The origin of the Meiteis and other tribes are shrouded with many theories. The Meiteis and the other tribes have been identified with the "Kiratas" of the Vedic literature (Chatterjee, 1950). However, many historians have rejected the theory of Hindu origin of the Meitei. Pemberton (1835) considers them to be the descendants of a Tartar Colony from N-W frontiers of China. B.H. Hodson's theory of Tai ground that the Meiteis are Tibeto-Burman Language speakers while the Tais are of Siamese-Chinese linguistic family.
G.A. Grierson put forward another theory that the Tibeto Burman and other Mongolian ethnic groups inhabited the upper courses of the Yangtza and the Hung-Ho rivers in China in pre-historic times. Their kinsmen migrated southwards and settled in the Hukwang Valley of the present land of the Catnips in upper Burma before they moved further down to Manipur valley.