History of Different Tribal Groups in Bangladesh


The Chakma people, are a native group from the easternmost regions of the Indian subcontinent, they are the largest ethnic group in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region in southeastern Bangladesh, and in Mizoram, India (Chakma Autonomous District Council), they are the second largest ethnic group, and in Tripura, India, they are the fourth largest ethnic group, and having sizable population in other parts of Northeast India, such as, around 50 thousand Chakmas in Arunachal Pradesh, India, whose first generation had migrated there in 1964 after the Kaptai dam tragedy, and 20-30 thousand Chakmas are in Assam, India. Their ethnicity is closely linked with the peoples of East Asia. However, the Chakma language (written in the Chakma script) is part of the Indo-Aryan language family of the Indian subcontinent. Most Chakma people are adherents of Therevada Buddhism. The Chakmas are divided into 46 clans or Gozas. The community is headed by the Chakma Raja, whose status as a tribal head has been historically recognized by the Government of British India and the Government of Bangladesh.

Chakmas, as per their oral history, are believed to have migrated to Arakan from the ancient kingdom of Magadha which is part of the present Bihar state of India. They believe they are also part of Buddha's Sakya clan from Himalayan tribes. After many struggles to survive, they gradually migrated to Arakan, and spread their territory to the nearby hills of Chittagong Hill Tracts.


The Garos are an indigenous Tibeto-Burman ethnic group from the Indian subcontinent, notably found in the Indian states of Meghalaya, Assam, Tripura, Nagaland, and neighboring areas of Bangladesh, notably Mymensingh, Netrokona, Jamalpur, Sherpur and Sylhet, Rangamati who call themselves A·chik Mande (literally "hill people," from a·chik "bite soil" + mande "people") or simply A·chik or Mande - the name "Garo" being given to them and used by non-Garos.[3] Historically, Garo name was used for wide range of people in southern bank of Brahmaputra but today, Garo means Hill tribes who call themselves A'chik or Mande. They are the second-largest tribe in Meghalaya after the Khasi and comprise about a third of the local population. The Garos are one of the few remaining matrilineal societies in the world.


Rakhine State, Rakhine pronunciation [ɹəkʰàiɰ̃ pɹènè], Burmese pronunciation: [jəkʰàiɰ̃ pjìnɛ̀]; formerly known as Arakan) is a state in Myanmar (Burma). Situated on the western coast, it is bordered by Chin State to the north, Magway Region, Bago Region and Ayeyarwady Region to the east, the Bay of Bengal to the west and the Chittagong Division of Bangladesh to the northwest. It is located approximately between latitudes 17°30' north and 21°30' north and longitudes 92°10' east and 94°50' east. The Arakan Mountains or Rakhine Yoma separated Rakhine State from central Burma from North to South. Off the coast of Rakhine State there are some fairly large islands such as Ramree, Cheduba and Myingun. Rakhine State has an area of 36,762 square kilometres (14,194 sq mi) and its capital is Sittwe. Rakhine state is the centre of the Rohingya genocide


The Marmas migrated from present-day Rakhine State to the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) between the 16th and 18th centuries, coinciding with the Kingdom of Mrauk U's conquest of Chittagong.[3] Records of the East India Company and others indicate that the Marmas migrated from the Kingdom of Mrauk U to Chittagong of Bangladesh in two phases of migrations during 14th to 17th centuries in the golden period of Mrauk U. In the first phase, during the Mrauk U Kingdom expanded to some parts of Chittagong Division. Secondly, Marma ancestors fled to Chittagong and settled down as the Arakanese kingdom was conquered and annexed by Burmese king Bodawpaya in 1785.

Marma girls, c. 1906. In 1971, following the Bangladesh Liberation War in which Bangladesh achieved independence, the country's majority Bengali Muslims began strategically colonising the Chittagong Hill Tracts, which has displaced native inhabitants.[4] Between 1978 and 1984, the government incentivised over 400,000 Bengali Muslims to settle in the CHT, by offering each family 5 acres of land and free food rations.[2] The Marma population has subsequently declined over the years, particularly in the CHT districts of Bandarban Chittagong and Patuakhali.[1] Between 1979 and 1997, Bengali Muslim settlers and the Bangladesh military carried out over 15 major massacres of Buddhist peoples in the CHT.[2] Due to the outbreaks of violence, communal and social unrest, many fled to the Indian states of Mizoram and Tripura, or to Burma (now Myanmar).[2] The Bangladesh government has also forcibly converted Marmas from Buddhism to Islam and destroyed Buddhist temples (kyaung), as means of integrating them into Bangladeshi society.[2] Amnesty International reports document systematic accounts of torture and extrajudicial executions of tribal inhabitants of the Chittagong Hill Tracts by security forces during 1989 and 1990.