The Karbis are formerly known as Mikir. There are several hypotheses regarding the origin of the name "Mikir". As an oral community, the Karbi people preserved their history embedded in folklores, handed down from generation to generation.
Having realized the importance of documenting history, many members of the community have started collecting folklores: songs, and sayings, including accounts of the customs and traditions.
It was the American missionaries who first rendered the Karbi language into its written form toward the end of the 19th Century, first in Bengali script, and later in Roman Script. Some of the first written books in Karbi are the Holy Bible, Mikir Arithmetic, Rapid Readers such as Bituso, Vopi, and others, to mention a few. It may also be worthwhile to mention that the first Karbi newspaper, Birta, was published beginning from 1935 by Rev. William Ralph Hutton.
In recent years, we have seen a number of commendable publications on Karbis. Yet, much of the stories still remain untold. It maybe worthwhile to mention the work of Sir Charles Lyall, The Mikirs, the first well-researched and authoritative study on the Karbis. This book has served as the primary source for many contemporary studies on the Karbi people.
Karbi.net is a small venture engaged in collecting and putting together the story of the Karbi people. Since, the history of the people live within the community, it is the desire of Karbi.net that this story will come out from the community whole and alive. We welcome contribution from all serious writers so that we can together build a repository that will serve as a resource center for any inquiry on the Karbi people.