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  • Introduction : The Khumis maintain that in their khumi language kha means man and mi means best race. They are therefore “Khumis” i. e. The best human race (Sattar 984:336). (Lewin 1869:88) on the other hand tells us that in the arakanese language “Khe” means “dog” and “Mi” is race the Khumis therefore are the dog race. Dog is a favorite item of food of the Khumis, so they might have derived this name from this (Bernot 1964:166). According to their oral tradition human kind owes its creation to a dog. Dog was the first creation, and it had saved humans from total annihilation, They accordingly pay homage to it. In 1869 their population was 2000. They owed their allegiance to the Marma Bohmang chief and paid a yearly tribute to him through their village headman (Lewin 1869:87-88). They head come to the hills of Chittagong from the hills of Arakan and Akyab in the seventeenth century.

  • Culture and Tradition : The Khumis live on the ridges of hills and build their houses on tree-tops. Their villages are surrounded by bamboo walls. They were a ferocious race who were mostly engaged in warfare. They are renowned for their loyalty to their chiefs they take the oath of loyalty by touching the blood of a goat, which they have killed with a sharp weapon; they vow that a similar fate would befall them if they break the oath of loyalty.

 

  • Language: The Khumis claim to be Buddhists, but their beliefs and religious rites are animist. Their chief god is pathian. They also pay homage to “Nadog” the household deity, and “Bogley” the water deity. They are divided into “wife-giving” and “waif-taking” clans. The eldest son inherits all the property. They have an oral language which belongs to the southern branch of the kukish section (Shafer 1955:105). They believe that if they learn any other language they will loose their power to resist evil.

 

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