Zomi - History - Zomi Nationalism - Common Race

Common Race

People are easily tied to each other by the factor of common race or kinship. The Zomi are distinctly different from the Aryans of India and Burmans of Burma. All the Zomi tribes and sub-tribes resemble each other very closely in appearance, and their characteristics, behaviour and colour identify them as being of the Mongolian race. A unique Mongolian characteristic which is found among the Zomi is the 'blue Mongolian spot", which can be seen on the back and buttock of every new-born child, male or female. Being the Mongoloid stock, their skin colour varies between dark yellow-brown, dark olive copper and yellow olive. The face is nearly as broad as it is long and is generally round or square, the cheek bone high, broad and prominent, eyes small and almond-shaped, the nose short and flat, thick hair and usually straight and jet black. 'The Zomi are well-built with strong limbs and good figures; the average height of the man is about 5 feet and 6 inches . Other common characteristics of the Zomi, as observed by Carey and Tuck are worth mentioning:

...the main Kuki characteristics can be universally traced as – The slow speech, the serious manner, the respect for birth and the knowledge of pedigrees, the duty of revenge, the taste for and the treacherous method of warfare, the curse of drink, the virtue of hospitality, the clannish feeling, the vice of avarice, the filthy state of the body, mutual distrust, impatience under control, the want of power of combination and continued effort, arrogance in victory, speedy discouragement and panic in defeat are common traits throughout the hills.

These traits were quite applicable to the Zomi in the past during the period of British rule. There are some traits which still hold good today, e.g. clannish feeling, knowledge of pedigree, impatience under control, virtue of hospitality and mutual distrust. The other traits are on the wane as a result of the influence of Christianity and exposure to outside world.

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