K'Cho Culture,Custome & History

The Dialects, Customs and Religions of the Kcho and the Chins It is said that there are 44 dialects, without counting the local differences of the minor sub-tribes. To make administration easier, the British chose an official dialect for each sub-division: Kam-Hau for the Tiddim, Laizo for the Falam, Hakha for the Kakha, and Ng'men for the Kampetlet-Mindat. Chins were animists and very much attached to their customs. At Chin funeral ceremonies, the "Yu/Zu", millet beer is specially prepared for an offering to an unseen power, that is, the invisible, numinous power. The concept of the Altar custom is a sacrificial ceremony. As the symbol of the Progenitor, a stone platform is used, which is called "Lung M'saun" in the Kcho dialect. The feast of the "Lung M'suan" involves the rite of smearing the blood of the sacrificed victim on the capstone of the platform, in the same way Jacob poured oil on the top of the pillar that he set up in memory of his experience at Bethel (Gen. 28:18). The Chin people have seven commandments. They are: (1). Thou shall not kill, (2). Thou shall revere thy Mother and Father, (3). Thou shall not lie, (4). Thou shall not steal, (5). Thou shall not commit adultery, (6). Thou shall not hurt others, and (7). Thou shall not covet what belongs to others. The soul is viewed as a kind of spiritual being vulnerable to the influences of demonic powers. The traditional belief also implies that the physical body suffers when the soul is separated from it, and is well again when the soul re-enters it; when the soul fails to re-enter the body, man suffers and eventually dies. So the life of a man virtually depends upon his spiritual condition. Thus the soul, as the conscious life and a spiritual being, is the sustainer of the physical life of man. The life of a man after death begins at the moment the spirit departs to live in the other world. Tradition maintains that the dead do not live in this world, but in another world called "the village of the death." However, spiritual movements prior to the moment of the death and the customary rites of the funeral suggest that the dead do not go to the village of that death at once; they might stay in this world for a certain period of time. The Chins and the Burmese have the same belief in the Nats or Spirits. When those from Burma and the Chins speak of Nats, this includes all kinds of spirits, high and low, good and evil. Power and goodness do not always go together in the human world or elsewhere. But there are different level of Nats. Even though most of the additional Nats are obviously of a lower level, they seem closer and sometimes even dearer to many people. Man has to appease and propitiate the spirits which are capable of doing one's soul harm. He is in need of Divine Help. Thus the spirits, which are capable of helping man's need, are offered sacrifices. Currently, the majority of the Chins are Christians, few practice Buddhism, and a handful remains animists. ( Notes: This article is taken from Rev. Dr. Timothy Khui Shing Ling's Thesis for Licentiate in Missiology.)