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Tripura, the land of History and Legends
Puratia Nuatia Jamatia Reang
Koloi Murasing Rupinis Halams

                   REANG  CLAN                                                      RUPINI CLAN

                      Origin                   Sub-clan                 Culture & Custom


The Reang is the second most numerous sub tribe of Tripuris after old Tripuri clan.  According to the legends one of the Tripuri prince was expatriated by the king, who along with his followers migrated to the Mayani Thalang area of Lusai hills and founded a state over there. He proclaim as king of the state and the descendent of the exiled Tripuri prince ruled over the state for generations. In due course of time there was no heir to succeed the throne, which lead to anarchy in the kingdom. Owing to some internal feud and vendetta four chief of the sub tribes, namely Twikluha, Yongsika, Paisika, Tuibruha and their entourage left their hearth and home and migrated through Chittagong to the state of Tripura centuries ago. These Reang chiefs could not climb up the Dombur hill peak for two consecutive times and succeeded in third times.

Mahendra Manikya was at the throne of Tripura kingdom. After reaching to the capital these chiefs tried to persuade the ministers and other bureaucrats to give them permission to meet the king and submit their memorandum but was not successful in doing so. By then they have exhausted whatever food and edible they had brought with them and suffered a lot. They were very sad and disheartened by this. They were determined to send the message of their arrival to the king anyhow. In order to send information to the king they broke the dam of the river Gumti where worship was going on at that time. This was a serious crime and all of them were brought before the king. The king ordered them capital punishment. Some how this news came to Queen Gunavati . The chiefs prayed in front of the queen who after persuading the king motivated to forgive these chiefs of their crime, who letter forgave them. Since then the Reangs became very obedient and loyal to the queen and throne of Tripura. It is said that the queen Gunavati fed these chiefs with her breast milk in a big pan of brass, which is still intact with Kotor dofa, which was gifted by the queen. The queen gifted many other valuable things, which were carefully preserved by Reangs till date.

Meska Group & Molsoi Group

The Reang clans are divided into two main groups:

(1) Meska, (2) Molsoi.

(1) Meska Group: it is divided into seven sub groups or dofa, these are as follows:

•  Meska :- means the lemon tree in Kuki language. There were plenty of lemon trees where the forefather of this dofa used to live.

•  Mwsa :- means tiger in Kokborok. It is said that the forefather of this dofa was brought up by a tigress in his child hood like the Romulus and Ramous of ancient Rome.

•  Chorkhi :-Chorkhi means Spinning wheel in Kokborok, it is said that one Riang chief was speaking obscene about his daughter in-low, when his friends started spinning the spinning wheel to musk the obscene of the chiefs. So the descendent are named after the chorki.

•  Raikwchak :-Rai means cane, kwchak means red in Kokborok; it is said that the fore father of this dofa used to wear cane made red colour armlet.

•  Wairem :-wai means Tripura, rem means mix/hybrid in kuki language. It is said that they are descendent of Riang man and kuki woman.

•  Tokma yakcho :-Tokma means hen, yakcho means toes; the toes of the forefathers of this dofa resembled to that of hen.

•  Twimuiyafak :-means tortoise in Riang dialect, the fore father of this dofa were suffering from white patches like the tortoise chest.

(2) Molsoi Group: This group is sub divided into six groups, which are as follows:

•  Molsoi :-is the derivatives of moso, which means chilli in Kokborok. Their fore fathers first settled in the chilli field of kukis. Since they were called in that name.

•  Apet :-Apet means is a type of fish in Kokborok. The fore fathers' belly was big like the belly of Apet fish.

•  Nogkham :-nok means house, kham means burnt in Kokborok; once the fore father of this dofa's house were burnt to ashes since then they were termed in this name.

•  Chongpreng :- means a type of musical instrument, it is said that the fore father of this dofa used to survive by playing this musical instrument as they were suffering from ‘gungri' disease.

•  Yakstam :- means ring of finger, it is said that the fore father of this dofa used to used to wear ring and used to display proudly to others. This dofa has been in extinct at present.

•  Riang kachko : Kachko means chief in Kokborok, the fore father of this dofa were chiefs of Riang.

Kotor Dofa: in the above thirteen dofas there are 26 chiefs or heads, who are designated as Kotor Dofa. Kotor means head dofa means clan or group. The chiefs are divided into two categories, Rai and Kasko .

