Historians believe that the Mizos are a part of the great wave of the Mongolian race spilling over the eastern and southern India centuries ago. Their sojourn in western Myanmar, into which they eventually drifted around the 7th century, is estimated to last about 10 centuries.
Mizo is not just one tribe as normally presumed but the term represents several tribes taken together. The term Mizo means “the “men who live in the hills” (Mi- men; Zo- hills) or the Highlanders. Mizo comprises of 5 major tribes and 11 minor tribes known under the common name Awzia. The 5 major tribes are- Lushei, Ralte, Hmar, Paihte, Pawi (or Poi). While major tribes maintained their respective dialects, the 11 minor tribes either lost their distinctive dialects as a result of association with larger tribes.
Mizos are of Mongoloid origin, speaking a dialect of Tibeto- Burman origin.
The Mizos came under the influence of the British missionaries in the 19th century and today the majority of the Mizos are Christians by faith.
The literacy rate is the second highest in the country.
The people are mostly non- vegetarian and their staple food is rice.
The Mizos are a close- knit society with no class distinction and discrimination on grounds of sex, status or religion. They are hospitable, sociable and love music, singing and dancing.
Mizos are agriculturists, practising what is known as “Jhum Cultivation” or slash- and- burn system of cultivation. They cut down the jungles, burn the dried trunks and leaves and then till the soil. All their activities revolve around this cultivation and their festivals are connected with such agricultural operations.