The Yimkhiungru tribe inhabits the Eastern part of Nagaland and is one of the major recognized tribes of Nagaland. Yimkhiungru tribe is endowed with rich history, culture, customs, traditions and practices. The tribe was the first ever community to commence war upon the Indian soldiers in 1955 at Huker village. The tribe possesses rich history of freedom fight for Naga Independence and immense contribution towards building of New Nagaland.
A BRIEF ACCOUNT AND MIGRATION OF YIMKHIUNGRU TRIBE:
The Yimkhiungru Nagas migrated along with the rest of the Nagas from the South-East Asia through the mountains and basins of China, Thailand and to our present location through Burma (Myanmar) along Irrawady and Chindwin rivers. In the course of migration, the Yimchungers crossed over covering the present Saramati area along the Patkai Range on the banks of Tizu and then the Zungki rivers. Initially the Yimchungers settled at a place called Tongkhun/Mih-bokpung which is located on the banks of Zungki (also known as Thu-rak-ke) river. It is also to be noted that Zungki river is a collective confluence of several adjoining major rivers. One such river is the Yayi-Langa ke. This ancient settlement is between the present Sikiur and Anatongre villages on the banks of Zungki river. From here, they moved on and established the legendary village called Ke-mi-phu with 999 households which are also considered the parental village of the Yimchunger tribe. Geographically, this place was climatically covered with cloud and mist, with heavy dew drops, and often wet and moist where sunlight always shone late. In the harsh winters, the houses and the surroundings of the village were often covered with heavy dew and moist especially in the morning. This difficult climate was also a major factor for further migrations apart from the expanding population.
From Kemi-phu, several ancient villages/settlements were established across the Zungki river, which expanded and migrated in all directions in which some of the prominent and ancient villages and settlements among them are ‘Ying-phu and Tong-khun’. In the later stages and generations, another ancient and parental village called the Yimkhiung Awun was established by the very descendants of the early settlers and inhabitants of the ancient and legendary Kemi-phu village, situated North-West of the Zungki river. Yim-khiung literarily means –“Searched, Arrived and Found” that is for the establishment and settlement of the Yimkhiung village, where members of all Home speaking dialects and clans were represented from the beginning. From the ancient Yimkhiung Awun, some of them migrated further and established a well known Langa village across the Hiruppong mountain range and then continued to spread in all directions far and wide, crossing and expanding even beyond the Dikhu river.
From Yimkhiung Awun, several villages and settlements were also established just as on the other side of the Zungki river. One such village is the ‘Yahko Awun’ (not the present Yahkor village) before the famous mass exodus of the great Langa village. Some of the settlers of the Yahko Awun were Thsan, Yimsokhiung, Mukhe, Rangkhu, Alo, Resumong and others. Incidentally, the forest at Yahko was thick with plenty of wild animals. In one of the areas, there was a salt-water hole which was called Alo and Rangkhu Shih-Ye: where many wild animals came to drink the salt water from the water-hole, located between present Sangphur and Kuthur villages. In one of the hunting expeditions, a wild boar was shot at with a cross-bow by Thsan. However, the animal did not die on the spot. Thsan and other hunting members went after the wounded animal and searched its tracks for six days. On the sixth day, the wild boar was found dead in the jungle down south by some other hunters from the neighbouring villages namely, Yamshu and Yousang, who found the dead boar before Thsan and Alo group. Thsan indicated to the above hunters that it was him who killed the boar. In order to prove his point, Thsan who had earlier picked up a piece of shattered liver of the wounded boar along the track, that was puffed out from the wounded hole of the arrow head (Yinchitung Ku) decided to slice open the animal and checked its liver, which had bled to dead from the wound caused by Thsan.
They dissected the dead animal and compared the liver which matched the size and the mark of the missing piece of liver shot off by the arrow head of Thsan. Since they could not understand each other’s language, they only made sign languages and gestures. After the verifications and agreeing that Thsan had indeed shot the animal, they decided to divide the animal equally. They were six of them; four from Thsan group and Yamshu and Yousang – the other group. While dividing the meat equally, a seventh piece was left over. After seeing this, they tried to equally divide it into six shares only. They repeated this and again still, one piece remained (seventh one). After this incident, they took it as a blessing of plenty and abundance. They became acquainted and decided to establish a new village within that location which was geographically under Kemi-phu territory. Thereafter, they fixed a date for meeting to establish the proposed village by tying knots of the number of days from a slit cane rope.
