The Chakma's are a people with their own culture, folklore, literature and traditions. The Chakma women wear an ankle length cloth around the waist which is also called Phinon and also a Haadi wrapped above the waist as well as silver ornaments. The Phinon and the Haadi are colourfully hand weaved with various designs. The design is first embroidered on a piece of cloth known as Alaam.
The Chakma people largest Indigenous group in Bangladesh. They also call themselves Changmas. They are concentrated in
the central and northern parts of the chittagong hill tracts where they live amidst
several other indigenous groups.Exact
population figures are inexistent but some reliable estimates put their number 400000+
at the last population census. 90% Chakmas also concentrated in Rangamati and
Khagrachari districts. Also 200000+ Chakmas live in India in the states of
Arunanchal, Mizoram & Tripura.At
last we have known 200000+ Chakma live in Mayanmar (Barma), there are basically
live in Rakayen States. A tribal group
called “Tangchangya” is also considered to be a branch of the Chakma people.
Both tribes speak the same language; have the same customs and culture also
profess the same religion -- Theravada Buddhism.
Chakma Traditional Dress
Diego de Astor, a Portuguese, drew a map of Bengal, which was published as Descripção do Reino de Bengalla in the book Quarta decada da Asia(Fourth decade of Asia) by João de Barros in 1615. The map shows a place called "Chacomas" on the eastern bank of the river Karnaphuli, suggesting that this is where the Chakmas used to live at that time. The Arakan king Meng Rajagri (1593–1612) conquered this land, and in a 1607 letter to a Portuguese merchant, Philip de Brito Nicote addressed himself as the highest and most powerful king of Arakan, of Chacomas and of Bengal. Defeated by the Arakanese, the Chakmas entered the present Chittagong Hill Tracts and made Alekyangdong, present-day Alikadam, their capital. From Alekyangdong they went north and settled in the present-day Rangunia, Rauzan, and Fatikchari upazillas of Chittagong District.