A brief historical linguistics of Kuki-Chin languages with special reference to diachronic linguistic studies of the Zo and other cognate languages in Myanmar(Burma) and India.
During the ancient period the Zo people are said to have possess their own script written on parchments. In course of their migration to distant lands these parchments were lost. Some believed that they were eaten by hungry dogs. Zo language is believed to be very old language as told by elders of the community. Zo language had been in usage circa A.D 850, Prof. G.H Luce stated that the though it is known as Tibeto-Burman their common language is either Chin or Kachin or the combination of both of them. The Zo language is very closely related to the Kachin language.
The coming of missionaries into the land of the Zo people nearly coincides with the education of the people and thus we may say that the historical linguistics of Zo language begins with the advent of the missionaries into the Zo country; eastern and western regions.
In the year 1912 A.D the Royal Asiatic Society, Calcutta was founded with Dr.George A.Grierson as one of its founders. In one of its journal they proposed Roman alphabet to write the dialects of the wild tribes. Zo literature also saw its birth sometime in the second decade of the 20th century. In 1904-1930,Dr.George A.Grierson prepared a detailed descriptions of Kuki-Chin languages in Part 3 Vol No.3
Dulien,Duhlian,Lusei and Lushai are one and the same language what is today known as Mizo. In 1893 R. Arthington of the Arthington Aborigines Mission sent two missionaries to Aizawl. In 1894 F.W.Savidge and J.H.Lorraine reached southwest Mizoram. They learned the Lushai(Mizo) language and introduced the Roman script for writing the unwritten Lushai language. They translated some Bible parables. They taught the people how to read and write in their mission schools. They translated the Gospel of St. John and the Acts of the Apostles in Lushai language. They were transferred in 1897.
Thus, Lushai/Lusei literature began its long journey from then onwards. In 1898, Rev.D.E Jones reached the western part of Lushai Hills. By 1899,he visited all the important villages they opened up missionary schools and taught the Duhlien dialect.
The complete New Testament was published in 1916. J.H.Lorraine started preparing the Lushai-English Dictionary which was published in 1940. The entire Holy Bible(minus Apocripha) translation was completed on 30th June,1955. It was printed at Calcutta and it was published in 1959 by BSI. Now,the Mizo language studied as MIL from Cl.IX,X in Manipur. till M.A level in the states of Meghalaya and Mizoram.
The Hmar language belongs to the Kuki-Chin-Naga sub-group of Tibeto-Burman stock of the great Sino-Tibetan family of languages. The speakers of the language are also known as Hmar. The allograph of Hmar,as recorded in some books is Mhar.
Hmar speakers are scattered over a vast area in Mizoram,Manipur, NC Hills and Cachar districts of Assam state,India. There is no homogenous settlement of Hmar speakers alone. Hmar is a recognised language in the School curriculum of Assam, Manipur and Mizoram, and also recently recognised as one of the Modern Indian Language (MIL) at Manipur University. Board of Secondary Education, Assam has also included Hmar as an MIL in its matriculation syllabus from 2005.
The beginning of written languages in Hmar can be traced to the arrival of missionaries Dr Peter Fraser and his wife Mrs. Fraser sent by Welsh Missionary Society. in 1906 at Senvon. Evangelist Watkin R.Roberts was an independent missionary.
In 1908-9, Dr. Fraser arrived at Aizawl where he opened a clinic to treat the hillmen. He appointed Rev. W.R. Roberts as his assistant. Rev. W. R. Roberts began to learn the Lushai language. He visited many villages in Lushai Hills. He bought 104 copies of the Gospel of St. John in Lushai and he distributed them among the Hmar people and one copy was specially sent to the Chief of Senvon,Mr. Kamkholun. The chief of Senvon was greatly impressed by the book he at once requested Rev. W.Roberts to come to Senvon to tell more about the book and his gospel. In those days,Senvon was the biggest Hmar village in Manipur. In spite of ,many warnings by the British officials in Aizawl from the wild head-hunters of those days,Rev.W.Roberts accompanied by two students Lungpau and Thangkhai(both belonging to Vaiphei tribe became the first Christians in Manipur south west area) began their journey from Aizawl on 31,January 1910 towards Senvon. They reached Senvon on 5th February 1910.
On the request of Chief of Senvon,Rev.W.Roberts sent three Bible students who volunteered themselves viz; Savawma,Vanzika and Thangchhingpuia to be evangelist teachers. They arrived at Senvon on 7th May 1910. They opened a Mission School at Senvon Hmunte. They also taught the Good News to the peoples besides teaching them the 3 Rs. Thus, the Hmar language saw its birth through those missionaries.
He translated the Gospel of St. John in Hmar language. In those days, the Mission was referred to as Thadou-Kuki Pioneer Mission(1910-1928) which was later on renamed as North East India General Mission(NEIGM) in 1928.
In 1920,the Gospel of Mark in Hmar,translated by Mr.F.J.Sandy of Eldh Presbyterian Mission,was published at Aizawl. Later on,the whole of the New Testament was translated by Mr. H.S Thanglung,H.L Sela and others,was published in 1946. Mr. R. Dala wrote a book titled ‘Khrista Hnena mi huai Dan’ and he published a monthly magazine called ‘Thadou-Kuki Pioneer Mission’(Khristian Tlangau Bu).
Vaiphei language The Gospel of St. John was translated into Vaiphei by Rev.Watkins.R.oberts and it was published in 1917 by Bible Society of India. The New Testament and Psalms printed in 1957 were translated by Mr. Siaklam assisted by Mssrs.Liankhopao,Khaivung,Zamkai and Pauva. In 1967,the book of Genesis was printed by the Bible Society of India. Mr. Th.Lamboi with the help of the Trinitarian Bible Society in London published Bible in 1979. Vaiphei is a developing language.
Haka/Hakha(Lai) and Khalkha languages
In 1898,Rev.Carson and his wife reached Haka to preach the Good News. On 15,March,1899, Rev. Arthur Carson and his wife of A.B.M reached Haka the capital of the Chin State/Hills,with much difficulties he managed to convert one person in 1904,after struggling for five years. He introduced the Roman alphabet and taught the people how to write in their mother tongue. He translated the New Testament into different dialects. He died on 1,April,1908 at Haka.
On 5,April,1906 Chester Strait arrived at Haka. He learnt the Haka(Lai) language well. He established a Bible school at Haka in May,1928 with few students. He prepared Sunday school lessons and translated the New Testament in Lai(Haka) language which was published by Mission Press Rangoon in 1940.
