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Origin, History and Migration of Rakhaing

Rakhaing, a small tribe of Arakan origin belonging to the "Bhotbarm" community of the Mongoloids (Banglapedia). The skull of Rakhain is round their nose is flat, they have black hair, they are usually short in height and their complexion is light brown. The word "Rakhain" originated from Pali word "Rokkha or Rokkhain" means "the conservative nation" (Singh, 2002).

They are originated in 4000 BC in the Neolithic age. Several anthropologists recorded that the "Nigrito" and "Dravidians" community settled in Arakan respectively in 5000-4000 BC (Isalm, 1989; Aung, 2005). Then the sober clans "Aryan" and "Mongolian" abolished the previous clans. Rakhain came into being as a result of the amalgamation of the last two races with one another (Aung, 2005; Ahmed, 1995).

They finally settled in Arakan. Arakan is an ancient land with a glorious past. It was an independent state. The people of Arakan called their country "Rakhine pee" or settlement of the Rakhaines. (Ahmed, 1995). "Mara Yo" was the first king of "Rakhaine pee" or "Arakan" in 3325 BC. He was the father of nation of Rakhaines. It was the golden time for the Rakhain.

In 1633 AD the king of Arakan Thiri Thudamma was killed by one of his minister. So disorder and anarchy became rampant in Aakan. That time the capital of the Rakhaine pee was "Mrauk-U". Because of these violence Nag-Tunkine, the Arakanese prince, left Arakan and took shelter at the foot of a hillock near the river "Bacoli" and laid the foundation of the village called "Aung Kye Sa". In Rakhaine dialect this word means "the village of Peace". According to historians, this is the earliest name of Cox’s Bazar. Some others of this community hold the view that the mane of this village was "Paloanchi" which, in the Arakanese dialect, means "the mouth of the river".

Science the location of the village is within the vicinity of the mouth of the Bakkhali the word Palonachi may be taken for the ancient name of Cox’s Bazar (Ahmed, 1995). Different information indicates that this was the first migration of Rakhain in this area. At that time Ramu (present one of the thana of Cox’s Bazar) was province of Arakan. The Arakanese called Ramu "Panwa", which, in the Arakanese dialect means "the village of Yellow flower". So, the history of migration of Rakhain community in this area is more ancient than Cox’s Bazar. But that time this area was not their permanent residence because they maintain a good communication with their country, Arakan.

Rakhaing Women

Rakhaing Women. All Rights Reserved.

From the middle of the eighteenth century the political condition of Arakan started to deteriorate. The story of this period is replete with rebellion, murder and rivalry for power (Ahmed, 1995). So, the life of the common people became miserable. The last king of Arakan "Thamada" was dethroned by the Burmese king "Bodpaya" in 1748 AD. The independent Arakan annexed to the kingdom of Burma in 1785 AD and considered as a province of Burma till now.

The Burmese soldiers started to oppress the Arakanese and thousand of Arakanese crossed the border, settled in the previous "Aung Kye Sa" or "the village of Peace" means Cox’s Bazar and took shelter in the company’s territory. They refused to go back to Arakan. So, East India Company entrusted Capt. Hiram Cox’s with onerous responsibility of rehabilitating them in that area. The local Rakhain called area "Falongshit".

In Arakan dialect "Falong" meant 'Saheb" or a man of high rank or a European and "Shit" meant "Bazar" or market. Cox succeeded to settle a large portion of the Arakanese or Rakhain in the area. He also founded a Bazar there. After death of Cox in 1799 the area was named Cox’s Bazar to show honour, Hiram Cox. Then the Rakhain community lived this area permanently and spread through Cox’s Bazar to Patuakhali and Borguna.


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