Conclusion more than one and half century ago. The




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
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


                       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.

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

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





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

3.      Vaue
Education among the Plains Karbi Youths

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

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



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