Conclusion of the Karbis in general, is in the

Conclusion

 

 

From
the discussions made so far this is to conclude that however small a community
there exists certain uniqueness either in the field of culture, tradition or
custom and these have direct or indirect impact in the life of the people in
ascertaining the quality and standard of living of the people and its impact on
the society. Macro cultural influences such as values, beliefs, and mores,
local economy, custom and dietary habits, rapid social change and cultural
stress do shape the life style of the people. Modern appliances are preferred
by majority of the plain Karbis along with their traditional life style.
Modernization is taking place particularly with respect to the material
culture.

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                     The Karbis or Mikirs
constitute a major tribe of Assam. Tracing the chronological migration events
of the tribe is very difficult. Folklores are the prime sources to have an idea
of their early history.  The migration
pattern of Karbis in Assam was mainly rural to rural. The Karbis residing in the plains of
Kamrup and Morigaon district of Assam, and the Ri-Bhoi districts of Meghalaya
identify themselves as the Dumrali or plains Karbis. They settled permanently
in Guwahati more than one and half century ago. The first ever Census of 1872
under the British, reveals that the total Karbi population was 47,328 and by
2001 Census the figure rose to 406,160.

 

                        Karbi society is
patriarchal. The settlement pattern of the Karbis in
general, is in the form of a village. The traditional village council of the
Karbis composed of all the elderly male members of the village. The plain Karbis, are
found to have changed in context to their social, cultural, economic and
traditional practices, although they are maintaining the traditional or customary
cultural pattern. The folk calendar (local calendar)
of plain Karbi community offers information cum data in a
schedule.  In majority of the households, fathers are the dominant
heads. Half of the family members are of the age group of 15-35 years. Among
the family members more than 59% are found to be female. Near about 87% of the
heads and more than 84% of the family members went to school. The occupation of
the heads is either service holders or businessman and the same holds in case
of the family members. The financial condition of the households are found to
be neither very low nor very high. Majority of the Karbis are in favour of
nuclear type of family. Daily working hours for majority of the respondents is
in between 6-12. It is observed that most of the family members consult the
head of the family regarding family, social and economic and political except
for personal matters. More than 3/4th of the respondent Karbis
expressed great satisfaction in residing at the existing respective
localities along with the facilities available therein. They have fun in
socialising together. There exists a certain range of Local Authority’s
interest in the welfare of the households residing in the locality. Almost all
of them prefer to settle in Guwahati city. More than 3/4th
respondents participate in community social service and they participate in
discussions of development activities in the locality.

                     The bachelors’ dormitory was
in existence among the Karbis. The Karbi language was
a spoken language and it had no script of its own. In
Karbi society informal form of education is prevalent since ages till date
mostly in oral mode such as stories, riddles, jokes, etc. Modernity in
education is marked by the spread of Christianity, higher exposure to
reformation, and revolutionary sense of value of education swiped across the
Karbi society.  As a result, significant
socio-cultural changes leading towards better achievements have become apparent
among the Karbis. A certain section of the respondents found to speak in
Assamese language as mother tongue another section in Karbi language and the
rest speak both in Karbi and Assamese language. Almost all the respondents
opined that there exist certain differences either with respect to words,
accent or style in transaction of mother tongue by Karbi Hills and Karbi Plains
people. Around three fourth of the respondents are well versed with Karbi
language. Most of them are of the opinion that the desired medium of
instruction be in Assamese language. Majority of them are in favour of
attending any function in the school.  Nearly
three fourth of the respondents are of the opinion that higher level of
education should be the last stage. Most of the schools are privately managed
only a limited number of schools are managed by government. In certain selected
localities educational institutions such as Junior College; Special Learning
Unit Kendra; Anganwadi Kendra; Fine Art Academy; Nursing School are available. Almost
all of them are in favour of vocational training to the younger generation. They
are in favour of imparting education to the girls. Almost all of them are in
favour of women employment. A section of the sample respondents are desirous of
employing women in government offices. A little above half of them like to read
newspaper. Majority of them are in favour of watching television. A limited
number of people are in favour of listening radio.

 

