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Mro-Khimi people

Total population
77,527– 83,000 (2004, est.)
Regions with significant populations
Myanmar (Chin State, Rakhine State)
Mro-Khimi language (dialects: Arang (Ahraing Khami, Areung, Aroeng), Xengna (Hrengna, Xata, Vakung (Wakun, Wakung))
Animism :37.6%, Buddhism:55% and Christianity:7.4%
Related ethnic groups
Chin people

The Mro-Khimi people (Burmese: မြို(ခမိ) or မြိုလူမျိုး), also known as Mro, Awa Khami Mro, Wakim, Mro Chin or Awa Khami, are one of the 135 ethnic groups recognized by the government of Myanmar. They are identified as a sub-group of Chin people. They live widely in some parts of northern Rakhine state, Chin state, the townships of Matupi and Paletwa, and the regions of Samechaung and Michaung. They are Tibeto-Burman and have their own language, culture and customs which are still in existence. For Chin specifically, the Mro People are one of 53 sub-groups identified by the government of Myanmar.[1] According to the Rakhine Chronicles, the Mro people were the first people who enter Rakhine land.[2] They call themselves as Khami. It means 'human'.[3] Mro people has their own language, culture. There are more than 100 clans.[4]

The Mro people once ruled as emperors in Rakhine State and established two "Mro" dynasties. The dynasty lasted for about 25 years, from 131 AD to 156 AD.[5]


The Mro people were descended from the area known as Twipin (Tibet). From there, they moved slowly to the south. After that, they lived in Rokon for about thirty years. From there, they arrived at Cha Phawi Mountain and lived there for about 300 years, then moved to Khang Lyhn Mawi in Paletwa and descended to Rakhine State.[6]

Language and Literature

The Mro people speak Mro-Khimi, which belongs to the Kuki-Chin branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. Mro-Khimi people are spoken in the following townships of Myanmar (Ethnologue): Chin State: Paletwa township, Rakhine State: Kyauktaw, Buthidaung, Ponnagyun, Pauktaw, Mrauk U, and Maungdaw townships.

There are 4 main dialects of Mro-Khimi (Ethnologue).

  • Arang (Ahraing Khami, Areung, Aroeng)
  • Xengna (Hrengna)
  • Xata
  • Vakung (Wakun, Wakung)

Wakun (Vakung) is the most widely spoken and understood dialect(Horney 2009:5). Horney (2009:5) also lists Aryn, Dau, Khuitupui, Likhy, Pamnau, Tuiron, Xautau, and Xienau as dialects of Mro-khami. Horney (2009) describes phonologies of the Wakun and Xautau dialects.[7]

But there are slightly differences in the dialect of the Mro-khimi people according to the region. When calling a body part, it is usually called starting with Vowel sound “A” or “La”.[8]

The above content is the dialect spoken by the Mro-khimi people who communicate along the Kaladan river basin from Chin state to Rakhine state. The 1911 Burma Census Report, Section (1) of the appendix, on page 437, states the language of the Mro people as follows.[9]

The language and customs of the Mro-khimi people are more similar to those of the southern Chin. The 78% Mro-khimi people language similarity with Khumi (Khimi) and 39% similarity with Mrucha Mru people [17].[10] This is stated in the book History Of Operation in Northern Arakan and the Yawdwin Chin Hills (1896-97) by Captain GC Rigby. Mro much resemble the Kwaymis. The dialect spoken by them is different but allied to that of the Khumi.[11]

Comparison of Mro Language and Kami Language

In literature, the word Wakun is mainly used. Mro-people has their own literature. This literature was published in 1997 by U Kyaw Tha Aung (KEF), by the help of German literature scholar Dr Kenneth Greggerson and German literature Helga, he invented the Mro-Khimi literature from the Roman alphabet.[12]

Mro-Khimi Alphabet

Religion and Beliefs

The ancient Mro-khimi people worshiped traditional spirits. Later, most of them practiced Buddhism. There are also Christians. Buddhists also offer their traditional spirits. Traditional spirits are guardian spirits, They are guardian spirits.[13] In the matter of deity worship, the village people seem to believe in a traditional deity called “KNIQKHOEQMAQ”; as special gods. Some Mro people who converted to Buddhism still maintain elements of the ethnic Nat devotion. The Mro ethnic tradition describes a group of Nats (or spirits) referred to as the Yoyar Nats as the original or first Nats to exist, with each Yoyar Nat having a certain area of responsibility or control. These Yoyar Nats are respectively called “Eain Sout Nat” (spirit of the home), “ Yar Sout Nat” (spirit of the land or agriculture), and the primary Nat who was called “KNIQKHOEQMAQ” (creator of the world and of the Khimi people). The belief in KNIQKHOEQMAQ was transitional for the conversion of some Mro to belief in the singular deity of Christianity.[14]

