Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Akademi winner Chandana Goswami writing novel on Mising migration from China

Luoba people of China have Mising connection.  Photo: CRI
Sahitya Akademi winner of 2012, Mrs. Chandana Goswami, who is obsessed with historical fiction, is focusing on Mising people's migration history to complete her upcoming novel. She told this to Times of India in Guwahati recently.

Mrs. Goswmami won prestigious Sahitya Akademi award for her debut novel "Patkai Ipare Mur Desh", a historical fiction, which was based on Ahom dynasty. According to an interview published in TOI, she has already visited China for the purpose. "This time I will focus on the Mising tribe and their migration to India. I have already visited China for my research study. I met a Mising woman in 2009 who gave me the idea. I had to study the history of Tibet as well", she told the newspaper.

Mising tribe, also known as Miri, are second largest ethnic minority group in Assam along with about 20,000 population in sparsely inhabited Arunachal Pradesh. They belong to Tani groups of people, who shares ethnic and cultural affinities with Adi, Galo, Nyishi, Apatani and Tagin tribes of Arunachal, the frontier state which is also claimed by China.  They are also linked to Luoba ethnic of Nyingchi Prefecture of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). In July, 2007, China Radio International (CRI) reported about Luoba people presence in Southeast Tibet. CRI said in their website, "In the deepest forests of Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region live a group who call themselves the Luoba People. Scattered primarily throughout the Luoyu Region of southeast Tibet, the Luoba, with a population of less than 3,000, are the smallest of China's 56 ethnic groups. Today we are going to walk into a Luoba village and meet the people there - who are connecting more with the outside world".

It would be noteworthy to mentioned here that the Mising people do not have historical records of migration. They speak their own mother tongue with the same name. However, it is clear that migration in the historical period took place once from parts of present day China. Their connections to Pemako or the Shangri-la, Koje Pa:tang (according to the tribe) or the Kailash Mansarovar, presence of Tibetan/ Chinese beads and ornaments like dogne and tadok, use of cotton woven blanket Gadu or Mirijim , life style of stilt houses etc. among the tribe gives a strong basis for an insightful research that could be shaped in the form of systematic stories or novel.

Her upcoming novel based on Mising people and their migration has serially been publishing in an Assamese newspaper's Sunday supplementary called Hombhar of Asomiya Pratidin. The novel is named Kéyum.