THE TAI PHAKES OF ASSAM

S.F . Hanny : Notes on the Shans or Tai Nation, 1847-48.

The Tai Phakes are of the few tribes of the Tai race who have come into Assam within last 300 years. The Phakes or Phakeals, as, they are designated by the Assamese , are of longest standing, as their advent appears to have followed the subjugation of the Northern Tai Kingdom by Alomphra.
Their first settlement within the Assam Frontier seems to have been at a place called Mueangkong Tat, a short distance above the present post of Ningroo, on thr Burhi Dehing river; their chief , called "Chow Ta Muaeng Khuen Muaeng", is said to have been of the Royal line of Mueangkong, but the clan or tribe had been long in possession of lands on the banks of the Nam Turung, a tributary of the Chindwin river in Hukawng.
After being settled on the Upper Burhi Dehing for about 10 years, the Captain Gohain, an officer of the Ahom Government, who visited the Eastern Districts with a small force early in the nineteenth century for the purpose of repelling the encroachments of the Singphos, brought them from thence with thr concurrence of his master, and they settled down in the vicinity of Jorhat, the whole tribe and their dependants, consisting of about 150 houses. At Jorhat they remained until the invasion of Assam by the Burmese, when this tribe , as well as other of the Tai race, were ordered to return to Mueangkong by the Burmese authorities, and the Tai Phake were thus found so far on their return (by the British force on the frontier in 1825), again settled near their former position on the Burhi Dihing. At the present there are three settlements , one in the Dibrugarh district of Assam, the second one in the Tinsukia district and the last one in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh. Today their population are said to be only 5000 in numbers.

Edited and shared by : C.K Tunkhang.
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