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MARA TRIBE IN MYANMAR PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mr.Rachikhai   
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 05:15
                                                                           Introduction

 

This paper presents that the Mara tribes, one of Chin nationals living in Chin State, descended from the Tibeto-Myanmar family. It is divided into three chapters. In the chapter one, it presents about that where the Chin tribes descended from and how to spread to the other parts of Chin State.The Maras belong to Mongoloid,the eastern third mankind.They belong to central Chin sub-groups of the Kuki group of the Assam-Burma branch of the Tibeto-Burman family.Some writers have classed them as a number of the Kuki section.In Chapter two, it includes that social life,the main occupation, and traditional culture of Mara people. The Maras practised a patriarchal system. They had their own custom and culture. The society was controlled by customary laws. The Maras gave the inheritance rights to the eldest son or youngest son. Daughters were not given any right of inheritance. In this chapter, it also presents about the marriage of Mara and it is different from that of other national races. Chapter three present about the religion of Mara people. Mara people believed in traditional Nat and Animists before the Christianity reached to Maraland in 1907. It can be said that Maraland is an area with a strange faith because all of Mara people believe only in Christianity after it spread to Maraland.

 

Mr.Rachikhai

Mr.Rachikhai (BA(Hons), MA (Credit)

 

CHAPTER ONE

THE BACKGROUNDOF MARA

 

T

he Chin belongs to the Mongoloid stock of Tibeto-Burman family. The Chin community is classified into the ancient Kuki Chin, the northern Chin, the central Chin, the southern Chin and the plain Chin.[1]The Chin people are dwelling along the Myanmar western range, the northern and the southern parts of the Chin Mountains and the southern plains at the base line of the Chin mountain range. There is a light difference in languages spoken among Chin people in one region and another because Chin State is hilly and access is difficult. Therefore, Mara people are also the Chin nationals speaking their own dialect. The Chin community is consisted of (45) kinds of the clans: they are 8 kinds in Tetai, 10 kinds in Phalun, 7 kinds in Hakha, 3 kinds in Gabaw, 3 kinds in Kampetlet, 5 kinds in Matupi, 8 kinds in Paletwa and 1 kind at the plain. Out of the three main communities that had invaded into Myanmar, Chin was one of the Tibeto-Burman tribe. The Tibeto-Burman tribe was consisted of three communities;

1.      Chin-Kachin community

2.      Myanmar-ancient Myanmar community

3.      Lo Lo hunters community.[2]

They descended down from the Tibet into Myanmar through three different

routes and began to settle down. After invading into Myanmar by the north-west and north-east, the Chin communities had settled first there, they shifted towards the western mountain range by placing the late comers to dwell.[3] When those people of the Thet, Chin communities who had descended from the north-western region of the China and those people of the ancient Myanmar community who had invaded through the eastern route were organized and integrated into as a whole, they were able to establish a new kingdom of Bagan.[4]

Since the clans of the Chin community had been dominating along the course of the Chindwin River and the western range, the Naga people had to invade and shift gradually towards the western region of Myanmar.[5] It is assumed that after having sheltered under the shade of the mountains at the foot of the western mountain range, the ancient Myanmar people had conquered and captured the region, Minbu that is being ever green and flourishing with the areas of good and feasible geographical performances of Salin, Mone creek and Munn creek nowadays. The native dwelling people who had discovered first and settled ahead, had managed to cultivate through the system of the irrigation canals from the dams and reservoirs, made by damming the creeks and streams. It might be assumed that the ancient Myanmar had founded the capital of Bagan in 850 A.D.

When the word 'Chin' or 'Chinn' is articulated in Myanmar sound, it implies in Myanmar Language as,

1.      Thangaechinn-friend or intimate

2.      Maung hnamachinn between brother and sister

3.      Ah chinnchinn- each other and so on and it may be denoted that they (Chin and Myanmar) are the brethren descended from the single womb of the same mother i.e. the brothers born of the same mother.

Since there exists a proverb as 'Chin and Myanmar are originated in the same blood, the close related relatives' it might be possible that Myanmar people call Chin people as 'Chinn' denoting a significant intimacy.[6]

Cary and Tuck who had taken the field study about the Chin community of the Chin mountainous region in 1896 A.D. had noted remarks as mentioned below. Plenty of the clans of the Chin community had been dwelling in the Chin mountainous region. They had named their own clans in variety and they believed themselves of the specific clans. But, it was out of question that all of them had descended from a single community. Those remote causes as, being absence or lack of the written language and literature, being arising rivalries and attacks among the villages and among the local chiefs, being gradual bred of the unfamiliarity among the clans and being brought about the different local spoken languages were led to the emergence of the various traditional customs and the different statuses of living among the clans of the Chin community.[7]

The Maras occupy the southern portion of Chin State,the hill tracts situated in the areas of Indo-Myanmar border. The whole region inhabited by the Maras is commonly called "Marara" in the local language meaning the "land of the Maras" or "Maraland". The Maras are a branch of Chin tribes. The Maras were formerly known as the Lakhers by the Lusheis, the Shandus by the Khumis and Rakhines, and the Mirams by the Hakas.[8] But their true name and the name which they call themselves are Sakhen, Shandu, Lakher and Miram. The term Lakher means cotton spinning, La =Cotton, Kher= Spinning works. The name was given by their north western neighbours, the Lusheis. The term Shandus means a people who always fight and make others restless, the name given by their southern neighbours, the Khumis and Rakhines.

The term "Miram" was; mi= people, ram = land, (the people of the land), the name given by their northern neighbours, the Hakhas.[9]Their true name which they call themselves is "Mara". The term "Mara" meaning "Southerner" must have been born often their very nature of migrating from the North to the South in search of green pasture and fertile land for life.[10]The birth of term "Mara" is believed that it is derived from the following views and understandings;

(a)              By takingthe name of Ramaw (Bamboo), the term "Mara" has been derived from people living in the place where the bamboo was plenty and later they were called "Mara".

(b)              It is believed that the people sometimes lived on the hill called Marau situated between Hakha and Thantala before they arrived at the present Maraland. By taking the name of this hill (Marau), the term Mara has been derived.

(c)              It is believed that the nameMara is the forefather's name of Chin, Kachin, and Naga etc. and by taking the forefather's name, the name Mara is derived. This assertion is supported by the fact that, there are the names of clan called Mara, Maram, etc. among the Kachin and Chins. Besides this in Kachin, the title Maram is given to their children who belong to the Mara clan in keeping their forefather's name till today. Therefore, it is acceptable one that the name Mara is derived from the Ancestors' name through which the people are descended.[11]

The Maras were migrated from southern China via Tibet crossing the hills of northern Myanmar and probably settled in the present place.[12] The oldest city mentioned in the Myanmar Chronicles was built by an Indian prince Abhi Raja in Tagaung. He came from north India with his army to the centre of Ayeyarwady and settled down there. His reign began around B.C 825. He was said to have thirty-one descendants, later they became migrated in the mass of Mongoloid tribe who were known as Kanyan, Pyu, and Thet.[13] The Tai, or Shan, first migrated from central Asia toward the south and settled down along the rivers Mekong, Menam, Ayeyarwady and Bamabutra. The Talaing or Mon, were the remnant of the earliest invasion of Indo-china into the southeast corner of Asia.[14] According to L.B Siama, the Mara belongs to the Chin family of the Mongoloid stock of the Tibeto-Burman family.[15] Professor Than Tun claims that Tibeto-Burman groups of the Myanmar came down into present Myanmar via the Salween and Nmai kha valleys, and reached the northern Shan state before AD 713. But before they were able to settle themselves in the delta area of Ayeyarwady Valley, "the rise of Nanchao checked their movements soon after 713. The Nanchao made continuous war with neighbouring powers such as the Pyu who had founded the Hanlin Kingdom in Central Myanmar. In 835 the Nanchao plundered the delta areas of Myanmar, and in 836 they went further east to Hanoi. However, by the end of the ninth century the Nanchao power collapsed, because according to Than Tun they had exhausted themselves. Only after the collapse of the Nonchao, the Myanmarwasable to move further south into the plains of Myanmar.[16]

According to professor Luce, the Chin descended from western China and eastern Tibet into the south via the Hukong valley and settlement in the Chindwin valley began in the middle of the eighth century, while allowing for the possibility of a date as far back as the fourth century A.D. Lalthalian, a Mizo historian, also gives the eighth century A.D.[17] The term Chinolurin comes from the "China" as in the hole of the Chin," or "the river of the Chin," but not the other way around. Prof. G.H Luce even suggested that the word "Chin" might come from the Burmese word thu-nge-chin (friend). But this is very unlikely, because the word chin had already been very well-recognized not only by the Myanmar but also by others peoples such as Kachin and Shan, even before the Chin made their settlement in the Chindwin valley. The term Chindwin comes from the "Chin" as in the hole of the "Chin" or "the river of the Chin."[18]

The Chin people moved up from the eastern bank of the Chindwin River to the upper Chindwin of the Kale valley. Although we do not know exactly when and why, the date can be set approximately to the final years of the thirteenth century or the beginning of the fourteenth century. Until the fall of the Pagan dynasty in 1295, the Pagan inscriptions continuously mentioned that the Chins settled down between the eastern bank of the upper Chindwin and west of the Ayeyarwady River. Thus, it can be assumed that the Chin settlement in the Kale valley began just before the end of thirteenth century A.D.[19] After their original settlement in the Chindwin valley was destroyed by the flood, according to the traditional account, the Chin moved over to upper Chindwin, and some groups such as the Asho went as far as the Pandaung Hills and other hills near the western part of the Chindwin River. Since then the Chin people have been split into different tribes and speak different dialects.[20] According to the book of political situation of Myanmar and its role in the region 2001, Chin have (53) different ethnic groups. Those are:

(1)  Chin

(2)  Methei (Kathe)

(3)  Saline

(4)  Ka-lin-kaw (lushay)

(5)  Khami

(6)  Awa khami

(7)  Khawno

(8)  Kaunso

(9)  Kaung Saing Chin

(10)      Kwelshin

(11)      Kwangli (Sim)

(12)      Gunte (Lyente)

(13)      Gwete

(14)      Ngorn

(15)      Zizan

(16)      Sertang

(17)      Saing Zan

(18)      Za-How

(19)      Zotung

(20)      Zo-pe

(21)      Zo

(22)      Zahnyet (zanniet)

(23)      Tapoing

(24)      Tiddim (Hai-Dim)

(25)      Tay-Zan

(26)      Tai Shon

(27)      Thado

(28)      Torr

(29)      Dim

(30)      Dai (Yindu)

(31)      Naga

(32)      Tanghkul

(33)      Malin

(34)      Panun

(35)      Magun

(36)      Matu

(37)      Maram (mara)

(38)      Mi-er

(39)      Mgan

(40)      Lishei (Lushay)

(41)      Laymyo

(42)      Lyente

(43)      Lawhtu

(44)      Lai

(45)      Laizao

(46)      Wakin (Mro)

(47)      Haulngo

(48)      Anu

(49)      A nun

(50)      Oo-pu

(51)      Chin bu

(52)      Asho (plain)

(53)      Rongtu[21]

According to Pheiki, the Maras came down from Tibet in about 1200 A.D, through Nagaland, then to the Chin Hills in 1400 A.D. A tradition also says that the Maras came down from the different places from the North to their present home in the Hakha sub-division of the Chin State.[22] According to Lai U Fachhai, they migrated from southern China via Tibet crossing the hills of northern Burma and probably settled in the present place between the fourteen and fifteen centuries A.D.[23]Therefore, it is understood that the Maras are one of the ethnic groups who live in Chin State in Myanmar and in India. The Maras are a distinct, ethnic people, having six sub-groups namely;

(1)  Tlosai-siaha

(2)  Hawthai-lochei

(3)  Zyhno

(4)  Chapi-Ngia phia, sabyh

(5)  Lialai and

(6)  Heima

In 1924, the independent Maraland was divided and annexed to three different districts of British. India and Myanmar colonies, with the independence of India in 1947, and Burma (Myanmar) in 1948, the United Maraland was divided and ruled by different governments. Now the Maras in India are Tlosai-Siaha, Howthai, zyhno, Chapi, and the Maras of Lialai, Heima, Lochei Ngiaphia Sabyh, are in Myanmar are placed under the three townships- Thantlang, Matupi and Paletwa of the Chin State.

Both the Saiko and Siaha people say that they originated at a place called Leisai between Leitak and Zaphai. From Leisai they moved to Saro, and thence to Chakang, both of which places are in Haka. From Chakang they crossed the Kaladyne River and came into the Lushai Hills (India), and settled first at Phusa, on a high hill between Ainak and Siata; thence they moved to Khupi on the Tisi River, thence to Theiri, and thence to Beukhi. At Beukhi the Siaha and Saiko Tlosais separated, the former occupying various sites in the neighbourhood of Beukhi, ending up at their present site of Siaha, while the latter moved successively to Saikowkhitlang, Khangchetla, Zongbukhi, Chholong and Khilong, eventually settling at Saiko about fifty or sixty years ago. From Saiko they have formed the other villages of the Tlosai group ruled over by Hlechang chiefs.[24] From the number of village sites, they have occupied there since coming to the Lushai Hills, it is certain that they must have been settled in the Lushain Hills district between 200 and 300 years.

The Hawthai clan, whose main village is Tisi, originated, they say, at a place called Chira in Haka, whence they came via Saro, Siata, Paimi and Nangotla to Tisi, where they have now been for thirty years. They are, therefore, more recent immigrants than the Tlongsai. Nangotla, Chholong, and Longbong, or, as the Lusheis call them Ngiawtlang, and Lungbun, are Hawthai villages, as are also the two villages of old and new Longchei in Haka. The Zynoh, who are the people of Savang, originated at Hnarang in Haka, whence they crossed the Kaladyne and settled on a high range called Kahri Range. They moved in succession to Hlongma near Sehmung and Cheuong on the banks of the Tisi River, and then settled on their present site of Savang, where they have now been established for about 130 years.