Rai and his subordinates chiefs:

Rai : Means Raja or the chief of the sub group is bestowed as Rai.

•  Chapiya Khan: Crown Rai.

•  Chapiya: Crown Chapiya Khan`.

•  Dor kalim : He is the priest of Rai.

•  Doloi : Helper of Rai.

•  Bandari : Store keeper of Rai.

•  Kanda : Servant and holder of umbrella of Rai.

•  Doya Hajari: Drum player.                                                                                                                   Reang Couple

•  Muriya : Trumpet player.

•  Dugria : Helper in of priest.

•  Dauwa : Arranger of puja, or worshiping.                                   

•  Siakrak : distributor of prasad, that is the sacrificial animal meet.

Kasko and his sub ordinate chiefs:

•  Kasko : means chief minister of the sub group is bestowed as Kasko.

•  Yaksung : Means the assistant of chief minister.

•  Hajra : Servant of Kasko.

•  Kangreng : Umbrella holder of Kasko.

•  Karma : Servant of Yaksung.

•  Khan Galim: umbrella holder of Yaksung.

•  Khandol : The collector of food and other required articles.

People of kotor dofa are exempted from paying taxes to the king. It is presumed that the Reangs are the offspring or descendent of Tripura and the Kukis peoples.

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                         Culture & Customs

The Reangs are primarily an agriculturist tribe. In the past they mostly used to practise the ‘Huk' or Jhum cultivation, like most other Tripuri tribes. But now shifted to modern agriculture practice. Most of the educated are employed in government job and many are occupying very high post in administration. Some are also started doing business also.

Marriage system: The Riang is an endogamous tribe and had very little contact with the Bengali or other sub tribe of Tripuri. But recently there has been some inter tribe marriages and inter caste wedding among them. The marriage system is similar to other Tripuri tribe of Tripura. There is no dowry system but the bride-groom has to spend to father in-law's house for two years before marriage is preformed. There are two types of marriages; Haloksai, and Haloksam. Parallel cousin marriage is prevalent but declining. Cross cousin marriage among the Riang is accidental. Child marriage is not allowed, widow marriage is permitted. Widows are prohibited to wear ornaments before one year is passed after the marriage of husbands. Widow and widower are forbidden to participate any entertaining and enjoying programme or activity or attending such activity within one year of death of their spouses. Remarriage of widow and widower are allowed after one year of death of the spouse. Monogamy is the present day practice of the society.

Marriage is arranged through the matchmaker Andra , who goes to the prospective bride's parent for negotiation. Then the brides party is invited to finalise the marriage in Koksumgma, while pork, fowl, rice, rice bear are served. Marriage is settled to the satisfaction of both the party. The Ochai performs the wedding ceremony on the nuptial day fixed.

The Riang widower is not permitted to get marry to an unmarried virgin girl. The Riang marriage bond is very strong and Riang mean cannot divorce with out the consent of wife. If any Riang is alleged for extramarital relation ship and found to be true then they are dealt with strict punishment and heavy penalty is imposed upon.

Dress and ornaments: The traditional dress of the Riang is simple and plain like other Tripuri people. Traditionally the men wear a hand woven loin cloth and a piece of cloth as a wrapper for upper portion. The women wear a long cloth called Rignai , wraparound; from the waist to down to the knees. A Riha , covering the chest, and Rikutu for covering the whole upper half of the body, wears the upper part of the body. These are woven by the Riang women, which are colourful and very beauty full. But now a days the educated mass are wearing all the modern dresses like any other part of the world.

The Riang women are very fond of personal decoration and take much care for the makeup and hair-do. They love like other Tripuri people, ornaments, flowers, and cosmetics. Silver ornaments especially the necklace of silver coins, the Rangbwtang have a pride of place and status.

Dance and music: Dance is very much integral part of the Reangs clans daily life. No other Tripuri people are so fond of dance like them. As a result the Hojagiri folk dance of Reang clan had  achieved an unprecedented acclaim all over the world. Hojagiri dance had been performed in almost all the leading nations of the world, and where ever it had been performed it had own the hearts of people in folk dances. Shri Satya Ram Reang was awarded Sangeet Natak Academy for his life long dedication for preserving, promoting, and coaching the dance by Government of India.

