There are thirty-five ethnic groups live in Bangladesh which represents two percent of the total population (Banglapedia, 2004). According to the government official statistics (Census Report, 1991), the number of ethnic communities is 29 (Khaleque, 1998). There are 13 Indigenous communities live in CHT, viz. Chakma, Marma, Tripura, Mrung, Tanchangya, Bawm, Pangkhua, Chak, Khyang, Khumi, Lushai, Mru, Rakhain etc.

Most of them live in Chittagong Hill Tracts because the topographic condition is favorable for their livelihood (Uddin, 2001). Most of the Indigenous people migrated into this land from Myanmar (formerly Burma) during the period from the fifteenth to the mid-nineteenth century (Hutchinson, 1909).

The inhospitable topography of the area isolated the region from the outside until about the fifteenth century and prevented any large-scale contact with people from the lowland (Shelly, 1992). Most of them migrated because of political instability. They moved to safer place. Some of the Indigenous community also live in Cox’s Bazar district. Most of the Rakhain live in Cox’s Bazar.

They migrated here form Arakan because of some political violence. They choose Cox’s Bazar for their residence because; from the geographical point of view Cox’s Bazar is the closest neighbor of Arakan so they can easily communicate with their country and it was a safe harbor for them (Ahmed, 1995). Then they spread several districts of Bangladesh. Now it was the smallest Indigenous group in Bangladesh (Roy, 2000).

Rakhaing and Tanchangya Girls

Rakhaing and Tanchangya Girls. All Rights Reserved.

Geographical Distribution and Population Size of the Tribe

The Rakhaing is the smallest Indigenous group in Bangladesh. They established their settlement in Cox;s Bazar, Patuakhali and Borguna district about 80% of the Rakhain live in Cox’s Bazar district. Rest of them live in Patuakhali and Borguna district. There were 4049 Rakhain in the Patuakhali region in 1872. The number increased to 16,394 in 1951, but then gradually reduced to 3,713 in 1979 (Bangladesh Statistical Year Book, 1997).

Few of them are living in the Bandarban district. The census of 1991 recorded the number of Rakhain population in Bangladesh at about 16,932 (Khaleque, 1998). The population of Cox’s Bazar district is 1419260 (census-1991, Banglapedia, 2004). So the percentage of Rakhain community in Cox’s Bazar district is 0.95%, Cox’s Bazar sadar upazila is 1.57%, Ramu upazila 0.80%, Chakaria upazila 0.85% (Population census-1991 and Aung, 2005).

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