On the demand of Rev. William Pettigrew, Dr.Grozier came to Kangpokpi in the last part of 1909. From 1910 onwards,he set up a Medical Centre at Kangpokpi Mission Compound servving as Doctor for the sick and the poor. The history of this language began with the arrival of the missionaries at Kangpokpi,Manipur state. T.C Hodson(1905) called this language as Thado,Rev. William Pettigrew named it Thadou. Longkhobel Kilong(1922) and Thomsong Ngulhao(Lekhabul,Thadou Kuki first Primer 1927) called it Thadou Kuki.
T.Lunkim,in the early 1970s proposed the name of this language as ‘Kuki’. He wrote the Holy Bible in Kuki.Mssrs. Lt.R.Steward (author of ‘ A slight notice of the Grammar of Thado or New Kuki language published in the Journal of Asiatic Society of Bengal 1857) and Dament called it Thado language and local dialect it is known as Thado pao. Thadou or Thadou-Kuki is a language spoken in the states of Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur and in the Chin Hills of Burma, Homalin areas of Upper Burma and Chittagong tracts of Bangladesh. It is widely spoken language belonging to the Kuki-Chin sub-group of Tibeto-Burman sub-family of Sino-Tibetan families of languages.It shares linguistic similarities and ethnographic similarities with the other dialects of th Kuki-Chin sub-groups. Now,the Thado-Kuki language taken as MIL from Cl.IX,X till Cl.XII the state of Manipur.
The beginning of written languages in Paite can also be traced to the arrival of missionaries Dr Peter Fraser and his wiwfe Mrs. Fraser sent by Welsh Missionary Society. in 1906 at Senvon. Evangelist Watkin R.Roberts was an independent missionary.
Rev. W. R. Roberts began to learn the Lushai language. He visited many villages in Lushai Hills. He bought 104 copies of the Gospel of St. John in Lushai and he distributed them among the Hmar people and other neighbouring people.
In spite of ,many warnings by the British officials in Aizawl from the wild head-hunters of those days, Rev.W.Roberts accompanied by two students Lungpau and Thangkhai(both belonging to Vaiphei tribe became the first Christians in Manipur south west area) began their journey from Aizawl on 31,January 1910 towards Senvon. They reached Senvon on 5th February 1910.
On the request of Chief of Senvon, Rev.W.Roberts sent three Bible students who volunteered themselves viz; Savawma or Thangbula ? , Vanzika and Thangchhingpuia to be evangelist teachers. They arrived at Senvon on 7th May 1910. They opened a Mission School at Senvon Hmunte. They taught the Good News to the peoples besides teaching them the 3 Rs. He translated the Gospel of St. John in Hmar language. In those days, the Mission was referred to as Thadou-Kuki Pioneer Mission(1910-1924/28?) which was later on renamed as North East India General Mission(NEIGM) in 1924 or 1928? by Rev. H. Coleman,due to some misunderstandings between him and Rev.Watkin Roberts. Mr. H.K.Dohnuna and Rev.Watkin Roberts established a denominations called Independent Church of India(ICI). The Assembly includes various communities such as Paite,Lushai,Hmar,Thado-Kuki,Zo. From 1910 till 1947 there was one administration under the umbrella of NEIGM. As the number of tribes increased there arose linguistic problems amongst them. So,inorder to facilitate smooth functioning of the NEIGM,a resolution was passed in 1948 to divide NEIGM into different Presbyteries.
In March,1948, just before the General Assembly to be held in 1949, the South Eastern Area Presbytery consisting mainly of Paite tribe and others(e.g. Zos of South District of Manipur now known as Churachandpur district,India), resolved to remain as separate Presbytery and they held their own conference at Kaihlam in 1949. It became the first Paite Christian Conference. In 1950 Songtal conference it was renamed as Manipur Christian Convention,later on was renamed as Evangelical Convention Church, now it is Evangelical Baptist Church.
The Gospel of St. John was translated by T.C Tiankham, Nengzachin, Vungthawn, Chinlang and Thangkhawgin were published by NEIGM. The first edition of the New Testament and Psalms as translated by the above persons was published in 1951 by the Bible Society of India(BSI). Another version of the New Testament edited by Rev. Nengzachin,Jamkhothang,Vungthawn,Nengthawn,Khamkam and Englian was printed in 1959 by BSI. The complete Bible in Paite(minus Apocripha) was translated by Rev. Nengzachin and committee was published in 1971.
Now,the Paite language taken as MIL from Cl.IX,X til B.A(TDC) in the state of Manipur.
Tiddim Chin or Tedim Chin language
Like Mizo, Paite, Thadou-Kuki, Hmar, Siyin, Gangte, Vaiphei, Zotung, Zophei, Mara and other Kuki-Chin languages, the Tiddim Chin is writtten in Roman script which was introduced by Rev. J.H Cope in about 1910 A.D in Tedim town the Chin Hills of Myanmar(Burma).
The origin and growth of the Tiddim Chin language and its literature owes to one great missionary; Rev. Joseph Hebert Cope of American Baptist Mission. In December 21,1908, he reached Haka and learnt the Haka and Falam dialects to spread the word of God but he was not very successful. In 1910, he arrived at Tedim town in Chin Hills, Myanmar(Burma) and he learnt the Tedim-Chin or Tiddim-Chin the local language of those areas. He had to face a lot of resistance and hardships especially from the orthodox Tiddim people. It took many years to convert souls for Christ.
Kamhau dialect, Tedim, Tedim-Chin, Tiddim-Chin language
Prior to the development of Zo language in Burma, the most developed language and literature was that of Kamhau dialect later on rechristened as Tedim Chin or Tiddim Chin dialect found in the region covering Tedim, Tonzang, Teizang, Mualpi etc the Northern Chin Hills of Burma. The loconym Tedim is the allograph of Tiddim-Chin vice-versa.
In the beginning of the 20th century Pu Kamhau one of the Sukte Chiefs(Innpite) of the Chin Hills, patronized and propagated his own dialect which was very similar to the present Tiddim-Chin dialect. He made it as the official language of his tracts with the patronage of the British Rulers and British missionaries of those days. It was known as Kamhau dialect. In many books it is also recorded as Sukte dialect. Rev. J.H. Cope compiled hymn book in Tedim dialect and he also published portions of the Gospels. In 1913, he compiled the first Chin Primer in Tedim dialect using Roman Scripts called Mang Tual Lai). In 1915, J.H Cope translated the ‘Mate Lai Siangtho’ (Gospel of St.Mathew) in Kamhau dialect and it was printed by British & Foreign Bible Society,Rangoon and the ‘Zawhang Lai Siangtho’(Gospel of St.John) in Kamhau dialect, 1923. These Bibles were the forerunners of the later days Tiddim-Chin Bibles. In 1931, The Sermont on the Mount was published in Pau Cin Hau script with the help of Mrs. Cope and Pu Thang Cin Kham of Tonzang village. Due to the non-availability of printing technology for this script it could not be fully developed as a means of education in schools. He began to publish a 16 page bulletin called Tedim Thukizakna with the help of local pastors and literates from 1919 till his death in 1938.
