ETHNIC divERSITY (Socio-cultural and ethnic diversity)
Kuki : tribes of tripura
Kuki is a word pronounced by outside people to refer a group of tribes like Darlong and Lusai. The Lusai of tripura used to live in Jampui and Shakan Hills of North tripura. They call them as Mizos. They never call them Lusai as the word 'LU' means head and 'SAI' means cutting (head Hunter). Though once they were treated as head hunter.
Darlong is another tribe known as Kukis. All together Kukis are 11,674 persons in tripura. They live in hill top and maintain their live lihood through Jhum Culti-vation and producing fruits. Now-a-days they also accustomed with plain land cultivation and rearing of animals. Kukis are very much expert in hunting of wild animals. They eat meat of any kind with pleasure. Linguistically they speak a language originated from Kuki-Chin linguistic family and they have so may clans.
Kukis are fond of music and dance. They work hard in jhum field and enjoy dance and music at community level. They do not arrange any marriage alliances outside their community. tradition-ally they were not Christian. They had faith on lord Shiva beside different deities and spirits. But for the last fifty years majority of them have embraced Christianity.
They have their own customary laws and village council. LAL is a term to denote village chief. This is the reason for which Darlong use Lal before their name. The village Chief generally meets up all sort of social and religious disputes including dispute relate to marriage and divorce. Kukis presently a small tribe in the state and socio-economically more advanced tribe.