The Biate people are one of the oldest tribes of Mizoram, Assam and Meghalaya
The Biate people are one of the oldest tribes of Though they are less in term of population, they have their own identity with a rich and distinctive history, culture, dialect and religious heritages. They are also one of the oldest living tribes in the NE. The term Biate comes from the word Bia-te. The word 'Bia' or 'Biak' means 'speak' or 'worship'. 'Te' is a suffix denoting plurality. Hence, the two words combine to form the word Biate, which means worshipper.
According to legends, while they were in Saitual, a group of people known as the Koilom or Kawilom from Rulchawm village of Mizoram (India) used to sacrifice human to appease a large python called Rulpui, believing that the snake had supernatural power. Thus, some writers are of the opinion that the word Biate originates from the term Rul-Bia-Teor Rul-Biak-Te, which means snake-worshippers in other dialects. However, this hypothesis is questionable, because the Biates, as a tribe, never fed or worshipped a snake except one. The offering sacrifices by one village was also not as worshiping a God, but due to their fear and timidity and that too only for some time. Some other tribes call them in different names. The Thados call them 'Beite' the Bengalis and other plain tribes call them 'Baite', the Dimasa Kacharis call them 'Bedesa' and the Khasis call them Hadem, which includes all the old-Kuki tribes of Meghalaya. Soppitt C. A. a renowned English writer account as 'Bêtê'. The Biate tribe is recognised as Schedule Tribe under the 6th Schedule of the Constitution of India.