Total population
Purum language
Related ethnic groups

The Purum are an indigenous tribe of Manipur. They are (or were) notable because their marriage system is the subject of ongoing statistical and ethnographical analysis; Buchler states that "they are perhaps the most over-analyzed society in anthropology".[2] Purum marry only in selected sibs; the allowed sibs are fixed by traditional customs. The Purums are divided into five sibs, namely, Marrim, Makan, Kheyang, Thao and Parpa.[3] There is no indigenous centralized government.[4]

According to the 1931 Census of India, the Purums numbered 145 men and 158 women, all practising their ancestral tribal religion; in 1936 they numbered 303 individuals but in the 1951 census they numbered only 43 individuals.[4]

Purum family

The Lupho, Lupheng, Misao and Neitham clans belong to the above Marrim and Makan family. These clans were absorbed into other tribes of Manipur over time, and are recognised as Kuki Tribes in Manipur, Mizoram, Assam and Meghalaya. Among the Thadou Kuki they are known as Milhiem or Meriem, which has the same meaning as Marrim. Some of them are also found in the Kom tribe (Komrem) of Manipur. The Purum are very close to the Aimol, Chiru, Koireng, Kom Kharam and Chothe tribes. Their customs, culture and language are similar, being said to all come from the cave Khurpui.


They currently reside in Purum Likli, Saikul subdivision of Kangpokpi district.


  1. ^ "Census of India".
  2. ^ Buchler, I. R. (1969). Game theory in the behavioural sciences. Pittsburgh University Press.
  3. ^ White, H. C. (1963). An anatomy of kinship. Prentice=-Hall.
  4. ^ a b Needham, R. (1958). "A structural analysis of Purum society". American Anthropologist. 60 (1): 75–101. doi:10.1525/aa.1958.60.1.02a00080.