Introduction / History
The Senthang Chin are a Tibeto-Himalayan group of people, a sub-family of the Chin-Hakha-Lai race. In accordance with the genealogy of Senthang, Pu Mang Sui founded the senthang clan. The oral genealogy of Senthang claims that a man named Senthang was the Orginator of all Senthang people.
One suggestion about the origin of the term "Senthang" is that it is derived from Sen who had been king and famous in the history of Mongolia.
Before the chin people entered the Chin Hills, they settled for many years in the Kalay Valley and Myittha Village. Searching for a good place, they finally settled at Senthang.
The tribe settled in Senthang in the earliest part of fourteenth century. Mang Sui and his family entered from the north and then settled at Chung Cung. Pu Mang Sui moved from that place and established a village called Paizawng. It was situated between the present Lungrang and Surkhua villages. Pu Mang Sui was the head of man of the particular village. He got the privilege of collecting 12 kinds of taxes.
After some year, Pu Mang Sui and his brother, including their relatives transferred to many places in the land of Senthang. Some of Senthang arrived at Gangaw Township, they passed through the Mawpi Mountain and moved to another place by following the river of Riva. They established 33 villages. Their descendants became the Senthang tribe of today.
Where are they located?
They live in a remote part of the Hakha Township. As of the most recent census most of them lived in different parts of Myanmar such as Chin State, Magwe Division, Sagaing Division and Yangon Division. Most of Senthang people are living in Chin State.
What are their lives like?
Their primary occupation is cultivation of the soil. The overwhelming majority of them still live in rural areas. They enjoy simple lives of unity. It has been said of them that they like to be part of a people movement rather than to act individually.
What are their beliefs?
The entire Senthang Chin tribe practiced a traditional ethnic religion before the coming of Christianity. The tribe was often incorrectly described as worshiping the devil. In fact they worshipped neither good nor evil. They believe in a Supreme God of "Kozin" to whom they sacrificed. When the body died, they believed it went to a world called "Mihikwa" (dead man's village), which was divided into Pwethikwa, the pleasant abode, and Sathikwa, the miserable abode of those not avenged. Good deeds and bad deeds did not affect the future of a man. He would go to Pwethikwa if he died a natural or accidental death, and to Sathikwa if he died by the hand of enemy. He remained there in a restless state until his death was avenged by blood. Then he would at once enter Pwethikwa and be as happy as those who died a natural death on earth.
When a man would get sick he would sacrifice a young fowl to a spirit. If he got well, it meant that the spirit was satisfied and had withdrawn. But if after sacrificing the fowl he remained ill, he would try a small pig, and then a large pig and so on, until if the illness were prolonged, he would be considered the sacrifice.
What are their needs?
The Senthang Chin need leadership training and small group Bible studies. They also need to have access to more food and better healthcare. Communicators of the gospel must understand and master the culture and customs of the people.The Senthang Chin live in extreme poverty and underdevelopment. They lack sufficient means of transportation and communication.
* Pray for growth of the church among the Senthang Chin.
* Pray for leadership training.
* Pray for the Christians to have unity in Christ and to do His mission.
Text source: Joel Mang