Distribution of Ethnic Groups in Manipur Hills

By S. Thangboi Zou

The study of ethnicity goes beyond searching for its definitions and characteristics. Exploring the geographical pattern of ethnic groups is an interesting shift in the study of conventional and contemporary social sciences. This paper aims to analyse the nature of classification and spatial distribution of the ethnic groups in Manipur hill areas between 1991 and 2001, when the hills witnessed two ethnic conflicts during these decadal censuses. As per an official record, three tribal groups –Naga, Intermediate and Kuki-Chin-Mizo are found in the State. Internal dynamics on the discourse of ethnicity has different narratives on the ground reality. In terms of spatial distribution, the Naga group is more clustered than its counterpart Kuki-Chin-Mizo across the hills. The paper also looks into how the change in spatial pattern of distribution and redistribution of ethnic groups has largely contributed to ethnic homogenization in the hill areas of Manipur.

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