern of the men is similar to that of the non-tribal Assamese.The traditional dresses are used only during the time of festivals and ceremonies.As regards the tools and implements, it is found that the agricultural tools and household utensils excepting few, are like the non-tribal Assamese.
           In bringing about change in the Mishing social structure, the railway line and other means of communication networks have also played significant roles.A few studies have thrown light on the role of communication networks in social change(Atal :1977 ; Kiernan :1977).The introduction of the railway line in the Mishing areas has brought about considerable change.It is playing its role mainly in three areas, first of all, it has increased horizon of social intercourse of the villagers with other non-tribal people which has led to the change in their social ,economic and political life.Secondly ,it has augmented immigration. The contact with migrants has made Mishing villagers polyglot.Thirdly, as the journey fare in train is cheap, in helps in minimising their  expenditure.More or less the similar role is   being played by the road transportation.The marketing centres have also helped in developing interaction among the people.A few villagers are found to subscribe newspaper and owning radio-sets.There is two-fold impact on the villagers, firstly, in the evening gatherings, where the literates and students read out the news, the villagers have the chance to know about the happenings. Secondly, they have the opportunity to sort out their problems because of the growing political consciousness and awareness. The radio is used primarily for recreation .It is found in the study that bi-cycles regarded as one of the most important possessions.It is one of the most important means to carry their agricultural products to the markets and means of transportation to visit their relatives.
           Several studies (Mukhopadhyaya:1967;Sinha:1968) have tried to analyse the


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