Customs: most of the disputed and differences are settled by the people of Kotor dofa, that is by the Rai and Kasko of respective sub tribe. It is done through the customary law of the Reangs. Whenever a disputes arise in the between the member of the community, a meeting is called by the Rai. All relevant arguments are heard and then justice is done according to the principle of natural justice. Whatever verdict or punishment is pronounced in the judgment it is implemented with firm hand and payments of penalty etc. are made then and there.

Religious belief and practices: Like other Tripuri people they also belief many god and goddess. The centre figures are those of fourteen gods and goddess of Tripura. Their important festivals are same those of prevailing in Tripura. These are Ker, Gonga mutai, Goria, Chitragupra, Hojagiri, Katangi puja, Lampra wathop. The religious observance are community in nature, and each family has to contribute his part of share of payment. It is called as Khain`.

All the religious festivals are arranged with the prior meeting of chiefs. In such meetings political, social, and religious matters of importance are discussed and decided by the majority of the meeting.

The deities of the Reangs are similar those of other Tripuri people. These are Mutai Kotor or the supreme deity Subrai , Twima- the presiding deity of river, Mailungma -the goddess of paddy, Khulungma -the goddess of cotton, Goria- the god of wealth prosperity well being and war, Kalaia brother of Goria, Sangrongma -the deity of mother earth, Haichuma -the goddess of hill, Burasa -the god of jungle, Thunairok -the god of death, Bonirok -the god of evil spirit, Noksuma -the goddess of house holds.

The worship of different deities are similar to the main stream Tripuri people. Ochai , the priest performs all the ceremony along with his helper. The green bamboo pole is used as deity in most on the cases. Different types of life stock like fowl, pig, goat eggs, etc. are offered in the worship. The place of worship is selected out side of the houses. Where the offerings are dedicated in the names of the deities in front of the wathop, green bamboo pole, the symbol of god. But the Rangtou k and Noksuma puja is held inside the house only. Two earthen pots are filled with newly grown rice and at top of the pot some oval pebbles collected from huk specially. The pebbles are called the fortune stone. And the pots ( Rondok) are decorated with the rice powder, vermilion, and garlands. One is named Mailungma, the other as Khulungma.

Rituals on Birth of the baby: On the birth of the baby many pujas are observed. These are Kebengma, Abu suma, Khongkhonok kama, Maitukma etc. for the welfare of the baby. The fowl, prawn, several leaves of trees are needed. When the child grows up special form of worship has to be performed. Bukhuksini the seven-gurdian deities of witches are pleased with sacrifice of a pig, four fowls, and other things beside.

Ceremony on death: The mortal remains are cremated. The obsequies is done in two stages: Broksakami and Kothainami.

Broksakami: W hen a person dies his corpse is first bathed with the Chakhwtwi that is alkali water or soap, and Mairangtwi that is water obtained from the washing of raw rice. After that he is dressed with new clean Rikutu , head is dressed with another piece of rituku like the headgear. In case of woman rignai and risa. Then a fowl is sacrificed in front of the feet of the corpse. Later on an earthen pot filled with mean and rice placed at the feat of the deceased and it is followed by dance rituals through out he night. Rice bear is distributed to all the mourners excepting the family members of the deceased. The next morning the body is laid to rest on pyre and cremated usually near a stream.

Kwthwinami: It is a ritual connected with the respectful and well wishing offering to the manes. Laotok or the soul deceased remains under the control of the sisi manji , the son of Buraha , for a year and it is said that sisi manji is the protector of the soul. On the day of the kathainaimi the widow of the deceased offers dried rice, meat, fish, fruits, and wine in the name of Laotok and sisi manji on the simangnok , then taking the burnt bones or ashes go to the charinok. It is worshiped for over a period of one year or he next hangrai, when it is immersed in any river or in Gumti River at Dombur , according to the ability of the family. In short the religious culture of the Reang is similar to that of other Tripuri of Tripura.

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 Origin                   Sub-clan                 Culture & Custom

The Rupini is one of the clan of Tripuri People. It is presumed that the initial habitation of Rupini people was at the site of the origin of Twi Rupini, which is supposedly situated at present Asom state. When other clans of the Tripuri migrated towards the present Tripura state, they also migrated along with other clans. It needs to be mentioned that like all other Tripuri peoples clans, they are also part of the great Borok/Bodo race. The Rupini river is still flowing in the state. 

