Published August 9, 2019
This video was recorded by Rohini Lakshané in Manipur, India. Uipo Khoibu speakers call themselves the Uipo and they constitute a distinct tribe within the Naga community in northeastern India and northwestern Myanmar. Khoibu is a Maringic language alongside Maring, both of which are closely related to the Tangkhulic dialect continuum. It is predominantly spoken in the Khoibu, Narum, Saibol, and Tangkhul villages of the Indian state of Manipur. It is an endangered language which has largely gone undocumented. Although there have been proposals in the past to include Khoibu among the scheduled languages of India in India's constitution, it has yet to receive that vital recognition. Furthermore, their inclusion within the larger Naga identity has somewhat overshadowed their individual recognition as an independent tribe, impacting the support that is needed to keep the language thriving. The Khoibu tribe has passed down an oral account detailing its people's history of settlements, culture, and customs, along with past clans' names and origins. Uipo Khoibu was spoken by about 25,600 people as of 2001. It is a Kuki-Chin-Naga language belonging to the Sal group within the Sino-Tibetan language family.