Tribes India: GONDS AND AHOMS

The history of the Gonds was different from that of the Ahoms in the following ways.

Ahom Tribe boy and girl

Gonds

Gonds are sometimes referred by their tribal dialect, Gondi. They practice shifting cultivation. Even today they live in the territory spread over modern-day Madhya Pradesh, eastern Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Northern Andhra Pradesh and Western Odisha. The Gonds had formed their own kingdom even before the Turkish invasions. They ruled in about tenth century in the forested region of Narmada valley. The Gonds rose when Delhi sultanate declined. The Akbarnama mentioned that the Gond kingdom of Garha Katanga had 70,000 villages. There were several clans each having its own ruler. The administration of Gonds was centralised. Each kingdom was divided Into Garhs. Each Garh was controlled by a particular Gond clan. It was further divided into 84 villages called Chaurasi. The Chaurasi was subdivided into barhots of 12 villages each. There were two or more kingdoms in Deograh-Nagpur region-Chanda-Sirpur in the south and Wardha towards the west. Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh was one of the major centres of Gond power. The Gonds had also established close ties with the Chandela ruling clans. The Gond kingdom in Gondwana in southeastern Madhya Pradesh was one of the major centres of Gond power. It was famous during the period from fifteenth century to mid-eighteenth century. They had maintained their independence both during the Sultanate rule and later under Mughals. Emergenec of large states changed the nature of Gond. Brahmins got huge land grants and became very powerful. Gonds wanted to be called Rajputs. Aman Das, ruler of Garbha Katanga assumed the title of Sangram Shah. His son, Dalpat, married Rani Durgavati. When Dalpat died, Rani Durgavati ruled and expanded the kingdom. In 1565, Rani Durgavati of Jabalpur had fought bravely against the forces of Akbar and died in the battlefield at the hands of Asif Khan, Mughal Commander.

Later, Chandra Shah became king but the kingdom started declining. The Gondwana was later s other tribal chiefs against payment of nominal tribute. In the early eighteenth century, the c Nagpur was also found by a Gond king.

Ahoms

The Ahoms were a branch of the Shan tribe. The Ahoms were ethnically related to the Mongoloid tribes of North-east India. The Ahoms who ruled Assam for six centuries were descendants of Tai people who accompanied the Tai prince Sukaphaa into Assam, Sukaphaa established the Ahom kingdom and the Ahom dynasty ruled and expanded the kingdom for about 600 years. Over time the Ahom state adopted the Assamese language. They kept good records and are known for the chronicles called Buranjis. In the Battle of Saraighat, the Ahom general, Lachit Borphukan defeated Mughal forces on the outskirts of Guwahati in 1671. The Ahoms are a community found largely in Assam. The kingdom, the Ahom people established gave Assam its name.

The victory at Saraighat was followed by court intrigues which threatened the very existence of the Ahom kingdom until Rudra Singh assumed power and took over the Ahom kingdom. It was during the time that the Burmese invaded Assam through its eastern borders. The Burmese remained the rule of the land till the British appeared in 1826 and forced them to cede Assam by the Treaty of Yandabu.

Medieval Assam includes to a number of dynasties that prevailed during that time. The Khen empir Koch, Kachari were the other dynasties ruling Assam. During the ruling era of various tribes, anothe major kingdom emerged. Known by the name of Ahom, the rulers of this dynasty dominated Kamrup till the early period of the nineteenth century. The Ahom went through many internal disturbances and external invasions. The Ahom rulers had to involve in the wars against the mighty Mughals from time to time. Then, the Ahoms faced severe attack from the Burmese rulers in the early part of the nineteenth century. Subsequently, the land of Kamrupa came under the rule of the British empire.