Discover Tripura Articles

31 Oct 2015

Traditional Life of Molsom Tribe of Tripura

Discover Tripura Correspondent
news Image Tripura is a place covered with hills and hill-locks, danse natural forest embankment, green valleys, rivers, streams and wide field. People in general of multi-ethnic tribal communities are the dwellers in this natural environment.

These tribes came to this territory from places like Myanmar, China, Tibet and Shan state of upper Burma. They mostly belong to Tibeto-Burman linguistic family and Mongoloid origin.

Major tribal communities of Tripura are Tripuri, Reang, Jamatia, Chakma, Mog, Halam, kuki, Lusai etc. Among these tribes, Halam is known to be nomadic group of tribes having several sub tribes like, Rankhwal, Kolai, Rupini, Molsom, Kaipengs etc. In fact Halam is considered a group of Tribes who are once treated as a sub-tribe of Kukies. The then Maharajas of Tripura divided some of the sub tribes of Kukies as Halam which is known 'Barki Halamâ' and Obevions Malsom belongs to that Barki Halam group of Tribes.

Molsom (3).JPGMolsam village could be located in the danse forest and nearest to the jhum field. Like Reangs they also prefer to live in Tong Houses which is in their language known as "Chungin" The Chungin are made by them in temporary status as they  frequently shift their dwelling with the change need of jhum land.

In Tripura Molsom are mainly concentrated in Udaipur and Amarpur sub-division. They are also found though few families in Sadar sub-division and some pocket of Kamalpur.

Some Molsom concentrated villages of Udaipur are Manithang Bari, Barbari, Atharobhola, Thalibari, Raiyabari and in Kamalpur are Shibbari, Raipara, Dhancharra.

Molsom have a similar social structure like other tribes of Tripura. Father is the authoritian head of Molsom family. Oldest female member of the family looks after all family matters including children affairs. Father act as head of the family work hard for jhum cultivation, maintaining inter personal relationship with the villagers and link with community chief. Wife and young boys and girls of the family assist their father for production of food stuff. All the rites and rituals are arranged jointly by father and mother.

Village council of Molsom is almost same to that of Reang and Tripuri. In the council Chowdhury is the chief and there are three other members.The members of the Molsom village council are selected through villagers in a meeting called village chief. This council meet up all sort of dispute like land issue, family matters, community issues, adultery, marriage and divorce issues. There is no fixed tenure of the council.

As per customary laws property right passes from father to son. Wife and daughter also get share in the land and belongings of their respective husband or father.

Birth culture of Molsom are so primitive, that out side their community find so many things to learn about primitive culture. After getting pregnent and passed 4 (four) months a ritual viz "Kabeng" is observe for good health of coming issue.and pregnant mother. If  "Mukothung" ritual is not perform within one month after the child birth it is feared that evil spirits like 'Khuriâ' may cause repeated vomiting. Ochai also perform puja "Prosenpoi" deity and sacrifices to appease that deity.

Molsom observe ceremony of puberty for the boys and girls namely 'Takbrokmiâ' and 'Punmizelâ'.

The child hood of both like boys and girls is passed with cherity. During the period they are trained for  all sort of socio-economic works and activities like group hunting of wild animal, fishing, domestic works, weaving cloths, making basketry besides agriculture works.

Young boys and girls after proper training involved themselves in jhum based life. Marriage of  young boys and girls also lead a social recognition. Molsom are monogamous and marriage alliances always take place within their 12 clans only. Child marriage is not practiced by them. Both the cross-cousin and parallel cousin marriage are in prevalent among Molsom.

Widow re-marriage is also permited by the village council. On the actual day of marriage series of rites and rituals are performed when large gathering of relatives and villagers took place.

The Achai chant mantra before the bride and bride groom, throughout the day dances and music continued to celebrate the day, when good quantity of country liquor (Zukola) and meat of pigs and hen are largely consumed.

About Molsom economy it is to mention that tribals in general practices jhum cultivation which is according to Molsom known as "Lau". This is a primitive method of cultivation done in hill tops in green bamboo forest after a series of preparatory activities for sowing various seeds including paddy.

"Sakumphai" a rich rituals is done before the harvesting of paddy Molsom irrespective male and female enjoy this ritual and pig, goat and hens are sacrificed in that rituals and Huge quantity of liquor is consumed by them in this festival and enjoy by dancing and singing.

Molsom (5).JPGBoth male and female take part in the harvesting. New rice festival also observed by them which is known as "Sarbimgor". Boiled jhum rice is offered on a banana leaf with sacrificed hen. This festival is generally accompanied with dance and music in any full moon day.

Molsom (1).JPGHunting is another sustainable economy of Molsom for meeting up their need of meat. They make trap to capture wild animal and group hunting is very much playful before them.

Molsom also practice fishing in logged water and stream and near by river for subsidiary food. Besides, Molsom are very much expart in making all sort of basketry for sale and family use. They also produce cash crop for earning cash money and rear poultry fields, pigs, goats, cow etc.

Molsom girls are found of making their own garments like Puenzel (Pasra in Kokborok) as waist garments and Risa, the breast garments. They produced these garments through loin-looms.

Molsom (4).JPGThey are also very much fond of dances and music. Hi-hook dance of Molsam certainly a primitive cultural trait. The Folk song and music related with this dance are so melodious that it touches everybody. They used to sing songs during working jhum field, love songs when young star get together in any occasion and religious songs when they observes family rituals and community festivals.

The musical instruments they use are Champreng, Kham, Flute, Sarinda etc. Major dances of Molsom are Hi=hook, murui, Sharhil. They call the dances as Lam. They have any indigenous games. Children play games when elders are engaged in agriculture works.

Molsom basically are Hindus. They do have believe in God and Goddess of as per Sakti Cult. Similarly they have belief in animistic activities. They believe that there must be a supernatural force which have control over their life. Their major deities are Scepari Sangrak, There are somany mythological stories behind their religious belief and practices.

Molsom as a part of their traditional culture cremate their dead after following several rituals. They make a procession with the body placing it on a Tolai which is a platform of bamboo splits. Beside a river they construct super structure to place the body and burn it by the nearest kin of the diseased.

"Tuisungro" worship also held in the burning ghut after seven days and a general feast is also arranged by the next relatives. As community feast for peace and good being of deceased's soul.

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