Q1. Are we Zomi because we were the dwellers of Zo/Zou or thick forest?
A1. The Kachin, Karen and Shan peole have thicker forest in their land. They have a higher mountain than those of the Zogam (Khonumthung) or Mount Kennedy. Khaa borazi mount of Kachin State is the highest mountain in Myanmar but we never call the dwellers as Zo or Zomi but just because they live on/ in and near the mountains. The inhabitants are known as Kachin or Jingphaw.
The Karens have a deeper and thicker forest than the Zomis but we never called them nor they never identified themselves as Zo or Zomi just because they live in the jungle, forest or on the mountain. If all the highlanders are Zos or Zomis then not only the Kachins, Karens but all the other 5 states of Burma will be called Zo or Zomi.
If the highlanders or mountain dwellers are called Zo because of the place they live, we won’t have Kachin, Karen, Kaya, Mon, Rakhine and Shan states & people in Burma.
Q2. Is Zomi the descendants of our progenitor Pu Zo?
A2. We called ourselves Zomi since time immemorial. We were “Zomi” even before we have written language. There were no other name that we know or call ourselves until the British colonization can replaced but Zomi. Therefore, Zomi is our original name.
However, there are some theories on how we get the name. The most ancient historical record we can trace our genealogy is up to Pu Zo as a person. There is no single evidence to disapprove his in-existence. The reason we call ourselves Zomi has more or less link to the progenitor of Zo being a person. If there is no existence and link of Pu Zo as a person then we won’t have names such as Zo vok, Zo an, Zo puan, Zo ngeina etc. We could have call vok (pig) as Gam Vok or Mountain Pig or Forest Pig or we call (Ngal) for the one who live in the jungle but Zo vok for the one we breed. So, it is undeniable that the existence of Pu Zo has more or less relation to our people as Zo or Zomi.
The proper writing system of our identity between Zo and Zomi is not an issue since it is an interchangeable as in Zo people, Zomi or Zomi people depending on its context. However, the vast majority of our people would accept and use as Zomi in reference to our people as it is more relevant to the preference the majority.
Apart from Zomi or Zo mi, no other name existed until the British colonization and Burmanization. Therefore, the historical truthfulness and originality of our true identity can never be anything else but Zomi.