Dr. Lalthakim Hmar
Assistant Professor, Department of English,
Assam University, Silchar, Assam, India
Title of presentation: Hmar Patriarchal Ethos and Modern Hmar Women: An Overview
This paper will address the issues relating to the conflict and tension resulted from the encounter between Hmar patriarchal system and modern Hmar women’s lived experiences. In the age of fast advancements in the fields of education, technology, women empowerment and a wholesale conversion of religiosity from animism to Christianity, there has been an enormous transformation of lifestyle and outlook among the Hmar tribe. The Hmars are one of the indigenous ethnic tribes of north-east India residing in the States of Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and some parts of Bangladesh and Myanmar. They are patriarchal in their social system. Patriarchal ethos has, no doubt, a deep seat in the consciousness of the tribesmen. This ethos gets reflected in many of the folklore and folk-life items of the tribe like Proverbs, Sayings and folktales. Besides, there are various socio-cultural spheres where unequal treatment of the sexes, or in other word, ‘sexual politics’ is strongly felt and both the man and the woman of the tribe are differently socialized. But the various modern social programs and policies like ‘women empowerment’ can be said to have tremendously informed the Hmar women who have already been reinforced by modern elements like media, Western education and Christianity resulting in conflict, tension and debate over women’s rights and standing in the society.
Dr. Lalthakim Hmar works as Assistant Professor in the department of English, Assam University, Silchar. She did her doctorate in women studies focusing on the expressive behaviours of the Hmar women of Assam.