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Cultural Naming Practices

Published: 23rd Mar, 2024


Children of the Lisu and Singpho communities in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam are named according to the order they are born in the family, incorporating numbers into their names.


About the Numbering Tradition

  • Numbering names is a tradition in Lisu and Singpho communities.
  • Lisu boys and girls have separate sets of numbered names to indicate the order of their birth.
  • The eldest girl in a family has Ana in her name, and the ones after her are called Angyi, Acha, Ado, Achhi, Ata, Akhu, Agu, Aju, and Apshi, for a tenth daughter.

Lisu and Singpho communities

  • The Lisus belong to the Tibeto-Burman family and inhabit the contiguous hilly regions of Arunachal Pradesh, China, Myanmar, and Thailand. They number about 5,000 in India.
  • The Singphos is an ethnic group inhabiting 27 countries, including China’s Yunnan province. In India, they mostly inhabit the Changlang and Namsai districts of Arunachal Pradesh, and the Tinsukia district of Assam.
  • The Lisus and Singphos have similar usage of numbers in their names, probably because they belong to the Wunpong group, which has four more communities in the Kachin State of Myanmar.

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