is an ancient tribe originally from the ancient Koch
Kingdom. The Rajbongshi Tribe is referred to as Koch Rajbongshi/Rajbanshi/Rajvanshi. The word Rajbongshi means literally "Royal community". They have a rich cultural heritage and their own language.
Habitation and language
The homelands of this ancient tribe include West Bengal
, Arunachal Pradesh
and various North Eastern parts of India. Because of migration this community can be found in various parts of India and in other parts of the world. The Rajbongshi/Rajbanshi language is spoken by 2,982,280 people according to a 1991 census report for Jalpaiguri
, Cooch Behar
; Assam, Goalpara District; Bihar and Purnia District, in India. The language is also spoken in Bangladesh
. Other names of the language are Kamtapuri, Rajbangsi, Rajbansi, Rajbongshi and Tajpuri. The Rajbanshi language has a complete grammar.
The main dialects are Western Rajbanshi, Central Rajbanshi, Eastern Rajbanshi and Rajbanshi hills also known as koch language.
The central dialect has majority of speakers and is quite uniform. There are publications in this language. The western dialect has more diversity. Lexical similarity is 77% to 89% between the three dialects. But the one spoken in the hills has some influence of the local tribal languages and differs quite a bit from the other three. Rajbanshi also shares 48% to 55% of its vocabulary with Hindi, and 43% to 49% with Nepali.
Religion and beliefs
The Rajbongshi were primarily animists
but they have has adopted different religions and beliefs in the course of time. Some follow Sanatana
nowadays, some are Christians
and some have stuck to animism.
The Kamata kingdom
appeared in the western part of the older Kamarupa
kingdom in the 13th century, after the fall of the Pala dynasty
. The rise of the Kamata kingdom marked the end of the ancient period in the History of Assam and the beginning of the medieval period. The first rulers were the Khens, who were later displaced by Alauddin Hussain Shah
, the Turko-Afghan ruler of Bengal. Though Hussain Shah developed extensive administrative structures, he could not maintain political control and the control went to the Koch dynasty
. The Koches called themselves "Kamateshwars"
(the rulers of Kamata), but their influence and expansions were so extensive and far reaching that their kingdom is sometimes called the Koch Kingdom.