About 1920-21, there was a Educational Conference at Falam which agreed to develop the Roman alphabet as a medium of instructions for schools in place of Burmese. The Chin Education Conference at Maymyo was held on 23rd October 1923, wherein the members resolved to prepare school text-books in Tiddim-Chin language. Consequently, in 1922, Rev. J.H Cope was confered the rank of Honorary Inspector of Schools for the whole of Chin Hills. Henceforth, he was known as Sângmâng Pa ‘Master of Schools’. In the year 1925, he organized all the Primary Schools into Tedim Chin Primary Schools.
As informed by Rev. Thang Kho Chin of Phaitu village, it is recorded that when Rev. J.H Cope tried to prepare folktales in the Tiddim-Chin Readers he could not satisfactorily gather detailed accounts of the Zo folktales among the Tedim/Tiddim speaking people, it is said that some Tedim/Tiddim speaking elders advised Rev. J.H Cope, to collect the Zo folktales and stories from the the Zo people who still preserve their ancient customs, traditions and folktales, still in tact. So, he consulted and interviewed Pu Tuong Za Go of Lomzang village in Tongzang Myuone who knew many Zo folktales and stories, thus many Zo folktales and legends were incorporated into the Tiddim Chin reader. Much of the original and native Zo speech patterns and language were also incorporated in it. By 1925 A.D he prepared the Tiddim-Chin Readers. Later on, through revisions, the original Zo speech patterns and language usages found in the Tiddim-Chin Readers were gradually dropped in place of native Tiddim-Chin dialect. Perhaps, due to these historical facts of its origin and same ethnicity of the people of the regions, the Tiddim-Chin dialect is also named as Zo Lai in vernacular context by the scholars and writers, further linguistically it can also be proved that Tiddim-Chin dialect is a developed form of Zo language or a variety of Zo language.
In 1931,Rev J.H Cope translated portions of the New Testament in Tedim dialect. In 1932, assisted by Sia Vial Nang, Rev. J.H.Cope completed the first complete New Testament Bible in the Chin Hills which was published by British and Foreign Bible Society(Rangoon) in Kamhau/Tiddim-Chin dialect. In 1948, Sia Hau Go reprinted the New Testament, in Tedim Chin (Lai Siangtho thak, Tedim kam). In 1967, the New Testament and Psalms in Tedim kam was published by Bible Society of India, was officially released at Guwahati Conference of CBCNEI. On 12th June 1977, under the aegis of the Tedim Baptist Association and Chin Baptist Association(Lamka), with the assistance of the Bible Society of India published the complete Holy Bible(minus Apocripha) translated and edited by Rev. Kam Khaw Thang of Burma, was released at Churachandpur, Manipur.
The Tiddim Chin or Tedim dialect is in fact, one of the most developed variety of Zo languages in Myanmar. It is an amalgamation of different Zo dialects which was spoken mainly in Tiddim/Tedim settlement and its surrounding villages, almost coinciding with the rise of the Sukte Chiefs of Chin Hills. The various Tedim Chin scholars of different professions have been trying to rechristen this language into full-fledged Zo language i.e Zokam since the early times of its inception, but their efforts have not really come into fruition till date. It seems that there is conceptual conflicts amongst the Tiddim Chin speakers as regards to naming Tiddim Chin language as Zokam thereby, totally abandoning the old nomenclature i.e Tiddim Chin which has found its way into world famous libraries and vernacular books since 1925 A.D. The Golden Jubilee of Zo Lai kum sawnga cin’na Pawi(1925-1975); Tiddim Chin Vernacular Golden Jubilee under the Chairmanships of Pu Shiing Khan Thang and Rev. Khup Za Go was commemorated in December, 1975 at Tangnuam, Churachandpur, Manipur, which was known as TIDDIM CHIN VERNACULAR GOLDEN JUBILEE. Thus, the origin, growth and develpment of Tiddim Chin language in Burma through the pioneering works of Rev.J.H Cope, benefited the people from the point of literature and religion.
The Gospel of St. Mathew was first book to be translated and published in 1951 by the BSI. The whole New Testament translated by Mr. Thongzakham and Mr. Vungzadal was published in 1959. The entire Bible (minus Apocripha) was translated by Mr. Khaigin Gangte of Evangelical Christian Synod(formerly known as Manipur Christian Synod) printed in 1991.
The Gospel of St. Mathew was translated by Evan. Lunkhohen of American Baptist Mission was printed by BSI in 1954 and the entire New Testament was published in 1976 under the Chief translator Mr. Daniel Kom.
The Gospel of St. John was translated by Mr. Ramlien Pudaite in 1957. The New Testament was printed in 1975 published by Trinitarian Bible Society of London. The entire Bible based on KJV English (minus Apocripha) was released on 20th January 1993 at Churachandpur,New Testament Baptist Church. The Simte language is the most recent offshoot of Zo/Zou language.
Diachronic/Historical linguistics of the development and growth of Zo language in Myanmar (Burma) and India.
Like Mizo (Lushai), Tiddim-Chin (Tedim-Chin), Paite, Thadou-Kuki, Hmar, Sizang (Siyin), Gangte, Vaiphei, Zotung, Zophei, Mara and other Kuki-Chin languages, Zo or Zou is writtten in Roman script which was introduced by Rev. J.H Cope in the year 1910 A.D in Tedim township of the Chin Hills of Myanmar (Burma).
The development and growth of Tiddim-Chin literature and Zo language owes to one great missionary; Rev. Joseph Hebert Cope of American Baptist Mission in Burma. In December 21,1908, he reached Haka and learnt the Haka and Falam dialects to spread the word of God but he was quite unsuccessful. In 1910, he arrived at Tedim town in Chin Hills, Myanmar (Burma) and he learnt Tedim-chin/Tiddim-Chin dialect.
He had to face a lot of resistance and hardships initially, especially from the orthodox Zos and Tedims, due to their orthodox beliefs in Lawkism1; which is a form of ancient ancestor worship or religion known in vernacular as ‘Pusá Biehna’ or Sakhuo. They were worshippers of a Supreme Being known to them as Pasièn and his helper Lungzai, and also their ancestors’ spirit called ‘Pusá’. The practice of social drinking was widely prevalent in those days.
