History helps people to know about their neighbours and thus helps them to find out affinities and differences, which not only satisfy the scholarly goals of knowledge production and education but also those of pragmatic understanding of values and attitudes for cultural exchange and survival of man as members of national and international community. What is important about north east is that it is predominantly tribal in its population structure and cultural practices. The challenge before us is to historically determine the exact influence of Ram Katha tradition on the culture of north east. It is a fact that the influences of the great epic have been carried to the north east through different routes. There are evidences that the Thai and the Mayanmarese (Burmese) versions of the Ramayana reached north east because of the migration of the Ahoms, who are believed to have migrated from Burma (Myanmar). Therefore the Ram Katha tradition in north east has diverse roots.
Ramayana has always been a great source of inspiration to the whole of humanity. The present volume is a study of the Ramayana tradition among the Chin tribe inhabiting the borders of Mizoram, Manipur and Myanmar. Although the Chin tribe has a lot of cultural and other similarities with many other tribes on both sides of the border, they also do have marked differences with the tribes living in the surrounding plains and valleys. This tribe has a fairly isolated existence for centuries and its language is unwritten.
Historically, it is extremely difficult to determine the exact period when the events of Ramayana got ingrained into Chin-Lushai culture. However, it may be traced to the Pan- Hindu influences and cultural contacts of early India with countries of South East Asia and far east and from there the influences were carried to the Chin and Lushai Hills. The Hindu relies in Indonesia, Thailand and Combodia bear testimony to this influence. It is hoped that the volume will be useful to researchers and scholars who are interested in the tribes of northeast and their cultures.