There are three different tribes living in Majuli. Mishing, Deori and Sonowal Kacharis, Mishing and Deoris have their own language while the Sonowal Kacharis speak Assamese.
Mishings or Miri migrated few century ago from the hills of Arunachal in search of fertile and safe land, worship mother Sun and father moon and believe that their ancestor Abotani as their son, they have their own religion “Mishing Faith”. Fun loving enjoying the life, have their music, musical instruments, dance and songs for different occasions, strict rule for not to marry in same clan or different clan but have a brotherhood. Houses are stilted made of bamboo over the wooden posts and beams, floor and walls are of bamboo, it has a thatched roof, houses are in cluster with granary and cowshed, poultry, piggery and goats are quite common, Fishing and growing different variety of paddy rice, mustard, pulses, maze, vegetables is main job, they prepare two type a rice beer and greet their guests with it. Weaving is part of every household. Making use of bamboo for their daily use items and wood work is limited to boat making only. Each village has its village chief and council who take care of village community.
Deoris also migrated from hills staying at various places and then finally reached Majuli through river Bharamputra, they call themselves children of Sun and Moon ( Jimo – Chaayan ) have their own culture and faith along with the Hindu Gods they worship their ancestors, they served as priests for the royal families even today they have same respect among the other tribal communities. Houses are stilted built by using bamboo, cane and wood, animals are on the lower level and upper level family stays, normally there is a corridor till the center of house which is used for all day to day work, there is place for faith in God and each home have a reserved place for it. Marriages are arranged by the family elders and day is fixed, as gift cloths and ornaments are offered and it is solemnized in the presence of community as a religious ceremony.
Two major festivals associated with the agriculture activity, Magiyo Bisu is celebrated in the month of January and Ibaku Bisu is in April, there are special rules, it is celebrated for seven days, the village elders shower blessings by visiting all the houses and, puja is performed in each house by the head of family, guests are treated with homemade rice beer “Suzen” young boys and girls gather in an open space and dance the whole night. Bhohagiyo Bisu is a religious festival and a very important Deodhani dance celebrated for twoweeks, it is believed that a special power is there with few who can be a Deodhani, they predict about the prosperity of village or person, it is a holy female god dance and during this period no men are allowed in colored clothes in the dance area called the “Than”. Joydam festival is celebrated in the month of February it is very important festival and cultural meet for all the four groups of Deori tribes, it is to pay the respect to motherland and celebrate the bumper harvest or before the sowing of seeds, the main profession of Deori tribe is agriculture.
Sonowal Kachari Tribe have its origin with Mangoloid features, they have no language of their own at present and speak Assamese language, believe in supreme power of creator and sprits worshiping the ancestors and sacrificing the animals and birds to please them but accepted the Vaishnave Satras followings in 17th century which is against any such things, each village have a place of worship called the “Namghar”. Family and village elders are treated with respect, villagers believe in cooperation and extend help in agriculture and house making in exchange for food and drink. In their family system there are clans and sub clans, marriages are forbidden in same and brother clan, they follow monogamy but having more than one wife is not objected, widow marriage is allowed. In marriage it is must to present a handloom to the girl, they wear colorful home weaved dresses, dhoti, kurta and Gamsha Love rice based food with less spices, Kacharies celebrate their festivals with great joy and enthusiasm there are three Bihu festivals , marriage , harvesting or any opportunity is enjoyed with dance.