Friday, 4 December 2009

Magh People

Magh people
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The Magh is the term used in Bengal for the Arakanese or Rakhine people of Arakan. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the kingdom of Arakan expended its territories to the Chittagong area of Bengal. Arakanese navy of the kingdom of Arakan plundered along the coast of Chattagong as well as in the rivers of Bengal and captured many Bengalis and sold them in the slave market, especially to the Dutch East India Company, VOC in Batavia. For those natorious activities, the Arakanese were called Magh pirates by the people of Bengal. Another alternative suggestion for the term Magh is that the word derived from Maghada country where the Buddha lived and which is mentioned in the Arakanese Chronicles as the original residing place of the ancestors of the Arakanese kings who were the relatives of the Buddha.

During the hey days of the Arakanese kingdom, many Arakanese people who were called Maghs lived in Chittagong region of Bengal. As Chittagong, what is now in Bengladesh, was part of Arakan in the past, the Arakanese Magh governers ruled part of Bengal by residing in that city as capital of the colonial region of Arakan. Arakanese king also appointed Bohmong Rajas to rule in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in Bohmong Htaung. The Chakma region of CHT and the kingdom of Tripura was also part of Arakan at that time. These people living in CHT, especially in Bandarban were still ruled by Bohmong Raja until now since the Arakan's rule of Bengal. The Arakanse who have been living in CHT, Bengal, since the ascent of Arakanese kingdom in the 16th century were also known as Marma people. These Marmas are known as Magh to the people of Bengal as they are the Arakanese descendants. Arakanese people living in Tripura state of India since that ancient time are also called as Mog or Magh by the local people of Tripura State.

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