Multiculturalism Many South, Eastern and Southeast Asian communities have settled in Assam over the centuries. It can be said that civilization started in the region of Brahmaputra Valley. The existence of prehistoric communities can be revealed by the discoveries of stone implements and pottery. Study of humankind accounts say Assam's population composition is marked by series of migration. Australoids, the first inhabitants, were absorbed or dispersed by the Mongoloids that ancient Sanskrit literature term as Kiratas. The indigenous people followed, and four categories - Mediterranean, Alpine, Indo-Aryan and Irano-Scythian -settled in the valleys of Assam. Assam is a meeting point for people who speak different languages and have diverse religion. The Mongoloid group is categorized into scheduled tribe (plains) and scheduled tribe (hills) but some like Ahoms, Chutiyas and Morans are not considered tribes. Among the non- tribal settlers are Bengali (Hindu and Muslim), Nepali and various Hindi-speaking groups besides Adivasis (referred to as 'tea tribe')
Assamese: The definition of Assamese on linguistic, cultural or ethnic basis has eluded experts though the Indian government associates them with the Assamese-speaking Indo-Aryan group the Brahmaputra Valley. In pre-colonial times, Assamese was a political category used to define those living in the Ahom kingdom. The Assamese as accepted by New Delhi is the majority group of Assam. Many tribes and sub-tribes use Assamese language as the lingua franca and along with others form the greater Assamese society. The Assamese Muslims are divided into four categories - descendants of soldiers taken as prisoners by Ahom kings, local converts, preachers who came from time to time and artisans brought during the Ahom period.
Tribes: The largest of the plains tribe in the Northeast, the Bodos are linguistically of the Tibeto-Burman group and are believed to have migrated from northwest China. The other indigenous groups include the Mishing, Rabha, Dimasa, Karbi, Deori, Sonowal Kachari, Tiwa, Hojai, Mech, Hajong, Singpho, Khampti, Tai-Phake, Garo, Khasi, Jaintia, Hmar, Kuki, Paite, Baite, Rengma , Mizo and Chakma.