The Sabyh who are the people of Chapi, originated at Thlatla in Haka. One of their chiefs, Mahli, married a Mara woman, and from that time the royal house has regarded itself as Mara. Mahli moved from Thlatla to Ngiaphia, whence his branch of the Sabyh moved in succession to Pazo, Khothaw, Chorihlo, Chawkhu, Pasei, Pamai, Sacho, Loma and thence to their present site called Tichhang, where they have now been settled for twenty years. The reason given for the frequent moves of site is that they were afraid of being raided. Their head chief, Vasai, is a Cheiza, and a cousin of Rachi, chief of Chapi, and his village, Sabaungpi, is only about thirteen miles from Chapi along the top of the Kahri range. The inhabitants of Heima and Lialai in the Arakan Hill Tracts belong to the Heima and Lialai groups, which are very closely allied to the Sabyh. The chief of both villages are Cheiza, and they have been always more or less vassals of the Cheiza chiefs of Sabaungpi.[25]

Maraland is located in the area bordered by India to the West, Myanmar to the east and Bangladesh to the south. It straddles two states;the western section is part of south-eastern corner of the state of Mizoram (India) and the eastern section is part of the south-western corner of Chin State (Myanmar). The land covers area of about 1,000 square miles between 92° 4¢ and 93° 15¢ east and 21° 45¢ and 22° north. It is bordered by Matu and Zotung in the east, Hakha and Thatlang in the north.[26]

Climate plays an important role in the development of soils, flora and fauna, agricultural activities, and the livelihood of the inhabitants. Maraland enjoys a tropical monsoon type of climate. However, climatic conditions differ from place to place. Generally, sun-facing slopes of hills are drier and warmer. The hilly regions are cooler than the lowlands. April and May are the hottest months of year while December and January are the coldest. At higher altitudes, temperature falls below freezing point in the mornings of the cool season. Average annual rainfall is 80-100 inches. Season based on climatic conditions, four seasons or periods may be recognized as follows:

1.      The hot season or Pre-monsoon period (March to mid-May)

2.      The rainy season or Monsoon period (mid-May to September)

3.      The Post-monsoon season (October to November)

4.      The cool Dry Season (December to February)[27]

The International Soil Science Society has recognized that there are 106major soil types in the world. Land Use Bureau of Myanmar has classified 24 major soil types in Myanmar. Major Soil types in Maraland are:

1.      Red-brown Forest Soils (Ferrasols)

2.      Mountainous Red-brown Forest Soils (Cambisols)

3.      Gley and Swampy Soils (Gleysols)

Red-brown forest soils develop under tropical evergreen forests and wet tropical deciduous forests mostly at altitudes between 1000 feet and 4000 feet above sea level. On hilly and mountainous areas, mountainous Red-brown forest soils, Primitive crushed stone and Turfy primitive soils are found almost together. Soil erosion is very serious and "A" horizon soils is lost (or) very thin because of degradation of soils resulting from the practice of slash and burn for shifting cultivation. Gley and swampy soils are found in plains like Raka plain, and valleys especially in Salyu valley and Pala valley. Termites build many mounds on these plains.The Bawnu (Kaladyne) River is the biggest river in the land and people are setting in the East-west river sides.Other famous streams in the land are Tisiva, Sarauva, lakiva, Thahaova, Ramova, Rakava, Hohava and Malava.[28] The largest paddy field is Raka Bau (Raka plain).[29]

Maraland is one of the geomorphologically young ranges having steep slopes with narrow "V" shaped valleys and high angled fault scarps, straight and short drainage features with waterfalls, and evidences of landslides. The highest mountainis Sawhmo Mountain. It is 8271 feet high.The highest waterfall is Loviah-ei that lies on the eastern side of Pathein range near Potia village. The beautiful waterfall is Chhacharu ngazo (Six-step waterfall) near Tisi village.[30]The upper part of this waterfall is known as Tisi stream and the lower part is called Taru stream. Prominent evidences and traces of landslides found in Maraland are Lopi-chanei and Leima-chanei on the eastern side of Kahrie range. There are many precipices on the steep walls of some mountains and many cliffs along the rivers. Maraland may be physiographically divided into six mountain ranges: Sawhmo range, Kahrie range, Hreikie range, Tihrei range, Pathei range and Mawtlah range. Sawhmo range is located at the north-easternmost part of Maraland. It is bounded by Kaladan River on the south and on the west, Thahao River on the east and Azie stream on the north. The Sawhmo main range is regarded as the roof of this region and lies in the central part. The other main range in the southwest is better known as Lautlah, Theiratlah and Nachholautlah and their spurs slope down to Kaladan River.A famous historic cave called "Fathlai Cave" lies near Ngephesizo village.[31]

Kahrie range is situated between Beino and Tisi rivers. It is aligned in a north-south direction with different local names such as Umei, Kahrie, Tliatlu and Mauma. It joins two main knots of Maraland: Ni-awtlang and Aphawk. Since Kahrie range joins two main knots, it can be generally regarded as the back-bone of Maraland. The highest peak of Kahrie range is Hraih-aw near Sabaungte village. It is 6297 feet high. The western offshoots of Kahrie range are Rorei hill and Uatlau hill, Khitlapi hill and Bade upland. Rorei hill and Uatlau hill are indented by Lolau valley. A spur that slopes down from Teitau hill to Tisi River is called "Titau-ratlah". It was believed that who climbs up Teitau-ratlah in the dream will succeed in everything he does. Hreikie range lies at the easternmost part of Maraland between Sarau River and Laki River. It trends in a north-south direction and ends at the confluence of Sarau and Laki rivers. The southern part of Hreikie range is called Phosa range. The highest peak of Hreikie range is Awpahtawna peak (6824 feet) near Tisi village. Other notable landforms in this region are Ramawpaw peak, Buchaneih Mountain and Liapahlo plateau. Near Chakhai village, Hreikie range is called Buchaneih Mountain and its highest peak with mushroom shaped stone is called Ramawpaw peak (6339 feet). The northern part of Hreikie range extends eastwards and creates a tableland called Liapahlo plateau, bounded by Hreikie precipice.

Tihrei Range is a north-south aligned range between Laki River and Tisi River. It is composed of three ranges, namely, Tihrei main range, Losiepa range and Pasei range. Tihrei main range and Losiepa range are the southern branches of Aphawk knot. Tihrei main range is the easternmost range. Western offshoots of Losiepa range are Bielie hill, Ravaw hill and Tilua hill. The southern part Losiepa range is locally known as Mara-pazopazona hill and Kalo hill. Pathei range and its branches lie between Kaladan and Tisi rivers. These ranges are trending in a north-south direction, and join the Kimo range. The northern part of Pathei range branches off as Laty hill on the west and Tipa hill on the east, and joins Tisi hill, the continuation of Ni-awtlang knot. The highest peak of Pathei range is "Pathei-pino" (4141 feet). Mawtlah Range is situated on the westernmost range of Maraland lying between Kaladan River on the east and Kula River on the west. The southern part of Mawtlah range is called Thiahratlah, Bakalatlah and Balaingtlah. Mawtlah range is aligned in a north-south direction and slopes down from north to south till the watershed area of Bakala stream which is the western tributary of Kaladan River.[32]The biggest lake in the land is "Lake of Pala".[33] The flora of the Mara Hills authorities table as "Primeval forest" Mountain ravines are usually over ground with rather thinly tangled jungle which ensembles rain forest. The longest animal hunted is wild mithun. Fish are prominent in Mara diet. Fishing also plays some parts in Mara religious ritual.Among Animals, a bird plays a great in ritual myths, in secular folktales and casket oral literature. The Maras tend to think of their country as a landscape of beautiful flowers.[34]

The Maras belong to Kuki-Chin group of Tibeto-Burman language speaking family and are Mongoliod stock. The dialects of Mara vary as much as their groups and their languages. According to Sir George Grierson, the language of Mara belongs to the Tibeto-Burman family of languages. In 1908, R.A Lorrain began reducing the language of the Maras in the Tlosai dialect to reading and writing by using the Roman script. The Tlosai dialect, therefore, has been the common language of the Marasand introduced in the primary level schools in Mara society.[35] The Mara's alphabet is as follows;

 

Table (1)

The Mara's alphabet

A

Aw

Y

B

Ch

D

E

F

H

I

K

L

M

N

O

Ô

P

R

S

T

U

 

V

Z

 

       

                                  

The language is a three-total language. The same word has three different independent meaning according to its different tones.[36]

Light brown complexion, black hair and eyes, along with strong all muscles are the most obvious physical characteristics of the Mara people. They have broach noses, high cheek bones and slightly oblique Mongoloid eyes. The average height of the men is about 5 feet 6 inches. They are taller than the Lusheis, and their physical fitness compares very favourably with that of their neighbours to the west in the villages situated on the lower hills between the Kolodyne and Lungleh, whose inhabitants are goitrous and unhealthy in the extreme.[37]The Maras are not remarkable for their beauty; they are, however, of good physique, well-built and strong. The men are good porters, and regularly carry up from the jhums loads of at least a maund. When they required for carrying loads, only the exact number of coolies ordered turn up, while Lushei coolies are engaged double the number required always appear, each man bringing a friend to help him. The Maras prefer to carry a full load and get full pay. A woman carries from her forehead. The average height of the women is about 4 feet 8inches. The brow-band is about 112  feet long and 4 inches wide; it is made of a cane called ari (Calamus erectus, Roxb), which is comfortable to wear because it is made up with a flat smooth surface. To each end of this brow-band are attached ropes made from the bark of the pazo tree (Hibiscus macrophyllus), to tie round the load.

Men use a combined brow-band and shoulder-band. The ends of each band are spliced to each other and also to the ropes for tying the load, which are made of pazo. The brow-band is 212  feet long, and is made of ari cane and worn over the forehead like the woman's. The shoulder band is 2 feet long, and is also made of ari cane. It is worn over either the right or the left shoulder. The men are far more mainly in appearance than the Lusheis, and have none of that effeminate air which makes it so easy to mistake many Lushei men for girls. The women when young are sometimes pleasing, but beauty is certainly not their strong point. They age rapidly, and after marriage become sloppy and take no care whatever of their appearance. [38]

In character the Maras are reserved and rather dour on the surface, though when one knows them they open out and are friendly enough. As compared with the Lusheis, they are hard and unsympathetic, entirely lacking the spontaneous charm of manner and genuine kindliness of disposition so characteristic of many Lusheis, and especially of members of the Sailo clan. The Maras cares for none of these things, his language has no equivalent for tlawmngaihna(A Lushei word for the Lushei code of morals, Perseverance, unselfishness), and though individual Maras are kindly and hospitable, they are less hospitality and cheeriness among Maras and feasts are fewer, the chief occasions for merry-making being marriages and deaths.

A Mara child's training is of the most rudimentary description. A child starts speaking by calling his mother "Na, na, na," and next refers to his father as "Pa, pa, pa," no deliberate training is given; if a child does wrong, its name is shouted loudly, and his father or mother says "Ta kha" (don't do that). Children are occasionally gently smacked, but are never really beaten till they are seven or eight years old, when they are licked with a cane if they do not obey. Once they are able to work by themselves, children are never beaten. Children are not taught the arts of hunting, fishing or trapping, but as soon as they are old enough they go with their father to the jungle, see what he does and on returning home make model traps. In this way they educate themselves.

Mara Villages are generally built on some high slope in an easily defended position, and perched on the very hill-top, like Lushei villages. Savang is on a hillside which slopes up to an inaccessible cliff, on which is a cave whither the people retreated in times of trouble, and in which they kept their valuables. High sites are always preferred, owing to the unhealthiness of low-lying localities. The villages are permanent and are rarely moved, as the Maras are attacked to their village sites and dislike abandoning the graves of their ancestors. The villages are known by their place-names, and not, like the Lushei villages, by the name of the chief. The place-names generally refer to some natural feature. Thus Saiko means"pommelos," there has been many pommel trees on the site when the village was founded.[39]

Before a village can be moved to a new site the omens must be taken. To do this some of the elders proceed to the site which has been provisionally selected, taking with them two cocks. One of these cocks is penned above the site selected and other below. The party make themselves a shelter between the two cocks and spend the night there. If the cock which has been penned above the site crows first and the lower cock replies it is a good omen, and the site is lucky. If the lower cock crows and the upper cock make no reply, the omen is not so good; but if the lower cock crows and the upper cock reply, it is a bad omen, and another site must be found. When a village moves to a new site fresh fire has to be kindled in the new village. Smouldering bits of wood are never carried to the new village to start the fire, which must be freshly kindled with flint and steel, or nowadays with matches. A fire is first kindled in the middle of the new village, and from this each household starts its own fire. It is believed that if fire is brought from the old village it will bring with it the diseases which were common there.

While a Mara cannot be said to suffer from overwork, his day is always full, and he has no opportunity of experiencing the boredom of having nothing to do. As is generally the case with the Assam hill tribes, the women are on the whole busier than the men. The entire tribe lives by agriculture, and the daily routine is governed by the seasons. They rise at dawn, being awakened by the noise of the domestic animals, mithun and pigs, that sleep under the house. The women at once pound out the rice required for the day in a wooden mortar hollowed out of a block of wood, and known as a Sokhao,the wooden pestle being called Sokhai.Having pounded and winnowed the rice, they put the breakfast on to cook, let out the fowls, and go off to the spring to draw water.

The water is carried in bamboo tubes. The Maras call their own tubes "female water-tubes" and the other kind "male water-tubes." The genuine Mara tube is made out of one section of the large bamboo and a piece of bamboo is left sticking up on the top for a handle. To clean a water-tube, they put in a handful of pebbles and shake them up and down with water until they have rubbed the inside of the tube quite clean. The water is always drawn from a stream or spring, wells being unknown. A rough basin is sometimes made with stones to allow the water to collect, as during the dry weather water is scarce in many villages; and this is fenced with bamboos to prevent the cattle fouling the water. Some villages, notably Savang, which has an abundant water supply, run the water through the village in bamboo pipes, each house joining its own pipe system on to the main pipe. In this way a constant supply of running water is maintained which saves the women many weary journeys to the spring.[40]

Breakfast over; the work of the day begins. The men go off to the jhum or to hunt or fish, according to the season of the year. The women collect the firewood and draw the water. If they have nothing else to do, they weave, but when the crops are growing they are fully employed in weeding and cleaning the fields, and later on with the harvest. The men cut the jhums, build and repair the houses, and help in all the work going on in the fields. They also make all the baskets, set traps for birds, beasts and fish, cut the paths and keep the surroundings of the village free from jungle. In the evening the women again draw water, feed the pigs on bran and broken rice, secure them and the fowls for night, and then prepare the evening meal. After dusk the women spin; they cannot see to weave, as the only light in a Mara house is that of the fire. People who go visiting at night use bamboo torches. The young bloods go off to the houses of the girls they favour, and it is usual for a young man to sleep in the house of the girl he is courting, the Maras having no bachelors' house, like the Lushei. The men gather in any house in which beer is going, and sing songs and talk. On the whole both men and women have a pretty full day. One often hears it said that primitive people are lazy because they do not choose to work for money; such statements are generally quite erroneous, and, as a matter of fact, though the Maras are less industrious than the Lusheis, if they did not work hard they could not get enough food.

The women devote all their spare time to weaving, and the men hunt and fish; not simply for amusement, but in order to add to an otherwise meagre and unvaried diet. It would be hard to find busier people than an average village community in the hills.[41]

The above discussion leads to the conclusion that the Mara was formerly known under various names. Itis assumed that the term Mara is a Maranized word for the word Marua and Miram, and has adopted it for the name of their distinct and independent tribe. The identity of Mara is very much get rooted in the land. The word Mara may mean different things to different people. But to the native people the word Mara sounds prosperity, free from famine, and the Maraland means productive, fertile and rice bowl. Today the people becomes a separate and distinct tribe and, they are proud to call themselves Mara as the word stands for hospitability and prosperity.


CHAPTER TWO

SOCIAL AND ECONOMY

 

T

he Maras practised a patriarchal system. They had their own custom and culture. The society was controlled by customary laws. The Maras gave the inheritance rights to the eldest son or youngest son. Daughters were not given any right of inheritance. However they had the right to claim the dowry at marriage. If the father died before the eldest son had reached the age of maturity, all important affairs within the family were managed by the nearest male relative in spite of the fact that the mother continued to care for the children. She was responsible for the domestic affairs of cooking and feeding the children.[42]

Marriage was a social obligation. There was no restriction on inter-marriages among different clans and villagers. A man usually marries between the ages of twenty and twenty-five, and a woman after the age of twenty. The Mara male preferred to marry into the mother's family. He was, however, forbidden to marry the daughter of his paternal aunt. Polygamy was practised by chiefs or healthy persons. They had many wives and concubines as long as they could support them. A widow of the elder brother could be married to the younger brother. This custom was practised so that the mother of the children continued to take responsibilities of caring for children and to prevent her from returning to her parents. In order to ensure the friendship of a rival village, a chief wanted to raise his social status, he married the daughter of a chief enjoying a higher status than himself. The parents sought a suitable girl for their sons from Pu(mother's brother) family. When they found a suitable girl, they sent the Leuchapa(representatives)to the girl's parents. If they agreed they fixed a proper day for further discussion regarding the wedding. On the day, the girl's father held a feast where they discussed the costs of the several marriages including the Ma (bride price).[43]

Very few restrictions are imposed on the choice of a wife. There is no bar to people of the same clan marrying. It is ana (forbidden) for a full brother and sister to marry, as the children would not thrive. The Maras, however, believe that the marriage of a brother to a sister will only have evil effects for the parties, and not for the rest of the village, while among the Lusheis incestuous marriages are believed to lead to a failure in the crops. Children of the same father but by different mothers may not marry, but children of the same mother by different fathers may marry. The children of a brother and sister may and do marry if the sister's child is a son and the brother's child a daughter, but a man should not marry his father's sister's daughter, though it is not actually ana (forbidden) for him to do so. I am told that the reason for this is purely utilitarian, a brother's son being his sister's daughter's pupa (Maternal uncle), and so entitled to her puma (the maternal uncle's portion of a marriage price) when she marries, so that if he himself married her he would lose her price. I think, however, that the prohibition is more probably really due to the peculiarly close relationship existing between a maternal uncle and his nephews and nieces, the tie between them being very nearly as close as that between a parent and his children. The nature and significance of this relationship have been discussed elsewhere, and I think that probably in former times a marriage between a maternal uncle and his niece would have been just as ana as a marriage between a nephew and the widow of his maternal uncle is to-day. It is believed that such a marriage will most probably be fruitless and that if by any chance offspring are produced, they will be imbeciles or afflicted with congenital disease.[44]

According to J.M Zalei, drinking was the most common element in Mara social entertainment, trial of local civil cases, and several feasts and ceremonies. The chief beverage was Sahmi (home brew) and Sahma (rice beer or corn beer). Sahma was used by the public for all ceremonies and festivals whereas sahmi was offered for social entertainment and for hospitality at home. Drinking sahma determined the length of the feast or the case. Smoking in the Mara community has been a predominant custom of the living. Locally make tobacco and ligers are used. Besides this, every grown woman smokes the hookah which produces Karao;concentrated water that is used much for hospitality, specially, in the area of public entertainment, the first missionary of Mara, R.A Lorrain was entertained with this drink. The story has it that he accidentally drank it and was actually drunk for a while. Everyone from five years old children to old people smoke habitually. Every girl at five years of age is taught how to smoke a hookah and keep the liquid of it.[45]

The village community consists of three estates: Abei (the chief), Phangsang (the patricians), and Machhi (theplebeians). The people as a whole are known as Tlapi, which includes the chief, the patricians; the plebeians, the village elders and other village officials-in fact the whole people. Within Phangsang (the patricians)is yet another class, which forms a sort of upper aristocracy, the members of which are known as Kuei. These Kuei consist of the descendants of people whom some former chiefs excused from the payment of the rice due, known as Sabai, and the meat due (Sahaw) in consideration of their having subscribed to pay an indemnity on the occasion of a defeat in war by another village or of their having helped the chief to entertain visiting chiefs. When a chief from another village pays a visit to a brother chief has to be received with great ceremony, and is always given handsome presents by his host. If the host is unable to provide these presents from his own resources, he calls on his leading villagers to help him, and they subscribe gongs, necklaces, or other articles for presentation. In consideration of the help given to the chief in this way, those who subscribed presents for a royal guest were made Kuei, and exempted from Sabai and Sahaw. The privilege of Kuei is hereditary, and descends to the eldest son of the person on whom it was conferred, and so on forever. Once in every generation each Kuei must help the chief in some way, even if it is only by giving him a pig. The Kuei are exempted from Rapaw in Chapi, but not in Savang. In Savang when a Kuei shoots a wild animal be pays a much lower due than an ordinary person.