In order to trace the development and growth of Zo language and its literature, it would be rather incomplete without first tracing the development and growth of the Tiddim/Tedim-Chin) language. Since, the Zo orthography and its literature developed side by side along with Tiddim Chin especially in Burma (Myanmar) and also partly in India, therefore, it will be befitting to highlight the development of the Tiddim Chin language vis-a-vis Kamhau dialect. The Tiddim/Tedim-Chin language is said to be an amalgamation of different Kuki-Chin cognate languages (dialects) which were spoken by various clans and tribes who settled in Tiddim/Tedim settlement roughly coinciding with the rise of the Sukte Chiefs in the Chin Hills under Colonial rulers. Prior to the development of Zo language; its orthography and its literature in Myanmar (Burma) and India, the Kamhau2 or Sukte dialect was patronized by the Colonial rulers and developed under the care of Christian missionaries. Later, it was rechristened as Tiddim Chin which was spoken in the areas covering Tedim, Teizang, Mualpi etc the Northern Chin Hills of Burma. The loconym Tedim is the allograph of Tiddim-Chin vice-versa21.
In the beginning of the 20th century Pu Kamhau one of the Sukte Chiefs (Innpite) of the Chin Hills, it is said to have patronized and propagated his own dialect which was very similar to the present day Tiddim-Chin dialect. He made it as the official language of his tracts with the patronage of the British Rulers and Missionaries of those days in the Chin Hills.
The Zos who mostly settled high up in the hills of Northern Chin Hills used to called the Southern people i.e ‘the Southerners’ or ‘People of the south’ as Sìmté or Sìmlángmí as it is evident from the Zo words, phrases and poems23. Similarly, the Tedims used to call them Zote (Zos).
Rev. J.H. Cope compiled hymn book in Tedim3 (Kamhau) dialect and he also published portions of the Gospels. In 1913, he compiled the first Chin Primer in Kamhau dialect using Roman Scripts called Mang Tual Lai. In 1915, J.H Cope translated the ‘Mate Lai Siangtho’ (Gospel of St. Mathew) in Kamhau dialect, it was printed by British & Foreign Bible Society, Rangoon and ‘Zawhang Lai Siangtho’(Gospel of St. John) in Kamhau dialect in 1923. These Bibles were the forerunners of the later day Tiddim-Chin Bibles. He began to publish a 16 page bulletin called Tedim Thukizakna with the help of local pastors and literates from 1919 till his death in 1938.
About 1920-21, there was Educational Conference at Falam which agreed to develop the Roman alphabet as a medium of instruction for schools in place of Burmese. The Chin Education Conference at Maymyo was held on 23rd October 1923, wherein the members resolved to prepare school text-books in Tiddim-Chin language. Consequently, in 1925, Rev. J.H Cope was confered the rank of Honorary Inspector of Schools for the whole of Chin Hills. Henceforth, he was known as Sângmâng Pa ‘Master of Schools’. In the year 1925, he organized all the Primary Schools into Tedim Chin Primary Schools.
As informed by Rev. Thang Kho Chin4 (aged 85 years in July 1996 A.D) of Phaitu village, that when Rev. J.H Cope tried to prepare folktales for the Tiddim-Chin Readers he could not satisfactorily gather detailed accounts of the Zo folktales among the Tedim/Tiddim speakers. It is said that he was advised by some Tedim/Tiddim speaking elders to collect the Zo folktales and stories from Zo people themselves, who preserve their ancient religion, customs, traditions and folktales, still in tact. It is said that he consulted and interviewed Pu Tuong Za Go4 of Lomzang village in Tonzang Myuone who was attributed to have known many Zo folktales and stories, thus, he could colledt many Zo folktales, legends, myths and stories, which were incorporated into early editions of Tiddim Chin readers. Alongwith the folktales much of the original and native Zo speech patterns and language were also included in them. By 1925 A.D Rev. J.H Cope prepared the Tiddim-Chin Readers. Later on, through revisions the native Zo speech patterns and usages were gradually replaced with Tiddim-Chin dialect as it is told by Zo elders.
In 1931, Rev J.H Cope translated portions of the New Testament in Tedim dialect. In 1932, assisted by Sia Vial Nang, Rev. J.H.Cope completed the first complete New Testament Bible in the Chin Hills which was published by British and Foreign Bible Society (Rangoon) in Kamhau/Tiddim-Chin dialect. In 1948, Sia Hau Go reprinted the New Testament, in Tedim Chin (Lai Siangtho thak, Tedim kam). In 1967, the New Testament and Psalms in Tedim kam was published by Bible Society of India, was officially released at Guwahati Conference of C.B.C.N.E.I.2&3
On 12th June 1977, under the aegis of the Tedim Baptist Association and Chin Baptist Association (Lamka), with the assistance of the Bible Society of India published the complete Holy Bible (minus Apocripha) translated and edited by Rev. Kam Khaw Thang of Burma, was released at Churachandpur, Manipur. Thus, the development and growth of Zo language in Burma vis-a-vis Tiddim-Chin language through the pioneering works of Rev. J.H Cope, benefited the people from the point of history, culture, literature and religion. Many Tiddim/Tedim-Chin writers of different professions have been trying to rechristen the Tiddim-Chin language into Zomi language since the early 1970s, but their efforts have not really come to fruition till date. There seems to be no consensus among Tiddim Chin speakers with regards to renaming it; as Zomi language or Zokam, meaning thereby, totally abandoning of the old nomenclature i.e Tiddim-Chin, which has, in fact, been widely recorded and written down in hundreds of vernacular books and also it has found its way into world famous libraries and museums since its inception. The Golden Jubilee of Tiddim Chin Vernacular, organised by the Tiddim Chin Vernacular Golden Jubilee Committee under the Chairmanship of Mr. Shiing Khan Thang and Rev. Khup Za Go was commemorated in December, 1975 at Tangnuam village, Churachandpur, Manipur, India. It was known as Tiddim Chin Vernacular Golden Jubilee (1925-1975)18.
The Zo language and its literature remained obscure and unknown for pretty long period of tribal history, perhaps, due to the following reasons viz:- (i) hatred and rejections of new alien religion of the Colonial rulers, which retarded their pace of conversions into Christianity which occured rather quite late, as it is evinced from the late conversions of many as compared to other tribes, as recent as 1950-60s. The reason being they were orthodox ancestor-worshippers; and they were still practising the ancient religion of their forefathers; Lawkism1. (ii) The other possible reasons are lack of education and literacy, and (iii) regional geo-politics. The Sukte chiefs under the Colonial rulers were known as Innpité in vernacular parlance. They patronized the Tiddim Chin language only. It is told that there were constant struggles for regional supremacy and dominance between the Zo chiefs and the Sukte chiefs16. The word Zo is the allograph of Zou or Jou vice-versa.
