Saikia was a Paik officer of the Ahom militia who led a hundred paiks.[1] The Koch kingdom had a similar system in place. As it was a purely administrative position, the title holder could belong to diverse ethnic groups or religions. Today, this title is used as a surname by Assamese people of various ethnic origins.[2] The post of Saikia in the Paik system was higher in rank to the Bora (in charge of 20 paiks) but lower in rank to the Hazarika (in charge of a thousand paiks).


The word Saikia is a derivative of the Assamese word - , meaning 'one hundred - 100'. The original Tai-Ahom name of the position was ru-pāk which later was translated as 'Saikia' in Assamese.

Historical Usage

The Ahom Kingdom of medieval Assam used the Paik system, a form of corvee labour In this system, a Paik (one soldier) formed the smallest unit under the Ahom military system. A Saikia was the commanding officer of 100 such paiks. The appointment of a Saikia was the responsibility of a Phukan or Rajkhowa (governor of a territory). The paiks had the right to reject a Saikia and request another officer of their choice. Appointments were made irrespective of the paik's religion or ethnicity.

Among other ethnic groups, there is mention of Chutia Saikias in several instances of Buranjis. For instance, during the revolt of 1775, ten Chutia Saikias were involved along with a Nara chief of Khamjang (Kachin state of Myanmar).[3] After the fall of the Chutia kingdom, Saikias were also appointed among Chutia blacksmiths and other guilds to look after the works.[4] Apart from these, during the Moamoria rebellion, the rebels also appointed Saikias among themselves.[5]

Current Usage

Over the years, the usage of this title has ceased to be a professional or military title. The Ahom paik titles were conferred by the king regardless of the ethnicity, caste or religion of the officer. Hence, the descendents of these officers now use it as a surname. Some communities which use this title are- Sutiya, Koch, Sonowal Kacharis, Thengal Kacharis and Kalitas etc. [6]

Notable people


  1. ^ Kakoty, Sanjeeb (2003). Technology, Production And Social Formation In The Evolution Of The Ahom State. Regency Publications. ISBN 9788187498735.
  2. ^ People of India: India's communities. Oxford University Press. 1998. ISBN 978-0-19-563354-2.
  3. ^ Barua, Gopalchandra, Ahom Buranji,p. 331.
  4. ^ (Sarma 1993:287) Dewanar Atla: "Suhungmung or Swarganarayan, after defeating Dhirnarayana and his minister Kasitora, received a number of Dola, Kali..Hiloi and gunpowder(Kalai-khar). Besides these, he also made a number of blacksmiths (Komar) prisoners, settled them either at Bosa (in present-day Jorhat district) or Ujjoni regions and ordered them to make iron implements and weapons (Dah, Katari, Hiloi, Bortop). A section of them were appointed as Saikias and Hazarikas to look after the works. It was only during the time of Suhungmung that the guild of blacksmiths and its trade started in Assam (Ahom kingdom). There were three thousand blacksmiths during this period."
  5. ^ Barua, Gopalchandra, Ahom Buranji,p. 303
  6. ^ Kakoty, Sanjeeb (2003). Technology, Production And Social Formation In The Evolution Of The Ahom State. Regency Publications. ISBN 9788187498735.

Works cited