Nowadays, a chief sometimes makes an elder who has served him well a Kuei as a reward for his services. The elders, in return for the honour conferred on him; have to give the chief a pig. The Machas (elders) are men selected by the chief to assist him in ruling the village. Usually they belong to noble clans, but if there are any special able plebeians, available chiefs often appoint them as elders in preference to less intelligent nobles. The elders receive a share in the meat due, called Vopia, which is paid by the loser whenever a case is decided: and a certain number of them are given exemption from coolie work by government in consideration of the work they do in the village.[46]

According to J.M Zalei, before the entrance of Christianity, women were treated as inferior beings. There were sold and bought for the price of a few gongs, guns or meitheis; and were beaten or insulted at will. They did not own anything, not even themselves they not only worked in the fields all day long but before dawn carried water up from the spring in long bamboo tubes on their backs, gathered firewood from the jungle, and cooked the day's food. After sunset, while the man sat smoking and talking, the woman spun cotton, made supper and carrotfor the pigs, chicken and children. Even though dropping with exhaustion a woman could not go to bedbefore the man.Polygamywas allowed. A man could divorce his wife simply by saying "I divorce you" and she would have to leave him and the children, and return to her father house without any share of property. The parent not only could choose her spouse, but she had to be married at their will.[47]

The method followed by the Mara chiefs in trying cases is, when any one takes a case to the chief for trial, the latter fixes a days for the bearing. Each party prepares rice beer, without the aid of which no case can be tried, and on the day fixed the chief, with one or two Machas (elders), goes to the house of one of the parties, generally to that that of the plaintiff: two or three Machas or elders with possibly a brother of the chief go to the house of the other party, and such villagers as wish to attend the case assemble at one or other of the parties house. The proceedings are opened by handing round drinks, and as soon as the judges have got comfortable, the party in whose house the chief is seated states his case and nominates a Leuchapa (a representative). If this Leuchapa is approved of by the chief, he is then sent to state his principal's case to the second party and the Machas assembled in his house. The second party then states his case to the Leuchapa and Machas and the Leuchapa goes and reports it to the chief. If witnesses are to be heard, the panties calling them fetch them to their respective, houses, and the Leuchapa questions them and reports their evidence to the chief. All this takes a very long times, and as any villagers who are present are at liberty to express their opinion on the case; it is not easy for the chief to come to a decision quickly.

When the chief has come to a provisional decision, he sends the Leuchapa (representative) to communicate it to the second party and the Machas who are sitting in his house, and asks them what they think should be done. This leads to further discussion and endless comings and goings between the two houses, till at length, often due consultation, the chief and elders arrive at a decision. The chief then promulgates his order and the case is finished. The more beer that is provided by the parties the anger the case lasts, as the chief and elders are quite ready to continue proceedings indefinitely provided they are plied frequently with beer, and so cases sometimes last two or three days. This cumbrous method of trying cases is the main reason why Maras are so much more prone than Lushei is to appeal against orders passed by their chief.

The wonder is that any orders are ever carried out. The chief personally only hears one side of a case and has to rely for the other side on the reports of an intermediary nominated by the party in whose house the chief is sitting, checked by the elders sitting in the second party's house. That the system works as well as it does speaks volumes for the honesty of the average Leuchapa; for the simplicity of the people and for their readiness to give and take, without which in such circumstances no settlement could ever be reached.[48]

If a man out shooting or in any other way accidentally causes another's death, he must supply a mithun for the Riha (the animal killed to accompany a dead person to the abode of the dead), a cloth called Chiaraku in which to wrap the corpse, and the pot of Sahma for Bupa (the beer provided for a funeral feast). No other compensation can be claimed. Saihleu of Chholong accidentally shot the son of the chief Bilsanga while the latter was up atree, having mistaken him for a monkey. Saihleu sacrificed a horse for Riha, as a horse was considered a grander sacrificed than a mithun, as the dead boy's spirit would be able to ribe upon in Athihki (dead men's village), and supplied a cloth to wrap the corpse in and Sahma for Bupa (The beer provided for a funeral feast). Vahu, chief of Ngiaphia, accidentally shot his brother in-law, Apiapa, and supplied a mithun for Riha, a chief's cloth (Cheulopang) to wrap the corpse in five punters to bury with the body and Sahma for Bupa.[49]

Mara men generally have some special formal friend like the lusher thian. Such a friend is known as Kei. There are two grades of formal friends: the Kei Macha, the principal friend, and the Kei hawti, the secondary friend. Every Mara has a Kei macha, but the majority of men do not bother about making a Kei hawti, and no one makes a Kei hawti unless his Kei macha agrees to his doing so. Kei machas give each other the neck of each wild animal they shoot or trap, and friend Kei hawti three ribs.

When a man's daughter or sister marries, his Kei macha receives the friend's price, called Keima. When one of two friends marries the other often helps with a contribution towards his friend's marriage price. Friends are expected to help each other when in trouble, and are used as confidants. If a friendship is broken off, the claims can be made between friends on account of benefits given or received. If after breaking off a friendship either of the friends publishes any confidences that have been made him by his friend he would be fined.[50]

Since the missionaries forbad the feasts and festivals of the Mara, Christmas feast was regarded by Mara Family as a feast of thanksgiving for the past year. It also expressed and embodied the fellowship and co-operation. Usually, the church organized and arranged the celebration of Christmas and the New Year festival. Moreover, Mass Meetings were held by the church for the propagation of Christianity. On such occasions, many Mara Christians from various parts came and participated in the meetings as a festival. Worship services were held at these meetings and at intervals bible studies, solo or choir competitions, fellowships and social games were held. They enjoyed both social and religious benefits. They celebrated worship services in western Christian ways at the same time they enjoyed the Mara traditional customs of killing mithuns, pigs, fowl for food at these mass meeting.[51]

Traditionally, the Maras had their own music, songs, dances and poems. They usually sing and dance together not only at the feast and festival but also at the time of courtship. However, the missionaries never encouraged the use of Mara music and tune in Christian worship services. They ignored the art of Mara traditional music and the talents of Mara composers. Nowadays, in the Mara music has virtually faded away among the younger generation. They were totally influenced by western culture, music, songs and dances. At the wedding party young people enjoyed the traditional western slow dance and songs of Pat Boon, Jim Reive and Elvis Presley, etc. However, nowadays, in order to revive Mara music, the Christian hymns were composed in a traditional tune with Christian words and sang with traditional drum and horn. Sometimes a Christian song was sung with traditional music and guitor.

The Mara system of relationship is classificatory. The language is not rich in terms of relationship, the same terms being made to do duty for many different relationships. Persons of the same generation as the speaker's parents who are unrelated to the speaker are addressed in a very roundabout fashion as "My father the father of So-and-so," e.g. Ipa Zahia paw (My father the father of Zahia). It would be impolite to address persons of the same standing as the speaker's father or mother by name or merely by the name of their eldest child, it would be too intimate when they are not related to the speaker to give the simple titles, Ipa, Ina (My father, My mother), so a combination of the two forms of address is used. The terms of Relationship used in address is showed at Table (2).

 

Table (2)

The Terms of Relationship used in address

 

Mara

English

Imapaw

Father's father

Imapaw

Mother's father

Imano

Father's mother

Imano

Mother's mother

Ipa

Father

Ina

Mother

Lapino  

Wife

Ava pa

Husband

Papu

Wife's father

Papi

Wife's mother

Iparapa

Husband' father

Einei no

Husband' mother

Ei u ta

Elder brother

Ei u ta no

Elder sister

Ei nawta

Younger brother

Einawta no

Younger sister

Source: Parry, 1976, 237

According from J.M. Zalei, in cases of cold-blooded murder the relatives of the murdered person had no right to revenge; all they could do was to claim the Luty (price of a head). The amount of the Luty varied according to the status of the murdered person. The Luty was always accompanied by Avaopia(pig) which was considered a peace offering.If he could not pay the Luty, the murder became the slave of the murdered man's brother. In addition to paying a fine, a murderer had to undergo purification ceremonies before he could be received back into society.[52]

It was considered very disgraceful for a well to do man to steal: but it a poor man stole, he was able to have been driven to theft by misfortune and was not considered disgraced. The amount of the fine depends on the nature of the property stolen. In most cases the property stolen was to be returned, otherwise the chief become the slave of the owner of the property.[53] After 1910s, the Mara people and their customs were influenced by the Christianity Cultures. The first convert named Mr. Thyutu, on 19 September 1910 (India), the second convert named Mr. Chiahu in 1911 (India) and the first Baptist Mr. Hinau, on 12 June 1922 (Burma). The number of Mara Christian grew year by year. The first preachers preached the gospel to obey for the Christian community.Those are:

(1)  A Christian must not work on Sunday.

(2)  A Christian must not have long hairs.

(3)  A Christian must not make sacrificial and traditional or any feast related to animism.

(4)  A Christian shall not make rice beer and must not drink.

(5)  A Christian shall not have revenge.

(6)  A Christian shall not do Riha (the animal killed to accompany a dead person to the abode of the dead).

(7)  A Christian shall not murder.

(8)  A Christian shall not commit adultery.

(9)  A Christian shall not steal.

(10)         A Christian shall not covet their neighbour's possess.

(11)         A Christian shall not go to church in national costume.

(12)         A Christian shall help each other.

(13)         A Christian shall love each other.[54]

After local pastors were appointed, the Christian members were increasing rapidly and which effected not only in culture but also in economic, education too.

Smoking in the Mara community has been a predominant custom of the living till today. Sahma played the central part in the social life of the Mara people. In birth and in marriage, in death and sacrifice, in the payment of debt, in the making of agreement, in the slaughter of an enemy and in the shooting of a deer, all demanded a feast and the feast implied a drinking "Sahma". After Christianity of the land, they do not make rice beer and not drink.

Although the British administration began in the Chin Hills, the Mara area was so remote and there was no influenced by the British administration until 1909. The influential people of Mara ruled their own people. Their thinking and belief were so primitive and it was slow to develop their society. But today all people have equal opportunity. The headman of the village was elected by the members of the villagers. They obey the rulers of their villages. When they did something wrong or committed a crime, their ruler would punish them as they deserved.

According to Mara traditional customs, the women did not have equal opportunity with men. They were not allowed to participate in social affairs. But after acceptance of the Christianity, the women could take part among their society in community worship service. In cases of cold-blooded murder, the relatives of the murdered person had no right to revenges; all they could do was claim, the Luty(price of head). If he could not pay the Luty them, murder became the slave of the murdered man's brother. But today, according to Evan Raithau (Evangelist of M E C) and Wife Daw Ro Dei, their daughter Miss Nusein was killed by Teisa. During that’s problem they say with "their eyes tear" that to be "God's glory", and they forgives the murders. All the murdered possess cloth were given, for mission file of M E C.[55] It is understood that often Christianity of the Maras was considered a peace by gospel, Bible. Adultery rape and divorce were very rare.

According to Lai U Fachhai has rightly noted; there was no stealing, houses were left unlocked, the fields and the gardens were kept unguarded, and cattle were unheeded, kinsman was surrounded by concern and care. The elders were to be obeyed, young ones and the aged to be loved, orphans a widows to be cared. Needy people were to be helped a stranger to be received, it they were not from among the warring parties.[56]

The Mara people did not have connection with other people including the Myanmar and English. They lived as independent village community living isolation and having no connection with other people made them narrow minded and limited knowledge. They made against its neighbours such as Matu, Tha au (Lautu), Zotung. The reason for making war was concerning dispute about boundaries, and ownership problem of animals especially regarding cows. The person captured in the war was sold as slave to other village. In order to protect themselves from the enemies they made fence around the village and put the watchman at the gate. When they went together and when they came back from the farm they came back together.

Mara tribal groups were ruled by headman of chief. They had three classes of people; namely:

(1)  The noble class

(a)  Chief  (b) Priest  (c) Nobility

(2)  Ordinary class

(3)  Slaves.

The writer deal only about chief and slaves the Chief (Rah u tuh pa) was the person who received the mandate of religious power and political authority from the villagers (Khisawzy). Since he was the one who received the mandate from villagers, he and his descendants had the privilege and the right to control the entire land within the sovereignty of villagers, which was believed to be the guardian of the land. He not only owned lands but the forests, the woods, the river and all living beings residing in his territory and he also the head of the village. He was the leader in war, the protector of his people a defender of the faith. The chief had full powers of control over his villagers. He can punish them by fines, and in the last resort, if a villager refuses to obey the chief'sorder; the chief can refuse to allow the offender to cultivate his land any longer, and can turn him out of the village. However, as Parry noted:

"Though in theory possibly the chief is a despot, and though the chief and on occasions doubtless does commit tyrannical acts, the basic relationship between the chief and his people is one of mutual benefit and mutual help. The chief must protect his people, let them use his land to cultivate, and help them in time of famine or their distress and in return his people must pay certain dues, render him certain services, and come to his aid when called upon by him for assistance."[57]

The slaves were three groups;

(1)  War captives or those captured in a raid

(2)  Debtor Slave

(3)  Slaves who had become so voluntarily or who had been made a slave by their relatives as payment of gambling debts.

There were two levels of the slave class. One was the domestic slave who lived with his master in the same house. This was the lowest grade of slave and they were the possession of their master. The rest one slaves called ordinary slaves. Ordinary slaves lived independently of their lord in their own housed. They worked for their master's just as the domestic slaves did.

Before the period of British colony, in a family, the father was the leader his family and all members of the family had to obey him; sons were regarded as more honourable than daughters. The women who could not give a birth to son were treated as inferiors. It was because in social life and in economic situation. Men were for cultivation, building houses, hunting animals and fighting against enemies. So men were regarded asmore valuable than women.