 All the Plain Karbi people observe puja as per their calendar. Karbi practice traditional religion, which is
animistic in nature. They have firm belief and faith on nature. There
are separate traditional costumes for Karbi men and women. The Karbis have
their traditional dresses, which are artistically designed with different
motifs. Traditionally the costumes of Karbis are hand woven. In the Karbi
society different types of traditional ornaments are used by both men and
women. At present they generally use silver and gold ornaments. Most of the
traditional Karbi foods have been replaced by modern food habits. The Karbis celebrate many festivals
such as Rongkher, Chomkan, Sokk-erroi, Hacha-Kekan, Domahi, Mono Ke-En, Rong Kehum. Kukurajujh
is a folk game of Plain Karbis. Dance and Music play
an important role in the life of the Karbi Society. The Karbis have very
limited number of musical instruments. Marriage
by negotiation or by selection of life partners are the common ones. With the
coming of modernity, the practice of inter-caste marriage is observed. Marriage by negotiation (adamachar) is the common practice of the Karbis.
The Karbis
have a pristine set of rules integral to marriage. They practice tribal
endogamy and clan exogamy. The Karbi society has strict rules regarding marriage
obligations. In Karbis, divorce (kasakok) is
very rare, but permissible through the village council. Widow
re-marriage is permitted in Karbi society. Karbi society does not have the
system of dowry. Traditional medicine is in practice till date. Almost all the
respondents attend ceremonial functions. Majority
of the respondents preach Hindu religion and only a few numbers follow
Christianity. There exists a common place for worship. Almost
all
the respondents are devotees of God. Majority of them do
believe in worshipping ancestors. Various types of functions are organized in
localities as per folk calendar. They believe in purification ceremonies. Most
of them believe in Evil Spirits. Most of them are fond
of non-vegetarian diet. Now most of them are of the opinion that they
do consider milk to be Nourishing Food. Almost all of them generally wear
traditional dress at the time of rites and rituals observed in community.
Most of them are in favour of wearing traditional dress and a small section like
wearing modern dress. Half of them prefer Boka Busan (Mazaliya Bidhar Biya), a section prefer
Harhak (Bor Biya) form, and a negligible
percentage are in favour of Ranbang Luka (Parents
know but society don’t involve in it) form 
of marriages. Proper age for marriage in case of boys should
be above 21 years of age and that for girls should be above18 years of age
according to them. Though there is no inclination towards dowry system in
marriage but, in this study it is found that 28%   of the
respondents are in favour. Two third of the
respondents are in favour of offering marital freedom to boys and girls. Majority of
the respondents likes to marry a girl other than own community but the
remaining percentage hesitates.

 

                       The Plain Karbis has
adopted modernity and reformed life immensely in every sphere, starting from
food, dress, and rituals to norms, beliefs and most importantly in the overall
outlook of the tribe. Most of them treat women as economic partner as
well as housewife. Almost all of them provide equal status to women in society as par
with men allow women to take on
independent occupation. Majority of the
respondents use tools mostly for poultry farm. The appliances like Computer,
Inverter, Washing Machine are favoured by most of them but these are non
exisistent in their homes. This is to note that in maximum number of houses
Refrigerator exists. Appliances not favoured by majority of the respondents are
Geiger, Air Cooler, Kitchen Chimney and Sound System. Majority of the
respondents are not in favour of truck, bus, taxi, tracker, magic van, three
wheelers. Most of them have two wheelers. 
Regarding house, rooms, furnishings more than half of them prefer both
modern and traditional type of life style. Three fourth of them prefer modern
style of sanitary, purification of water and electrification. Little above half
of the responses reveals that modern method of maintenance of house is
preferred. Both modern and traditional type of cooking and food consumption
styles is preferred. Most of them prefer mixture of modern & traditional
style of dressing and ornaments.

                  The Plain Karbis in Greater
Guwahati area settled more than one and half century ago. They derives great
satisfaction in residing at the selected localities because of the facilities
available. This resulted in greater participation in community social service.
Majority of them are able to speak a variety of languages as the situation
demands for. The social environment has led them to understand the importance
of higher education and this has compelled them to think that it
should be the last stage of formal education. Majority of them are strongly in
favour of vocational and girls’ education. They would like to up bring the
women through adequate form of education. More than 90% of the respondents are
in favour of vocational training to
the younger generation. This suggests that they are well aware of the benefits
of vocational training which has opened their mind. The benefits of newspaper,
radio and television are well perceived and take advantages out these things
for comfortable and pleasant living. Amost all of them provide equal status to women in society as par
with men.

Knowledge
system rests on its indigenous knowledge which reflects the extent of skills,
experiences and perception of inhabitants, utilised to live sustainably. In the
emerging global knowledge economy a country’s ability to build and mobilize
knowledge capital, is equally essential for sustainable development as the
availability of physical and financial capital (World Bank, 1997)1.
Integration of traditional knowledge with modern education helps in development
of progressive outlook in an organized, scientific and productive manner.
Education provides an important socializing context, such that students’
informal interactions in schools are an influential aspect in the process of
socialization.

The
socio-political life of the tribal people is mostly regulated by customary laws
and practices. The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India was enacted so
that the tribals would be able to decide their own development models and
safeguard their customary practices and traditions which offer them a unique
identity. Developing models require educational skills. There is an urgent need
to facilitate multi-skilling strategies. Higher education is another need for
generating models. Work base learning will lead the career pathways, in this
study also there is revelations for greater value to vocational education.
Attractive, relevant and serve the demand of skilling is of urgent need for
speedy upliftment of the standard of living of the people. In the words of
Nobel Laureate, Amartya Sen, ‘You need an educated, healthy workforce to
sustain economic development’.  There is
a need to explore the skilling initiatives inside the community as the
population is agrarian. There is an opportunity and a requirement to inculcate
need based skill development and entrepreneurship promotion. It is imperative
to utilize the demographic advantages and parameters that will lead to market
linked skill development. Capacity development and skill upgradation among the
community youths has to be generated. For this crucial identification of the
relevant education streams and skill sets need to be developed among the people
to enhance their employability.

 

 

 

 

Suggestions for further Research

 There is a scope
for further research under the following areas

1.      Influence
of the educational institutions in the present day on the people of Plains
Karbis of Assam

2.      Impact
of acculturation on the people of Plains Karbi in the greater Guwahati areas of
Assam

3.      Vaue
Education among the Plains Karbi Youths

4.      Contribution
of Karbi folk culture in upliftment of the socio-economic condition of the
community.

5.      Educational
philosophy of the people of Plains Karbis of Assam.

 

 

Work
Cited :

1www.worldbank.org/afr/ik/basic.htm