Zomi Inhabited Areas

The Zomi occupy a contiguous region of about 60,000 square miles , not counting the Asho settlements in Lower Burma and Masho settlements in the Arakan (Burma). The area extends from latitude 25º 30’ North in the Somra tracts facing Mt. Saramati, and in Nagaland across the Namtakik River and the North Cachar Hills, to about 20º 30’ North Latitude. The longitudinal extension is between 92º 10’ East and 94º 20’ east. The North-South length of the Zogam is roughly 350 miles and East-West is generally about 120 miles wide.

S. T. Hau Go, a former Lecturer of Mandalay University and an authority on the Zomi wrote:

“Our present geographical distribution extends from the Naga Hills and the Hukawng Valley in the north to Bassein and the Irrawaddy Delta in the south, from the Irrawaddy and Sittang Valleys in the east to the Arakan coast, Bangladesh, Assam and Manipur in the West. In short, we occupy the mountainous region between India and Bangladesh in the west and the Chindwin-Irrawaddy valleys in the east, and the plains and valleys adjacent to these hilly regions.”

One Zomi folksong tellingly delineates the area of Zogam as follows:

“Penlehpi leh Kangtui minthang,
A tua tong Zouta kual sung chi ua;
Khang Vaimang leh tuan a pupa
Tongchiamna Kangtui minthang aw”
(The famous Penlehpi and Kangtui
Between the two is the Zomi country
The Southern King and our forefathers
Made an agreement at the famous Kangtui)

This old folk song clearly tells us the area of the Zomi ancestral homeland, for Penlehpi is a Burmese word for the Bay of Bengal and Kangtui is identified with Tuikang (Chindwin River).

This Zoland is geographically contiguous, compact and has been the land where the Zomi permanently settled for centuries (see maps). Here they lived in complete independence before the advent of the British. They lived without any outside interference and domination, and no part of her territory had been subjugated. Within their territory, they were knitted together by common traditions, customs, cultures; mode of living; language and social life (see Zomi Nationalism). They governed themselves in accordance with their customary laws. It was a sovereign land where the people enjoyed perfect harmony on their own (see Zomi as an Indigenous People).

 

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