After the Britishers left India and Burma, the Kuki-Chin linguistic family of cognate languages suffered much disintegrations, differentiations, diversifications and divergences in terms of their orthographies especially in North East India. With floodgates of tribe recognitions in the early 1950s by Government of India (vis-a-vis Government of Manipur), various speech/dialectical communities of the Kuki-Chin linguistic groups began to adopt their own dialects as the basis of their ethnic identity and tribal fragmentation to attain new tribal status or tribalhood. Thus, the Kuki-Chin linguistic families and its socio-political world was split up vertically and horizontally into various ethnic dialectical minority groups or components namely; Aimol, Anal, Chiru, Chothe, Khuoibu, Kom, Lamkang, Paite, Simte, Thadou, Gangte, Vaiphei, Zo/Zou or Zome etc. Thus, in general we may say that they moved from their self-contained independent and self-respecting hill chieftainship status to newly created tribalhood or tribal status in post-Independence era; which became a boon for them on socio-economic fronts and it became rather a bane on political fronts.
Prior to the 1950s, both the Zos in Burma and India were staunch believers of their ancient forefathers religion; Lawkism. In the early 1950s, with the advent and full invasion of foreign religion in the form of Christianity, slowly and steadily majority of the Zous were converted into Christianity while some were converted individually, the major chunk of population underwent mass conversion under their respective clan-head (Tûlpí) or village chieftain, resulting in drastic transformations of their socio-economic and kinship systems, customs, cultures, and their tribe unity and solidarity. With the advent of this new faith and its missionary activities came along the modern/western education. Many youngmen became literate and were enlightened through Christianity. In course of time, the newly educated persons felt the necessity of having a Church denominations of their own, based on their tribe or community to enable them to worship in their own mother tongue. It is told that many longed to have hymn books and the Bible in their own mother tongue. Since the beginnning of the 20th century in the early period of their Christianization, the Zo/Zou community of Burma and India were using either Paite or Tedim Hymn Books and Gospels. Some people also used Lushai Bible as it is said. In 1946, some schools were opened among the Zous in South district of Manipur state.
The E.C.C missionaries Mssrs; Vungdal, Khamzalian, Thongluon used to preach the Gospel among the Zous of the then South District of Manipur state, India. Some people were converted to Christianity. However, in those days, there was no single organised Zou Christian denomination amongst them, in fact, they were scattered among various denominations such as E.C.C, E.A.C, A.B.M etc. After a few years many Zous left their parent denominations and M.C. Convention/E.C.C which were under N.E.I.G which was later on rechristened as Evangelical Congregational Church of India (E.C.C.I) in November, 1986.
Some newly educated Zous began to organise the new converts into their own association, perhaps, due to various reasons like tribal solidarity, linguistics incompatibility or other some reasons as perceived by them, then. On 20, February, 1954, they founded a new denomination known as ‘Jou Christian Association’8&19 (J.C.A) at Daijang village, South district, Manipur under the Chairmanship of Mr. T. Ngulzakhup. In 1956, they held the second J.C.A session at Buhsau village in which they renamed it as Manipur Christian Conference (M.C.C), so as to get a separate Presbytery affiliation under N.E.I.G.M. Through their newly established church denomination the Zous began to develop their language and literature in their mother tongue. The first hymn book called ‘Zomi Christian Labupi’ was printed in 1954 (500 copies) compiled and edited by Zomi Theme Committee, Tuaitengphai under the leadership of Mr. Thonghang (T.Tungnung), Mr Kaizakham (K.Phiemphu) and Mr Semkhopao (S.K.Samte). The hymn book is a unique piece, in a sense that those songs were written with copious usage of Zo poetical words, metaphors and similes which touches one’s heart and soul even today. The second, third, fourth editions came out in 1956 (2,000 copies), 1970 (3000 copies), 1985 (1000 copies) and 1989 (3000 copies; tonic solfa) with much dilutions of poetical forms and contents respectively. In the early period before Independence there was no such thing as International boundaries between India and Burma. People of both countries used to freely move from one country to another. Therefore, the writing styles or spelling usages of many early Zo writers were much influenced by the Tiddim/Tedim Chin readers known in vernacular parlance as Zolai some writers, the first evidence is the mentionings of Zolai Tan I, Tan II, Tan III, Tan Li, by elderly persons which i often used to hear from them in my childhood, as also can be seen by the spelling usages employed by literate Zo elders in their writings till date in India and Myanmar (Burma). Although, the Tedim Chin spellings (J.H Cope orthography) exerted much influence upon Zo/Zou orthography, the other significant orthographic influences upon its spelling usage came from none other than Paite orthography and Thadou-Kuki orthography respectively. Because, one can find one of the unique features of the Zo literature of that period is that; the writing styles or spellings used by them consist of a curious mixture of A, B, Ch, O/Ou orthography, J.H Cope orthography (Tedim-Chin) and J.H Lorrain orthography (Hunterian, Lushai/Mizo) respectively. It is seen and proven by the usages of O as Ou dipthong as in Zomi, Zo, Zola, Zothau, Zokuomthawn etc and also ou as an independent dipthong as in; dou, hou, lou, tou, mou, kou, phou, vou, zou etc and the consonant ch as used by Paite, Thadou-Kuki, Hmar and Mizo (Lushai) orthographies, in place of c (J.H Cope’s system of writing).
All these influences became the stepping stone for the beginning of a new kind of spelling usages i.e orthography which comes very close to Zo native speech phonology (phonetics). The orthographies employed by Hma%r orthography, Ga%ngté orthography are very close to the native phonetics transcription and to some extent by Tha%dou-Kuki orthography classic examples are found in Thadou-Kuki ‘Suongmantam Dictionary5 and Thadou-Kuki-English Dictionary22.
The consonant ch seems to have been adopted from either the Pàité or Thadou-Kuki orthography via Lushai/Mizo orthography or perhaps, even from the Hma%r orthography. The dipthong ou seems to have come from Paite or Thadou-Kuki spelling usages. The newly educated persons of the Zou/Zo society who were, in fact, the last people to receive the Gospel (as explained earlier) alongwith its modern education, began to use and adapt the then existing various orthographies already in usages by other cognate tribes. They employed them in a well-mixed and balanced manner so as to suit their native tongue, at the same time, as far as possible they always strived towards ensuring that a much more meaningful phonetic spelling usages are employed for their unwritten Zo language for the first time in modern history. Therefore, they started to use, mixing the ou dipthong as well as o dipthong (zo as well as zou or jou ); ie dipthong in place of ia dipthong, uo dipthong in stead of ua dipthong , ch in place of c; thus, arriving at spelling usages or orthography which is more suited to their language as they perceived to be so. Consequently, they adopted a new system of orthography i.e spelling usages departing from the old existing orthographies which were in vogue, further blending them in consonance with the sound system of their native tongue beginning the early 1980s with the printing the Holy Bible in Zo12 in 1983 A.D.
Pu.S.K Samte published the first newspaper known as ‘Jougam Thusuo’ in March, 1954. He used a mixture of J.H. Cope orthography; A, AW, B, C...Z etc and the A, B, C....Z system based on some resemblanc of phonological features of the then unwritten Zo language, as it is evident from the spellings found in the newspaper.
