Who are Paites?

The Paites are one of the constituting tribes of the ZOMI/ZOs who inhabit India, Burma and Bangladesh. The word paite means " a group of people marching " (pai-march ;te - "plural maker"). The Paites are a recognised scheduled tribe in Manipur as well as in Mizoram. The Paites are concentrated in Manipur, a northeastern state of India. They are dominant in Lamka Town of Churachandpur of Manipur state with a population of 60 thousands (as per the population consensus 2001). Almost all ethnic Paites follows Christianity, mostly Protestant denominations like Baptists, Lutherans, Penticostal, Church of Christ though there are a good percentage of Roman Catholics as well. They adopted Christianity in the 19th century with the intervention of British missionaries.

The Paites are mainly shy, introvert people who are sincerely devoted in whatsoever they perform. Their main occupation is still cultivation though they have achieved much at the various offices of the Federal India. In spite of their minority status, there are some prominent paites who have achieved in the mainstream governance of the Indian Union, according to a national consensus - it was learnt that the Paites are one of the most educationally advanced ethnic group in India.

These days Paite tribes are spread throughout the whole world.

There is also a large Paite population in the Indian State of Mizoram. They are well integrated in the Mizo group which consist of many very similar tribes. Mizo being the predominant inclusive name for the tribes of the area, as opposite to Zomi which is preferred in Manipur and Burma. Usually people of the Paite tribe in Mizoram have the letter P before their given name which is more or less the only way to distinguish Paite-Mizo from non Paite-Mizo.

They live in Churachandpur district in Southern Manipur. Along with Thadou, Vaiphei, Zou, Gangte, Hmar, Milhiem/Miria and others they were referred to as Chin-Kuki group in the past. At present, they call themselves as Paite and affiliate to Zomi denomination. They also believed in supreme god Pathian and believed to have originated from a cave or Khul. Their population was 49,271, spreading over 125 villages. Folksongs and folktales related to everyday life and culture of the people are orally passed through generations. They are an educated group of tribes and participate actively in local and state politics.

Source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paite

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