Tai Ahom people
The Ahom (Pron: ˈɑ:hɒm or ɑ:həm) (Assamese: আহোম) people of Assam are the descendants of the ethnic Tai people that accompanied the Tai prince Sukaphaa into the Brahmaputra valley in 1228 and ruled the area for six centuries. Sukaphaa and his followers established the Ahom kingdom (1228–1826) and the Ahom dynasty ruled and expanded the kingdom until the British gained control of the region through the Treaty of Yandabo upon winning the First Anglo-Burmese War in 1826. The kingdom established by the Ahom people gave Assam its name.
The modern Ahom people and their culture are a syncretic blend of the original Tai culture, the indigenous Tibeto-Burmans and Hinduism. Many of the Tai followers of Sukaphaa were unaccompanied males who subsequently married into the local communities. Some ethnic groups, including the Tibeto-Burman speaking Borahi people, were completely subsumed into the Ahom community. Members of other communities, based on their allegiance to the Ahom kingdom or the usefulness of their talents, were accepted as Ahoms. Gradually, the Indo-Aryan Assamese language replaced the Ahom language as the Ahoms assimilated to Hinduism and other aspects of Indian culture. The Ahom language, only known by approximately 100-200 members of the Ahom priestly class, is extinct as a spoken language and only used for ritualistic purposes.
Starting in the late 20th and continuing into the early 21st century, there has been renewed interest among the Ahoms in their culture and language leading to increased study and attempts at revival. The 1901 census of India enumerated approximately 179,000 people identifying as Ahom. The latest available census records slightly over 2 million Ahom individuals however, estimates of the total number of people descended from the original Tai-Ahom settlers are as high as eight million.