On the fixed date, Thsan’s group led by Zhelo from neighbouring Sangphur village (which was then established at a location called Shih-khun) along with a Mithun headed for the fixed location. However, due to the slow movement of the Mithun which had to be led through mountainous slops, they arrived late at sunset. By then, Yamshu and Yousang group had already arrived. They wondered if Thsan’s group had kept their word and were impatient. They decided to go up the hill to see if they were on the way and gave a yelling call. By then, Thsan’s group had already advanced and neared the fixed location. They heard the call and answered back in Yimchunger dialect.
Finally, they met and made sign languages and gestures of a Mithun being brought as decided for the feast during the establishment of the proposed village. Thus, they established another ancestral village called “Tukhean Kiulong – Tukhian khup” within Kemi-phu area. Zhelo who led Thsan’s group returned to Sangphur village. The group inhabitants were also thus known as “Tukheanru” from the where the word “Tikhir” is derived – which is incorrect and misleading. Tukhean means ‘when two or more groups get together in an understanding socially and geographically’ – which is also known as “Tukhen Arih”
It is historically said, as mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, that the village of Kemiphu has a legend where the morning hours were always wet with mist and fog; whose inhabitants would get covered with dew from the moist and fog on their heads and body after going out to the nearby jungles and returning to the village from collecting their daily needs from the forest resources. It was also said to be the same at Tukhean Kiulong/Tukhean Akhup. Incidentally, there was a place called “Aying ke Shih Ye”- ( a place where wild animals visited frequently to drink salt water) where the vicinity was also covered with dew and moist. Hence, the claim of dew people (Tukhea Liu) as separate or a tribe in definition by our Tikhir dialect speaking brothers from the rest of the Yimchungers is historically, culturally and socially incorrect and a misnomer.
To this, it is therefore clear from historical accounts without any distortions, subtractions and additions that the so – called Tikhir tribe never existed, not to speak of the territory as claimed. Since the beginning of the migration/origin of the Yimchunger Tribe, our Tikhir brothers have always been a part and parcel of the Yimchunger family: as descendants from the same fore-fathers and ancestry (Lineage). Like many other fellow Naga tribes within and outside the state of Nagaland, the Yimchunger Naga tribe is also composed of several sub-dialects/home-dialects such as Langa, Chirr, Makory, Tikhir, Longphur, and Phununger, who are settled from the foot hills of Saramati mountain of Patkai range in the south to the foot hills of Hiruppong mountain in the north. Further, the existence of multiple sub-dialects/home-dialects or for that matter language per – se is not exclusive to the Yimchunger Nagas alone, but also exist within other fellow Naga tribes of the state. Hence, socio-culturally, the Nagas in general are gifted and blessed with multiple linguistic heritages.
ESTABLISHMENT OF YIMCHUNGER VILLAGES FROM TUKHEAN KULONG/TUKHEAN AKHUP:
After an incident of head-hunting, where a conflict arose within the village, a group of people left to establish a village at Thsurongto Wung led by Tokiumong, Kejingkhum and others. From here, they further went up and established Anuhdangru/Anatonger village and proceeded south ward to establish the present Anuhdangru/Anatonger (also known as Kiuto or simply Kiute). After the departure to establish Thsurongto Awun as mentioned above, Wungphung village/Wapher was also subsequently established from Tukhean Kiulong/Tukhean Akhup; which was mainly led by descendants of Rangkhu, Mukhe, Alo, Resumong, Yimsokhiung and other members. Subsequently, another village called Yimlong was established just above Wapher village in the neighbourhood. Soon after, Wapher and Yimlong villages were raided spontaneously and some of the members at Yimlong village were poisoned through witch-craft/black magic (Khuzu Kuyuk in Yimchunger dialect). Not before long, while some remained, a group of people led by Thsunkheam, Thronghokiu and others left Wapher village across the Zungki River to establish Kewung and other villages. Yimlong village was later on re-established by Hothrong and Yanshumong and later joined by Shokum along with his son Wungto from Kiusoru village. Presently, the two villages are now combined and known as Wapher village in general.
