Quotes on Kuki

Published on May 24, 2003

By Paoboi Kipgen

May 25, 2003

The term Kuki, like Naga, Chin, Shendu, and many others… has come to have a fairly definite meaning, and we now understand by it certain closely allied clans with well marked characteristics, belonging to the Tibeto-Burman stock; on the Chittagong border the term is loosely applied to most of the inhabitants of the interior hills beyond the Chittagong hill Tracts; in Cachar it generally means some families of the Thadou or Khawthlang clans. In the Lushai Hills now-a-days the term is hardly ever employed, having been superseded by Lushai. In the Chin Hills and generally on the Burma border all these clans are called ‘Chin’.

– Shakespeare, Col. J., Lushai Kuki Clans’, Part I, 1912




The name Kookies has been given to this great tribe (Lushai)….


– Lt. Woodthorpe (1873: The Lushai Expedition, 1871-72)




The Lushais are the people named as Kukis. They were independent warrior tribes inhabiting the Chittagong Hills Tracts.


– Col. Lewin, T. H., ‘Hill Tracts of Chittagong and Dwellers Therein’

…. The term Kukis form a mingling of clans, speaking dialects of the same language who are known to us by various    names, such as, Kookies, Lushais, Pois, Shendus, Chins, etc…


– Reid Robert, Sir (1942, p2-3: History of the Frontier Areas Bordering on Assam Since 1873-1941)

Before the Kuki (war) of 1918-1919 the administration in the hill areas of the Manipur State was not very close, and the Kukis, ruled as they were by their own well-recognised Chiefs, and treated as they had been in the past at any rate, by the Manipur State as allies…. Managed their own affairs in their own way …


– Hutton

Perhaps some of us may not understand who the Kukis are because the term ‘Kuki’ has not been found in the list of Scheduled Tribes for Manipur. The term ‘Kuki’ had been applied to all the non-Naga tribes of Manipur, Nagaland, and North Cacahr hills for many years. Now, all of them do not agree to be called Kukis but they could not find any solution acceptable to all. Therefore, this house proposed to be constructed had been named as Kuki Inn, meaning thereby to cover all the tribes which cane under the Kukis under the old orders of 1950.

– Extracted from the speech of Pu. Thangkhopao Kipgen, Secy. (Dev.), Govt. of Manipur on the Inauguration of the Kuki Inn




The Chin people who lived in the Manipur plain, where they are called Kukis.


 – Dorothy Woodman, in “The making of Burma” Published in 1862




Racially different from the above people are the Kukis. There are many groups and sub-groups among the Kukis. They lived in the hills of Manipur and Burma. In Manipur, they usually occupy the South Western hills. Most of the Kukis are new arrivals in Manipur. Even as late as the closing decades of the Nineteenth century, hordes of Kukis arrived in Manipur and were allowed to settle here by the Manipur authority….. The reign of Nara Singh may be remembered for the arrival and settlement of Kukis in Manipur between the year1830-1840. They arrived in Manipur as they were drives north ward by the more powerful tribes. About 2000 Kukis migrated to Manipur from the south in 1877-78. They brought with them a large number of muskets and ammunitions. The Maharaja settled them near Moirang”.

– R.K. Jhalajit Singh in “A short History of Manipur”

Hrangkhol, Baite, Thadou and other kindred tribes… these have come to be called the ‘Kuki’ tribes, probably of one stock with Chins and Lushais.


 – Maj. Anthony Gilchrist McCall, O.B.E., ICS, A forward by Sir Keith CAntlie, ICS in “Lushai Chrysalis” Published in 1949.




A Chief of Chittagong sent a letter to Warren Hasting against the Kukis who invaded the hill in 1777.

– R.H. Sneyed Hutchinson in, “An Account of the Chittagong Hill Tract” Published in 1906.

Kukis is an Assamese or Bengali term; applied to various hill tribes, such as the Lushai, Rnagkhols, Thadou, etc. it seems to have been known at comparatively early period. In the Raj mala, Siva is stated to have fallen in love with a Kuki woman, and the Kuki are mentioned in connection with Tipperah Raja Chachang who flourished about 1512 AD.….Chin is a Burmese word used to denote the various hill tribes living in the country. It has been noted that the word ‘Chin’ has the same meaning as the name Kuki.

– G.A. Grierson, in “Linguistic Survey of India, Vol. III, Part III, Published in 1904.

Bamboo Dance kiti hi adihpoi; adihtah chu SUHTAH LAM kiti ahi.


 – K. Vaiphei

Pao khat akitho louvangin Kuki kahimo deh poi.


– S. Amang Kom

Kapi-Kapu, Kani-Kagang, Ka-U-Kanao; Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Burma, Mizoram leh Bangladesh a ho Kuki kitiuva kei Nagaland a ka um manna iti Naga kakitithei ding ham.


 – Lunthang Haokip, Nagaland