This article is compiled from the book “THE CHIN HILLS” by Bertram S. Carey and H.N Tuck, printed and published in 1896, in Rangoon. Names of the people, and places are differently spelled now adays.
I. ORIGIN AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE SIYINS
Original of the Siyins.
The origin of the progenitors of the Siyin tribe is, according to the natives, shrouded in mystery. Tradition states that a gourd fell from the heavens and, bursting with the fall, emitted a man and woman ; these became the Chin Adam and Eve, and their garden of Eden was Chin New1, a village already mentioned. This story is not peculiar to the Siyins, but is believed by all the tribes in the Northern Chin Hills.
As the Sokte forefathers left the first village and moved south, thus earning the name of “Sok” Te 2 so the Siyins moved cast and settled near some alkali springs, after which the sept was given the general name of “She” = alkali and “Yan” = side. The “Sheyante” 3 has been corrupted into “Siyin” by the Burmans and we have accepted their pronunciation
for general use. The Siyins are called “Taute” or “ Taukte” by the Lushais and Southern Chins, “Tau” meaning “stout” or “sturdy” and “te” is the plural affix implying “people.”
The first Chiefs of the Siyins.
Neyan of Chin Nwe is the father of the Siyin tribe; he lived 13 generations ago and be had three sons,. Ne Nu, Vamlok, and Daitong; these three together left the nursery of the Northern Chins, migrated some 12 miles to the east, and founded the two villages of Limkai 4 and Twantak. 5
Vamlok is the progenitor of the three communities which we classify as the Limkai, Toklaing and Bweman clans, and Ne Nu is the progenitor of the clan we designate as the Siyin clan of the Siyin tribe, though it would be more correctly named if we called this family the Twantak clan.
Vamlok had three sons, Hansook, Toklaing, and Limkai. Hansook founded Tavak village, Toklaing founded Vumyang village, whilst Limkai remained in the original village of that name.
Ne Nu had one son named Lamtam, who lived in Twantak, the village founded by his father Ne Nu and his uncle Daitong. Lamtam’s youngest son Neyal moved from Twantak and founded Koset village, which nine
1 Nine miles from Tiddim.
2 Meaning the people who went down or below.
3 Te = people.
4 Limkai was founded by Vamlok. The present village of Limkai lies south of the
Nattan stream; Vamlok’s village was near Koset.
5 Twantak was founded by Ne Nu and Daitong.
6 The Twantaks and Toklaings, including the Bwemans, never moved off the banks of tho Luipi stream before 1880, when they were driven into scattered settlements; and, although they claim to have lived at different times in Vumyang, Mwiton, Twantak, Loto, Lope, Lopehwin, Koset, and Tavak, the sites of all these villages are still found and are within a few hundred yards of each other; of all these villages, with the exception of old Limkai, only Vumyang, Koset, and Mwiton figure prominently in the history of the tribe.
7 Daitong’s descendants arc still found; they are, however, of no importance in the
tribe and it is not necessary to follow their antecedents.
8 Koset, i.e., “Kwa” = village, “sat” = east, therefore the eastern village of the tribe.