From Wapher village, the present Shamatore village (Sangmutong) was established within Shiponger village jurisdiction after due permission and consent was sought and obtained from Shiponger village led by Khupan (Khiphuru clan) and another Khupan (Jankhiungru clan). As also a custom, a tripartite good-will meeting through a community feast involving the Shiponger village and other neighbouring villages namely; Panso (Khiamniungan) and Sangphur villages was held at a place called – “Mihnu Ku zin”. This was done to traditionally maintain peaceful relationship and co-existence. The location of the good-will meeting and feasting is presently located within the army camp at Shamatore Town perched atop a hill. Thus, Shamatore village was allowed to establish as legitimate Yimchunger village by the Shiponger village since inception. The traditional security fence and gate were constructed with the help of warriors from Kiusoru village.
However, due to frequent raids by the Panso (Kheamniungan) village, completely dishonouring the commitment of the mutually peace treaty, Shipongru village began to lose trust and confidence as resolved. A historical fact stands that Sangmutong village was given protection from these raids initially by the Shiponger village – the Guardian village. With the continuation and increase in the frequency of raids and head taking of Shamatore village by Panso village; Sangphur village was compelled to step in and protect Shamatore village from further raids and heads been taken by Panso village. In the course of the events, it is pertinent to mention a historical fact that almost 90% women of Shamator village were married off to Sangphur village warriors to strengthen the bond of relationship and harmony between the two villages. Unfortunately, in the course of these developments and events, a mis-understanding and animosity also cropped up between Sangphur and Panso villages- who were otherwise friendly neighbours.
As in the case of Sikiur A village, it was established separately above the old Thsurungto Wung, where Tomukam from Sangphur village carried cow for the sacrificial and ceremonial feast; along with Shokheah and Kecham from Pungrungru village and Ahoshe and Birimong from neighbouring Rururu village also carried other domestic animals for the ceremony.
SOME NAMES OF OUR ANCESTORS:
Names of our ancestors who established Kemiphu village, the oldest village:
The identities of other founding members or ancient settlers are under further research. Upon confirmation, this would be uploaded for the viewers.
Names of our ancestors who established Yimchung Awun village:
Mulahmong/Molothong and others
The identities of other founding members in Yimchung Awun are under further research. Upon confirmation, this would be uploaded for the viewers.
Some of the founding members and settlers of the Tukhian Kiulong/Tukhean Akhup from Yahko Awun village which was within the ancient Kemiphu jurisdiction identified as of now are:
Resumong and others
BRIEF HISTORICAL BACKGROUND ON TIKHIR DIALECT ISSUE:
During the head hunting days, there was no organized and established government or the institutions unlike the modern days. There were no tribal sentiments or tribal organizations as well. It is imperative to state that the names of the tribe that we hear today are a recent creation and so also their organizations. Every village had their own Chief, who was the monarch-head of that particular village. Until and unless a treaty or a friendly meeting was concluded, one village would probably treat the other village/s as enemy and vice versa.
However, of late during the later part of the 1950’s, with the advent of Christianity in Nagaland and more particular in Yimchunger area, the people began to convert themselves into Christians and gradually head hunting culture began to be abandoned with the passage of time. In fact, till the early part of 1960’s, Yimchunger people practiced head hunting culture and thus it may be unambiguously inferred that the Yimchungers were the last among the Nagas to have abandoned head hunting practices. The Missionaries, Pastors, and Preachers who undertook a humble initiative in propagating the spirit of Christianity were from the Sumi and Ao tribes
Christianity also ushered in a sense of social awakening and responsibilities. And thus, propelled by the bond of brotherhood, the six brothers (Chiyiu, Mokokyiu, Phunungyiu, Tikhiyiu, Langayiu and Longfuyiu – sub-dialects) unanimously pledged to form a common social platform for the benefit of all and sundry and for which a consultative meeting was held at Huker village in the year 1947. Then in the year 1948, a meeting was convened at Kiusoru village and which was attended by more than thirty villages from upper and lower (Pungro) Yimchunger areas and ultimately formed the “Yimchunger Tribal Council”- YTC. Until the early part of 1980’s, though the Yimchunger tribe is a conglomerate tribe of the six dialect groups, secessionist wave and motion was totally absent. Unfortunately, with the passage of time at around the early part of 1980’s, a handful of people from the Tikhir sub-dialect began to form into small group with an objective to secede away from the Yimchunger family and to form themselves into a distinct and separate tribe by employing all kinds of undemocratic violence and unconstitutional methods.
