Aka

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Aka (अका)[1] (Ako) is Jat gotra found in Afghanistan[2]. Ako and Aka of Afghanistan stand for the Aga Jat.[3] Aka may stand for Akha/ Akhai, Greek, or Aga, Jat, and more probably is the Naga clan of that name. [4] The Aka, also known as Hrusso, are found in Arunachal Pradesh.

Origin

  • But some recent authors believe that it gets name from Raja Ahuka (आहूक).[6]

History

Rajatarangini[7] tells us that Nara II was succeeded by his son Aksha who also reigned for sixty years. He built a holy place called after his name Akshavala. Agi/Aka originated from Aksha.

Aka is the name of a Naga tribe.[8]

While writing on the ethnography of Afghanistan, H. W. Bellow gives following information on the Asi/Asii:

Yusaf (same as Isap) is divided into five clan— Isa, Musa, Bai, Aka and Urya. They occupy Kohistan or hill country of the Yusafzai or Isap, which is commonly called Yoghistan or independent country.
Isa which is the Musalman form of Asi (Asva) has following sections Alisher, Aymal, Aypi, Burhan, Dadi, Gadae, Hasan, Hoti, Hyasw, Kika, Kamal, Kamboh (i.e Kambojia), Kanra, Khadin, Khaki, Kotwal, Lughman, Madi, Makho, Mama, Mashu, Musara, Mirhamad, Nasrat, Panjpao, Salar, Sen, Shergha, She, Taju, Taos, Warkam, Walayati, Ya, Zakarya etc (See: An Inquiry Into the Ethnography of Afghanistan, 1891, pp 80, 146, 150 Henry Walter Bellew).

Scholars like Dr Moti Chandra, Dr Krishna Chandra Mishra and Dr J. L. Kamboj write that Karpasika of Mahabharata is same as Kapisa or Ki-pin (or Ke-pin, Ka-pin, Chi-pin) of the Chinese records and represents the modern Kafiristan (now Nurestan)/Kohistan.[9]

Greek History

Arrian[10] writes that .... IN this country, lying between the rivers Cophen (Kabul) and Indus, which was traversed by Alexander, the city of Nysa is said to be situated. The report is, that its foundation was the work of Dionysus, who built it after he had subjugated the Indians.....When Alexander came to Nysa the citizens sent out to him their president, whose name was Acuphis, accompanied by thirty of their most distinguished men as envoys, to entreat Alexander to leave their city free for the sake of the god. The envoys entered Alexander’s tent and found him seated in his armour still covered with dust from the journey, with his helmet on his head, and holding his spear in his hand. When they beheld the sight they were struck with astonishment, and falling to the earth remained silent a long time. But when Alexander caused them to rise, and bade them be of good courage, then at length Acuphis began thus to speak: “The Nysaeans beseech thee, 0 king, out of respect for Dionysus, to allow them to remain free and independent; for when Dionysus had subjugated the nation of the Indians, and was returning to the Grecian sea, he founded this city from the soldiers who had become unfit for military service, and were under his inspiration as Bacchanals, so that it might be a monument both of his wandering and of his victory to men of after times; just as thou also hast founded Alexandria near mount Caucasus, and another Alexandria in the country of the Egyptians. Many other cities thou hast already founded, and others thou wilt found hereafter, in the course of time, inasmuch as thou hast achieved more exploits than Dionysus. The god indeed called the city Nysa, and the land Nysaea after his nurse Nysa. The mountain also which is near the city he named Meros (i.e. thigh), because, according to the legend, he grew in the thigh of Zeus.’ From that time we inhabit Nysa, a free city, and we ourselves are independent, conducting our government with constitutional order. And let this be to thee a proof that our city owes its foundation to Dionysus; for ivy, which does not grow in the rest of the country of India, grows among us.”


Arrian[11] writes that ....ALL this was very pleasant to Alexander to hear; for he wished that the legend about the wandering of Dionysus should be believed, as well as that Nysa owed its foundation to that deity, since he had himself reached the place where Dionysus came, and had even advanced beyond the limits of the latter’s march. He also thought that the Macedonians would not decline still to share his labours if he advanced further, from a desire to surpass the achievements of Dionysus. He therefore granted the inhabitants of Nysa the privilege of remaining free and independent; and when he heard about their laws, and that the government was in the hands of the aristocracy he commended these things. He required them to send 300 of their horsemen to accompany him, and to select and send 100 of the aristocrats who presided over the government of the State, who also were 300 in number. He ordered Acuphis to make the selection, and appointed him governor of the land of Nysaea. When Acuphis heard this, he is said to have smiled at the speech; whereupon Alexander asked him why he laughed. Acuphis replied —“How, O king, could a single city deprived of 100 of its good men be still well governed? But if thou carest for the welfare of the Nysaeans, lead with thee the 300 horsemen, and still more than that number if thou wishest: but instead of the hundred of the best men whom thou orderest me to select lead with thee double the number of the others who are bad, so that when thou comest here again the city may appear in the same good order in which it now is.” By these remarks he persuaded Alexander; for he thought he was speaking with prudence. So he ordered them to send the horsemen to accompany him, but no longer demanded the hundred select men, nor indeed others in their stead. But he commanded Acuphis to send his own son and his daughter’s son to accompany him. He was now seized with a strong desire of seeing the place where the Nysaeans boasted to have certain memorials of Dionysus.

