Aimol are a people in India, settled in different regions in different districts of Manipur and some in Assam and Nagaland. Some people live in Senapati district and Churachandpur district. Most of them are found in Chandel in the South-Eastern part of Manipur. The Aimol Tribe was recognized by the Ministry of Home Affairs on 29/10/1956. They are neither Kuki nor Naga Tribes of Manipur. There are fifteen villages of Aimol.

The Aimol speak the Aimol language which is a Tibeto-Burman, Kuki-Chin language and akin to Faihriem language. The Aimol number about 6,500. They practice slash and burn agriculture and are primarily Christian.

Origin

It is difficult to trace the very origin of the people. Here are some traditions which relates to the origin of the people which has been sang in the form of folklores and told as folktales to their children by their parents from generation to generation.

I. A Cave: The people came out of a big cave so they considered themselves cavemen and cavewomen. According to the tradition, many people of this tribe lived inside a cave and whoever came out of the cave for hunting or foraging, was killed by a tiger that laid in wait at the mouth of the cave. Thus the tiger killed many persons of this community. The population of this tribe alarmingly decreased. At last, a very brave woman began to ponder and wove a cloth of the same colour of that tiger. A very brave man of the cavemen wore the so woven cloth by the woman and the man came out of the cave. The tiger took him for a tigress and did not attack the man. So the man killed the tiger with his spear and sword. Thus the people could come out of the cave and began to sojourn to some safer places. The woman who could weave such beautiful clothes was widely known. The traditional cloth of the colour of that tiger is called “Ponchial” which is still considered as one of the precious and valuable gifts of a bride of Aimol and she presents this traditional shawl to her father in law in a marriage ceremony of a son.

Roung leh Waisua: According to this tradition, the people came from Roung leh waisua. The meaning of ‘roung’ is a deep gorge or valley situated between two hills or mountains and ‘Waisua’ means a river. The people came along the river which was a sepantile and full of dangerous snakes and animals. They followed the river toward north in the hope of getting a better settlement. It is believed that the sun was appeared from the southern side of the place – ruong leh waisua. Upon the consequence of this tradition, they believed that they came from the south.

Raim leh waisua: The meaning of Riam is tribals and Waisua means the crowd. According to this traditional view that the people had lived in a group of tribals or people. It has been said that this people could no longer live among such group of people. So they came out of this place towards north in the expectation of discovering a better and favourable place for their inhabitation. They had marked on a tree locally known as mook and planted plantain wherever they went and sojourned. They told the people who were left in the group of the people to identify the earmark marked on the mook tree (mook kung) and the plantain planted to follow them. It is believed that the Aimol people lived at a place known as Khokhengjol and khodamjo and later moved to Rungrelbung.

Etymology

The term Aimol or Aimawl means a talisman or spells of magic chanted to causes a black magic or causes an effect upon the person who is wanted by the owner of talismans. Aimol or aimawl is like a black ginger or a group such gingers and mol or mawl means a plain or a valley on a top of a hill or a mountain. The other meaning of Ai is crab and mual is valley. It is also said that the people were well known for their doi (magic) and even the Meitei King was afraid of their doi and invited a man for his doi. Therefore, Ai was grown wherever they lived as this was paramount important things for their rituals. The then the king of Manipur, Chandrakirti paid a royal visit to Saivom during his reign (1851–86). The kings of Manipur were quite familiar with the Aimol people.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aimol_people