The people from the Tikhir sub-dialect are and have been an integral part of the Yimchunger tribe. They are bona-fide members of the Yimchunger tribal Council and equally the bona-fide members of other organizations under the fold of the YTC. Thus, the incorporation of their names into Yimchunger tribe was never by force or by malice engineering, but by wilful and voluntary because they are Yimchungers by blood and not by choice, conversion or adoption. The affiliation records in the YTC, YBBA and YAA – (YSC) etc, ever since the inception apparently shows their active and wilful participation in the Yimchunger family: the reason being from one common hearth and lineages.
After the creation of Tuensang district from the North East Frontier Agencies (NEFA) in 1948, the Yimchunger villages and areas were fragmented and adjusted under different Administrative blocks/circles, because during those days there were no intellectuals, educated people and competent leaders from the Yimchunger tribe. In 1947, when the Nagaland state delimitation came into effect, again the villages and jurisdictions of the Yimchunger tribe were further fragmented and adjusted under various pockets of the neighbouring Assembly Constituencies such as, the 33 AC Suruhoto (Shihyeru village), 54 AC Tuensang Sardar II, 56 AC Noklak, 57 AC Thonoknyu, 58 AC Shamatore – Chessore, 59 AC Seochung – Sitimi and 60 AC Pungro – Kiphire: as such there is no compactness of the Yimchunger tribe as a whole.
During the II World War, many Nagas participated as potters and labourers of the Allied forces which gave them opportunity to have a new insight into the system of the modern world of the Western countries. Beside others, inculcation of a sense of nationalism and augmentation of the social – political, self – determination were other ideals they adopted which ultimately led to the formation of the Naga National Organization (NNC) under the leadership of A. Z Phizo. Therefore, in order to bring out the thought into action incorporating the warrior tribe into the dangerous mission was the primary need of the hour. Hence, towards this end, he assigned the leaders of the NNC Sumi Region to hold a mammoth meeting with the leaders and the intellectuals of the Yimchunger tribe. Accordingly, the leaders from the NNC Sumi Region conducted the first meeting of the NNC under Yimchunger area at Pungrungru village in the year 1952, wherein, the first NNC Yimchunger Region (NNC –YR) was eventually formed. As many as 34 leaders and elders from different Yimchunger villages attended the meeting. Gradually, under the charismatic leadership of the above leaders, the NNC-YR emerged as one of the strongest and well organized regions of the NNC.
Beginning from the year 1953, while other regions were still in the process of formation, NNC YR started collecting taxes in the Region. On 18th February 1955, the NNC held its Executive Council meeting at Kigwema under Angami region. The meeting was attended by Angh P. Hopong and late Thungti Chang. In the said meeting, a resolution was passed for waging war against the Indian Armies fixing the date on 25 th March 1955. However, four Indian soldiers were slain on the 24 th March 1955 by the NNC YR at Huker village in the morning hour and subsequently in Kiphire in the same evening by mere machetes (Dao); that is – one day ahead of the red-letter day. This was the inception of the “Ist Indo-Naga War” and the first blood-shed against the mighty Indian Army in the history of the Naga Nationalist Movement. Until such time, the NNC was a mere unarmed political wing, but the incident of Huker village and Kiphire town; the wrath and vengeance of the Indian Army was invoked and thereby they (Indian Army) started the full-scale war against the Nagas; without sparing even the innocent public. The war extended over the entire Yimchunger region and continued unabated for many years. That was the reason why the then unarmed political wing, NNC YR was constrained to form a standing armed wing under the name and style as ‘Naga Safe Guard’ to confront the Indian forces under the leadership of Angh P. Hopong and General late Punsokiu. The war prolonged more intensely and the fiercest battles were fought at Haphu (now Longtokru village) HQ of Northern Command Naga Army, and lasted for six continuous years – till 1961. Thus far, the Indian armies were being fought by the Yimchunger region for the common Naga cause. The Indian army continued to intensify the operation more and more with the running of time and as such, the confrontation between the Indian armies and the NNC YR became a daily affair. Hence, Angh P. Hopong strongly proposed the NNC High Command to form armed wings of the respective tribal NNC Regions in order to jointly fight the common adversary. Finally, late A.Z Phizo convened the NNC Executive Council Meeting comprising of all tribal regions at Pswensenyu village in Rengma Region. Consequently, the ‘Naga Federal Government’ (NFG)/FGN was formed on 22nd March 1956 with its separate armed wings known as the ‘Naga Army’ with late Scato Swu and late Kukato Swu as Kedahge (President) and Ato kilonser (Prime Minister) respectively of the NFG and late Kaito as the Commander-in-Chief of the Naga army. Beside, each tribal region was allotted an Angh (Governor) and a Kilonser (Cabinet Minister) portfolio and as representative to the Central government. As for the NNC YR, P. Hopong was appointed the Angh and late Thsamphu as the Kilonser. In the meeting, a resolution was passed to every respective tribal region by the central govt. (NFG) for conferring ranks and files to every capable cadre. Accordingly, despite of his desire to hold the post of President NNC YR, late Kiusumong was appointed the Vice-President and in there ignited a feeling of resentment in him. Consequently, a petty argument took place between late Lakhum and late Kiusumong. However, despite of the ensuing feuds between the two leaders, the NNC YR went on functioning quite smoothly and progressed in every aspect.
In the year 1964, Angh P. Hopong assigned late Kiusumong for mobilising the lower Yimchungers (Pungro) area. He was accompanied by his scout commander captain late Hankiumong alias Yantsuthong. Unfortunately, on the contrary, late Kiusumong and his scout commander breached the assignment by rather slicing to death one person by the name of late Ramjikhiung Yimchunger , the then HD GB of Longtsongru village. During those days, the Brigade HQ of the Eastern Command was based at Phuvkiu village. After committing such heinous crime in the eye of the Govt., late Kiusumong, did not dare to return to the regional HQ. Hence, he began to hatch an anti NNC YR design by mobilizing handful of people for creation of a separate Region by the name and style as ‘Kiusi Naga Region’ at the lower Yimchunger area in collaboration with few Naga Army officers of the Eastern Command. The intention for the creation of a separate region was purely to cover the Tikhir, Makory, Chirr and Longfur dialect areas. However, the region was not approved by the Central Govt. (NFG). That, the above facts were the genesis of the Yimchunger and Tikhir dialect issues. But, late Kiusumong and late Hanjikhiung did not succeed in fulfilling their pre-meditated divisive objective of both under-ground and over-ground levels within the Yimchunger family.
After the assassination of General late Kaito, the feud between some NNC leaders erupted and as a result, late Scato Swu, Kedaghe, Kukato Swu Ato Kilonser and General Zheheto seceded away from the NNC/FGN and formed the new Govt. As the ‘Revolutionary Government of Nagaland’ (RGN) in the early part of 1960’s and to which late Kiusumong too joined it (RGN). However, the RGN Govt. did not last long; the members of which surrendered en-bloc to the government of India in 1974. Despite of the desperate efforts of handful of individuals in the underground levels to fragment the Yimchunger families, all individuals, families and villages belonging to the Tikhir dialect continued to participate actively and peacefully in the mainstream of the Yimchunger tribe in all sphere of lives with a special reference to their affiliation to the Yimchunger tribal Council, Student bodies, Churches and so forth. Handful of people from the Tikhir dialect tried to mislead and fragment the Yimchunger family by means of persistent efforts to form a new underground group under the name and style TIMACHIRR (TMC. The expanded word of TIMACHIRR was; Tikhir, Makory and Chirr respectively, by wilfully excluding remaining other three dialects of the Yimchungers namely, Langa, Longphur and Phunung dialects.