In 1956 A.D, (L) T. Nengkhogin prepared and published a Zou primer known as ‘Jou Simpat Bu’11 with the assistance of Pu S.K Samte. In that book he used the Roman Script which is modified version of the English Alphabet. Since, he was the pioneer in Zou orthography (reading and writing system) in Manipur, India he could be given the title of the Pioneer of Zou Literature (Zou la%i gièl masapá) in Indian context.
Mr. T. Gougin, Subedar Thangkhokam, Mr. Vummâng and Mr. Jâmkhogin painstakingly collected, compiled and edited the ancient mores, cultures, customs and traditions of the Zou people from the various Zou chiefs of Manipur and got it published by Pu Nengjakham and Pu Sianjahao in July 1957, the first ever Jou Customary Law9 book alongwith the patronage of all Jou/Zou chiefs. Thus, all of them may be given the titles of the Fathers of Zou Customary Law book. In the year 1958, Pu S.K.Samte prepared 4 (four) books they are; Jou Lai Bu Ina, Jou Lai Bu IIna, Tuottung Bu and Jou Hindi Simpat. In 1961, Pu T.Gougin M.A published a book on Zou people known as ‘A Brief History of Zou’. Sometime in the year 1965-67, Mr. T. Thonghang, Mr. S. Semkhopao and Mr. P. Kaizakham translated the New Testament in Zomi which was published by the Bible Society of India.
In the year 1967, Mr. Thangkhanlal17 prepared books on Zo language viz; Zolai Bu Khatna, Zolai Bu Nina, Naupangte Zolai Patna, Learners English Grammar. He followed the Hunterian system i.e A, Aw, B, Ch orthography which is adopted by the Lushai (Mizo) literature and partly of Rev. J.H Cope’s orthography which is still used by the Tedim-Chins and some Zo people in Burma. Mr. Mangsuanthang also prepared some Zo Primers following the same orthography.
In the year 1973 the Catholic Church Sugnu, Manipur published Doxology and Hymn book known as “Katholik Pawlpi Thungetna leh Mass Labu” in Zo language compiled by Mr. M. Samuel Khamzakhup. It contains spelling usage very similar to the present day spellings usages of dipthongs ie, uo etc. He employed the unvoiced lateral aveolar fricative ‘hl’ (which he transcripted as ‘lh’; that is he used the word ‘lhagau’ i.e ‘hlaga!u’) as original Zo native tongue in this book. It was bitterly criticized by some ethnocentric Zou speakers who were actually ignorant about the existence the unvoiced lateral aveolar fricative ‘hl’ in Zo/Zou, therefore, they straight-away categorized it as a borrowing from the Thadou-Kuki’s lateral approximant ‘lh’ and rejected that edition just for this simple reason, and so, in later editions of the hymn book the lateral fricative ‘lh’ was totally dropped giving a prominent role of glottal fricative ‘h’ which meant switching over to ‘haga!u’ in place of ‘hlaga!u. Thus, linguistic ethno-centricism was allowed to prevail over applied/pure linguistics objectivity.
Throughout ages all over the world, in almost all cultures and societies the sacred books and hymns of a society have always been the cornerstone and basic sources of literature and literary styles, and they have been playing great role in the development and progress of the people’s language and literature. Therefore, i shall now, briefly give the outlines of the genesis13 of the Holy Bible in Zo which is the springboard of Zo/Zou literature and orthography for general knowledge of public. The dawn of the 1970s saw the rise of newly educated class of Zo society with renewed resurgence in terms of language and literature amongst the Zo society. The educated people as well as religious leaders and pastors of the Zou society were earger to have a complete Holy Bible in their own languge. To that aim in their mind, the M.G.P leaders prayed to B.S.I to publish a complete Holy Bible in Zo. But their prayers were flatly rejected by B.S.I on the grounds of lack of market and lack of support by others. Those events imbibed in them a greater zeal amongst them to have a complete Holy Bible in their own language, therefore, those events became great turning points for closer collaborations between Catholics and Protestants to have a common Holy Bible in Zo, and also for a larger market as well. Bro. A.Nehkhojang who was undergoing priestly training at Bangalore met and requested; Mr. C. Arangaden and Dr. M.P John, to print the complete Holy Bible in Zo, to that both of them agreed. They presented him the a booklet titled ‘The Guiding Principles for Inter-Confessional Bible Translation’.
On the 4th July, 1974 the Zo religious leaders and secular leaders welcomed Dr. M.P John at M.G.P house, Zomi Colony, Churachand-pur with a Zo traditional shawl followed by a high lunch. In that meeting he spoke about the benefits of having the complete Bible and he also declared his approval to print the Zo Holy Bible infront of the people. On 14th June, 1975 Rev. T. Ginzapao and Rev. Fr. Joy had a joint meeting at Don Bosco School, Phailien. Thereafter, ‘Zomi Inter-Confessional Bible Translation Project’ took off with much enthusiasm. The ‘Zomi Inter-Confessional Bible Translation Committee’ (Z.I.C.B.T.C) was set up with Elder Tunzakap as first Chairman and Mr. Stephen Semkholun as its Secretary.
On 29th June 1975 the second meeting took place where a Review Committee comprising the following members; Rev. Lienchinkhup Taithul B.D, Bro. A.Nehkhojang and Mr P. Kaizakham with Mr. S.K Hao and Mr Felix Hemkhosoi as their assistants. As per the ‘The Guiding Principles for Inter-Confessional Bible Translation’ two committees were formed viz; Consultative Committte and Translation Committee. The following were the composition of the Consultative Committee. Members from M.G.P 1. Mr. Ngulzaneng 2. Elder P. Kaizakham B.A 3. Mr. Kaikhohao Finance Secy 4. Elder T. Dongzagin 5. Mr. Huatzakhai 6. Elder Langginmang
7. Mr. Thongpao Taithul 8. Mr. Ngulkhohen
Members from Catholic
1. Mr. Stephen Semkholun 2. Mr. T. Leo Kamchinthang
3. Bro. T. Aloysius Nehkhojang 4. Mr. John Lunkhohao B.A
5. Catechist Peter Kammang 6. Catechist Samuel Khamzakhup
7. Mr. Paul Zamkholun
The following were the members of the Translation Committee.
