Kudum (Relations) of the Chakmas

 

By El Bee Chakma 

According to custom, there are four kinds of relations in the Chakma society – (a) Garbā Kudum(odd relation), (b) Khellyā Kudum(even relation), (c) Mu Balā Kudum(temporary relation) and (d) Dharma Kudum(adopted relation). The relation between aunt and nephew, uncle and niece, father and daughter, mother and son, brother and sister and cousin of same gutthi, wife of younger brothers, husband’s elder and older brothers and wifes elder and older sisters are taken as Garbā Kudum by the Chakma society. If any sexual relation is proved with Garbā Kudum, the offenders are liable for heavy punishment and to undergo humiliation with physical and mental punishment called Jhendrā and they are liable to be out casted until the Jhendrā ordeal is undergone. They should be treated like animals. Their heads is roughly shaven, leaves and plant is offered to eat and they had to chew it bleeting like a goat. They had to act like goat. They are asked to carry water, up to thousand pitchers, to the root of a banyan or peepul tree. Chicken cages are hung around their neck and paraded in the street by beating drums or empty tin canester announcing the offences committed. They are not allowed to enter any house and driven away like a goat saying, ‘Ghe! Ghee!. They are also awarded corporal punishment of beating with a cane called Kereit. The society never permit for such a relation to turn into a marriage and are immediately separated. It may also be said that the same generation of the other gutthi, the causins and the alternate generation are Khellyā Kudum and the other generation is Garbā Kudum.

As the name of a gozā and gutthi descends in the male line, the rule of exogamy also based upon it. A man cannot marry any girl or woman from his gutthi. However it has been permitted if the relation is of permissible Khelyā Kudum after a gap of seven generations. A man cannot marry his related aunts, nieces, but he has to marry a girl who is a far related cousin. He can marry a cousin of his mother’s gozā and gutthi and also of other gozās and gutthis. It is said that, earlier the maternal uncle had to seek permission from his marriageable nephew to marry off his daughters to others. Since the nephew had the right to marry his maternal uncle’s daughter. It is also reported that the alliance had began from the time of Gautama Siddharta, who married his mother’s brother’s daughter, Gopa.

A ‘Mu Balā Kudum’ does not have any weight’ or force but a ‘Dharma Kudum’ is more forceful. It is more forceful than a genetic relation. Since the society takes it as ‘Jarmatthun Dharma bech’ (adopted relation is more than genetic one).
. There is no caste system in the Chakma society and marriage is generally held between gozās. The relation of husband and wife is a concrete one. Separation between husband and wife and divorce is very rare. A man can divorce his wife if she is proved unfaithful, infidel, disobedient and in rare cases suffering from incurable congenial disease. A wife can divorce her husband if he is found torturous, insane, impotent and in rare cases suffering from incurable congenial disease. Polygamy is prevalent in the Chakma society and some are seen to have married three/four wives. In such case permission from first wife and some other condition applies. Poliandry is not heard in the Chakma society except one incident of ‘Kur Mwho and Sudhomba’, who are reported to have married one woman at Simeisuri in 1973, under CADC. A widow has no bar for remarriage. In the second marriage the women are allowed to choose a partner to their liking and the parents or guardian have got no right to oppose her choice if the relation is marriageable one.

