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Gonds and Ahoms

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Gonds and Ahoms - Lesson Summary

During the Vedic period, two important tribes which interacted with other tribes and rose to power were the Gonds and the Ahoms. The Gonds were a large tribe, living in forested regions called Gondwana or the “country inhabited by Gonds.” It consisted of smaller clans ruled by individual rajas or rais and practiced shifting cultivation.

During the decline of the Delhi sultanate, the chiefs of large Gond clans started dominating the smaller clans, leading to a gradual centralization of their administrative system. Every kingdom was divided into garhs, which were further divided into village units called chaurasis. A chaurasi was further subdivided into barhots.

The Ahoms were another important tribe, predominant in Vedic India. They lived in Myanmar and migrated to the Brahmaputra valley in the early 13 th century. The Ahoms did not possess their own kingdoms, but created their state by suppressing the older political system of the landlords, known as Bhuiyans.

The economy of this new state was dependent on forced labour called paiks. Their state was divided into clans or khels. The men of the Ahoms built dams, irrigation systems and public works and encouraged art and literature. They also translated Sanskrit works into the local language, and wrote historical works known as buranjis in the Ahom language, and then in Assamese.

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