The Word Khamti


 Tradition Vs Assimilation:
The Tai Khamtis of Assam and 
Arunachal Pradesh
C.K.Gogoi
J.Borbora
  The Word Khamti

       There are interesting explanations with regard to the origin of the word "Khamti", which is Tai language "Kham" means gold and 'ti' means place. Thus, the word Khamti, itself signifies a population of golden place (Lik Vaisali). "Khamtis" means tied to the spot of Gold (Kham means stick to, 'ti' means spot, also kham gold). It is easy to identify them on the bases of their eyes, nose, cheeks and lips. All these diagnostic features are of advanced Mongoloid race. Their features show improvisation on Paleo - Mongoloid features and are thus most advanced among the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. (Bareh 2001: 188).

     The Khamtis are distributed in the foothill plains of Lohit and Kameng districts of Arunachal Pradesh. They are spreading over southern bank of Brahmaputra in the Lohit district and in the vicinity of Sadiya in Assam Valley. The tribe thus settled itself round Sadiya. Their villages ar - Choukham, Memong, Barpather, Mime, Kherem, M.Pong, Namkhao , Namsai, etc, (Bareh op.cit.188). In Assam valley, their habitations are mainly confined in the districts of Lakhimput, Dhemaji, Tensukia and in some parts of Dibrugarh and Jorhat districts.