From 1896 the British made the Chin Hills Regulation and began to rule the Chin Hills. This regulation was made especially in connection with Chin customs and tradition. But this regulation was not active immediately for the wholeChin tribal people. The reason was because the Chin people were scattered throughout in the whole region and did not live in one place. In order to rule the Chin people more easier, they divide the region into four areas; the upper Chindwin District, the Chin Hills proper, Pokokko Hill Tracts and Arakan Hill Tracts etc. The Chin Hills proper was divided into three subdivisions such as Falam, Tidim and Hakha. Assistant Superintandent was appointed in each subdivision and they were ruled directly by Deputy Commissioner from Falam. Within Haka subdivision, Thantlang, Zakhua, and southern independent villages were included. After the end of Anglo-Haka rebellion 1917, the British slowly moved down to the southern areas such as Zotung, Lautu and Mara to expand their territories, but they were not able to the British and the areas were occupied by the British in 1918-1919.[58]

In 1927 the Deputy Commissioner of the Chin Hills col. Burne arrived in Matu region to appoint village chiefs and to confiscate flink lock-guns from the villagers. After the British occupied Matu region in 1927, they put together Matu, Zotung, Lautu, Dai, and Mara villages in Matupi area as part of southern Hakha region and ruled directly from Hakha. The British ruled the Matupi area and divided into seven circles, seven circles chiefs were appointed in each circle and village headmen were appointed to rule the village. Headmen were appointed from the most influential families of clans.[59] In 1942, Japanese occupied Hakha. At that time the British administration forced young men to serve in the army, many young the Mara people got into Burma Defence Army.[60]

According to the administration of the Chin Special Division, Village circle and council were constituted by the Chin Act, which was especially based on their customs and traditions. According to the Chin Act, Village councils were constituted consisting of not less than three or four members including village headmen. If there were fifty houses in a village, they elected two members among their villagers for the village council by secret ballot. Generally the village chiefs were usually elected as the headmen of the village by the village council. Village circle councils were constituted by consisting of village councils. The headman of the village council was recognized as a member of the circle council. The headman of the village circle council was elected by the members of the circle council. One term post granted was five year. The circle and village councils were responsible for administration, Judiciary, collection of taxes and revenues, development of the village, and security.[61] In 1949, U Tin- Uk, Lailenpi and U Zaw Ding, Sabaungpi Village were elected, village circle Heads in Matupi Township, after the independence of Myanmar in January 4, 1948, the parliamentary Democracy of U Nu led the country for 10 years (1948-58), and Prime minister U Ba Swe (June 1956 to March 1957), Prime Minister U Nu led again (3.1957 to March 1957), Prime Minister.[62] During the Parliamentary Democracy of U Nu, L. Matlei, Dawlei village, was elected the parliamentary Secretary. In 1957 to 1962, he was elected in foreign secretary. During in 1961, behalf of Myanmar he visited to Japan & China.[63]When General Ne Win staged a coup and seized all powers in 1962, he introduced "Burmese way to socialism". Thatwas a state control and management in all sectors of economy.

From the time after independence to present day, the list of Maras of politics members in Myanmar is as bellows;

Defence Services

(1)  Capt. U Ko           Lailenpi

(2)  Capt. Laidei         Para.[64]

Table (3)

Political Leaders of Mara People

No

Name/Village

Position

Year

1

Pupa Matlei

Daw lei

Parliamentary secretary of the military of Foreign Affairs

1960-62

2

Pupa Mabau

Lialenpi

Members Inspector's Committee Chin State

People's Council

1980-85

3

Pupa Khabi

Lailenpi

Secretary, Executive Committee Township

People's Council, Thantlang

1978-82

4

Pupa Thade

Thiahratla

Chairman, People's Jugde Committee

Township People's Council, Paletwa

1985

5

Pupa Laima

Ngephesizo

Chairman, People's Jugde Committee

Township People's Council, Thantlang

1974-82

6

Pupa U Lei

Sabaungpi

Chairman, People's Jugde Committee

Township People's Council, Matupi

1978-82

7

Pupa Laisa

Ngiaphiapi

Chairman, People's Jugde Committee

Township People's Council, Thantlang

1983

8

Capt Tlaubei

Para

Member, Executive Committee

Township People's Council, Paletwa

1978-82

9

Pupa Chuthai

Patheitla

Member, Executive Committee

Township People's Council, Paletwa

1985

10

Pupa Teido

Paletwa

Member, Executive Committee

Township People's Council, Paletwa

1985

 

Police force

(1)  Pupa Sehrai

(2)  Pupa Sieva

There is no town in the land till today. They place under the three Townships Thantang, Matupi and Paletwa of the Chin State. But they always maintain in their heart "we are one in Mara". In 1997 November 8, the Mara Thyutlia Py (M T P) (Mara Youth Association) was established with 15 members at Sabaungpi village. Its Motto is "friendship of disables". Aims and objectives M.T.P are:-

(a)  To help the orphans and disables

(b)  To accelerate the economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region

(c)  To maintain the legacies of good, and to promote our culture & tradition

(d)  To oppose Drug (Sahma)

(e)  To promote Maras Studies.[65]

By observing aims and objectives above, it can be assumed that the Maras always make an attempt their best to develop their land in many ways.

The Maralandis very rich in forest resources. The main resource of the Mara is agriculture. The agricultural resource is rice.[66] In one of his books, Parry writes about the Maras' agriculture method that the Mara methods of agriculture are most primitive. The only tools they possessed are a small mattock, saw and an axe. All crops are grown in jhums (taungya) cultivation. The area to be used for jhums for the years having been selected, the jungle, whether it be bamboos or trees, is all cut down and left to dry. When thoroughly dry it is set on fire; the fiercer the blaze the better, as the fire kills all insects and destroys their eggs and renders sterile the seeds of weeds a jungle plants, while the wood or bamboo ashes form a valuable nature. The logs that have not burnt are then cleared to one side and used for fencing the field, which is then ready for sowing. Though this method of cultivation is very wasteful of timber and bamboos, it is the only form of cultivation that can be followed in this country. The hills are too steep and water is too scarce to allow of terraced cultivation. The field, are only used for one year, as if they are cultivated for two years in succession, the bamboos and the trees die out and the land is rendered useless for cultivation. Whenever possible a jhum is left for eight or ten years before it is used again, but most villages insufficient land to enable them to leave the fields fallow for so long, and have to return to the old jhums after five or six years. The Mara's agricultural year begins in December, when the chief and elders of the village decide what place shall be used for the jhums for the ensuing year. Having decided what slopes are to be cut, they inform the villagers, and each householder goes out to select his jhum. Any villager who had had jhums on the slops selected last time they were cut takes his old jhum, villagers who have never jhumed these slopes before make their selection from the land left over. When they annex their jhums, those persons whose fields March together lay down a boundary between their respective jhums; they then go together and cut the bamboos and trees along the boundary line as high as they can, generally about 5 feet above the ground. These bamboo and tree stumps are left standing when the rest of the jungle is felled, being still green, they do not get destroyed when the jhum is burnt. They serve as boundary posts for the rest of the years. The place for the jhum having been decided on, the jhum is cut in January or February, and while cutting his jhum the Mara sleeps in the jungle, unless it is so close to the village that he can cut it from there. There was one of the traditional customs. In dealing with the chopping of the plants for jhumfor the personal farms, the traditional custom namely; the contribution of labour on a reciprocal basis system had been raised and they used to work for voluntary service as in return and in response to the indebtedness. The farm-owners did not need to pay for the labour changes for those who helped them by the voluntary service. In response to the indebtedness (gratefulness) of those who worked voluntarily, the farm-owners, through their sheer mental volition, used to entertain and feed the guests either with the rice and the beef curry or the pork curry or the chicken curry by killing any one of the buffalos, bullocks, fowls or pigs including the Khaungye; or with the prime Khaungye only; or any one of the eatables such as, the steamed glutinous rice, the steamed millet and the rice gruel (boiled rice).[67] The Mara people used to chop down the plants for jhum collectively through the alternative service system without discriminating whether it was for his farm or for their farms.[68]After they had burnt up the forest for jhum, they had to clear plants (trees) in preparation for the Taungyar farming. Since the salt element was contained in the burnt ashes, it was believed that those ashes became good fertilizers.After a small house had been built in the jhum, the workers will live during the cultivating season is built in each jhum, and they start sowing their maize, millet and other vegetables, and then, after the full moon of the month of April, towards the end of April, they sow their paddy, the ground being scratched with a hoe and about ten seeds being dropped into each scratch. The seeds are left uncovered, as the heavy rain soon washes the earth over them. The main crop of high-landenchins was the Taungyar paddy by the hill-side cultivation. For the sake of the production of agriculture produces and vegetables, they cultivated such items as: the Italian millet, millet, red Italian millet, pigeon pea, cow pea, pumpkin, ginger, chilli, garlic, onion, tomato and the vegetables.[69] They used to cultivate paddy by applying the transplantation paddy by scattering method and the transplantation paddy by piercing method. The cotton and the sesame (Sesamun) were cultivated in hill-side cultivation at about the month of Nayon (nearly equivalent to June). The tobacco was also one of the main items, used to be cultivated. Some plots of land, made of damping creeks, were used to be cultivated by relying on the self-help system basis.[70] From the end of October the villagers begin to harvest the paddy. Work goes on all day and often at night also by torchlight, and they generally finish pulling up the paddy by about the middle of November.[71]The land is isolated from other parts of the country due to the difficulties of communication and transportations. There are only very narrow lanes and path crossing the land.[72]

The Mara people have the cattle-breeding for the purpose of the sacrificial offerings and rites in conformity with their traditional custom. The cattle are bred for the sake of the social occasions also by those who had forsaken (discarded and relinquished) the Nat-worship. The animals that they have been breeding are the gayal (domesticated wild ox), buffalo, cow, goat, pig, and dog. The buffalo and cow are the animals that were brought from the plain region. Though the buffaloes and cows had not been used as the draught animals in the olden days, they are used not only as the draught animals but also used for the sacrificial offerings nowadays. On the occasions of the various social performances and the sacrificial offerings and rites, the pig is used as the staple item. The pig is used for its flesh (meat) by those who cannot afford to entertain with the gayal flesh. Since the pigs can be beefed and bred either by the rich or the poor, the pigsties and the feeding troughs can be seen in every house. As the food for pigs, the wild plantains (canna plants), various tubers and bulbs and the Khaungye (intoxicating brew), puff (cake) substances are used to feed them. After selecting the best ones out of the pigs without any defects and blemishes, those pigs are used on the sacrificial and the social occasions in conformity with their customs. Dogs are bred for the hunting purpose and keeping beauty-display purpose as well. Dogs are very useful for keeping watch about the hill-side cultivation and for hunting also. There was no goat breeding at the mountainous maraland in olden days. The poultry farming is the common one in every house and it is used for the sacrificial offerings and rite. In performing the rituals for the sacrifice, the white, the red and the black fowls are chosen to be used.[73]

Regarding with the trading of the Chin people, they used to apply the barter system (i.e. to sell their goods and get back goods what they need). They wander about from village to village by carrying their agricultural, forest produces and products and domestic products in the baskets, tum plines and htaung pos (deep container bamboo baskets). Some Mara men or women carry their goods in the deep container baskets by strapping across their foreheads and on their pickbacks within one's capacity of a load burden and package. In the wandering trade, they go direct to the buyer's abodes and get direct dealing with the buyers who wish to buy. They leave their remaining items of goods to their regular customers for the purpose of the wholesale price.[74]

Industry was also repressed; there were only processing industries.[75] The main economic system of the Mara is agriculture. Bamboo tree is plenty and most of the soil is good for cultivation. Rice is the food of Mara. The domestic animals kept by the Maras are mithun, cows, dogs, pigs, cat, pigeons and chickens. But they did not raise these animals for economic purpose; they rose only for festival feast and for sacrifices. Mithuns were also the standard of economy in the community. Mithun are freely used in payment of marriage prices. If a person owned many mithun,he was recognized as a rich person and was respected by the people. So raising animals was one of the customs of the Mara people. Mara people loved hunting animals. When they hunted, the whole villagers went for hunting. The person who killed animals was regarded as hero or a brave person, depending on the animals he killed. The weapons they used for hunting were spear, arrow, bow and flint lock guns.[76] There was no road or footpath to connect from a village to another village, and because of fighting against a village to another.

According to Ram Ngai in his book, Matu people got salt Zotung, Mara and Lautu areas. The people in Zotung, Mara and Lautu produced salt from salt spring. They cooked salt water in a large aluminium pans until salt remained in the pans and sold it. Matu people bought salt with their animal such as chicken, cow and bull.[77] It is understood that at that time Mara do not know money. After the British administration they began to use coin.

Once the Maras do not know money because there was no road or footpath to connect from a village to another village and their thinking and belief were so primitive, it was slow to develop their economic. After the independence of Myanmar, communication was becoming more convenient during the parliamentary administration than the colonial times. There is no town in the land. There is no road and have no production, sales, incomes, employment, standard of living. But after Economic reforms Myanmar 1989, the changes of Mara Economic life apparently developed.

After 1998, in the land, four main roads were constructed. They were Rezua-Sabaungte road, Rezua-Lailenpi. But this is jeep road and cannot be used throughout the whole season.[78]U Tihran says that there are no riches among the Mara people.[79]

As for as education is concern, R.A Lorrain, a missionary from London, remarked on his arrival in Maraland on September 26.1907 "no written language, no book to which to turn reference.[80] The Maras were scriptless but after the arrival of the missionaries the Mara script was coined. The British started a primary school in Salyutlana villagein 1925, Ngephepi village in 1932, Sabaungpi villagein 1933. But the people of Mara did not want to send their children to go to school because they were afraid that the British government might take away their children with them. Eventually the government ordered that all children should go to school. But the rich people did not still want to send their children to school, only the children of the poor people went to school. They thought that the children of poor people did not much mean for them, when the government took them at any time-more influential people forced the children of poor people to go to school while they did not want to send their own children to school. But the people of the village supported the children of poor people who were in school. They provided rice, salt, dried meat and others.[81]

During the British administration, due to the lack of communication, Mara people become illiterate, that why they did not wish to send their children to school. The parliamentary government extended schools in the land. The state primary school of the land was promoted to State Middle School in 1.6.1967 Lialenpi village and it was promoted again to State High School in 1992 in Lailenpi. However the village which was not provided with the state school started their own private schools. It was very helpful for the villagers to send their children for education. At first, they learned Chin (Hakha) Language in every primary school. But in the middle schools, they learned English as a compulsory subject. But later, there were more schools; the numbers of students were also increased. After independence Myanmar become official language of the country and all subjects were taught in Myanmar.[82]

During 1965, there were some changes among the Mara people. The first students who passed matriculation exam among the Mara tribe in 1966 were Saya Zachho and Saya Thaki. In 1967 Paw Zakho, Paw Haochha, Paw Haidau, Paw Haoko, Saya Zauko and C Laima were passed matriculation and during that year on November they all became the university students of Yangon. According to C. Laima, Paw Haochha, Paw Haidau, Paw Zakho and C. Laima discussed to establish M S A(Mara Students Association) was right or not at Paw HaoChha's room in Yangon. They decided to establish M S A was right. Then they established on February 2nd1968 and the executive committee members were:

(1)  Paw Laima          President

(2)  Paw Haochha      Vice President

(3)  Paw Zakho          Secretary

(4)  Paw Haidau         Members

(5)  Paw Haoko          Members.

At that time there was no motto. After many years, in 1997 the motto is "For our land and our people."[83] Today, the task of Mara Student's Association is the best History of the Mara students and the Motto is the best power for the Mara students. The first Headquarter of M E C was at Sabaungpi village. On 1948s, in political sections, Mara Thyutliapy (Mara Youth Association) was established at Sabaungpi village on Nov 8, 1997.Therefore we can say that Sabaungpi village is one centre of the land and eventhough not the biggest village.

In 1971 the first Mara Young Men St. Haidau graduated B.Sc.[84] and Miss. Khaiche in 1981. Even today there are 154 (University of day), 100 (University of distance Education), 25 (Development of National Groups Sagaing), 150 (Theology) graduates out of 2000 population.[85] There are 96 University & College day students, 100 (University of distance students), 120 theological students. There is no University and College in the land.The government schools and villages in the land are showed in townships they are situated.

 

Table (4)

The list of the government schools and the villages situated in

MATUPI TOWNSHIP

No

Names of Villages

B.E.P.S

B.E.M.S

B.E.H.S

Remark

1.