The mother tongue of Rupini is Kokborok, like all other Tripuri people which is also known as Tripuri or Tiprakok, but for an unknown reason the Rupini had been included in the group of 'Halam' in the census and in many historical documents of Tripura. This is illofical and unfounded by the historical linguistic and anthropolofical facts. With out verifying these facts, the government of India had also included in the list of 'Halam' when they were given the status of Scheduled Tribe under the constitution of India. The inclusion of Rupini in the Halam group must be removed and included in the list of Kokborok speakers Tripuri people.

The first ancestors of the Rupini was Ramni Chapia. While he was taking a dip in Twi Rupini river he got a stone, which he threw away only to find again. This stone told the ancestor that he is the god of Twirupini river, his name is 'Tanfangrai' and they should worship him, and they shall be known as "Rupini sa". Even today this Rupini god is worshipped every year by all the Rupini in community level as well as individual level.

 Sub clans of Rupini:

 Rupini are divided into four sub clans viz. 1) Kwcham Rasti 2) Kwtal Rasti 3) Thaithak 4) Paithak. Among them the Kwcham Rasti and Thaithak are the majority. The head of each of these sub clans are called 'Rai'

Each sub clans is devided  into twelve Panchi or Panji that is family line. These are 1) Kajari 2) Tiyol 3) Fungchau 4) Kerjang 5) Farute 6) Muria 7) Sutar 8) Paithokra 9) Sotoboroisa 10) Chuan mochomsa 11) Swmjang 12) Mwrfangsa. This division had been made during the time of king Sibrai, the Greatest of Tripura kings.

  The work distribution of the Panjis

1)      Kajari: They are descendant of the head of the clan. They are engaged in the rituals of worshiping of all festivals. Some time they were asked to provide human of sacrifice to gods.

2)       Tiyol: they are the one who are responsible for controlling the society. They are also engaged for enforcement of law and order of the society.

3)      Fungchau: the are the informant of the king. They are also a assigned to collect funds for any social function and rituals.

4)      Kerjang: they are holder of umbrella of the king. Along side they also have the responsibility to protect the society and go for war and provide solder for the warfare as and when directed by the Tripura  kings.

5)      Farute: they are the priest clans. The performs all sorts of puja or worshipping and rituals of community and family level.

6)      Muria: they are the music player in the occasion of the puja, rituals, any ceremony and functions.

7)      Sutar: they are experts in handicrafts, specially the bamboo based products. The supply all sorts of furniture and family article to the king of Tripura.

8)      Paithokra: they are guard of the kings. They also guard the temple of kings and used to clean and maintain the temples.

9)      Sutoboroisa: they are assigned to fetch water for the king in any royal festivals and ceremony of kings.

10)  Chuan mochomsa: their job was to prepare and arrange wine and rice beer for the king and the royal festivals.

11)  Swmjang: they are assistant in helping out the in the kitchen.

12)  Mwrfangsa: they are assigned to collect vegetables and all other kitchen requirement of the king and at times of royal festivals.

 Physical structure: Like any other Tripuri people they are also yellowish complexion, average tall, eyes are small, nose is short, mustaches and beards are sparse, jet black hair that is al the feature of borok race or mongoloid race.

 Economy: Like all other Tripuri people they are also agrarians. Earlier days they used to do the shifting cultivation in the hillock and slopes. Then they also trained to plan land farming. Now many Rupini are employed in government as well as in private jobs. Many Rupinis are highly educated and found in medical engineering profession also.

Culture & Custom

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Food habit: The main staple diet of Rupini is rice like all other clans of the Tripuri people. Meat is the most fabourite dish, among them the pork and the chicken are the most sought after. In heydays they used to go for hunting of deer, yak, wild pigs, boars, etc. like most other Tripuri people. Apart from the meat they also love to take the fish both dry and fresh one. The fermented fish, berma typical of Tripuri dish is also a must to Rupini. Apart from this they are also fond of taking drinks, both rice beer and the home distilled wine.

 Religious belief: The religious belief of Rupini clan is same like rest of Tripuri people with little bit of variations. The concept of god and spiritual belief are simple like their own life. They have the faith on the almighty god, also on the evil spirit. Like the other clans of Tripuri people, their ultimate and greatest god is Sibrai or Subrai. Other gods are also similar to those of other community. These are Thupnairau/Thumnairok, Bonirau/Boonirok, Burasa, Noksupma /Noksuma Goria, Khulumgma, etc. apart from these there are like gods of  sun, water or Twibukma, and fire etc are being worshipped.

