The Miris (Misings) according to John M’cosh
Foreword: Recently, a very good friend and a senior, sent me a digitized version of the Book. ‘TOPOGRAPHY OF ASSAM’ by John M’Cosh. The Book written as early as 1837, under the instruction of the then government talks extensively about the togography, society, demography and the culture of the then Assam. The book rightfully digitized by Google has enabled us to immortalize the contents of this very important Book.
The Author John M’Cosh was the officiating second Assistant Surgeon, General Hospital and also the officiating lecturer in Clinical Medicine in the New Medical College, Calcutta. The scanned copy is attached along with. The contents are also described in word version as blog content, considering the legibility of the content in mind.
Section 1: Extent
The Miris occupy that strip of Alluvial land along the northern bank of the Brahmaputra from the large island Majuli to the river Dihong, the northern branch of the Brahmaputra; and are bounded on the north by the Hill country of the Abors. Till of late years, this district was deserted on account of the ravages of the Abors; but on our affording them protection; the original inhabitants returned. The land is still very thinly populated, and the only cultivation is along the banks of the great river. Their head village is Motgong
2: Manners and Customs and 3. Eat Poisonous Animals
The manners and habits of the Miris are wild and barbarous, and their persons filthy and squalid; they use a language different from the Assamese, and make use of bows and poisoned arrows, as a defence against their enemies. They are expert marksmen; and the poison used is so fatal, that even a scratch of their arrow is followed with certain death. They eat all sorts of wild animals, not excepting those wild animals, no excepting those killed by their own poisonous arrows. The Miris are an industrious race, and partial to the living in the skirts of the forests, clearing new ground, which they cultivate for a year or two, and then moving off to another place, when the soil is exhausted. A great deal of opium is grown by the Miris, which they barter for grain with the Assamese.
Disclaimer: It is an as it is transcription of the content. The described habits and customs might not resemble much of the present day Habits of the Mising Community. If any one wants a detailed version of the book, you may contact the author.