The relations of the Chakmas are as under:
1. Āttyā –Mother’s, father’s, uncles’, aunties’ fathers, called as Āju or Dādu or Dādā.
2. Barangā – Mother’s, father’s, uncles’, aunties’ mother, ddressed as Nānu or Bebhei.
3. Bāp – Father and called as Bā, Bābhā
4. Mā – Mother and called as Mā or Māmhā
5. Jetthā – Father’s elder or older brothers, mothers elder or older sisters’ husbands and called as Jidhu.
6. Jedenghā – Mother’s elder or older sisters, wives of father’s elder or older brothers and called as Jedhei.
7. Pijyenghā – Sisters and cousin sisters of father and called as Pijhyei.
8. Pittelhā – Husbands of father’s sisters and cousin sisters. Called as - ‘Pijhyā’.
9. Khutto – Father’s younger brothera and younger cousin brothers, called as Kākkā or . Khurho
10. Khurongā – Wives of father’s younger brothers or cousin brothers, called as Kākki or Khuri.
11. Moilyā – Brothers and cousin brothers of mother, called as Māmu.
12. Molen – Wives of mother’s brothers and mothers cousin brothers, called as Māmi.
13. Moittelhā: Husbands of mother’s younger sisters and younger cousin sisters, called as Moijhyā.
14. Moijyenghā – Younger sisters and younger cousin sisters of a mother and called as Mujhee.
15. Bhoch – wife of elder and older brothers, called as Bhujhee.
16. Bhono Jāmei – Husbands of sisters and cousin sisters, called as Bonhoi. (The younger sisters’ husbands are Guro Bhono Jamei and the elder or older sisters husbands are Bar Bhono Jāmei). The elder and older sisters address the younger sisters’ husbands in respected plural form. The younger sisters and brothers call them Bonhoi.
17. Bhei put – Brother’s and cousin brother’s sons, called by name or as Bhei put.
18. Bhei Jhee – Brother’s and cousin brothers’ daughters, called by name or as Jhee.
19. Bhāghinā – Sister’s sons and cousin sisters’ sons, called as Bhagina/Bhāghen or by name.
20. Bhāghini – Sister’s daughters’ and cousin sisters’ daughters’, called as Bhagen or by name.
21. Jāl - Wives of husband’s brothers and husband’s cousin brothers, called as of sisters. Elders or olders as Bei or Bebhei by the younger by name or by the name of elder child like ‘Renu Bala Ma (mother of Renu Bala) by the elders or olders.
22. Labai-Sajan – Husbands of sisters and cousin sisters, and called in Plural, the respected form. Some times by the name of elder child. At present the younger address the olders as Da.
23. Sudin – wives of same husband. The younger addresses the olders as Bei or Bebhei and the older, by name or by the name of the elder child.
24. Tālhoi-Puduro – Father in law of brothers and brothers of son in law. Son in law brothers’ address them as Tālhoi and the father in law brothers’ address as Putra or Put or by name or in the name of elder child. At present, as Kākkā or Jidhu by the son in law brothers depending on the age. If his age is more than own father, he will be called as Jidhu and if less, then as Kākkā.
25. Tālonhi: āTalhoi, Called as Tālonhi or Kākki/Khuri/Jedhei.
26. Sālā – younger brothers and younger cousin brothers of wife, called by name or nickname.
27. Sālee – Younger sisters and younger cousin sisters of wife, called by name or nickname
28. Samandhee – Wife’s elder or older brothers, called as Bonhoi or now as Dā.
29. Jeghat – Wife’s elder or older sisters, called in plural, the respected form.
30. Bhon Jāmei – Husbands of younger sisters and young cousin sisters, ddressed in plural, the respected form.
31. Nanan - Younger sisters, younger cousin sisters of husband, called by name by the name of elder child.
32. Nansoch – Elder and older sisters of husband, called as elder sister, Bei, Bebhei. 
33. Dyar – Younger brothers and younger cousin brothers of husband, called by name.
34. Bhijhur – Elder and older brothers of husband and called in respected plural form.
35. Sohr – Wife’s or husband’s father and called in respected plural form like “Bābhādāghi” or Udurho, or Udurhodāghi. The uncles of husband or wife are also called Sohr like –Khuttho Sohr(father in-laws younger brothers’ and youn ger cousin brothers), Jetthā Sohr(father –in-law’s elder and older brothers), Moilyā Sohr(mother-in-law’s brothers and cousin brothers), Pittelhā Sorh(father-in-law’s sisters’ husbands and cousin sisters’ husbands), Moittelā Shohr (mother-in-law’s younger sisters husbands and younger cousin sisters’ husbands) and the grand inlaws as Āttyā Sohr etc. Except the Āttya Sohr, others are called in plural, the respected form. Āttyā Sorhr is usually called as Āju which is a very cordial relation. Now a days the Sohrs are called as own relative like Bābhā (father), Kākkā (younger uncle), Jidhu (elder or older uncle), Pijhyā (wife’s father’s sisters’ husbands), Moijhyā (wife’s mother’s younger sisters’ husbands), Māmu ( wife’s maternal uncles) etc.
36. Surhee – Mother in law (Wife’s and husband’s mother) called as Māmādāghi or Mā. The aunts of husband and wife are also called Surhee like Khurongā Surhee (Younger uncle-in law’s wife/husband), Jedenghā Surhee (Elder or older uncle-in law’s wife/husband), Molen Surhee (husband’s or wife’s mothernal uncle’s wife), Pijenghā Surhee (father in law’s sisters’ husbands) etc.
37. Bhei Bo – Younger brother’s wives, called in plural respected form like Boruno Boghun (wives of Borun). At present by name as own sister, in the town areas.
38. Pudo Bo – Son’s wife and called in plural, the respected form. Now by name as own daughter in the town areas. 
39. Bhei pudo Boh – Brother’s son’s wives, called in plural respected form.
40. Bhāginā Bo – Sister’s son’s wives, called in respected form, plural. At present, by name in the town areas.
41. Nādin – Children of all sons, daughters, nieces, nephews and related nephews and nieces are called Nadin (grand children) and called by name or nickname and it is a cordial relation. Called Dā, or Dādhā or Nādin or by name or nick name.
42. Pudin – Children of a Nadin are called Pudin. Called Jidhu or by name.
43. Sudin – Children of Pudin.
44. Udin – Children of Sudin.
45. Piju – Father of grand father, called as Jidhu.
46. Heejhu – Father of Piju, called as Aju.
47. Bar Bhei – Elder or older brother. Called Dā or Dādhā.
48. Guro Bhei/Chigon Bhei- Younger brother. Called by name or by Khellya Nang (nick name).
49. Bar Bhon- Elder or older sisters of same gutthi. Called as Bei, Bebhei or now a days Didi.
50. Guro Bhon – Younger sisters of same gutthi. Called by name or by nick name.
51. Khuttho Put Bhei – causin brothers through father’s younger causin brothers. Called olders as Da, younger by name or nick name. Marriagable if not from the same gutthi and if there is agap of more than five generations.
52. Jetthā Put Bhei – Causin brothers through father’s older causin brothers. Called – olders as Da, younger by name or nick name. Marriagable, if not from the same gutthi and if there is agap of more than five generations..
53. Maijhyānghā Put Bhei- Causin brothers through mother’s younger sisters and younger causin sister. Called - olders as Da, younger by name or nick name. Marriageable, if not from the same gutthi and if there is agap of more than five generations
54. Jedhengha Put Bhei – causin brothers through mother’s elder and older causin sisters. Called - olders’ as Da, younger by name or nick name. Marriageable, if not from the same gutthi and if there is a gap of more than five generations
55. Pijhyānghā Put Bhei– Causin brithers through father’s sisters and causin sisters. Called - olders as Da, younger by name or nick name. Marriageable.
56. Moillyā Put Bhei – Causin brothers through mother’ brothers, mother’s causin brothers and aunies brothers (wives of faternal uncles’ brothers) and aunties causin brothers. Called olders as Da and younger by name of nick name.
57. Khuttho Jhee Bhon – causin sisters through father’s younger causin brothers. Called olders as Bei, Di, younger by name or nick name. Marriageable, if not from the same gutthi.
58. Jetthā Jhee Bhon – Causin sisters through father’s older causin brothers. Called – olders as Bei, Di, younger by name or nick name. Marriageable, if not from the same gutthi.
59. Maijhyānghā Jhee Bhon- Causin sisters through mother’s younger sisters and younger causin sister. Called olders as Bei/Di, younger by name or nick name. Marriageable, if not from the samd gutthi.
60. Jedhengha Jhee Bhon – causin sisters through mother’s elder and older causin sisters. Called - olders as Bei/Di, younger by name or nick name. Marriageable, if not from the same gutthi.
61. Pijhyāngha Jhee Bhon – Causin sisters through father’s sisters and causin sisters. Called olders as Bei/Di, youngers by name or nick name. Marriageable.
62. Moillyā Jhee Bhon – Causin sisters through mother’ brothers, mother’s causin brothers and aunies brothers (wives of faternal uncles’). Called olders as Bei/Di and youngers by name of nick name. Marriable.
63. Sālā/Samandhi Pwā – sons of wife’s brothers and cousin brithers. Treated as nephew.
64. Sālee/jeghadha pwā- sons of wife’s sisters.treated as own nephews.
65. Sālā/Samandhi Jhee- daughters of wife’s brothers and cousin brothers. Treated as own niece.
66. Sālee/Jeghadhi Jhee- Daughters of husband’s brothers and cousin brothers. Treated as own niece.
67. Diyari/Bhijhuree pwā – sons of husband’s brothers and causin brothers. Treated as own nephews.
68. Diyara Jhee/Bhijhura Jhee- daughters of husband’s broters. Treated as own niece.
69. Nanana/Nanshojha Jhee- Daughters of husband’s sisters and cousin sisters.
70. Jāla Jhee- Daughters of husband’s sister in laws. Treated as own nephews.