Sabypi (Sabaungpi)

1.6.1933

1.6.1979

 

 

2.

Sabyta (Sabaungte)

1.6.1953

12.7.1997

1.6.2000

 

3.

Lialaipi (Lailenpi)

1.6.1952

1.6.156

14.6.1991

 

4.

Daw Lei (Darling)

1.6.1954

 

 

 

5.

Aru

5.4.1966

 

 

 

6.

Capaw (Chapau)

28.6.1971

 

 

 

7.

Chakhai (Cakheng)

1.6.1953

 

 

 

8.

Hloma (Hlung mang)

10.7.1967

 

 

 

9.

Lialaita (New)

1948

 

 

 

10.

Lialaita (Old)

2.6.1986

 

 

 

11.

Lauthatla

9.12.1986

 

 

 

12.

Lochei (tylai)

17.12.1985

 

 

 

13.

Mala

28.6.1968

 

 

 

14.

Satu Ngehphe

1.6.1958

 

 

 

15.

Sosai-A (Sumsen)

15.6.1990

 

 

 

16.

Sosai-B (Sumsen)

20.1.1974

 

 

 

17.

Pamai (Pamaing)

2.6.1980

 

 

 

18.

Pasai (Pasaing)

1.6.1979

 

 

 

19.

Pitia-B (Pintia)

1.2.1974

 

 

 

20.

Taubu (Taungbie)

1.6.1962

 

 

 

21.

Tisi

1.6.1946

 

 

 

22.

Taula (Taungla)

25.6.1990

 

 

 

23.

Teina (Tinnam)

1.6.1976

 

 

 

24.

Zaoma (Zuamang)

28.8.1991

 

 

 

THANTLANG TOWNSHIP

No.

Names of villages

B.E.P.S

B.E.M.S

B.E.H.S

Remark

1.

Ngephepi (Ngaphaipi)

1.6.1941

5.4.1966

 

 

2.

Ngapheta (Ngaphaite)

2.6.1964

 

 

 

3.

Lelairah (Lalen)

1.6.1956

 

 

 

4.

Locheipi (Lunggcawipi)

1.6.1966

 

 

 

5.

Locheita (Lungcawite)

1.6.1961

 

 

 

6.

La-Aoh (La U)

1.6.1981

 

 

 

7.

Khipilu

11.7.1996

 

 

 

8.

Meisakotla

24.8.1983

 

 

 

PALETWA TOWNSHIP

No.

Names of villages

B.E.P.S

B.E.M.S

B.E.H.S

Remark

1.

Chali

18.11.1975

 

 

 

2.

Ma-U

23.12.1985

 

 

 

3.

Para

1.6.1953

 

 

 

4.

Potia-A (Paite)

1.6.1975

 

 

 

5.

Patheitla (Pathian tlang)

1.6.1958

13.9.1986

 

 

6.

Rari (Ramri)

1.6.1977

 

 

 

7.

Raka (Yakan)

25.9.1991

 

 

 

8.

Ralie

12.8.1968

 

 

 

9.

Salapi (Salanpi)

1.6.1958

 

 

 

10.

Sinletwa (Salyutlana)

1.6.1925

19.6.1967

 

 

12.

Heimapi (Hemapi)

13.11.1986

 

 

 

13.

Heimata (Himate)

1.6.1959

 

 

 

14.

Tlopi

11.10.1970

 

 

 

15.

Bakala

26.6.1985

 

 

 

Source: Vakhaitha, 2007, 190

                                                                                                                                               

The result of Development and the list of Mara Officers of civil service is showed at Table (5).

 

 

 

 

Table (5)

Mara Officers of Civil Services

Gazetted Officers

No.

Names

Position/Department

Village

Remark

1.

Pupa C. Za Kho

Deputy Director

Irrigation Department

Pote (A)

 

2.

Pupa Haochha

Assistant Director

Animal Hisbandary &

Vetenary Department

Lialenpi

 

3.

Pupa Amih

Township Education Officer

Hloma

 

4.

Pupa Sachho

Township Education Officer

Hloma

 

5.

Pupa Rawma

Staff Officer

Revenue Department

Pote (A)

 

6.

Pupa K. Sabie

Staff Officer

Land Surveing Department

Rari

 

7.

Pupa Laichhau

Manager

Myanmar Economic Bank

Sabaungpi

 

8.

Pupa Sama

Assistant Manager

Myanmar Cotton  & Sericulture Enterprise

Lailenpi

 

9.

Pupa A. Lebie U

Branch Officer

(Bead of Section)

University of Kale

Ngephesizo

 

                                                                                                                                               

 

Non-Gazetted Officers

I.                   Attorney General Officer

Village

Remark

(1)  Pupa Letlo

Deputy Township Law Officer

Sabaungpi

 

(2)  Pupa K. Hra U

 

Deputy Township Law Officer

Locheiteh

 

II.                National Planning and Economic Development

 

 

(1)  Pupa Thatlo

Deputy Staff Officer

Ngephesizo

 

(2)  Pupa KhinMaung Lay

Deputy Staff Officer

Ngephesizo

 

(3)  Pupa Rachho

Deputy Staff Officer

Hloma

 

III.             Education Department

 

 

(1)  Pupa Raimau

ATEO

Sabaungte

 

(2)  Pupa Hriechha

ATEO

Lialaipi

 

(3)  Pupa Khaivatha

Assistant Lecturer

Sabaungpi

 

(4)  Pupa Sakho

Middle School Headmaster

Sabaungte

 

(5)  Pupa Selo

Middle School Headmaster

Locheitah

 

IV.             Myanmar Electric Power Enterprise

 

 

(1)  Pupa Soko

Township Engineer

Locheitah

 

(2)  Pupa Rolai

Township Engineer

Lelai

 

 

V.                Department of Development

 

 

(1)  Pupa Thama

Executive Officer

Locheitah

 

(2)  Pupa Hlosa

Junior Engineer

Locheitah

 

 

VI.             Land Record Department

 

 

(1)  Pupa Hietle

Deputy Staff Officer

Ngephesizo

 

(2)  Pupa Laima

Deputy Staff Officer

Ngephesizo

 

(3)  Pupa Kolei

Deputy Staff Officer

-----

 

(4)  Pupa Photai

Deputy Staff Officer

-----

 

(5)  Pupa Rochai

Deputy Staff Officer

Lailenpi

 

         

Source: Personal interview to C. Macho (Secretary, Mara Student's Association, Yangon), (11-12-2010)

Today Paw Tai Sang is one of the holders of MBBS from Armenia.[86]There arenow five students joining at the Institute of Medicine in Myanmar; there are nine students attending at the University; five are at first year M.A, four at second year M.A and one at qualified class.[87]No one can hold Ph.D. degreeamong Mara people till today. But there are five holders of Ph.D. degree in the Theological School.

Education is the foundation and backbone of every society. Youth is the hope and vision for the next generation. Amid this global transformation, where do the Mara youths stand? What will they become? Will they ride the currents and be able to direct the course of the new millennium? To survive in the knowledge based society requires creative individuals with the capacity to critique, think, learn about learning, work in groups and know about your potential. This will require an individual who is attentive and aware about the changes happening in our society and who has capacity to constantly improve and debug her/ his ideas and actions. Thus we can assume that the educational development of Mara becomes accelerate gradually.

 


CHAPTER THREE

RELIGION

 

B

efore Christianity spread to Maraland in 1907, Mara people believed in Nat and Animists. The Nat worship and the cult of Nat have been firmly rooted in the areas of Mindat, Matupi and Kanpetlet Townships. They believed that the Nat has the power to bring good fortune or disasters to human beings. They believed that there were different kinds of Nats such as the common Nats of village, the household guardian Nat, the clan guardian Nat, the house guardian Nat, the guardian Nat for hill-side cultivation, the paddy field guardian Nat, the guardian Nats for forest, mountain, water, earth, river, inn (natural pond), eing (also inn), creek (also brook), waterfall, banyan tree, big plant and bamboo, big stone and rock, and big stone cave, etc. When they crossed the huge stone, rock, thick bush and tree where they thought the guardian Nat dwelled on them, they dared not even to breathe out and speak each other. If they spoke loudly when they crossed those places, they thought that the Nat would bring disasters to them.[88]Regarding with the religion and the traditional culture in the southern Chin Mountain, the areas of utmost percentage of the Nat-worship are Mindut and Matupi. It is learnt that the amount of the Buddhists stands second while the amount of the Christians is very few. If it is to be mentioned in the estimated percentage of figures, it will be the Nat-worshippers 65%, the Buddhists 20% and Christian 15%. The Nat-worship or the cult of Nat has been firmly rooted in the areas of Mindut, Matupi and Kanpetlet. Though some Chin people have transferred from being the Nat-worshippers to be either the Christians or the Buddhists, the faith in the Nat-worship that had been existing for many years through the generation, cannot be extinguished entirely.[89] The Chin native people worship Nats in conformity with their traditional culture and custom without any violation. The various Nats are mentioned as below-

1.      Pershsann       -       God

2.      Nay pee          -       King of Sun or god of sun

3.      Khu pee          -       god of Sky

4.      Kho rein         -       god that can blacken beam

5.      Eing Khann    -       god of seas and oceans

6.      Lone rine        -       Indra, chief of gods

7.      Kherr pe         -       god of Moon

8.      Pher pee         -       god of Earth

9.      Kho werka     -       god of Light

These God and gods are worshipped in rituals three yearly as they are very powerful ones.[90] The Chin believes in Nats and thus they worship those Nats.

Besides, they believe that the Nats can create good benefits and prospects and bad benefits and results for the human beings. So also, they can create water, earth, forest, mountain, plants, crops and corns ect. The Chin people think that there is one King of gods who rules over the gods called Kozin. They believe that that King of god exists in the sky. Why they worship and venerate that King of gods or King of Nats is that for the sake of exculpation from any one of these three wrong actions namely, bodily action, verbal action and mental action, in case of having committed, they have to propitiate or ritualize the sacrificial offerings, not to take offences upon the human beings. Other kinds of Nats that Chin people worship are: the common Nats of village; the household guardian Nat; the clan guardian Nat; the house guardian Nat; the guardian Nat for hill-side cultivation; the paddy field guardian Nat; the guardian Nats for forest, mountain, water. Earth, river, inn (natural pond), waterfalls, banyan tree, big plant and bamboo, big stone and rock, and big stone cave, etc.[91]After killing a gayal (wild ox) with any defects, the ceremony is held to propitiate Nats i.e. to ritualize sacrificial offerings for Nats and then the Nat sayar (the male spirit medium) prays for wishes to be healthy and peaceful, to prosper wealth, to give birth children and to live long. After the gayal is being tied to the platform post, the Nat worshippers request their Nat spirit and then that wild ox is killed.[92]

Then, after its meat is well cooked, they have to propitiate to their Nat. No dish of this meat is allowed to take away to other houses from the house of propitiation but they have to eat according to then distribution.[93] There is always one Natsayar in every village of Nat-worshippers. The profession of the Nat sayars is to be carried out through generation. The lesser or inferior Nat sayars have to undertake propitiations only dealing with the house or house hold affairs. The well learned and experienced Nat sayars have to cure those patients who are almost about to death due to the suffering from the serious high fever. One who was not born from Nat sayar generation but just completed the course of the spiritmediumship is liable to experience with the plight or misfortune if he were unfortunate.

They believe that one can be efficient enough to cure patients to become healthy only when he has become actually learned and skilful enough. In giving medical treatment for a patient, the sayar-physician has to give proper and conducive medicinal roots, to make offerings to Nat, to follow astrologer's advice on what one must do to avert an impending event, to ritualize or to worship Nat. For the propitiations to the guardian Nats of the hill-side cultivation, farm and paddy field, the ritual for sacrificial offering is made by killing goats, pigs and fowls.[94]To prosper crops and corns, the propitiation is made. After having cooked and ritualized, they get home and take meals with Khaungye by gathering.

In celebrating the ceremony for the guardian Nat of the house or house hold, the bullock is killed for the sake of the sacrificial offering. After putting the assemblies of the intestines and liver of the bullock on the teak-leaves or in-leaves, they have to propitiate to Nat by calling and yearning about their grandparents and fore grandparents. When it becomes a family, it is necessary to propitiate to the guardian Nat of the house. Once, propitiation like this is totally complete for life. They have to propitiate to the guardian Nat of ladder by killing pigs once or twice a year. The Natsayar gets the best flesh of the prey for his arts of propitiation like that.[95]In making of spirit food to the evil spirit of soil, the pig and goat are chiefly used.

The Chin people of the southern region worship the traditional Nats. They do not violate the traditional culture and customs. The Chin natives believe and accept the doctrine that the traditional Nat can create the good consequence and the bad consequence for the human beings. Therefore, in order to get the protection and looking after of the Nats, to prosper their wealth, to be free from suffering of diseases and dangers and to prosper their paddy and crops, they propitiate to the Nats regularly.[96] In the Chin region, they are much superstitious heartily in the bewitchment of the evil Nat, the bewitchment of the Nat and the witch.

They believe that they can be free, relaxed, released and can escape from the bewitchment of the evil spirit, Nat and witch by the acts of the propitiation, and driving out the witch and evil Nat. So, the Chin people of the Eupoo Chin clan think that whenever they feel illness, it is because of the bewitchment of the witch, or the bewitchment of the guardian Nat of the front of the abode, or the bewitchment of the guardian Nat of the ladder. Hence, whenever they get fever, they usually go and consult with a Nat sayar. The entire villagers, of the Thet Kae Kyinn village that is located on a hill, about 25 miles far from on the southern part of Sedoktayar, worship Nat. There is no other religion but Nat-worship. If a child of that village feels ill near by the creek (spring), they believe that it will be cured when they go to the bank of the spring and propitiate to Nat with the offering of the rice and curry.[97]

They believe that the witch exists also. In olden days, they dared not to say the generation of the witch truly as it was the lineage of the witch. They must say like that. If anyone had said that someone was one of the lineage of the witch, he was due to be punished. They believe also that the witch could manage to stick fast along with her daughter who got in marriage. Therefore, they avoid gettinghandin marriage with anyone of the lineage of the witch. They also believe in the witch craft or sorcery (i.e. the payaw ga pan na). They believe that if a Payawga Sayar (a master of proficiency to cure witch-craft or sorcery) had caused misery and ill-treated people, not only he himself but also his children might get into trouble in any way due to the consequent effect of his evil miss-deed. The Chin people have a variety of the interpretations and superstitions in dealing with the witch, sorcerer, sorceress, Nat, spirit and the Leikpyar (the incorporeal part of a human being).[98]

Since they have believed that when a child weeps at night, it is considered as the result of the bewitchment of the witch, evil Nat and ghost, they have to throw 'Khaw Zar' (the act to make offering of spirit food). They hate bitterly whenever it is said to bewitch. It shall be liable to be ostracised and out-casted, anybody whom is assumed to be a witch or sorceress by the human society. It is viewed and interpreted that since they have committed such behaviours of misdeed and misspeak not pleased by the guardian Nats of the forest and mountain while wandering about the forest and mountain, they are liable to be bewitched by those Nats. It is also convicted (in belief) that if one feeds ill just after the return from the forest, it is bewitched by the guardian Nat of forest. So, they have to propitiate to that Nat.

