Zo People (Zomi) once reigned over central Burma ~ Dr. Dongno
Zomi te Kawlgam laizang ah kumpi-gam nei-in i teeng ngei hi – Ei Zomite mualtung i tun ciangin, nuntak haksa, an kham lo-in haksatna tampi i tuah ciangin i lung neu thei hi. Tua ahih ciangin, zaanggam aa teeng mite sangin, hamsiazaw kisa-in mibaan zo lo, ahehpihhuai minam khat peuh i kisa kha thei hi. I tangthu limtak i en pha ding hi.
Hih anuai aa mipil tampite-in, ipu-ipa Zomite bangzahin, na thahat ngei-in, Kawlgam laizang teng ah, Zo kumpi-gam, Zominam khatin, Zogam, Zolei na nei-in na maang ngei uh cih a ciaptehna uh panin i theih ciangin, mimawkmawk hi lo-in apicing minam khat i hihna i mu thei hi. Tua bang aa minampi i hih pen ‘Zo’ cih minam min simloh min dangin ong pia thei lo hi. Zomi i hih manin a kipaak huai minam i hihna i tel nadingin anuai aa bangin i mu thei hi.
Zo Dynasty : 800 AD – 1550 AD, Zo Petty Kingdom, Zo Petty Nation, Zo Country. Proudly, at the zenith of their success Zo people, for over eight centuries, had established, Pu-pa Zomite a thahat, a vangliat hun lai-un 800 AD-1550 AD sung anuai aa bangin mun leh mual leh gam nei-in Kawlgam laizang ah na maang ngei uh hi:
1. Zo Kingdom : “ A petty kingdom in Chindwin Valley whose princes and chiefs were called Zo (Jo). ( Fan Cho, 862 AD, a Chinese diplomat of Tang Dynasty.)
[Zo Kumpi gam : “ Chindwin gun kuam teng ah Kumpi gam neu khat om aa a kumpite leh ukpite, Zo ( Jo ) kici hi” ci-in Sen kumpi Tang kumpi uk sung aa gam taangmi , Fan Cho – in. 862 AD kumin limtak na ciamteh hi.]
Describing Zo kingdom, “….with ruby mine on the Southeast and China on the East”. (Julia Lowell : The Great Wall p6.) The Zo petty kingdom, was a sizable land comprising one of the richest natural resources on earth lying beneath their feet – ‘the ruby land’.
[Julia Lowell in” Tua Zo kumpigam pan nisuahna khang lam ah Suangmanpha khuukpi om aa, nisuahna lam ah Sengam om hi” ci-in nacian gen hi. The Great Wall p6. Tua Zo kumpigam pen zaipi khat hi aa, leitung aa amanpha pente khat ahi leisung sum piang a omna a khe nuai uah siksik uh hi.
This account is strongly supported by the Legend of Dahpa (Dahpa Tangthu). Dahpa unknowingly brought home brick-sized stones for the fire place. His bride, detecting they were precious stones, said to him “These are the kind of stones that make my parents rich”. Indeed Dahpa and his wife became wealthy too. They threw a party for the whole village lasting for seven days.
Ama gen pen Dahpa tangthu tawh ki tuak mahmah hi. Dahpa-in thuksuang dingin leisek tangh ciacia suang ong pua hi. A zi-in suangmanpha ahih lam na thei pah gige in” Hihte ka pate hauhnate hi lo maw!” ci-in Dahpa kiang gen hi. Dahpate nupa zong ong nuamsa takpi hi. A khuazang adingin ni sagih sung pawi khaam sak hi.
Dahpa never had to work hard and therefore he was assumed to be skiving off and was mistakenly called ‘lazybones’. Yet he had everything he wanted by simply ‘beating his magic drum’, the legend goes. It is a popular practice among wealthy Zomi animists to celebrate ‘Ton’, a weeklong feast, in an ostentatious display of their social status and ensuring merits for life after death. Dahpa-in naham sep kul nawn lo ahih ciangin, nasem nuam lo-in thadah kisa kha hi. A khuang tum peuh leh adeih pepeuh ngah hi kici hi. Zomi lawki aneipiante-in aneihna uh lak kawm leh akha uh anopsak nadingin Ton ci-in nisagih sung tong in pawi kham uh hi.
2. Zo Nation : , Rev. Fr Vincentius Sangermano, 1783, “To the east of Chien (Chin) mountains, between 20°30′ and 21°30′ north latitude, is a petty nation called Zo (Jo, Shu)…. Description of The Burmese Empire, page 35. [Zomi Nam : Rev. Fr Vincentius Sangermano in 1783 kumin “Chin mualte’ nisuahna lam, 20’30’ leh leilu lam 21’30’ kikaal teng ah Zo(Jo/Shu) kici minam khat a om hi” ci-in na ciamteh hi.]
3. Zo Country: Sir Henry Yule, 1508 “ Yo (Zo) country and the location of which was west of the mouth of Chindwin, the interior of Doab, between the Irrawaddy and Chindwin…” Sir Henry Yule, 1508, [Zogam : Sir Henry Yule, in, “ Irrawaddy leh Chindwin gun kituahna nitumna lam diak ah Zogam a om hi” ci-in 1508 kumin na ciamteh leuleu hi..
There are remains of Yo/Zo settlements at different places in Pinle Bu Subdivision still standing to this day as proof to this account. A megalith, 13 feet tall, used as an altar for sacrificial offerings, is still standing two miles from Sibani village near Monywa. The local people call it ‘Chin god’ (Falam Centenary Magazine page 232). Also a neighbourhood in Sagaing is called ‘Chin Suh Ywa’ , ‘Chin Village’. (Zomite’ Takkhahna’ -Tun Thawng) Old Zo settlements are sporadically found still standing today.
[Tuni mahmahin, Pinle Bu Subdivision sung ah ZOmite tenna lui mun tampi ah kimu thei lai hi. I pu/pate’n a tualbawlna uh pi 13 asaang suangtumpi, zong Monywa khua gei aa Sibani khua pan tai nihna ah ding zeunzau lai a tua kiim aa kawlte’n ‘Zomite pasian’ci uh hi…Falam kum za cin phawkna magazine p 232. Sagaing khuapi sung ah zong ‘Zomite ki tuahna’ kici veeng khat om lai hi. (Zomite’ Takkhahna’ -Tun Thawng) ]
4. Zo District: “The Jo/Zo is on the lower water of the Kyendwin (Chindwin) not far from Ava; the district is sometimes called Yo or Jo (Zo).” Rev. Howard Malcolm. [Zogam gamkhawkpi : [Ava pan aki gamla lo Chindwin khanglam deuh ah Zomite teeng uh aa, tua gamkhawkpi Zo, Yo ahk Jo kici hi.” Rev. Howard Malcolm ]
These are historical evidences that the Zo (Jo/Yo/Shu) people, once had ‘dominion’ over the area what is now Popa, Pagan – Nyaung Oo, Mandalay, Sagaing, etc. in central Burma for over eight centuries. Hih tangthu ciaptehnate-in, Zomite hunkhat lai-in Popa, Pagan-Nyaung U , Mandalay Sagaing, Kyaukse khawngteng ah na tualbial in kum 800 val sung bang Zogam ukna na nei ngei uh ahihna ong lak hi. Dr J Suan Za Dong – Excerpt 3 ZO PEOPLE (ZOMI) ONCE REIGNED OVER CENTRAL BURMA. (fr.p 8 of Rethinking Our Identity – Dr J Suan Za Dong)