As per custom the following relatives who are also Garbā Kudum are to be called in ‘plural’ form of respect.
(1) Sohr (related father in laws).
(2) Kuthho Sohr, Jetthā Sohr, Pittelhā Sohr, Mottelhā Sohr, Moillyā Sohr and other Sohrhi Pallā (uncles’ of wife) and other related uncles’ of wife or auntys’ husbands.
(3) Surhee (related mother in laws).
(4) Khurhongā Surhee, Jedenghā Surhee, Pijenghā Surhee, Moijenghā Surhee, Molen Surhee, (all related aunty in laws) in case of male only.
(5) Bhei Bo (wives of younger brothers and related younger cousin brothers).
(6) Bhijhur (elder brothers and related older brothers of husband).
(7) Jeghot (elder and related older sisters of wife).
(8) Bhei Pudo Bo (wives of brother’s sons and related brothers sons).
(9) Bhaginā Bo (wives of sisters’ sons and related cousin sisters sons)., and
(10) Any unknown person

According to custom, the Boh’s (daughter in laws, wives of nephews, related nephews; wives of younger brothers and younger cousin brothers), also elder and older sisters of own wife should not be touched even through a stick. They should not be passed even a bamboo pole even while drowning. Earlier there said to be also one custom that a maternal uncle in law (mother in law’s brothers) could not take food until he had seen stars in the sky after seeing the wife of his nephew’s. But this customs have faded away and not observed now.i;
An unknown person should be addressed with respect in plural form,’ Tumh’.

The addressing of the female line is simple and they can address the in-laws as own mother, sister, aunt, cousin etc. The Chakmas take the brothers, sisters, and cousins as same generation and stage and generally marriage should be held from the same generation from other gutthis. But it should not be from the same Gutthi or genus or lineage. Change of generation or stage is not recommended in marriage. However marriage from the alternate generation, of grand generation is not opposed.

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