The American Baptist Missionaries Dr. Adoniram Judson and his wife Anne Haseltine Judson were sent to Myanmar on July 13, 1813 in Yangon the capital of Myanmar. They were the first protestant missionaries in Myanmar. Adoniram Judson did not greatly achieve his missionary work among Burmese Buddhists, later his achievement was among Karen, ethnic minority. After Dr. Adoniram Judson, other missionaries came to Myanmar most of them were from Baptist Church, Methodist Church and Angliam Church. Most missionary activities during the colonial period focused on the ethnic state located along Myanmar's borders with Thailand, China, India and Bangladesh.[99]

After eighty five years of the shining of the Gospel light among the Burmese, the Gospel was brought first to Chin state by Rev. Arthur Carson and his wife Mrs, Laura Carson on March 15, 1899 at Hakha, Rev. Reginald Arthur Lorrain and his wife Moud Louisa Ulander on September 26, 1907 at Maraland southern part of Chin State.[100]

In March of 1899, Arthur and Laura Carson had been working among the Asho Chins in Thayet Myo and now came to work in the Chin Hills. As they arrived at the Hakha area before going to bed the first night Laura wept for weariness and disappointment. "How can I possibly stay here a life time?" she tearfully asked, Arthur bold her, "don't talk that way, things will look brighter in the morning." Then he added the most revealing comfort of all, "Laura, remember our motto, 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," with that thought they went to bed and rose the next morning determined to give their lives to Christ to win the Chins.[101] They got the first believers from the Hakha tribe in 1904, May 11; their names are Thumhan and Paung Sui. In this way they reached the Mara and baptised them prior to the gospel trough by the Reginald Lorrains. The first Mara converts were made, by the Baptist Association of Maraland who had been using the hymnals and the scriptures in the Hakha Chin dialect. Mr. Hinau was the first to be baptised by Rev. Cope, on 12 June 1922.[102]

Before 1900, in England a young boy, Reginald Arthur Lorrain had a visionary call during his student days at the London Grammar School to be a missionary in a foreign land severed times he felt like going as far as south as Africa and South America as a missionary. Fortunately, at the age of eighteen, he went to Canada and spent four years there serving in the America Navy, Owing to unfavourable circumstances, he came back to London and got married and determined to settle there.[103] Prior to 1900, there came a still small voice in the heart of Reginald Arthur Lorrain, he was not certain what to do and where to go. One day there came a thought in his mind to write many pamphlets full of the Gospel story and to pass them over to the Far East and India. Then he made up his mind to kneel down and pray to God whether or not this kind of feeling was from him. As he was finished praying he rose and opened the Bible and started to read it. This made him feel very uneasy. From time to time he appealed to be sent instantly as a missionary by the Baptist Missionary Society and Arthington Trust. Nothing worked out as he expected, fortunately, information came from his elder brother, James Herbert, who was a missionary in India telling him of the need for a missionary in India telling him of the need for a missionary for the Mara people to whom the Gospel had never been preached. Although missionary agencies were unable to send him to Maraland, he confirmed that it would be the promised field to which he would have to make a breakthrough. Mr. Lorrain still had a firm and strong confidence that God had called him and he would provide for him. Thus he made a watchword for himself, "launch by faith, founded in prayer," and he himself founded a mission especially to reach the Mara, then known as the Lakher (Mara) Pioneer Mission in London in 1905.[104] At first he prepared to leave London for the Promised Land, alone on 2, February 1905. His health hindered him from doing this and again he tried to proceed on his journey on the morning of 18 January 1907. There was still another hindrance for him for their hung a thick cloud over the city of London. He thought perhaps that cloud might have been a sign of the land to which he was going. On the other hand, it might be a trial and testing of hardships he would be facing on the trip towards Maraland. Finally Mr. R.A Larrain and his wife, Maud Louisa Ulander, left their home, facing the trials of passing through the hills and villages, and of crossing the vast ocean for the sake of their Heavenly Father on 19 January 1907.[105] They entered Calcutta on 16 February 1907, and by 15 March 1907 they arrived at Lunglei in Mizoram where his elder brother, JH Lorrain, was a missionary. There they stayed for about six months to study the Mizo language. They departed from Lunglei on the 19 September 1907, and arrived at Maraland on the 26 September 1907.[106] By the arrival of the missionaries to Maraland the Lakher Pioneer Mission received help from the following societies;

(1)  All Nations Missionary Union

(2)  British and Foreign Bible Society

(3)  Religious Tract Society

(4)  The scripture Gift mission.[107]

Lorrain and his wife settled down at Saikao (India) and pitched their waterproof tent. They were in a tight corner at first for to set up the proper mission station the approval was necessary from the chief Thy Lai. Being a foreigner, Lorrain for his cross-cultural evangelism soon learned the vernacular language of the people.

The Maras believed that the destiny of the universe is in the hands of one God who is known as, Khazohpa, the creator of the world. Khazohpa(God) is generally believed to live in the sky, though sometimes the Maras will tell one that he does not know where Khazohpa lives and some say that he lives on the high mountains called Khisong. Khazohpa means literally the father of all being derived from the combination of two separate words Kha and Zoh. The meaning of Kha is all beings and all essence within and beyond time and space and literal meaning, Zoh is translated as an invisible force. This God has full power over man, and can make him prosperous or the revere, as He likes. Some proud and quarrelledman who oppress the poor are used to punish by Khazohpa to make hisor her lives cutting short. The man who speak the truth, act in all things according to custom and kindly disposed towards his or her neighbours are blessed by Khazohpa with long life and riches. Khazohpa is possessed of all human attributes.[108]

A man's soul resembles his body in appearances and size, but is invisible. During the day the soul lives inside the body. Which it enters by the mouth, but at night, during sleep, the soul sometimes leaves its body and wanders about; however a link called Hu in the shape of an invisible cord remains, however, between the soul and the body, and on the sleeper awakening the soul returns. It is because souls roam about in this way that dreams arise, and as souls in their wanderings are able to foresee future events, dreams after come true.[109] There are two kinds of souls, namely,Thlah pa(good spirit) is the ordinary soul and Thlachhi(Evil spirit) is the mischievous soul. Thlachhi (Evil spirit) the mischievous souls, wanders around when its owner is asleep, maltreat and go out of their way to annoy others; such souls are called Thlachhi. If a man dreams that he is being beaten or passed into the water, or therise annoyed by one of his friends, it is believed his friend has a Thlachhi (Evil spirit).[110] Thlachhis (Evil Spirits) have the power, after their bodies have died, of returning from the bole of dead and making a nuisance of themselves whenever they like and there is no way of preventing this. When anyone falls ill, it is due to his soul having been seized and detained by Evil spirit; so, as soon as sickness occurs, a sacrifice must be performer to the spirit. If the sacrifice is offered to the wrong deity, hu (link), the link connecting soul with body, is snapped and the sick person dies.[111]

A thikhi (dead men's village) is believed to be the abode of the dead and is said to be the equivalent of paradise in the Bible. If a man performs good sacrifices and good, deeds in his lifetime, he will abide with the Athikhi forever. It is believed that when the day is finished the sun goes down to Athikhi, abode of the dead, and shines there all night.[112]

The Gospel was first preached in 1908, one year after their arrival, on the laws of the chief Thylai. The message ran like this; "O ye men of Mara, rise up, the light has come unto you."[113] The hearers gazed with wonder and felt that this man might probably be an evil ghost rather than a normal human being. In the same year Lorrain established a Mission School; without any students. In 1909 he started his first missionary itinerary and translation work with the help of Saro Nohro whom he appointed as his assistant.[114]

In 1910, the first Mara convert, Thytu, was caught in the Gospel net on 16th September.[115] The second convert, Chia Hu of Tisi village, was won in 1911.[116]Inspite of the struggles in Gospel preaching, translation of the Gospel of John was completed in 1912.[117]The third convert, Lailah, who was the most famous Mara pop singer, stamped on the heart of the coming generations of the Mara that he donated to the church Rupees Twenty, which was the entire amount of money he had collected throughout his life.[118] With great seal, R.A Lorrain kept on with his translation of the New Testament until it was completed in 1927, after twenty years of labour. Though the cost of printing the Bible was high, it was nevertheless distributed free of cost to all those who were interested in reading the Gospel.[119]

In 1928 R.A Lorrain and his wife went to London and when they returned they were accompanied by Mr Albent Bruce Foxall, Miss Irene E Hadley and Gladys I Garst, who were to be their assistants. They kept in mind the great importance of this translation so that each house could receive a copy, and so, work on the book galloped along. Before completion of the New Testament, Calcutta Auxiliary published the edition of St John, as well as the books of Jonah and Malachi in the Old Testament. Lorrain breathed his last on 1 February 1944, and his ministry was inherited by A.B Foxall, his son-in-law.[120] By the continual struggle of Foxall, the translation of the New Testament was completed in 1954. During 1951, Anew and revised Hymn book containing 255 hymns, 46 choruses and prayers, a commentary on theEpistle of Peter was published, and Krizypa No Py (KNP) (the Christian Women Fellowship) was formed.[121]

In 1956 March; the first edition of a complete Bible in Mara came out of press (that was 3 years before the Mizo Bible was published.)[122] During his translation of the Bible, Lorrain met with an evil spirit at midnight (p.m. 11); he dropped his pen and was on the point of going med. This was the terrible appearance of the devil in visible form in the life of Lorrain. But by the meditations of his heart, the devil was driven away and the work of translation did not come to an end. [123]In 1957 September 26, the Golden Jubilee was celebrated (the date when the pioneers missionaries arrived at Serkao (India) in 1907). All the Maraland was claimed to be the Christian land (the lab of Immanuel).[124] Up to the year 1960, the church in Maraland was commonly known as "the Lakher Church" or "the Lakher Pioneer Mission Church." In 1961 the Lakher Church became a full-fledged self-supporting Church bearing the name "the Lakher Independent Evangelical Church (LIEC)." In 1967, the term "Lakher" was changed into "Mara" due to the political demand confirming that their real name was Mara. Thus the church became bearing the name "the Mara Independent Evangelical Church (MIEC)."

Before the Independence of India (1947), the Maraland was under the British rule, and the Lakher Church also was unitedly governed by the missionaries. However, after the Independence of India, a larger part of Maraland came under the India Government and a smaller part of it under the Government of Burma. However the actual separation of the Indian Mara and Myanmar Mara Church took place in 1967. The Mara Church in India bears the name "Evangelical Church of Maraland (ECM)" and the lesser number of the Mara Church in Myanmar bears the name "the Mara Independent Evangelical Church (M I E C)."[125] Therefore, in 1968, the M I E C in Myanmar was constituted as a separate full-fledged church with its headquarters at Sabaungpi village. In 1986, the M I E C in Myanmar reconstituted her name into "The Mara Evangelical Church (M E C)" till today.[126] The M E C is the only denomination represented by all the Maras in Myanmar. Its General Assembly Office is situated at Sabaungpi and Lailenpi Villages, Chin State, Myanmar.[127] The first clergies of the Mara Evangelical Church (MEC) established in Sabaungpi were Rev.k. Teitu (ex-President), Rev.c. HnieChei (now acting Deputy Moderator of M E C), Rev.Haidau (acting Moderator) and Rev.Hc. Biezo (Deputy Moderator).[128]

The British had subdured the whole of Burma, and the Chin State came under British rule. Since then, the Gospel entered the Chin Hills. In 1899, Arthur Carson and Laura Carson of the American Baptist Mission (ABM) began their missionary work among the Chins. It was the ABM that first reached the Mara people of Burma with the Gospel. Mr. Hinau was the first to be baptized by Rev. Cope. He confessed that he was baptised on 12 June 1922 before any other missionary agent entered Maraland.[129]But the history of the mission of Mara took a dramatic turn as the following story reveals.

Years after his service in India R.A Lorrain considered that it would be prudent to define the evangelist approach to Burma. During the period under the British government there has been no separation of India and Burma; Burma was just an extension of India. In 1938, May, there were intermittent border disputes between the Hakha Mission (ABM) and the Mara Mission (LPM) Lakher Pioneer Mission. In order to clear misunderstandings, both sides metal the river Beino (Kaladyne); those present at the meeting were the D.C, Mr. Thomson, Dr. Cope, a Missionary to Tidim and Dr. C.U. Strait from the Hakha side; and from the India Mara side were R.A Lorrain, A.B Foxall, Rev. Heisa and Rev. Leito.[130] This meeting resulted in a quarrel in which R.A Lorrain stood up and indignantly shook and pushed the shoulders of C.U. Strait, sad to say, those godly people the missionaries, were at loggerheads for the sake the Gospel. A few weeks often the quarrel, Strait met with an untimely death at Hakha. Thereafter the Hakha Christians thought that R.A Lorrain had practised black magic upon C.U Strait. The Hakha D.C. Mr. Thomson, after careful consideration, felt that it would be wise to hand the entire matter over to the surrounding Chin Chiefs.[131]

These circumstances led the Mara Chiefs to choose the mission to which they wished to belong. After deliberations and with the consent of both sides, the interior parts of Beino (Kaladyne) River were to be occupied by the R.A Lorrain group, while the interior parts of it were to belong to the Hakha mission.[132] Therefore, it is understood that there are two groups in the Maraland in Myanmar, first missionaries the founder of M E C were Lorrains, and A B M were from Arthur and Laura Carson. In 1980s, para-Churches became into existence in the land, there are about 20,000 Maras in the land from which about 5000 Maras belong to other denominations and 1500 Maras belong to the Mara Evangelical Church. The para-churches emerged within 93 years in the Maraland as follow.

 

 

Sr

Name of Denomination

Members

Churches

1.

The Mara Evangelical Church (MEC)

15263

67

2.

The Baptist Association of Maraland (BAM)

3000

9

3.

The Congregational Church of Myanmar (CCM)

850

3

4.

The United Pentecostal Church (UPC)

300

1

5.

The Roman Catholic Church (RC)

250

3

6.

The EvangelicalFree Church ofMyanmar(EFCM)

160

2

7.

The Church on the Rock (COTR)

150

1

8.

The Evangelical Holiness Church

90

2

9.

The Full Gospel Baptist Church

20

       1

10.

The Revival Baptist Church

30

1

11.

The Methodist Church

160

1

12.

The Jehovah Witness

15

       1

 

 

 

 

The M E C is seeking ways and means to have a visible organic unity among these 12 Churches.[133] There are 12 para-churches in Maraland Myanmar.

Mara Baptist Church Fellowship (M B C F) was under the guidance of Thantlang Association Baptist Churches (T A B C). Thantlang Association Baptist Churches which were organized and set up on December 8, 1966 had out stood the external and internal destructive forces that at the Lungcauripi Meeting held on January first 1989, M B C F was once again formed up as Baptist Church of Maraland (B C M).[134] The headquarters office is located at Ngephepi Village, where the office staff and the top Christian leaders stay in live.[135] According to K. Hni Khaw's thesis "the Baptist Association of Maraland (BAM) is one of the member Associations of Chin Association for Christian Communication (CACC). BAM was enlisted and recognized as a member. BAM is always taking active parts in Mara Baptist Church (MBC), Zotung Baptist Church (ZBC) and CACC activities as demanded as by the situation. B A M is carrying out its outreaches in evangelism to far-flung place like Thilin Township in Magwe Division in Myanmar, till today 45 were converted by the BAM.[136]

Mara Evangelical Church General Assembly Office was situated at Lailenpi and Sabaungpi villages, Chin State, Myanmar. The first local church with the native Mara people was founded in 1914, and the second in 1933. From that time onwards, more and more local churches were established in one village after another. With the compilation and publication of the whole Mara Holy Bible in 1956, a new era dawns on the Mara Christians towards becoming a self-supporting church. At present there are about 20000 Church members, 105 Local Churches, 60 ordained pastors, and 15 probationary pastors. The church governance is divided into four presbyteries and 44 pastorates. There are altogether 146 Assembly paid workers. The Mara Evangelical Church (MEC) adopts the centralization pattern and it accepts the presbyteral and congregational form of Church Governments. It encourages lay leadership in preaching, teaching, and administration of finance. Each pastorate and presbytery has its annual convention with business session. The works and concerns of the General Assembly are carried out by its Department and Committees:

1.      Executive Committee

2.      Finance & Property

3.      Mission & Evangelism

4.      Church Education & Literature

5.      Personnel & Ministerial

6.      Law & Procedure

7.      Culture & Communication

8.      Revival & Pastoral

9.      Pastoral Committee

10. Departments (Women, Youth, Children, Service & Development).[137]

The Mara Evangelical Church (MEC) accepts the Holy Scripture of the Old Testament and New Testament as containing all things necessary to salvation and as the supreme and decisive standard of faith.It must always be ready to correct and reform itself in accordance with the teaching of those Scriptures, as the Holy Spirit shall reveal it from time to time. It believes in the Sacraments of Baptism and Lord's Supper. The Mara Evangelical Church is theologically contextual and ecumenical. The Mara Evangelical Church (MEC) is financially self-supporting church. Contributions from Local Churches, Departments (Women, Youth, Children, and Service & Development) and the individuals of MEC are the main sources for the church fund. One-tenths of Church members' income like, corn, money, domestic animals are set aside for church fund. Firewood and bamboo are used for daily cooking and whoever collects those things, offer one or two pieces for church fund at the gate of every village. In every worship service, there is collection of offering for church fund.[138]

As the Mara Evangelical Church (MEC) lives in global village, she knows that she has to plan and work globally. She opens for dialogue with people of other faith. Her visions are:

1.      To promote Kingdom values from local to global level

2.      To motivate all humanity with holistic approach

3.      To make innovations towards an inclusive community

4.      To exterminate injustice and

5.      To eradicate poverty

She has these visions to materialize now and in future.The future plan of the Mara Evangelical Church (MEC) is described in a very brief as the following. They are:

1.      To seek alternative way of life for surviving from annually shifting farming system

2.      To start self-awareness and empowerment projects

3.      To promote leadership qualification

4.      To pioneer in life-oriented education

5.      To enrich ecumenical spirit among the churches and seek means and ways to build a visible unity and an authentic church

6.      To challenge the churches to get more involved in the ecumenical movement to break down the barriers of isolation

7.      To awaken and equip the church with the spirit of mission to become a holistic missionary church

8.      To establish a theological seminary to train men and women for a wider ministry and

9.      To promote and maintain the Mara literature and culture in line with the Holy Scripture and modern development.[139]

 In 1985, the Mara Evangelical Church officially named her cross-cultural mission and called it the Evangelical Mission (E M). Her mission office is stationed in Sittway, Rakhine State. Now the Mara Evangelical Church is whole heartedly working Mission among five non-Mara speaking tribes-

(1)  The Khumi field

(2)  The Daai lemrochin field

(3)   The Myo Khami field

(4)  The Mru Vako field

(5)  Ashochin field.[140]

The Khumis are the southern neighbours of the Mara. The Maras calledthemasKhumi or Matu. Which means humankind is a tribe living in Paletwa Township, Southern Chin State. They belong to the Chin family speaking their own Khumi dialect. They are quite backward people and most of them are animists. Some adhere the philosophy of Animists due to the influence by the Rakhine people who are strong Animists.

