The Tribes of Burma/Kamis and Mros

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The Kamis and Mros.

The Kamis and Mros have been dealt with here separately from the other Chin tribes, partly because they have for the past forty years formed the subject of independent observation, partly because they possess several marked characteristics (e.g., the fact that the women do not have their faces tattooed) which differentiate them from their Chin cognates in the south and east. The great bulk of them are found only in the Northern Arakan and Akyab Districts, though there are a few in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, who have been described by Dalton, Riebeck, Lewin and others, In 1901 the aggregate of the Kamis was 25,000 and that of the Mros between 12,000 and 13,000. The two tribes were first dealt with in detail in 1872 by Mr. R. F. St. John, whose report was embodied almost verbatim in the British Burma Gazetteer in 1879. Two years later further descriptions of their ways appeared in Major Hughes' "Hill Tracts of Arakan," but it was not till 1897, when Captain Rigby reported on the 1896-97 operations in the Chin Hills that anything more was added to our knowledge of the habits and customs of these hill-folk. The Kamis ami Mros have been classified as Central Chins, but it still remains to be decided whether they are more closely connected with the Ymdus or the Chins of the Chin Hills proper, or whether they can claim a joint ancestry with the Lushais. All we can say of them is that they came, like all the other Chins, originally from the north and established themselves on the western edge of the Chin country in the basin of the Kaladan, where, descending into the valleys and coming in contact with the Arakanese they have developed along lines different from those followed by the remoter hill dwellers in the east. For bibliographical table, see page 63.