In ancient times Assam was known as Pragjyotisa and in the early medieval times it came to be known as Kamarupa. The name Kamarupa was prevalent till the consolidation of the Ahom political power towards the fifteenth century A.D.
In 1228 A.D. a section of the Tai or Shan people emerged in the eastern part of the country and gradully consolidated entire Brahmaputra valley and called it as Asama. Shan people came to be referred to as Asam, Ahom and sometimes as Acam by other people residing the country Asama. The modern Assamese word Ahom by which the Shan people are known is derived from Asam. Present day people of Assam Call themselves as Asamiya and their country as Asama. Word "Assam" is an English formation.
Assamese is the easternmost Indo-Aryan language of India, spoken by people of Assam. People of Assam Call themselves as Asamiya and their country as Asama.
Scholars have traced back the history of Assamese language and literature to the mystic songs known as Caryacarya-vinisacaya, generally known as Caryapadas or dohas, composed by the Buddhist Siddhacharyas affiliated to Sahajayana. a later development of the Mhahayana branch of Buddhism. These songs were composed between the 10th and the 12th centuries.