|Related ethnic groups|
|Moyon Naga, Naga tribes|
Monsang people are one among the indigenous tribes of North-East India, inhabiting the south-east part of Manipur state border to Myanmar particularly in Chandel district. Monsangs have their own distinct culture and tradition and are traditionally peaceful.
Monsang tribe are one among the indigenous tribes of the North-East India, inhabiting the south-east part of Manipur state border to Myanmar particularly in Chandel district. Monsangs were originally known as 'Sirti'. Sirti is derived from the word 'Ati' meaning 'south'. Therefore, it is believed that Monsangs originated from the south though the exact geographical region of origin cannot be determined.
Monsang mythology describes the emergal of their people from a cave which was guarded by a ferocious tiger. After overpowering the tiger with the help of weaver birds and hornbills, Thumpungpa, the Monsang leader led the people out of the cave in search for suitable place for settlement.
The earliest Monsang village is Tungphejur. Tetejur, Kolenbung, Heikaching, Ruwngphetung come in successive sequence in the course of migration. During the time of their settlement in Ruwngphetung, Monsangs came in contact with the Meiteis (valley people of Manipur). Among the Monsangs was a popular leader named Mosang. Subsequently, Ruwngphetung was referred to as 'Mosang's village' by people from other communities. In due course of time, the people of Ruwngphetung were known as the Mosang people, and 'Sirti' came to be known as 'Monsang' after Mosang.
Generally in Monsang Tribe there are two clans namely (a) Simputi and (b) Rinheti. Each clan is again divided into several sub-clans.
(a) SIMPUTI CLAN:- 1. Ngiiriiti 2.Kiiriiti 3. Thrumhliti, 4. Hranglumti, 5. Chahliiti, 6. Eenlha Bungjirti and 7. Serbumti. (b) RINNHETI CLAN:- 1. Rohinti, 2. Wanglarti 3. Thresongti, 4. Hongamti 5. Shongsirti 6. Khartuti 7. Khartu Bungpi.
In ancient days, negotiation between the boy's family and that of the girl preceded the formal marriage. This was known as juwr Ikhuw. However it is no longer in practice today.
Jutii (engagement); for the engagement ceremony the boy's parents goes to the girl's house along with a jar of wine and a hen. If no agreement arises then the girl's parents arrange a jar of wine which is consumed by both the parties then the engagement will be cancelled. Today, in Christianity, tea has replaced wine in all such occasions.
After the Jutii the boy goes to the girl's house and starts living with her at her house in union. He lives there for three consecutive years only after which the girl would go to live in the boy's house. During the boy's stay at the girl's house’ his parents will have to make three presentations to the girl's family known as Chatla, Thungpham and Mharsha or Min. Chatla consists of meat and wine. Thungpham includes a pig and a jar of wine. Mharsha or Min includes a metal gong, one pig or one hen and a cow and a basket-full of Chahao.
Today, the marriages are almost replaced by the Christian ceremonies ministered by a catholic priest or a Reverend. Many of the old traditions have been replaced to a considerable degree.
LHU- A unique friendship system among the Monsangs.
"LHU" stands for bosom friend. Every Monsang male has a bosom friend, Lhu. Friends of this nature are distinguished from those of one's ordinary friends. In this type of friendship, there is no question of marriage between the brothers and sisters and between the children should they arise. This friendship is bound by the conviction that whatever the circumstances that may befall should be faced boldly and jointly. When any animal is killed by any of them the rear portion of the animal is given to the other. Such a trend is still practiced today in the Monsang culture.
Marriage between the Sub-Clans of Rinheti and Simputi can marry within its sub-clans i.g. marriage between Ngiiriiti and Kiiriiti, Kiiriiti and Thrumhliti so on. The sub-clans of Rinheti may also marry within sub-clans of e.g. Wanglarti and Thresongti, Hongamti and Shongsirti, so on. But in the Simputi clan marriage within the sub-clan of Ngiiriiti and Hranglumti and in Rinheti clan marriage within Rohinti and Wanglarti, Hongamti and Thresongti and between Khartuti and Khartu Bingpi are prohibited. They are treated as close blood relation known as juwr. If these happen to be any marriage between the above said clans then village authority will impose fine as per the Monsang customary law.
Chiefs are not hereditary, they are elected by the people. The tenure of Chiefship is not fixed period. He holds the post as long as he enjoys confidence of his villagers. The Chiefs can be removed when his villagers do not have confidence on him or when he is too old.
(Duties and Functions of Village Authority)
Each and every individual, sub-clans, family owned land which comes down from their forefathers or grand parents known as Lhenhiing. The land is not easily transferable from one clan to another or family. It can be given or transferred to others in two conditions (1) If the particular land owner does not have male issue, it can be given to his daughter. Transferred to his son-in-law on his daughter's marriage.
1. If the land owner is too old and his family members are not interested in jhum cultivation then the land can be given to his nearest relatives or can be sold to other sub-clans. Land sole to outsiders is not encouraged as it is immovable property. The above said land rules are followed only in the time of Jhum cultivation but when there is no cultivation is taken place then whole land is treated as common land.
2. A land owned by an individual i.g. wet paddy field (survey/patta land) is treated as individual land own property.