Jat History

H. W. Bellew[12] writes that ...Alexander then entered that part of the country which lies between the two rivers Kophenes and Indus (Kabul and Indus rivers), where Nysa is said to be situate, and on arrival at Nysa (modern Nisatta, on the left bank of the Landi Swat river, near its junction with the Kabul stream) with his army, the citizens sent a deputation headed by Akalphis (perhaps a chief of the Aka tribe of the Naga), beseeching Alexander to leave the liberties of the city entire for the sake of their god Dionysus, and assuring him that Bacchus, having subdued the Indians and determined to return to Greece, built this city as a monument of his victories, and the mountain also which is so near it (Kohi Mor or Kiamur) he would have denominated Merus. ....

It is to be noted that Akalphis, or Acuphis as mentioned by Arrian[13], at the time of Alexander's invasion in 327 BC, was a chief of the Aka Nagavanshi Jats at Nysa.

Aka tribe in India

The Aka, also known as Hrusso, are found in the Thrizino (cultural hub), Bhalukpong (commercial hub), Buragaon, Jamiri, Palizi, Khuppi area in West Kameng of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. Their language belongs to the Tibeto-Burman family.

The Aka share strong cultural affinities with the Miji, and intermarriage with the Miji is prevalent.[14] Centuries of Vaishnava and intermittent Tibetan influence from the Sherdukpen has shaped the Aka culture into its modern form. Handicrafts, basket weaving and wood carving are the principal arts among the Aka tribe. Intermittent Tibetan contacts is evidenced by the fact that the Aka and Mishmis are known as "Khakhra" (meaning barbarians) to the Tibetans.[15]


One of the most notable features of Aka arts is the Chinese design of the Jana flower, which can be often found on many of the indigenous haversacks. It is a known legend that the Jana flower represents the commemorate an ancient Tibetan king, who was believed to have led his entire life through daily reincarnations. It was also believed that he lived in an open giant palace that grew the Jana flowers every time the sun sets.

Indigenous festivals under the guidance of a village shaman such as those of the four-day Nechido festival, held in January, involves the affiliation with the natural world and community. For the convenience of administration, the Aka people elects a chief, who often acts the role of the village headman. Polygamy is widely practiced in their patrilineal society, and cross-cousin marriages are accepted. Like most tribes, the Aka have an elementary caste system, the aristocrat Kutsun and the commoner Kevatsum.

The Aka practice shifting cultivation and rear domestic animals such as the Mithun. Temporary huts, accommodated by young boys, are built near the field to guard the crops from the animals. The staple food of Akas is maize and millet. They plant leaves, pulses, potato and rice. Drinks locally made from fermented maize and millet include Lao pani, Mingri and the Aarah.

Distribution

They occupy Kohistan or hill country of the Yusafzai or Isap, which is commonly called Yoghistan or independent country in Afghanistan.

Population

Notable persons

See also

References

  1. Jat History Dalip Singh Ahlawat/Parishisht-I, s.n. अ-2
  2. An Inquiry Into the Ethnography of Afghanistan By H. W. Bellew, p.16,129,155,158,168
  3. An Inquiry Into the Ethnography of Afghanistan By H. W. Bellew, p.31,108
  4. An Inquiry Into the Ethnography of Afghanistan By H. W. Bellew, p.78,80,98,108,119,121,128
  5. Arrian: The Anabasis of Alexander/5a, Ch.1
  6. Mahendra Singh Arya et al.: Adhunik Jat Itihas,
  7. Rajatarangini of Kalhana:Kings of Kashmira/Book I,p.22
  8. An Inquiry Into the Ethnography of Afghanistan, p.14
  9. Geographical and Economic Studies in the Mahābhārata: Upāyana Parva, 1945, p 44, Dr Moti Chandra; Tribes in the Mahabharata: A Socio-cultural Study, 1987, p 94, Krishna Chandra Mishra - Mahābhārata.
  10. Arrian: The Anabasis of Alexander/5a, Ch.1
  11. Arrian:The Anabasis of Alexander/5a, Ch.2
  12. An Inquiry Into the Ethnography of Afghanistan By H. W. Bellew, p.69
  13. Arrian:The Anabasis of Alexander/5a, Ch.1 &2
  14. Dept. of Anthropology, University of Gauhati (2006). Bulletin of the Department of Anthropology. Dept. of Anthropology, University, University of Gauhati, India Gauhati. p. 28.
  15. Sarat Chandra Das (1989). A Tibetan–English Dictionary: With Sanskrit Synonyms. Asian Educational Services. p. 124. ISBN 81-206-0455-5.

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