Festivals:  The Rupini also celebrates all the festival those are celebrated by other Tripuri people. These are Buisu or last day of the year, Sena or Goria, Hojagiri, Ker, Hangrai etc. There is hardly any difference in celebration of the festivals, other than minor variation in the procedure and steps.  On these festival the pancake is the must item. Young and old, men and women all enjoy during these festival with their full heart content and dance drink and song were used to be integral parts of its. So only the culture of Rupini people also developed.

Sena: This festival starts on the first day of the Tripura new year, and last for seven days.  On the last day Goria is worshipped. On the puja fowl, goat etc are sacrificed, different types of cakes, delicious dishes, and sweets are prepared in every home. The neighbours and the relatives are invited in dine in the feasts. The younger people pay tributes and respects by touching the feet of the elder in presence of burning lamps and insence sticks.

Mainungma khulum mung or Hojagiri: On this day the mailuma mutai or the goddess of paddy is worshipped. When the new paddy just arrives from the jhum, it is time to celebrate the Hojagiri on the full moon day of aswin or kartik of Tripura  calendar or the October-November month. It is generally given in the evening when the full moon rises in the sky. Some how it coincides with the Hindu Hojagiri laxmi puja, which probably might have been influenced by Tripuri  Hojagiri. Pot full of rice new harvest is symbolized as goddess of paddy or laxmi. Generally a hen or she goat is sacrificed for the Mailuma. Now a day rice flakes, banana, and other sweets are also offered.

Kermwn or Kerpuja: Like other clan of Tripuri people this rituals is performed collectively at the community level among Rupini clans. Generally whole of the village is brought under the coverage of the ker, that is purification of villages. Generally in the moth of November-December this festival is performed. To prevent any unto wards incidence like death, births etc, which is considered as non-suspicious, pregnant ladies, patients etc are taken out side of the village to a secure place. The road coming to and going from the villages are blocked, till the puja is over, which may run for days together. On this it is the Lampra which is worshipped; a pair of fowl is sacrificed on the occasion.

Hangrai: This festival coincides with the Sankranti of the main stream Hindu, held o the last day of the Pous month which is generally 14th of January. On this day the remains of the deceased parents or the relatives are immersed in the sacred water which is generally in the confluence of two streams, or any flowing river. Lots of cakes, sweets, delicious dishes of meats of different kind, of fishes are prepared by every family, here is also no limit of rice beer on this day. The younger people pay tributes and respects by touching the feet of the elder in presence of burning lamps and incense sticks.

 Cultural activities: The Rupini are very fond of folktales, which is called Kerang kautoma. These are inherited from mouth to ear generation by generation till today. As found in most parts of the world the grand parents used to tell the stories to their grand children. Some of the stories like 'jokhangfa ni kreang koutwma', 'achu thengkangsani', 'nowaisani' 'chubusani', 'soknarwisani', 'pengramsani', 'mwsasani', 'randijwkmani' are very popular among the Rupinis.

The song like are mostly based on huk or jhoom cultivation, called as 'tangblani rwchabmung' where as some are sang o the festivals these are called 'pandani rwchabmung'

Dances: Some of the cultural dances are 1) Goria mwsamung, 2) Tangblani mwsamung 3) Pandani mwsamung 4) Mamita mwsamung 5) Batolmwn mwsamung etc.

Some of the musical instruments that are used during these dances are Khamma, sumul, dangdu, chongpreng, sranda etc. these are same as those of rest of the Tripuri people. The tune of these instrument are very sweet, sonorous, and melodious.

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Social structure and the Community Administration:


To administer the law and order of the community in the villages of Rupini, they have developed a systematic social or community assembly called 'Lok' which is equivalent to Hoda of Jamatia clan. The member are elected by selection cum election within the community. The highest of the hierarchy is the Rai, previously 'Kamchakau' used to be the highest in order. They are selected for five years beginning with the lowest rank of the 'Lok'. The village assembly is assigned to settle disputes of minor crimes, like theft, disputes of property, land, and unaccepted relation ship between men and women. The punishments given are in terms fine of money, of rice beer and wine and public beating, either or both.