Chakma : tribes of tripura
Chakmas are one of the major tribes of tripura according to their population strength. Chakmas are known to be a tribe of South-East Asia. They have first migrated to Arakan Hills of Bruma and then Chittagong Hill tracts to tripura. A major part of them however migrated to Mizoram and Arun-achal Pradesh in course of time from their original home land. According to Census Report of 2001 Chakma population in tripura is 61,793. Their main concentration in tripura could be located at Belonia, Subroom and Amarpur in South tripura, Dhalai and North tripura District at Chamanu, Gandacherra, Kanchanpur, Machmara etc. places.
Among Chakma there are 3(three) major groups like (i) Anokia, (ii) Tandugia, and (iii) Mangla. Linguistically Chakma language is mixed with loan words of Indu-Aryan language, Tibeto-Chainese and mainly Arakan language. Their language also be described as broken Bengali and As-samese language. Chakma have their own script in Burmese Alpha bets, though not in use rather Bengali script is being used and easy to learn.
Economic activities of Chakmas are centralized with jhum cultivation, plain land cultivation and economic supporting works of vegetable growing. Fishing and wage earning. Chakmas are also ex-pert in trapping animals. They are well known for trapping wild elephants. In tripura, especially in Gandacherra, a large number of Chakmas live as fisherman and also as boatman in Dumbur water areas.
Social customs and customary laws among chakmas are strictly followed as directed by the Chakma village council which is headed by "Karbari". Karbari generally look after all sort of disputes among the community members. Marriage among Chakmas held in between the age of 18-21 yrs. Village Ojhas conduct the marriage as per their religious customs.
Chakmas cremate their dead after observing several rites. Buddhist Bhiskshu conduct last ritual connected with death on the seventy day and also a community feast is given in the memory of the departed soul.