A Glimpse of Tai Khamti. Early History. By:- Chow Uppa Mansai.


 Early History



      As early as the 6th century A.D. The Tai Kingdom was established by two Tai princes namely Khun-Lu and Khun-Lai in the Yun-Nan province of China called Mung-Ri;Mung-Ram. (or Mung-Hee,-Mung-Ham in Khamptee).

    Almost as an off-shoot of the same, the kingdom of Mung-Kong was also established in Burma in 608 A.D. by Ai-Khun-Long, the eldest son of Khun-Lai. Mung-Kong, which means Mung-country; Kong-drum, a country plain like a mouth of drum. Kham-Tyap-Pha, a descendent of Ai-Khun-Long migrated towards north from Mung-Kong and founded the kingdom of Moa-Lung or Moa-Pong in the fertile valley of river Cinduin. This Moa-Long is mentioned as Moa-Pung or Moa-Pung or Moa-Pong in the Shan and Ahum chronicles and Pong or Pung in the coronicles of old Monipur.The Ahum, the Khamyang, Phakkey, the Naras, Aitonias and other Shans where, lived together in Mung-Kong, till the end of 12th century. Mung-Kong was flourishing till its dismemberment by the Burmese king Alamphra or Alampaya in 18th century. By the beginning of 13th century, the Ahum migrated to Assam, through the Pangsau-Pass and the Khamptess moved northwards to established their own kingdom at Mung-Khamti-Long or Bor-Khamti i.e. Putao in Burma. (Myanmar). The Khamptee had seven principalites under different Chiefs. viz, Moungyak, Langno, Langtaw, Longking, Mannou, Manjekhun and Manci. But, the suzerainty of parent kingdom, Moun-Kong was accepted.

    In the middle of the 18th century, the Khamptees where started facing calamities in Burma. There were internal troubles also. The Bor-Khamptees principalities lost their unit, powers, fueds, murders etc.started. The Burmese emperor Alamphra or Alampaya, means embryo of Buddha, the great monarch, who founded the "Kongboung" dynasty dismembered the kingdom of Mung-Kong and other Shans hagemony in upper Burma by annexing the Tai States one after another and he successfully adopted the principles of divide and rule. Alamphra's four immediate successors like (a) Noudawgy (1760-63), (b) Hsinbyushin (1763-76), (c) Singu (1776-82) and (d) Bodawpaya (1782-1819) all were hostile against Shan rulers of northern Burma. During their reign the Burmese army had penetrated in Siam, Manipur and northern Shan states. At that time, the king of Mung-Kong had to leave his kingdom and took asylum in China. Out of this hostility of Burmese kings, not only a group, but also three other swums of Khamptees, the Naras, Phakials, Khamyangs, the Aitonians and others Shan people also crossed the Patkai ranges and arranged to settle in the vicinity of Sadeeya region. Some of the recorded immigration are as follows....

1751.         A.D.  = 100 to 200 Khamptees;
1760.         A.D.  = Phakials, Naras;
1780-94.   A.D.  = 400 Khamptees and Singphoos.
1835.         A.D.  = 230 Khamptees
1850.         A.D.  = 300-400 Khamptees.
1852.         A.d.  = 300 Khamptees undeer Chaupha Singthi Gohai.

    The immigration of Khamptees from their Moung-Khamptee or Putao to Assam had a different verious by the historians, which were recorded in summary as that, The Burmese emperor, Alamphra or Alampaya subjugated the kingdom of Moung-Kong and Moung-Mao-Long or pong by divide and rule policy and as a consequence, the Chefs of seven principalities of Moung-Khamptee-Long or Bor-Khamptee, lost their unity, strength as well and conflicts broke out in between the Long-King Chef and Manci Chief. Manci Chief killed the Long-King chef and subjugated his country, brought the Lonking Chief and his three sons namely Phrataka, Chautang and Long-King, who were kept in prison. In the mean time, the Manci Chief was assinated by his own son and brought the principality under his control and released Phrataka, with his two brothers. Under the circumstances, Phra-Taka, Chautang, and Long-King, left theirs home land, crossed the Patkai ranges through the Chau-Kang pass and subsequently arrived to the Ahum Kingdom in 1751 A.D. Phra-Taka, the eldest brother was very pious, who brought with him an image of lord Buddha, and the fir-man, i.e" Hee-Hoo Seng" presented by the king of Mung-Kong.

     The fir-man or "Hee-Hoo-Seng" was written in fine Burmese language on palm leaf strips, a proud heirloom, which was preseved till late in the family of, Lt. Chou-Saa-Gohain (Raja) at Bor-Khamptee village Dikrong (Assam). measuring 4.3" in length and 2" in diameter. It is known that the fir-man or the palm leaf strips e.i. Hee-Hoo-Seng was now in Guwahati museum, which was deposited by one of their family member Lt. Chou-Chandra-Gohain, Bor-Khamptee, Narayanpur, Assam.

    According to the second version, there was a king or Chief named Chau-Cham-Longking-Kham, in the principality or the Long-King dynasty in Putao. They had matrimonial relationship with the king of Mung-Kong. The Chief of Long-King had two sons. The elder one killed his father to occupy the throne as early as possible. The younger one i.e. Chau-Ngi-Long-King-Kham, considering insecurity of life over there migrated with two hundred Khamptee followers through the Chau-Kang pass and Arrived at Khamong. The present Vijoynagar in Changlang district, Arunachal Pradesh.

    The third version about the migration of Khamptee to Assam that there was a king in Mung-Khamti-Long or Putao, named Khun-Cham-Lu, who had three sons, the second son cam to Assam, to occupy the country from the Patkai range to the river Subonsiri on the west and from the Mishimee hill to the Brahmaputra and the Burhi-Dihing on the south. As a matters of fact, the region was under the control of Khamptee during the reign of Ahum king Gaurinath Singha in 1780-95. Most probably these three sons were, The king of Ahum, The Khamptee, and the Khamyang. Whatever may be recorded about the migration of Khamptee into Assam, it was also presumed, that the Khamptee migrated to Assam due to long decades of hostility and suppression of the Burmese emperor Alamphra or Alampaya and his four immediate successors.

   The Khamptee are not a handsome race. They are of rather darker complexion then other shans and of coarser feature. The Mongolian peculiarities is being more strongly developed in them in their reputed brethren. It may be on this account that Mr. Klaproth suppose them to be of tartar origin. But observed by Wilcox, "if it be so the period of their migration to the Shans province must be very remote"

   After settling in Assam, the Khamptee Chiefs frequently marriage Assamese wives and in some families the effect of this mingling is very marked in softening and improving the feature of the generation that follow it.