Part of CoRSAL

About the Language

Mizo (iso 639-3 lus) is a Kuki-Chin language belonging to the Tibeto-Burman language family. It is the native language of the Mizo people in both the Mizoram state of India (23.36 N, 92.8 E) and Chin State in Burma.

About the Collection

This is a community collection of audio recordings of modern spoken Mizo covering three generations of male and female speakers, including children, recorded between 1970 and 1990 by Thangi Chhangte. Many of the speakers featured in this collection, such as Chhangte’s grandparents, were born in the early 1900s.

The collection includes Liandala (Chhangte’s maternal grandfather) singing songs he composed himself, and traditional stories narrated by Pi. Thangpuii, mother of C. L. Rema (Chhangte’s paternal grandmother). Pi. Thangpuii was a storyteller in her youth, and claimed to know a hundred Mizo folktales! There are also conversations between family members and audio “letters” to family members living outside of Mizoram—for example, messages and songs from family and friends in Mizoram, recorded on cassettes and sent in the mail. These recordings represent natural language, as family members speak casually with each other, visitors come and go, and children play in the background.

The collection includes performances of singing by children, choir, and family. The songs include zaikhawm hla, a Mizo style of group singing and a traditional way of giving thanks. These are religious songs sung in a group, often at funerals or celebrations. They are sung with a traditional drum and accompanied by dance. The songs include words of thanks to God for good fate and good days. The collection also includes performances of Mizo Christian hymns sung at home and by church choirs—many composed by Mizos. These recordings are especially important, as they were done before the advent of mass media in Mizoram; the composers were less homogeneous in the period before digital music recordings. Chhangte says the language and music was freer in those days.

At a Glance

Cite This Collection

Here is our suggested citation. Consult an appropriate style guide for conformance to specific guidelines.

Mizo Language Resource in UNT Digital Library. University of North Texas Libraries. accessed February 22, 2024.

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