The beginning of the evangelistic work among the Khumis goes back to the 1920s, but no record of church planting till 1925 was found, when the Anglican Missionary Rev. Francis came into the Khumiland in 1925, the two Mara Missionaries made an agreement and from that time onwards, the Khumiland has becomethe mission field of the Anglican Church then the soldiers of the Cross no longer went to the Khumiland for their mission. By the hard labour of the Anglican Missionaries, many Khumis were won over to Jesus Christ. The Mara Church formed her Mission Board in 1963 and searched for mission fields. It was learnt that many Khumi villages were still unreached. The first Missionary was sent to the Khumiland in 1966. The Mara Church Mission worked there with the Jurisdiction of her sister Anglican Church. For some years the converts by the Mara Church Mission arise were added to the Anglican Church Community. But later the Anglican Church could not afford-the follow up programmes to the new converts by the Mara Church.

Thus the Anglican Church gave way to the Mara Church to look after her sheep and plant her own church. The church is now planted under the name of the Khumi Evangelical Church.[141] Now the Mara Church established (15) Churches with 1313 believers and 3 primary schools.[142]

The Lemrochin people belong to the Kampalet Chin Family. There are different clans with their own dialects. The name Lemrochin is named after the Lemro River. They live along the banks and hill of the Lemro River. It is located in the southern Chin State and the north-eastern part of the Rakhine State. The land is geographically divided into two parts: the upper Lemrochin and lower Lemrochin. The upper people are very conservative Animists and the lower are also Animists. The first Mara Missionary entered into the land in 1970. At that time no Christians were found. After three years of hard labour in 1973, the Rev. Thlachhau got the first converts Mr. Maw Thang and Mr. Kum Thet. The first church was planted at Kidaw village in 1975. The Lemrochin is the most responsive field among the Evangelical mission fields. Our first missionaries translated hymns into their language, and now the New Testament translation is being mobilized into their language.[143] Now, there are (6) Churches buildings (1) primary school and 1909 believers.[144]

The Myo Khami belongs to the Chin Family. They now live in the lower plain of the Northern Rakhine State, bordering the Bangladesh. The Myos are animists. They have their own dialect but they know the Rakhine language very well. They work in the paddy fields. Though they live in the Rakhine State, they are totally ignored by the Rakhine people. Most of them live in Pungnakyuan, Kyauktaw, Butitaug, Ratehtaung and Maungdaw Townships of the Northern Rakhine State. The Mara Church Mission is the first and pioneer missionary to the Myo tribe. In 1937, the Mara came to the land to evangelize but there was no record of conversion. The first conversion took place in 1970.[145] There are no (8) churches buildings, 2 primary schools with 317 believers.[146]

The Mru-land is located in the northern part of the Rakhine State in the five townships, Viz Pungnakyuan, Kyauktaw, Butitaung, Ratehtaung and Maungdaw townships bordering the Bangladesh. They are traditionally strong animists but many become adherents of the Karama, a tribal religion appeared very recently in 1980s. We first could not discern the Myo and Mru people. We thought them as the same tribe but later we came to learn that they are different tribe with diverse dialect though they seem very close to each other. The Mara Church is the first missionary and pioneer to the Mru tribe. Now many denominations enter into this land since 1980s. Here are some churches working in the Mru field.

1.      The Mara Evangelical Church

2.      The Evangelical Free Church of Myanmar

3.      The Self-supporting Karen Baptist Home Mission

4.      The Anglican Church

5.      The Church of Jesus Christ.

The Mara Church is whole-heartedly working here for many years.[147] There are now one church building, three schools, 510 believers and 7 workers in the field.[148]

The Ashon Chin is newly surveyed field in the Rakhine State. The Ashon Chin belongs to the Chin Family. As they live among the Rakhine people, they are influenced by the Rakhine culture and belief. So they believe in the Animists and some of them still remain as animists. The mission to the Ashon did not begin with the Mara church. There are many denominations working among the Ashons before the Mara starts the Missions. It is Evan. Chhaitu whose spirit and vision a wakened the Mara people to start mission work in Ashon Chin field in 1990s. He himself went there and made survey though he did understand neither Burmese nor the Ashon dialect.[149] Now there are 105 believers.[150]

The Mara peoples were so respectful to God. So that all their times and fruits of labour were consumed for sacrifice before they become Christian. Christianity has transformed the Maras from their old, wild, primitive ways of life and patterns of thought into a people will dignity and responsibility for Christ and his kingdom. The Gods and demons that they once worshipped are now fighting and conquering. To the lands where they proclaimed wars, are now announcing peace, love and joy. The mountains that formerly echoed with their blood curding war rises are now re-echoing with the harmony of joyful Gospel Hymns. The Mara land is with 100% Christians, and called Emanuel land in 1957 is September 26. And same place in Chin State, Myanmar. According from L. B Siama, for 93 years (1907-2000) M E C has been silent in ecumenical affair due to the fact of her isolation from other parts of the world. This may be the reason why our first missionary Rev. R.A Lorrain termed the land as the unknown Jungle.[151]

As the Mara Church has been seeking for International partnership and ecumenical relation with other churches in 1980s, she is now privileged to be a member of

1.

Myanmar Council of Churches

(MCC)

1985

2.

Christian Conference of Asia

(CCA)

1989

3.

World Alliance of Reformed Churches

(WARC)

1993

4.

World Council of Churches

( WCC)

2001

5.

A partner of National Missionary Society of India

(NMSI)

2007[152]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the Memorial of R.A Lorrain, Mara Pioneer Missionary, Lorrain Theological College (LTC) was founded in Insein Township, Yangon, on July, 1, 2003 by Mara Evangelical Church. Its motto is "Not to be served but to serve".[153]Most of the students attending in Lorrain Theological College areMara people.

Finally, from 1985 to 2003, in mission field 4213 were converted by Mara Evangelical Church. 46 were converted by Baptist Church of Maraland in Thaici area. From 1990 to till today 6500 were converted by Myanmar Christian Mission.The Maraland Gospel Centenary (1907-2007) was celebrated in Sabaungpi Village in 2007. Within MEC's long journey of over 100 years, Mara Evangelical Church (MEC) has been trying and changing and balancing her past, present and future. Yesterday, she started, today she continues, tomorrow she will carry on. Many are changed and some are wonderful for us. The dark becomes light for Mara people. Now the light shines in the Maraland. The unknown Jungle is now broken into pieces and disappeared, and become the famous land for the world. Therefore we can say, Maras are so strong for Christ sake and obey the teaching of Christ.


CONCLUSION

 

The Maras are widely distributed but the greater number of them are found in considerable strength in the south Hakha sub-division of the Chin state and also found in Mara Autonomous District in India.The Maraland occupies the southern portion of Chin State. The whole region inhabited by the Maras is commonly called "Marara" in the local language meaning the "land of the Maras" or "Maraland". In the early British period, it was popularly known to the Britishers as "Lakherland" as the Maras were then designated as "Lakher". After independence, the whole region occupied by them was divided into two parts: Western Maraland (in India) and Eastern Maraland (in Myanmar).

It may be assumed that the Maras belong to Mongoloid stock of Tibeto-Burman family.They belong to central Chin sub-groups of the Kuki group of the Assam-Burma branch of the Tibeto-Burman family.Some writers have classed them as a number of the Kuki section.In Chin State, the word "Kuki" is not like by any tribe. Other writers also class the Maras as Chin people.The Chins are a group of hill tribes speaking various directs of the same Tibeto-Burman speech and calling themselves by various tribal names. All are,however,placed in the Kuki Chin group.All tribes do not recognise the name "Chin", but call themselves "Yo" or "Zo" in the north, "Lai" in the centre and "Sho" in the south, besides many other tribal names.However,the Maras do not call themselves "Chin" or "Kuki", but designate themselves as "Mara".

The Maras were in early period known to the outside world under different tribal names such as Mara, Lakher, Shendu or Shendoo, Maring, Zyu or Zao/Zho, Tlosai, Khongzai,etc. They called themselves "Maras".The word "Mara" is used as a generic term for the whole Mara people. And as such the different tribal sub-groups or clans of the Maras who inhabit the entire perimeter of the present Mara Autonomous District of Mizoram in India and the hill tracts of the erstwhile south Haka sub-Division of the Chin Hills of Myanmar and whose culture,traditions, dialect, etc. being closely similar are commonly designated as "Mara".

The generic term "Mara" includes several territorial sub-groups namely the Sizo-Chapi,Hawthai,Hlaipao -Zyhno,Iana or Vytu,Lochei and Tlosai.TheHlaipao has a number of sub-groups such as the Heima,Lialai and Zyhno.TheSizo sub-group are the Aru, Chapi, Khihlo, Lialaira, Ratu, Saby, Sosai, Taikua, Tikei, Tisi, etc.TheTlosai sub-group are the Saikao and Siaha.The three territorial sub-groups such as the Hawthai, Lochei and Iana had no sub-groups.

Mara people had their own custom and culture. The society was controlled by customary laws. The Maras gave the inheritance rights to the eldest son or youngest son. Daughters were not given any right of inheritance. However they had the right to claim the dowry at marriage. If the father died before the eldest son had reached the age of maturity, all important affairs within the family were managed by the nearest male relative. The mother was responsible for the domestic affairs of cooking and feeding the children.Marriage was a social obligation. There was no restriction on inter-marriages among different clans and villagers. A man usually marries between the ages of twenty and twenty-five, and a woman after the age of twenty. The Mara male preferred to marry into the mother's family. He was, however, forbidden to marry the daughter of his paternal aunt. Polygamy was practised by chiefs or healthy persons. They had many wives and concubines as long as they could support them. A widow of the elder brother could be married to the younger brother. This custom was practised so that the mother of the children continued to take responsibilities of caring for children and to prevent her from returning to her parents. In order to ensure the friendship of a rival village, a chief wanted to raise his social status, he married the daughter of a chief enjoying a higher status than himself. The parents sought a suitable girl for their sons from Pu(mother's brother) family. When they found a suitable girl, they sent the Leuchapa (representatives) to the girl's parents. If they agreed they fixed a proper day for further discussion regarding the wedding. On the day, the girl's father held a feast where they discussed the costs of the several marriages including the Ma (bride price). It can be assumed that most of Mara male preferred to getting married with the daughter of Pu(mother's brother) family. Very few restrictions are imposed on the choice of a wife. It is ana (forbidden) for a full brother and sister to marry, as the children would not thrive. The Maras, however, believe that the marriage of a brother to a sister will only have evil effects for the parties. Children of the same father but by different mothers may not marry, but children of the same mother by different fathers may marry. The children of a brother and sister may and do marry if the sister's child is a son and the brother's child a daughter, but a man should not marry his father's sister's daughter. In former times a marriage between a maternal uncle and his niece would have been just as ana as a marriage between a nephew and the widow of his maternal uncle is to-day. It is believed that such a marriage will most probably be fruitless and that if by any chance offspring are produced, they will be imbeciles or afflicted with congenital disease.

Mara man treated women as inferiors before they believed in Christianity. A man could divorce his wife simply saying "I divorce you" without paying excuse and she would have to leave him and her children, and returned to her father's house without any share of property. The women did not have equally opportunity with men. They were not allowed to participate in social and religious affairs. But after acceptance of the Christianity, the Mara women could participate in social and religious affairs.

Mara people believed in traditional Nat and Animists before Christianity reached to Maraland. The Nat worship and the cult of Nat have been firmly rooted in the areas of Mindat, Matupi and Kanpetlet Townships. They believed that the Nat has the power to bring good fortune or disasters to human beings.


 

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHS

Headquarters of Mara Evangelical Church at Sabaungpi

source: Maraland Gospel Centenary Magazine (1907-2007),Yangon, LorrainTheological Printing, 2007,back cover

Photo (1)

                                      Headquarters of Mara Evangelical Church at Sabaungpi

Rev.Teitu

source: Maraland Gospel Centenary Magazine (1907-2007),Yangon, LorrainTheological Printing, 2007,back cover

Photo (2)

Rev. K.Teitu

                                   The first President at MEC Headquarters

Rev.Bitha

source: Maraland Gospel Centenary Magazine (1907-2007),Yangon, LorrainTheological Printing, 2007,back cover

Photo (3)

Rev. Bitha

                                                       The first Evangelist

Rev.Mathao

source: Maraland Gospel Centenary Magazine (1907-2007),Yangon, LorrainTheological Printing, 2007,back cover

Photo (4)

Rev. Mathao

The first revered pastor

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

Aung Mon, Maung, Observe Chin national race casually, Yangon, Sarpay Beikman, 1964

Ba Shin, Bo hmoo, Myanmar Nainggandaw prior to Anawrahtar, Yangon, Pagan publishing house, 1985

Ba Shin, Bo hmoo, Chin Special Region, Myanmar encycolopaction, Vol-2, Yangon, Sarpay Beikman, 1955

Carey Bertram S & Tuck, H.N, The Chin Hills, Vol. II, Yangon, Government Printing, 1896

Chin Khua Khai, Cross Amidst pagodas, A History of the Assemblies of God in Myanmar, Baguio, Philippines, APTS press, 1995

Haoko, The History of Mara in India and Myanmar, Yangon, Lorrain Theological Printing, 2008

Hla Min, LT-Col, Political Situation of Myanmar and its role in the region, Yangon, Office of Strategic Studies, Ministry of Defence, Union of Myanmar, 2003

Hni Khaw, K, "The History of Baptist Association of Maraland", M.Div. Thesis, Myanmar Christian Seminary, March 2003

Lai Kai, T, "The growth of I C M," Serkaw, India, Lorrain Memorial Press, 1985

Lai U Fachhai, The Maras from Warriors to Missionaries, Siaha, ECM Mission Press, India, 1994

Lehman, A Practical Hand Book of the Language of the Chin, Yangon, Government Printing, 1897

Lorrain, R.A, Five years Unknown Jungles, Aizawl: Spectrum Publications on behalf of Tribal Research Institute, 1988

Mai Ki, "The concept of justice in the book of Amos and its Relevance to the Maras society in Myanmar," B.D Thesis, Gurnkul Lutheran Theological College Research Institute, India, March 2007

