Introduction / History
The Molsoms are a sub-tribe of the Halam community of Tripura which form a minority of the tribal population in Tripura state. The Molsoms belong to the Chin-kuki linguistic group. It is believed that the Molsoms came to permanently live in Tripura around the year 1584-86 A.D. In spite of prevalence of basic similarities of dialects, cultures and traditions among the various sub-groups of the Halam community and also with the Kuki and Lushai tribes, The Molsoms have their own language, dialect, culture and tradition which are distinct and rich.
There is neither written record nor other forms of written literature on the evolution of The Molsom language. However, hearsay, folk songs and folk tales are the only sources of information on the evolution of the Molsom language. According to a Molsom folk tale, once upon a time, at the beginning of the human races, the supreme ruler of the earth allotted languages to each and every tribe of the earth. Some languages were written on stone plates, some on pulp, some on iron surfaces, some on leather and some on tree leaves. The Molsoms were gifted a language written on a green leaf.
It so happened that the careless chief of the Molsom forgot to take the language gift home and it was left outside the King's palace. A goat came and ate up the leaf on which Molsom language was written. Consequently, the Molsom language become unpopular and un-recognized. The evolutionary roots of the Molsom language can be traced back to their original homeland and the environments they used to live in.
In this connection, it is popularly believed that prior to their entry into the erstwhile Tripura Kingdom, the Molsoms lived in areas adjacent to Burma and Mizoram borders. It is believed that during their long period of habitation around those areas, and also as a result of their inter-action with the other tribes, the Molsom languages must have got shaped. Evidence to this assumption can be drawn from the wide ranges of language similarities present among the Lushais, Kukies and Molsoms.