In the year 1980, in the YBBA convention (Mungdang) some Tikhirs submitted a representation to the YBBA demanding for a separate Church Association for the Tikhir dialect. The representation was the first of its kind submitted by the self-style association namely,Tikhir Baptist Churches Association (TCBA) through its executive chairman T. Torupkiu and the same was rejected. In resentment, in the same year few villages of the Tikhir dialect disassociated from the YBBA. In the subsequent year-1981, when the Yimchunger Students’ Conference was held at Sikiur A village, an agenda was tabled for having the students conference after a gap of one or two years. There was chaos and argument among the members of the house and consequently the house was adjourned giving time to the members of the house to discuss among themselves over the said agenda. As the house resumed its session, the agenda was not brought to light by the Executive Chairman by rather jumping upon another new agenda because of which the members of the house became disgruntled. In the meeting some Tikhir members protested. After the meeting, some Tikhir members gathered at Anatonger village for further discussion concerning the said agenda. Accordingly, at Anatonger village, the gathered members discussed the matter thoroughly and resolved to form a new association as the ‘All Tikhir Tribal Movement’ (ATTM). In the year 1982, at Pungro town, the members of the ATTM further tried to mislead the dialects of the Yimchunger tribe namely, Chiryiu, Mokokyiu by forcing upon them to be a part of an association under the name and style as ‘All Timachir Tribal Council’ (ATTC); which was actually merely in word just to fulfil their divisive agenda. However, the members of the above two dialects did not accede by out-rightly denying to extent co-operation to the ATTC. After realizing their futile motif, the association was re-named into the ‘All Tikhir Tribal Council’ (ATTC) and later re-named into the ‘Tikhir Tribal Council’.
In the year 1989, after the total failure of all their divisive plans and strategies, some Tikhir members eventually resorted to change their course of strategies to achieve their goal through extreme and aggressive means by joining the ‘Tisary Region” of the NSCN (K) and simultaneously, demanded for a separate region for the Tikhir dialect. However, the demand was not granted and as a result in the same year they again defected to the NSCN I/M since 1990. The NSCN I/M approved the ‘TIMACHIR’ region without the knowledge and proper consultation of the members of the Chirr and Makory dialects. Henceforth, under the pretext of National Workers – the NSCN I/M cadres from the Tikhir dialect began to unleash the terror such as physical assault, wrongful instigation, robbery, murder, intimidation etc against the innocent public and the worst affected were the innocent students who were forced to abandon their studies.
SOME WORD COMPARISON AMONG DIALECTS OF THE YIMCHUNGER TRIBE:
|Sl no||English||Langa yiu||Tikhi yiu||Chi yiu||Mokok yiu||Longphu yiu||Phunung yiu|
|01||Winter||Tsung kam||Jing kam||Tsung keh||Tsungkov||Jing ko||Tsalo|
|04||Father||Apuh||Pu ah||Apeh||Ung pok||Kipu||Apah|
|05||Brother||Kio nio||Ki nia||Ke nio||Yia po||Ki mong||Aju|
|42||Dao with iron handle||Apungthsuh nok||Apungsuhnok||Muripe nok||Muripongsuhnyih||Murupang nok||Noktsamuri nok|
|43||Trap for birds 1||Hungsuk||Khongsak||Khongsuk||Khongsuk juv||Yih tok||Khong suk|
|44||Trap for birds 2||Sangtok||Sangtok||Sangtok||Sangtok||Singtok||Sangtok|
|49||Traditional Dao||Noktsu nok||Noktsu nok||Nokthsu nok||Nyiuhtsu nyiuh||Nokhing||Noktsa nok|
|74||Aluminium bangles||Khu||Khu||Khoh||Shokru Khulak||Shirolyuk||Shahri lak|
|76||Necklace of precious stone 1||Jipu lak||Bowji lak||Piji lak||Pujikhulak||Pyufulyuk||Jipulak|
|77||Necklace of precious stone 2||Lakdam||Laklam||Lakdum||Laktu||Laksu||Longlak|
|107||Sour wild seed||Thumuhsan||Thumuhsi||Thumukhing||Khumukshi||Masi||Thumuhsie|
VARIATION OF CLANS:
The Yimkhiungru tribe is classified into six major clans. Because of the presence of such variation, the meaning of Endogamy and Exogamy in matrimonial sphere of life has found its prominent place in the society today. The following are the clan’s variation in alphabetical order.
|Sl no||Langa Yiu||Tikhi Yiu||Chi Yiu||Mokok Yiu||Longphu Yiu||Phunung Yiu|