Mo Kia, S, Mara ra awnanopa thati (the history of the Christianity in Maraland), Serkaw, India, Lorrain Memorial Press, 1981

Myanmar Socialist Programme Party, the traditional culture and customs of the national races (Chin), Yangon, Party Organization Central Committee Hqr, 1968

NoHro, Rev. R.C, The Lakher Pioneer Missionaries and former leaders, Saiha, India, ECM Mission Press, 2000

Parry, N.E., The Lakhers, Aizawl, On behalf of Tribal Research Institute of Mizoram, India, 1976

Ram Ngai, "Matu Tribe; History and customs", M.A. Thesis, Mandalay University, May 1998

Sakhong, Lain, Religion and Politics among the Chin People in Burma (1896-1947), Uppsala University, 2000

Siama, L.B, Ko 94Thatipha tlona, (The spread of Christianity to Maraland for 94 years), Sabaungpi, MEC Press, 2000

Siama, L.B., "A Brief History of MEC," M.Div. Thesis, Myanmar Christian Seminary, March 2003,

Sikaw cheiza, "The Johannine concept of oneness of believers in Christ and its relevance to the churches in Myanmar," B.D Thesis, Gurukul Lutheran Theological College & Research Institute, India, March 2002

Thaung Lwin, Chin Traditional Custom, Yangon, National Progressive Literature, 1967

Vakhithi, "The Historical Development of Mara tribe in Myanmar," B.Th. Thesis, Reformed Theological College, 2005

Vankung, "Toward a new understanding of the meaning of Jesus Christ for the Maras with a special reference to the Dawchhua Maras", M.Th. Thesis, Asia Pacific Graduate School of Theological Studies, Hanil University and Presbyterian Theological Seminary, 2005

Zalei, J.M., "The Impact of Christianity upon the Maras Tribe of Burma," M.Th. Thesis, South Asian Institute of Advanced Christian Study, 1998

 

Magazinesand Papers

 

Laima, C, "Mara A chakhei na py", (The Church supporting to Mara People), Seminar Paper, Myanmar Christian Seminary, Yangon, 2004

Sabie, K,   "The Natural Environment of Maraland", Maraland Gospel Centenary Magazine (1907-2007), Yangon, Lorrain Theological Printing, 2007

Sintiyar, "Pahnobyupazy", (The knowledge we need to get), Lailenpi, Mara Deiva Magazine, Vol.13, MEC Press, 2003

Sitlo, "Mara Evangelical Church (MEC)," Maraland Gospel Centenary Magazine (1907-2007), Yangon, Lorrain Theological Printing, 2007

Thasieh, Paw, "A brief MEC History and Centenary", Khaina Magazine, Yangon, Lorrain Theological Printing, 2007

Thein Zaw, Mg, "Chin Traditional Culture and Customs", Term Paper, University of Magway, 2004

Vakhaitha, "Maraland Schools," Maraland Gospel Centenary Magazine (1907-2007), Yangon, Lorrain Theological Printing, 2007

 

 



[1] Bo hmoo Ba Shin, Chin Special Region, Myanmar encycolopaction, Vol-2, Yangon, Sarpay Beikman, 1955, p. 390 (Henceforth: Ba Shin, 1955)

[2] Myanmar Socialist Programme Party, the traditional culture and customs of the national races (Chin), Yangon, Party Organization Central Committee Hqr, 1968, p. 80 (Henceforth: National races, 1968)

[3]National races, 1968, 20

[4] Bo hmoo Ba Shin, Myanmar Nainggandaw prior to Anawrahtar, Yangon, Pagan publishing house, 1985, p. 121 (Henceforth: Ba Shin, 1985)

[5]Ba Shin, 1985, 153

[6]National races, 1968, 40

[7]National races, 1968, 59-60

[8] Mai Ki, "The concept of justice in the book of Amos and its Relevance to the Maras society in Myanmar," B.D. Thesis, Gurnkul Lutheran Theological College Research Institute, India, March 2007, p.39 (Henceforth: Mai Ki, 2007)

[9] J.M. Zalei, "The Impact of Christianity upon the Maras Tribe of Burma," M.Th. Thesis, South Asian Institute of Advanced Christian Study, 1998, p.9 (Henceforth: Zalei, 1998)

[10] L.B. Siama,  "A Brief History of MEC," M.Div. Thesis, Myanmar Christian Seminary, March 2003, pp.2-3 (Henceforth: Siama, 2003)

[11]K.Hni Khaw, "The History of Baptist Association of Maraland", M.Div. Thesis, Myanmar Christian Seminary, March 2003, pp.2-3 (Henceforth: Hni Khaw, 2003)

[12] Lai U Fachhai, The Maras from Warriors to Missionaries, Siaha, ECM Mission Press, India, 1994, p.2 (Henceforth: Lai U, 1994)

[13] Chin Khua Khai, Cross Amidst pagodas, A History of the Assemblies of God in Myanmar, Baguio, Philippines, APTS Press, 1995, p.10 (Henceforth: Khua Khai, 1995)

[14] Khua Khai, 1995, 11

[15] Siama, 2003, 2

[16] Lain Sakhong, Religion and Politics among the Chin People in Burma (1896-1947), Uppsala University, 2000, p.72 (Henceforth: Lain Sakhong, 2000)

[17] Lain Sakhong, 2000, 73

[18] Lain Sakhong, 2000, 75

[19] Lain Sakhong, 2000, 75

[20] Lain Sakhong, 2000, 75-76

[21] LT-Col Hla Min, Political Situation of  Myanmar and its role In the region, Yangon, Office of Strategic Studies, Ministry of Defence, Union of Myanmar, 2003, pp.86-97 (Henceforth: Hla Min, 2003)

[22] Vankung, "Toward a new understanding of the meaning of Jesus Christ for the Maras with a special reference to the Dawchhua Maras", M.Th. Thesis, Asia Pacific Graduate School of Theological Studies, Hanil University and Presbyterian Theological Seminary, 2005, p.6 (Henceforth: Vankung,2005)

[23] Lai U, 1994, 2

[24] N.E. Parry, The Lakhers, Aizawl, On behalf of Tribal Research Institute of Mizoram, India, 1976, p.2 (Henceforth: Parry, 1976)

[25]Parry, 1976, 3

[26] Mai Ki, 2007, 39

[27] Khua Khai, 1995, 8

[28]Vakhithi, "The Historical Development of Mara tribe in Myanmar," B.Th. Thesis, Reformed Theological College, 2005, p.11 (Henceforth: Vakhithi, 2005)

[29]Vakhithi, 2005, 12

[30]Vakhithi, 2005, 14

[31]Vakhithi, 2005, 16

[32] K. Sabie, "The Natural Environment of Maraland", Maraland Gospel Centenary Magazine (1907-2007),  Yangon,  Lorrain Theological Printing, 2007, pp.309-310 (Henceforth: Sabie, 2007)

[33] Fie Sintiyar, "Pahnobyu pazy", (The knowledge we need to get), Lailenpi, Mara Deiva Magazine, Vol.13, MEC Press, 2003, p.10 ( Henceforth: Sintiyar, 2003)

[34] Hni Khaw, 2003, 25

[35]Vakhithi, 2005,18

[36]Vakhithi, 2005, 20

[37]Vakhithi, 2005, 22

[38] Parry, 1976, 26

[39] Parry, 1976, 27-30

[40] Parry, 1976, 73-74

[41] Parry, 1976, 74-75

[42] Lehman, A Practical Hand Book of the Language of the Chin, Yangon, Government Printing, 1897, p.107 (Henceforth: Lehman, 1897)

[43] Carey Bertram S & H.N. Tuck, The Chin Hills, Vol. II, Yangon, Government Printing, 1896, p.190 (Henceforth: Tuck, 1896)

[44] Parry, 1976, 293

[45] Zalei, 1998, 37

[46] Parry, 1976, 245-246

[47] Zalei, 1998, 245-246

[48] Parry, 1976, 260-262

[49] Parry, 1976, 276

[50] Parry, 1976, 274

[51] Mai Ki, 2007, 38

[52] Zalei, 1998, 37

[53] Zalei, 1998, 73

[54]Vakhithi, 2005, 44

[55]Vakhithi, 2005, 46

[56] Lai U, 1994, 4-5

[57] Parry, 1976, 249

[58] Ram Ngai, "Matu Tribe; History and customs", M.A. Thesis, Mandalay University, May 1998, pp.26-27 (Henceforth: Ram Ngai, 1998)

[59]Ram Ngai, 1998, 32-33

[60]C. Laima, "Mara A chakhei na py", (The Church supporting to Mara People), Seminar Paper, Myanmar Christian Seminary, Yangon, 2004, p. 10 (Henceforth: Laima, 2004)

[61] Personal interview to K. Hra U (age 42 years), Yangon, ( 12-11-2010)

[62] Personal interview to U Len tlo (age 54 years), Yangon, (17-11-2010)

[63] Personal interview to  U Tin Hra (age 75 years), Yangon, (25-11-2010)

[64] Personal interview to K. Hra U (age 42 years), Yangon, (12-11-2010)

[65]Vakhithi, 2005, 40

[66] Parry, 1976, 75-77

[67] Maung Aung Mon, Observe Chin national race casually, Yangon, Sarpay Beikman, 1964, p. 106 (Henceforth: Aung Mon, 1964)

[68]National races, 1968, 104

[69] Siama, 2003, 3

[70]National races, 1968, 97

[71] Parry, 1976, 79

[72] Zalei,1998, 11

[73]National races, 1968, 112

[74]National races, 1968, 254

[75]Vakhithi, 2005, 57

[76] Parry, 1976, 45

[77] Ram Ngai, 1998, 45

[78] Personal interview to L. Vabieneihmo (Chairman, Mara Student's Association of Magway Branch), Magway University, (10.1.2010)

[79] Personal interview to U Pai te (age 68 years), Yangon, (25-11-2010)

[80] R.A Lorrain, "Five years Unknown Jungles", Aizawl: Spectrum Publications on behalf of Tribal Research Institute, 1988, p.222 (Henceforth: Lorrain, 1988)

[81]Personal interview to Victor C. Zakho (age 62 years), Yangon, ( 10-12-2010)

[82] Personal interview to Victor C. Zakho (age 62 years),Yangon, (10-12-2010)

[83] Vakhaitha, "Maraland Schools," Maraland Gospel Centenary Magazine (1907-2007),  Yangon, Lorrain Theological Printing, 2007, p. 191 (Henceforth: Vakhaitha, 2007)

[84] Personal interview to U Tin Hra (age 75 years), Yangon, (25-11- 2005)

[85] Personal interview to U Sabie  (age 45 years), Yangon, (11-12-2010)

[86] Personal interview to Bh. Biesoh (Vice-Chairman, Mara Student's Association, Yangon), (2-12-2010)

[87] Personal interview to  A.B Thlatha (Age 40 years), Hakha, (10-11-2010)

[88] Personal interview to Rev. C. Hnie Chei (Moderator of M E C), Sabaungpi, (20-12-2009)

[89]National races, 1968, 329

[90] Thaung Lwin, Chin Traditional Custom, Yangon, National Progressive Literature, 1967, p. 31(Henceforth: Thaung Lwin, 1967)

[91]National races, 1968, 259

[92] Thaung Lwin, 1967, 33

[93] Thaung Lwin, 1967, 33

[94]National races, 1968, 34

[95]National races, 1968, 261

[96]National races, 1968, 264

[97] Personal interview to U Thaung Kyi (age 55 years), Sedoktayar, (24-12-2010)

[98] Mg Thein Zaw, "Chin Traditional Culture and Customs", Term Paper, University of Magway, 2004,  p. 24 (Henceforth: Thein Zaw, 2004)

[99] Sikaw cheiza, "The Johannine concept of oneness of believers in Christ and its relevance to the churches in Myanmar," B.D Thesis, Gurukul Lutheran Theological College & Research Institute, India, March 2002,p. 18 (Henceforth: Sikaw, 2002)

[100] S. Mo Kia, Mara ra awnanopa thati (the history of the Christianity in Maraland), Serkaw, India, Larrain Memorial Press, 1981, p.13 (Henceforth: Mo Kia, 1981)

[101] Zalei, 1998, 53

[102] Hni Khaw, 2003, 32

[103] T. Lai Kai, "The growth of I C M," Serkaw, India, Lorrain Memorial Press, 1985, p.9 (Henceforth: Lai kai, 1985)

[104] Zalei, 1998, 52

[105] Rev. R.C. NoHro, The Lakher Pioneer Missionaries and former leaders, Saiha, India, ECM Mission Press, 2000, pp.10-11 (Henceforth: Nohro, 2000)

[106] Nohro, 2000, 13-14

[107] Siama, 2003, 4

[108]Haoko, The History of Mara in India and Myanmar, Yangon, Lorrain Theological Printing, 2008, p.100 (Henceforth: Haoko, 2008)

 

[109] Haoko, 2008,152

[110] Parry, 1976, 152

[111] Zalei, 1998, 26

[112] Zalei, 1998, 24

[113] Mo Kia, 1981, 13

[114]Nohro, 2000 14

[115] L.B Siama, Ko 94 Thatipha tlona(The spread of Christianity to Maraland for 94 years), Sabaungpi, MEC Press, 2000,  p.4 (Henceforth: Siama, 2000)

[116]Siama, 2000, 4

[117] Mo Kia, 1981, 15

[118]Nohro, 2000, 15-16

[119] Mo Kia, 1981, 19-20

[120] Mo Kia, 1981, 19-20

[121] Mo Kia, 1981, 20

[122]Nohro, 2000, 7

[123] Mo Kia, 1981, 21

[124] Siama, 2003, 7

[125] Siama, 2003, 9-10

[126] Mai Ki, 2007, 43

[127] Siama, 2003, 11

[128]Personal interview to Rev.K Teitu (the Former and First President of MEC, Sabaungpi), (13-5-2000)

[129] Zalei, 1998, 49

[130] Mo Kia, 1981, 25

[131] Mo Kia, 1981, 25

[132] Zalei, 1998, 50

[133] Sia ma, 2000, 16-17

[134] Hni Khaw, 2003, 43

[135] Hni Khaw, 2003, 44

[136]Vakhithi,  2005, 28

[137]Sitlo, "Mara Evangelical Church (MEC)," Maraland Gospel Centenary Magazine (1907-2007),  Yangon, Lorrain Theological Printing, 2007, pp. 234-5 (Henceforth: Sitlo, 2007)

[138]Sitlo, 2007, 235-6

 

[139] Paw Thasieh, "A brief MEC History and Centenary", Khaina Magazine, Yangon, Lorrain Theological Printing, 2007, pp. 95-96 (Henceforth: Thasieh, 2007)

[140]Sitlo, 2007, 236

[141] Siama, 2003, 18

[142] Personal interview to Rev. Dr. Siama (ex-General Secretary of MEC, Yangon), (20-11-2010)

[143]Siama, 2003, 19

[144]Personal interview to Rev. Dr. Siama,( ex-General Secretary of MEC, Yangon), (20-11-2010)

[145]Siama, 2003, 20

[146]Personal interview to Rev. Vako (Lecturer, Lorrain Theological College, Yangon), (24-11-2010)

[147] Siama, 2003, 21

[148] Personal interview to Rev. Vako (Lecturer, Lorrain Theological College, Yangon), (24-11-2010)

 

[149] Siama, 2003, 21

[150] Personal interview to Rev. Vako (Lecturer, Lorrain Theological College, Yangon), (24-11-2010)

[151] Siama,2003, 1

[152] Personal interview to Rev. C Thauling(Unit (1), Secretary, M C C, Yangon), (12- 12-2010)

[153] Personal interview to Rev. Hc. Biezo (ex-Moderator, MEC, Yangon), (25-11-2010)

 

(Mr.Rachikhai he Sabyhpi khihpa Puhpa Falau nata Pinoh Siva zy saw chapaw pathohna chata BA (Hons) he Magway University tawhta 2008 ko liata patlopa ta MA he 2011 ko liata distinction hluhpi ta Credit ta apass pa acha. MRes tao pazao awpa chata atahma Yangon liata buakha a study ngala chyna daihti acha. Atahma ta Article he ano MA Thesis chata arohpa acha.)

Last Updated on Saturday, 03 December 2011 13:54
 
 

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