1. Rev. L. Taithul B.D (MEP) 2. S.K Samte L.Th (MEP)
3. Rev. Ginzapao (MGP) 4. Rev. P.Khupdoukham (MGP)
5. Pro.Pastor T. Goulien L.Th (MGP) 6. Samuel Khamzakhup (Catholic)
7. John Amchinkam (Catholic) 8.Peter Kammang (Catholic)
9. Bro. Aloysius Nehkhojang (Catholic) 10. Evan. Chinzakhai B.Th (ZBC)
On 24th July 1975, on its third meeting, Rt. Rev. Abraham Alangimatathil D.D, Bishop of Kohima-Imphal Diocese and Rev. Fr. Augustine Reinbort attended the meeting at Don Bosco School Hall, Phailien. They assured the meeting that the Zo Holy Bible would be surely printed and Bishop exhorted them to work hard for the translation of the Bible and the rest would be taken care of by him. On its 4th meeting at Don Bosco School Hall, Phailien under the Chairmanship of Mr. Tunzakap the Review Committee was expanded to include new members; Mr. M. Siehzathang, Mr. Lienzakap Dopmul, Mr. Peter Kammang, Mr. T.C Tungnung and Mr. Ginzapao. The First Review Meeting took place form September 1-30, 1975. On 18th February 1976, the 6th meeting was held at Elder T. Dongzagin’s Residence, Rengkai under the Chairmanship of Mr. T.Thongpao, the Z.I.C.B.T.C was expanded to include Vice-Chairman and Joint Secretary. The Review Camp started on 24th February 1976 at Daijang village and it ended on 22nd February 1977 with grand celebration with Rev. Fr. Joy as its Chief Guest, the event was attended by Bishop, Fr. Devassy and Fr. Joy. All of them were gifted with Zo traditional shawl.
The 11th meeting was held at Mr. Kaikhohao’s Residence at Zomi Colony, to review the N.T from April-May 1977 since the Chairman, Mr. Kamzadou Samte was not present the chair was occupied by Elder Chinzakhai. On 11th July 1977 Mr. Thongpao, Mr. Semkholun and Bro. Nehkhojang met Bishop and they got his approval to place the Apocrypha (Deuterocanonical) in between the O.T and N.T. On 13th August 1977 under the Chairmanship of Mr. Thongpao the Z.I.C.B.T.C was re-constituted with the following persons. Chairman: Bro.Aloysius Nehkhojang, Vice-Chairman: Thongpao, Secretary:T. Semkholun,Jt.Secy:H.Chinzakhai, Treasurer: T. Ngulkhohen. On 26th November 1978 Bro. Aloysius Nehkhojang left for S.I.G.A, Madras. On 19th March 1982 Catechist Samuel Khamzakhup left for S.I.G.A, Madras to assist Bro. Aloysius Nehkhojang in the press proof-reading. After more than 7 years of hard work and difficulties, the Holy Bible in Zo12 was finally released by Rt. Rev. Joseph Mittathany D.D, Bishop of Imphal at Good Shepherd Parish, Churachandpur, Manipur State, India for the first time in Zou history with grand and sumptuous lunch.
In the late 1970s Mr. Siehzathang claimed to have discovered the lost script of Zo language in his dreams!. On analysis, it seems to be admixture of some Indic and Burmese scripts. By this findings, it is not intended to belittle his great love and efforts to develop a completely new Zo script and its literature. The discovery rather his invention of this script shows his creativity and his great love for his language. However, if one has to adopt it as Zo script or script for all Kuki-Chin languages it needs further fine tuning and changes in terms of tones and the vowel system. The Zo Script Development Society was recently formed in Churachandpur, Manipur for furtherance of this script. It published a Primer in 2009 A.D.
The history of Zo linguistic or language in India saw a great turning-point beginning with the translation of Holy Bible in Zo in 1983 A.D. In 1995, under the aegis of the Bible Society of India, Bangalore, Rev. L.Taithul published the Holy Bible in Zomi minus Apocripha. This Bible is also another unique piece of work in a sense it has preserved many original linguistic structures, phrases and idioms and terminologies of Zo language. These two versions of the Holy Bible in Zo language has been instrumental in bringing about uniformity in orthography and has greatly influenced the literature world of the Zo community. Thus, the Zo people came to terms with two synonyms for Lord or Master ‘Mângpá and ‘Tópá’/Tóupá. Of course, the term ‘Mângpá’ used more widely and it is preferred form by the majority in India for the meaning of the term ‘Lord’ or ‘Master’. The older orthographies of Rev. John.H.Cope and James Herbert Lorraine who followed the Hunterian system developed by Sir William Hunter-author of Imperial Gazetteer (1900), underwent profound changes during the past 27 years of the existence of the Bibles in Zo language (Zokam/Zoha%m) in India and Burma. The older orthagraphies have been modified to suit the Zo speech sounds. Perhaps, the great pioneer in the modernization of Zo orthography (Zou spelling zahda%n) is none other than Bro. T. Aloysius Nehkhojang, for his untiring love and sacrifice for Zos. Thus, it maybe concluded that older Spelling system was modified to suit and fit the native original Zo language. It is quite befitting that he be given the title of the Pioneer of the Zo Holy Bible Orthography and the Chief Translator of the First Holy Bible in Zo (1983).
The Zou Literature Society Manipur was registered in the year 1995 A.D under the Manipur Societies Registration Act 1989 with its headquarters in Zomi Colony, Churachandpur, Manipur, India. In 2000 A.D, the Zou Literature Society, Manipur published books for Cl.IX to Cl.XII, which are used in the state of Manipur in India. The orthography used in these books are mainly based on the the Bibles of Zo language, however, the books published by Zou Literature Society Manipur employs a lot of double vowels, which was incidentally devised by myself partially in my book titled ‘Zou Haamdih’ which was approved by the United Zomi Organisation, General Assemby-cum-Election at Singat in the year 1995. The usages of double vowels and copious hyphens and dashes in between compound words looks somewhat cumbersome and quite unnecessary, if they can be reviewed at the early it will be better.
The Zou Cultural-cum-Literature Society Delhi in the year 1998 was registered under the Indian Societies Registration Act, 1860 at Delhi, which is now rechristened as Zou Cultural-cum-Literature Society India (Zoculsin) with its headquarters at New Delhi. Besides, these societies there are other literature committees set up and maintained by various Church denominations for the development of Zo language; prominent among them is Zomi Christian Literature Committee of the former Zomi Christian Church now converted into Manipur Evangelical Lutheran Church (M.E.L.C), which is publishing a monthly magazine ‘Gospel Tangkou’. The Zou Presbyterian Church is regularly bringing out a bulletin called Khristian Tangkou. Both these bulletins more or less follow the Bible orthographies. In the field of dance and music, Zogam Leidi Party, Zou Cultural Troupe, and Zou Musical Society are doing some works. Some erratic newspapers and magazines also used to appear from time to time but only to discontinue after sometime. At present there is no daily newspaper and magazine in Zo language. Therefore, there is an urgent need to publish atleast one each so as to upkeep the language.
