Demographic Compositions The Tai Khamtis of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh

The Tai Khamtis of Assam and 
Arunachal Pradesh
C.K.Gogoi
J.Borbora

Demographic Compositions

     At the beginning, barely 100 Khamti population migrated to Assam in the first batch. After that another 300 population have joined them from the BarKhamti village of upper Burma. Their members were counted as 230 and they were known as Munglang Khamti. Again in 1850, Khamti numbering about 300-400 came from Burma to Assam and settled near Dirak river situated at the border of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The Khamtis consequently settled in Namsoon, Nam ruk or Nam luk (Buridihing), Noa Dihing and Nam Tilao (Lohit district) river valleys.

     The eleven villages under study have its demographic features as follows- M-Pong village has about 40 households with 113 males and 104 female population. Agriculture is their main occupation. Momong, an oldest village has 36 households with 106 males and 98 females with agriculture as main occupation; Kherem has a total 35 households with 180 males and 138 females, and cultivation is their main occupation; Chongkham with 60 households has 206 males and 190 females; and Gunanagar has 38 households with 185 males and 153 females. The demographic features of the six villages of Lakhimpur district provide the following information. All the six villages fall under the Narayanpur sub-division located at about 40-45 kms away from the district headquarters - North Lakhmipur. The Barpather Khamti gaon has 16 households located at a distance of 8 km. from Narayanpur and 1 km inside from National Highway 52. Barkhamti is an urbanized village located at about 3 km away from National Highway. Similarly, the  villages Gosaibari, Sri Bhuyan, Tipling and Deotola are located at a distance of 8 - 12 kilometers from Narayanpur town and about 1-4 kilometers away from National Highway 52. The point to be noted here is that the last three villages i.e. Sri Bhuyan, Tipling and Deotola are on the verge of gradual extinction since many Khamti people have gone back to either Sadiya of Assam or to Chowkham area of Arunachal Pradesh in search of better livelihood and occupation. Sri Bhuyan has 9 households, Tipling has 3 and Deotola has only 2 households. Many people reported that the reason behind going back to Chowkham was their loving attachment to live with forest, since such environment was not available at Narayanpur.

     The Demographic description of all studied villages revealed a fact that cultivation is their primary occupation which includes rice, horticulture, potato, ginger, piggery and poultry. There are less female members in comparison to males. Buddhist monastery. Tai Khamti is the dominant language though Assamese, English and Hindi are also spoken by most educated members of the family.