The Ahoms, former ruling elites, also used history to claire a new social status.
After Yasmin Saikia's book on the Ahoms, this monograph is a major contribution towards understanding the history of the region.
The term Tai designates particular Thai peoples whose dialects have undergone the change of PT plosive [*d] to [t], as in "Tai Deng (society)," "Tai Mu'o'ng (dialect)," "the Tai Ahom (sovereigns).
the Assamese term "Asama" is a fair equivalent of the Ahom term "Tai"; the softening of the "s" to "h" (the change from Asam to Ahom) has its counterpart in the change from "Gosain" to "Gohain.
Ferlus (2006c: 107-17) goes a step further in assuming that the terms Siam, Assam/ Ahom, Shan originate in a phonological truncation of Sanskrit (ko)sam(bi) > syam/syam in Old Burmese and syam in Angkorian Khmer and Old Cham.
THE SHAN FROM UPPER ASSAM: THE ETHNONYMS TAI AHOM, TAI AITON, TAI KHAMTI
Though the Tai Ahom appeared as early as the thirteenth century in Upper Assam, the others arrived much later, around the eighteenth to nineteenth centuries.
If we may rely on the Buranji (Tai Ahom annals), a Tai Maw prince named Sukapha would have left his homeland around 1215 A.
Around the eighteenth century, (45) while the Tai Ahom were declining, other Thai ethnic groups arrived In Assam from Burma.
It should be noted that it is very probable that contacts never really stopped between the Tai Ahom and the other Shan ethnic groups from Southeast Asia.
The term Tai Ahom like Assam, the name of the province in Northeast India, is probably an exonym, the origin of which would be the term Shan/Siam, discussed above.