The Mizo Pasaltha

 Pic: JC Zorema Photography

By Ruata Lungchuang

Pasaltha ( Pronounced - Pasalthra) were a class of Mizo warriors and military commanders that existed from the medieval period till the early modern era.
With their military skills and deep pride in their stoicism, they developed a disciplined culture and were distinct from the other warrior like commoners of their period. Chiefs take great pride in their pasaltha and dare not to treat them badly. The Pasaltha institution was highly respected among the Mizos and they were the only group of non-aristocrats that are destined to the highest level of Mizo afterlife called Pialral. The class was called Pasaltha among the Lusei, Hmar, Duhlian Speakers and Lai folks, while they were called Salpha among the Paite folk and Pasaipha among the Maras.
Pasaltha's had a sort of cult following among the Mizos and the stories of great Pasaltha were romanticised and extremely popular among MIzos to this day. Some famous Pasaltha includes Vanapa, Khuangchera , Taitesena, Thanseia and Keivawmhranga.
The ideal Pasaltha was supposed to be a stoic warrior, who followed the Mizo philosophical ethos called Tlawmngaihna and was honourable in every way. They were expected to be always better than everyone on philanthropy, bravery, kindness, war skills and general discipline.
After the British invasion. The colonial power found the Pasalthas very troublesome and menacing and slowly disbanded the institution. One of the last pasaltha among the Mizos was Khuangchera who is revered among the Mizos to this day, there is a big auditorium in Aizawl named after the Pasaltha. The Government of India once tried to honour Khuangchera as an "Indian freedom fighter", but Mizo civil societies opposed the move saying Pasaltha Khuangchera fought for Mizos and Mizoram, not for India. The claim is technically true as Mizoram was not part of British India when Khaungchera fought the British invasion.
In a modern adaptation of the tradition, a Pasaltha is no longer just a warrior but anyone including a woman who brings pride and honour to the Mizo society at large.
The Mizos

The Mizos is a one-man team news blog, that brings you news and stories from Mizoram, Northeast India and the rest of the World.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post