In 2001A.D, the Zo Baptist Association Hqtrs, Kalaymyo, Myanmar (Burma) published a magazine known as ‘A.D 2000, ZO MAGAZINE’4 dated March 2001 which gives a lot of information about the history, language, culture and religions of Zo people in Burma. One notable feature of this book is that it is written according to the orthography followed in the Holy Bibles in Zo language (1983 and 1995 versions). The magazine contains proper blends of the old orthography (J.H Cope’s) and new orthography A,B,C,D,….Z system as propounded by Mr. Aloysius Nehkhojang which also again consists of beautiful blends of the old ones and the new ones. The orthography adopted in this magazine is easy to read but this newest trend in the orthography requires fine tuning inorder to adopt it for Zo language. In 2001A.D, Rev. Fr. Andrew Gou Lien published a book called Catholic Biehpiehna leh Missa Bu (Zokam) for the Catholic Church of Haka diocese, Myanmar, using the same orthography as found in the Zo Bibles. In 2006 A.D, under the aegis of the Zou Cultural-cum-Literature Society India, Delhi (Zoculsin) 5 (five) books were published viz:
(i) Dictionary of Zo Poetic Words, Metaphors and Similes Vol.I.
( ii) The Brief biography of Subedar Peter Thangkhokam Tungdim
(iii) Ka Hinkhuo Tomkim by Mari Lienzanieng compiled by me
(iv) Ka Katekizam Masapen
(v) Katholik Zailaté leh Mass Zu%ida%n.
In the year 2006 A.D, the Zou Literature Society Manipur published two books for Cl.X and XII viz; Chinthu Zaila by its editorial board and Zou Grammar and Composition (Zouham Zahda%n) written by me. In 2006 A.D, the Zo Baptist Association, Hqtrs, Myanmar with the help of Bible Society of India, Bangalore is said to have published Zo Lai Siengtho; Zo Bible consisting of the New Testament version with Psalms for their own use in Burma and India. In September 2009, a new version of bible called Holy Bible in Zou was published in Churachandpur, Manipur state, India a watershed for a major departure of spelling usage from the traditional spelling usage in vogue for many years. From 2008-2011, the following books with the tone symbols were published by Zou Cultural-cum-Literature Society India, New Delhi viz: (i) Zo Tongdam, (ii) My Brief memoirs of ZSP and ZOD, (iii) Leitung satna (Global Warming), (iv) Minimal Dictionary and Self-tutor Functional Grammar in Zo-Eng-Hindi (Zouha%m-Mângkam-Kólkam kizìlna Ha%mbú leh Ha%msâl tómkim), (v) Dictionary of Zo Poetic Words, Metaphors and Similes Vol.2, and, (vi) Zou-English-Hindi Ha%m Kizìlna La%ibú (Self-tutor book of Zo-English-Hindi) (vii) Minimal Dictionary and Self-tutor Functional Grammar in Zo-Eng-Hindi (Revised edition). Publication of books, novels, fictions, autobiography etc are still in its early stages. Therefore, more writers should come forward and start writing many more books to develop literature and preserved our ancient forefathers’ language, and be not simply swallowed by modernization and westernization processes. - Author
Notes and References
1. Lawkism coined by the author, is the Zo religion of worshipping the Supreme Creator; God and his assistant Lungzai, also the appeasement of ancestor spirits, propitiation of some geographically located natural spirits. The whole process involves worship of God and his assistant, practice of indigeneous healing through traditional medicines and sacrifices offered by the clan priest or a village priest. Sakhuo can be termed as Lawkism. The term ‘animism’ is inappropriate and inadequate to describe the elaborate Zo Religious beliefs and rituals.
2. Go, Khup Za. (1996). A Critical Historical Study of the Bible Translations among the Zo People in North East India. Churachandpur, Manipur.
3. Ibid.; p. 77
4. A.D 2000 ZO MAGAZINE.(March 2001). Kalaymyo, Myanmar (Burma).
5. Singson, T.S, Agou. (2001). Thadou-Kuki Suongmantam Dictionary; English-Thadou-Kuki Dictionary.
6. Gougin, T. (1961). A Brief History of Zou. Churachandpur, Manipur.
7. Gou Za Pau. S. (20, Feb., 2000). Suontah Dopmul Khang Simna (Genealogy of Suantah Dopmul).
8. J.C.A. (March, 1954). Jougam-Thusuo Vol.I. 1st year which is recorded as 10 Feb, 1954 by M.G.P/M.E.P Golden Jubilee Souvenir 2004.
9. Jou Customary Book (1957). Jou Tawndan dated 1-12-1957 forwarded by T. Gougin, arranged by Sub. Thangkhokam, edited by Mr Vummang, Mr. Jamkhogin and published by Nengjakham and Sianjahao.
10. Tungdim, Nehkhojang, A. (12, Dec., 1995). Secretary, Zou Literature Society, Manipur; Zou Lai Khantousah dingdan thu (How to develop the Zou Literature) A Seminar Paper’; presented at U.Z.O Lamka Block Conference at Zoveng, Lamka, Churachandpur, Manipur.
11. Nengkhogin,T. (1956). Jou Simpat Bu. Lamka.
12. Pasian Lai Siengthou; Holy Bible in Zo (1983). Churachandpur, Manipur.
13. Tungdim, Semkholun, Stephen. (2009). The Zomi Inter-Confessional Bible Translation Committee and “The Genesis of the Holy Bible in Zo.”
14. Samte, Semkhopao. (1954). Jou simpat Bu; Jougam-Thusuo Vol.I March,’54.
15. Kham Do Nang, Dr. (March 1994). Upto date history of Zo tribes ( Zo ngaina leh tuonthu khangthu). Yangon (unpublished).
16. Vumlallian Zou, David, Dr. (2004). Glimpses of Zou Ethno-History. unpublished.
17. Thangkhanlal (1973). Zolai Bu Ina, Bu IIna leh Bu IIIna. Lamka
18. Tiddim Chin Vernacular Golden Jubilee (Zo Lai kum sawnga cin’na Pawi 1925-1975), Churachandpur, Manipur.
19. Zomi Christian Church. (2004). Souvenir &Tapidaw Golden Jubilee. Lamka.
20. Gou Za Pâu & Kàikhohâu. (1985). Zo Sa%nnêmlá; Lamka.
21. Khoi Lam Thang. (Oct, 2001). A Phonological Reconstruction of Proto Chin. M.A Thesis,Payap University Chiang Mai, Thailand.
22. Khongsai, Tongkhohao. (2007). Thadou-Kuki-English Dictionary; Chennagam Paole. Published by M. Vanlallien Haokip, Churachandpur.
23. Sìmsiel ‘southern mithun’; Sìmsíng ‘southern tree’; Sìmléi ‘southern land’; Sìmsíngpa ‘flower of southern tree’; Zosíngpa ‘flower of zo tree’; Tùhdu ku%%iku%%i khàtvèi Sìm lám nga, khàtvèi Zo lám nga tâsíng dàwn a khuvá àw, mîmna%%i tângna%%i na kine%%h...