Tibetan Affinity

The inhabitants of the extreme northern and western regions have had age-long economic and social contacts with Tibet and Bhutan, so that their language, religion, dress and social habits have strong Tibetan affinities. The extreme eastern regions, on the other hand, have been subjected to influences, from Burma and there are a number of small settlements of people of Burmese origin, known as Khamptis and Phakials, who have maintained their identity as Buddhist communities in their adopted homeland. whereas the Buddhists of the northern and western border a re of the Mahayana school (the so -called Greater Circle), the Khampits and Phakials originating from the Shan areas of Burma are of the Hinayana School (the Lesser Circle).

The inhabitants of the southern fringe of Arunachal, Particularly the villages along the plains and lower hills, have had traditional economic and social contacts with the Assamese and have also some knowledge of the Assamese language.

The main bulk of the inhabitants in the interior hills, until recently, had little contact with the outside world. Of Mongoloid stock, they speak their own languages, which are mainly of Tibeto- Burman family.