KUKIS TRIBES (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Vulnerable Section)

News-CRUX-10     15th April 2024        
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Context: Recently, as the Manipur Assembly passed a resolution urging the Union Government to abrogate the Suspension of Operations (SoO) pact with Kuki-Zo insurgent groups, which has been in effect since 2008, uncertainty loomed over the extension of the agreement.


  • About: These are an ethnic group consisting of multiple tribes originally from North-Eastern India, parts of Myanmar, and Bangladesh.
  • Origin of the Term: "Kuki" is a term used generically for tribes associated with the group under colonial rule, not coined by the ethnic group itself.
  • Presence: Present in all Northeast Indian states except Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Recognition: About fifty Kuki tribes in India are recognized as scheduled tribes.
  • Kindred Tribes: The Chin people of Myanmar and the Mizo people of Mizoram are kindred tribes of the Kukis, collectively known as the Zo people.
  • History:
  • Resistance to British Rule: The Kuki Rebellion of 1917-19 marked the first resistance to British hegemony by the Kuki people.

oSubjugation by British: After the rebellion, Kuki territory was subjugated by the British and divided between British India and British Burma.

oFormer Independence: Prior to their defeat in 1919, the Kukis were independent people ruled by their chieftains.

  • Marriage Practices: Traditionally, they do not arrange marriage alliances outside their community.
  • Religious Practices: Initially animist, the majority have embraced Christianity over the last 90 years.
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