Maram Tribe of Manipur


Places like Senapati district, Tadubi and Kangpokpi region in Manipur are home to numerous tribes. Anthropologists from all around have studied the traits and features of the people of Maram tribal community. The Maram tribal people possess Mongoloid and Caucasoid features. Like other tribes of Manipur, the history of Maram tribes is also associated with numerous legends and mythologies.


Village & Dialect -

The village of these tribes is divided into numerous 'Sadung' or 'Khel'. Each of these 'Khels' has a separate entrance. There are different dormitories for boys and girls. The dialect that Maram tribes used to speak is known as Maram Khullel. It is interesting to note that while all the other people of tribe speak the same tongue, the village Senapati uses a different one. Though the language used by the village Senapati is not completely different, it has a different mode of expression.


Men & Women -

Males of the Maram tribe are usually engaged in farming. Another interesting aspect of the men is that they take care of most of household work including collection of water and firewood. Women of the tribe are only responsible for cooking and looking after the child. Women does, however, lend a hand in digging the fields so that men can sow and harvest.


Dresses & Costumes -

Males of the Maram tribal community can be seen wearing black cotton skirt decorated with white cowries arranged in 3-4 rows. Women also wear an inner loin cloth, which resembles male dresses. White robe or shawls (more recently) are used by women to cover their bodies.


Festivals & Rituals -

No tribe is devoid of customs, traditions and festivals. Maram tribes too have a number of festivals to celebrate. These include Ponghi, Kanghi and Rakakkou. Singing is a part and parcel of these tribal festivals in which both men and women participate. The tribe also celebrates a name-giving ritual. After 5-7 days of birth, the newly born is held in the direction of sun. Later, the father of the baby fetches a crab within 10 days. The head of the family gives their blessings. Some purification rituals follow and then the baby becomes an accepted and full fledged member of the family. It is ideal to fix marriages through negotiations.