▪ peoplealso called Lushai or LusheiTibeto-Burman-speaking people numbering about 540,000 in the late 20th century. They inhabit the mountainous tract on the India-Myanmar (Burma) border known as the Mizo (formerly Lushai) Hills, in the Indian state of Mizoram. Like the Kuki tribes, with which they have affinities, the Mizo traditionally practiced shifting slash-and-burn cultivation, moving their villages frequently. Their migratory habits facilitated rapid expansion in the 18th and 19th centuries at the expense of weaker Kuki clans.Mizo villages traditionally were situated on the crests of hills or spurs and, until the pacification of the country under British rule, were fortified by stockades. Every village, though comprising members of several distinct clans, was an independent political unit ruled by a hereditary chief. The stratified Mizo society consisted originally of chiefs, commoners, serfs, and slaves (war captives). The British suppressed feuding and headhunting but administered the area through the indigenous chiefs.
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