The Zo people[a] is a term to denote the ethnolinguistically related speakers of the Kuki-Chin languages[1] who primarily inhabit northeastern India, western Myanmar, and southeastern Bangladesh.[2]

Zo people
Mizo:Zohnahthlak or Zofa
Tedim:Zosuante or Zota
Thadou–Kuki:Zosuonte or Zocha
Regions with significant populations
Bangladesh, India, Myanmar
Kuki-Chin languages
Predominantly Christianity, with significant minorities following Animism, Judaism (Bnei Menashe) and Buddhism
Related ethnic groups
Kachin people, northern Naga people, Karbi people

The dispersal across international borders resulted from a British colonial policy that drew borders on political, rather than ethnic, grounds.[3]


Beginning in the 1990s, the generic names Chin have been rejected by some for "Zomi", a name used by a group speaking Northern kukis languages.[4] The speakers of the Northern Kuki languages are sometimes lumped together as the Zomi's.Some Zomi nationalists have stated that the use of the label Chin would mean subtle domination by Burmese groups.[5][6]

In 2023, during the Manipur violence the Kuki tribes of Manipur were referred to Kuki-Zo, Before it was specifically only Kuki in context of Manipur, Assam , Nagaland and Tripura.


Zo inhabited areas

They are spread out in the contiguous regions of Northeast India, Northwest Burma (Myanmar), and the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh. In India, they are most prominent in Manipur, Nagaland, Assam and Mizoram. Some fifty Kuki/Zo peoples are recognised as scheduled tribes.[7]

See also


  1. ^ also known as Kuki-Chin-Mizo people


  1. ^ "Kuki-Zo bodies oppose move to review ST status of certain tribes". The Hindu. 10 January 2024. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 23 May 2024.
  2. ^ "Kuki-Zo tribes - Gokulam Seek IAS". 11 January 2024. Retrieved 23 May 2024.
  3. ^ T. Haokip, 'The Kuki Tribes of Meghalaya: A Study of their Socio-Political Problems', in S.R. Padhi (Ed.). Current Tribal Situation: Strategies for Planning, Welfare and Sustainable Development. Delhi: Mangalam Publications, 2013, p. 85.
  4. ^ History of Zomi T. Gougin - 1984 "In Burma the people like to renounce the term Chin in favour of Zomi. Zomi is becoming more and more popular in Churachandpur district of Manipur adjoining the Chin State of Burma as group identity in repudiating Chin. The term ..."
  5. ^ B. Datta-Ray Tribal identity and tension in north-east India Page 34 1989 "Now to accept the term Chin would mean subtle Paite domination in the matter, which the other groups like the Hmars, Zous, Anals and Koms may not coopt. A Zomi leader categorically stated that 'Chin' is a Burmese word which literally ..."
  6. ^ Keat Gin Ooi - Southeast Asia: A Historical Encyclopedia, from Angkor Wat to East ... - Volume 1 - Page 353 2004 "Until recently, there appeared to be a consensus that the term Chin was not an identity that any of these peoples would choose to describe themselves, ... Some promote the terms Zomi and Zo, stating that they are derived from the name of the mythic common ancestor of all ..."
  7. ^ "Alphabetical List of India's Scheduled Tribes". Archived from the original on 10 February 2009.