The term “KNIQKHOEQAMAQ” is a combination of two words in the traditional culture of the Mro-khimi people, In the Mro-khimi language, “SUN”; is called “KANI”; and “KHOEQMAQ”; is interpreted as the Universe. “KNIQKHOEQMAQ” Kani Khutma”(eng); means the creator who owns the sun and the universe. It is because they are making a noise. However, only if there are problems or illnesses among the Mro-khimi people, they ask for “KANI KHUTMA”. In the stories of creation, KOEQMRIKOEQMRAN created “KHUTMARIKHUTMERIN”; said that the old woman and man were created from the dust of the earth.[15]

  • During the reign of King Dasara (AD 485), Rahoila, Ahpaungla the chief of the Mro-khimi, was sent to search for the statue of Mahamuni, which had been missing for many years. In that chronicle, it was recorded that “Mro Kwae Mwae/ Kwae Mwae Mro”, it can be known that the people of the Mro-khimi believed and worshiped Buddhism even before.[16]
  • The first Christian religion of the people of the Mro-khimi was from Mi Chaung region. In April 1932, a villager from the Mi Chaung area of Palatwa Township accepted Christ and was baptized for the first time.[17]
  • In 1960, in July, the Gospel of Mara entered the Mro-khimi people. There are still some villagers who offer traditional spirits.[18]


  1. ^ Andrew, R. F. St. (1873). "A Short Account of the Hill Tribes of North Aracan". The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. 2: 233–247. doi:10.2307/2841171. ISSN 0959-5295. JSTOR 2841171.
  2. ^ Pamela Gutman, “Burma’s Lost Kingdoms: Splendors of Arakan, p- 17
  3. ^ Hughes, W. Gwynne, “The Hill Tracts Of Arakan,” P-12
  4. ^ မြန်မာ့ဆိုရှယ်လစ်လမ်းစဉ်ပါတီ၊ တိုင်းရင်းသားယဉ်ကျေးမှု ရိုးရာဓလေ့ထုံးစံများ (ရခိုင်၊ စာပေဗိမာန်ပုံနှိပ်တိုက်၊ ၁၉၇၆)၊ စာ - ၃၁
  5. ^ Myanmar Encyclopaedia Volume 9 Part (B)
  6. ^ Preliminary Study of the Introduction of Indigenous Peoples in the Kaladan River Thesis. Rosan (Researcher)
  7. ^ Hornéy, Christina Scotte (2012). A phonological analysis of Mro Khimi (PDF) (MA thesis). Grand Forks: University of North Dakota.
  8. ^ Htin Aung – Kyauktaw, Rights granted by the state and the status of indigenous Mro-khimi ( 2015, p-7)
  9. ^ Morgan, Census of Burma 1911, volume IX, Burma Part-I, Reports, - 256
  10. ^ SIL2012
  11. ^ Captain G. C. Rigby, “History Of Operations in Northern Arakan and the Yawdwin Chin Hills, (MIZORAM, 1896-97), P-175.
  12. ^ Htin Aung- Kyauktaw, Image Of Life, (Grace,2006,Page-98)
  13. ^ Maung Sa Kaung “An applied grammatical perspective and study of urban language sounds;” Yangon University> 1990), Page-46
  14. ^ Mro-Khimi ethnic idenities
  15. ^ Luke Ahka, “The Anthropological Studies of Mrokhami People with Relevant Method for the Gospel: Cultural Anthropology For Christian Mission,” (Yangon, 2012), Page -2.
  16. ^ Rakhin Chronical
  17. ^ A. T. Houghton, Dense Jungle Green, 1937. 172-190.
  18. ^ HC. Bizo, the Study of Mara Evangelical Church and her Mission: Education in Mission Fields (Thesis, MIT, Yangon, 2017), 124.
  • Hornéy, Christina Scotte. 2012. A phonological analysis of Mro Khimi. MA thesis, University of North Dakota.

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Mro-Khimi people
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