TODAY -

The Dying Green Gold of Manipur: Bamboo

Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh *

 Bamboo Products displayed during 3rd World Bamboo Workshop 2019 at Hapta Kangjeibung, Imphal :: 5th February 2019
3rd World Bamboo Workshop 2019 at Hapta Kangjeibung, Imphal in February 2019 :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam



Manipur, the state of North-East India, known as “The Land of Jewel or Switzerland of East/India”, due to its breathtaking blue hills, charming scenery and natural endowments. Its assorted topography and distinctive climatic conditions, fashioned diverse forest types in the state i.e. Tropical Semi Evergreen, Dry Temperate Forest, Sub-Tropical Pine and Tropical Moist.

By virtue of these speckled climatic surroundings, various species of bamboos are found flourish here, both in hills and in the valleys. In Manipur, approx. 3268 sq.km area is under pure bamboo brakes which is 18.6% of the total forest area of the state and nearly all the bamboo species of North-Eastern India are found nurturing here.

Hollow woody culms, widespread rhizomes system, elaborate branching and erratic flowering are some of the unique characteristics of this poaceae family members. In Manipur, it is an ethnicity to raise bamboo in homesteads as they provide vital uses for subsistence of rural livelihood.

The want of bamboo subsists from childbirth to death as they are used in house construction, fuel, fodder, food, tools, religious ceremony etc. In forest fringe villages of Manipur, dependency on bamboo is much more than any other part of the state not because of its multipurpose use only but because it is associated with their legends also.

Due to this, foremost species of bamboo have been selected and preserved by dwelling ethnic and tribal communities and thus it is rightly to say that they are the real protectors of forests biodiversity.

There are 51 species of bamboos in Manipur. Out of these Utang, Unal, Saneibi, Maribob, Khokwaa, Moubeewaa, Waak etc. are popular bamboo species in Manipur. Bamboo plays a vital role in the life of Manipuri’s in their day-to-day requirements. It has multiple uses and is used in almost all the household needs for construction, craft, fencing, rituals, firewood, rope, food, utensils and paper manufacturing.

Rice prepared inside tender hollow bamboo known as Utongchak, that is full of flavor is offered to guest during festive occasion. Bamboo shoots both in raw and fermented form are largely consumed by the people and can earn a large share of household economy. Bamboo shoots locally called USOI are young tender culms of the bamboo plants arising from the underground rhizomes.

They have been used as an important food ingredient in this region since ancient time and constitute a range of delicacies. During rainy season, all the bamboo species produce young shoots which are harvested from forest and home gardens and are used for domestic consumption. Not only in fresh form but bamboo shoots are also consumed in various forms. The raw/ fresh shoots are known as Soidon or Soijin and fermented bamboo shoot as Soibum.

The fermented form (Soibum) , owing to their unique aroma and texture are very popular and consumed profoundly in the state. Annual consumption of 2188 tons of fresh ( Soijin/ soidon) bamboo shoots and 114.3 tons of Fermented ( soibum) shoots have been reported from the state. Despite the tremendous popularity of bamboo shoots as traditional food resource in the state for long time, only 15 species are available on the extend of its edible species.

According to experts and researchers bamboo shoots of Manipur are gaining worldwide popularity because of its nutrient components, high fiber and low fat content. According to them, the bamboo shoots have good amount of proteins, amino acids, carbohydrates, fiber and low amount of fat. Protein content ranged from 1.88 to 3.25 gm. per100gm fresh weight of bamboo shoots.

Young edible bamboo shoots are rich in various mineral elements such as calcium, potassium, sodium, iron, selenium etc. Bamboo shoots are labeled as a heart protective vegetable because of its high content of potassium that helps to maintain normal blood pressure and a steady heartbeat. In fact, bamboo shoot is one of the most precious medicinal plants found in Manipur because of medicinal values present in its young shoots.

There is no end to the use and utility of bamboo. Bamboo craft is traditional Manipuri craft and is intricately entwined with the Manipuri lifestyle. It is extensively practiced in almost every Manipuri household. Not a single day of a villager’s life goes by without the use of bamboo in different forms.

Bamboo is found to be used myriad ways to create large varieties of articles which are more or less used in the day-to-day lives of the natives of Manipur. The products produced by artisans here are not only aesthetic in look but are also highly functional in nature. Unfortunately the practices of this crafts have now reduced considerably.

Among the North-East states, Manipur ranks second in terms of the production of various bamboo crafts, the first being Tripura. The bamboo crafts of Manipur have a huge variety that range from traditional to modern creations.

Crafts like Sofa Sets, Murahs, mats basketry, tray, chairs, table, flower vase, ashtray, headgears, ornaments, bamboo combs, smoking pipes, musical instruments, umbrellas, pitchfork, bows and arrows, anklets and wristlets and other decorative and utility articles.

Many of the parts for the loin –looms, fly shuttle looms etc. are made of bamboo. The bamboo craft of Manipur in fact may be classified as decorative bamboo craft, utility bamboo craft and commercial bamboo craft. Moreover Manipur is also known for its beautiful baskets created by tribal people for their own use.

A bamboo can grow easily with least labor and time, cultivation aspect are least considered. The high potential can be improved by suitable scientific intervention and local capacity building, which will have great implications in improving the socio-economic status of community. Bamboo resources will not only increase per capita income of the state but also the life of rural household.

Till date the management of bamboo resource has many constraints with lack of post-harvest treatment and technology for product development, inadequate trained manpower and inadequate infrastructure for large harvesting in the event of gregarious flowering.

Although bamboo species conserving and protecting in forest fringe villages by them have not been received proper attention, in terms of diversity, distribution and utility pattern. Also due to indiscriminate exploitation, annihilation of forests and changing scenario of rural standard of living, the bamboo of Manipur is in the process of continuous degeneration.

Thus there is urgent need to document and determine the present status of bamboo species growing in fringe villages, so that the measures can be taken well in advance to conserve this “GREEN GOLD” of Manipur.


* Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh wrote this article for Imphal Times
The writer is a Sr. Faculty, JCRE Global College, Imphal and can be contacted at sjugeshwor7(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on November 27 2020.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • COVID-19 vaccination [Jan 16] #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Empowering women through sports
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Dzuko 'the Nagmani'
  • 3rd foundation day- National Sport University
  • Research & Publication Ethics Workshop
  • Living Legends of Manipur : Wall Calendar
  • Cong existence felt, will it survive?
  • Day light Thabal Chongba #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • School Fagathanshi @Leimapokpam: Gallery
  • The voice inside me :: Poem
  • Let's embrace youths self esteem
  • Gita - An antidote for life in Kali #2
  • Bedtime beauty hacks to look young
  • Menace on the roads of Imphal
  • Hill Valley bondage strengthened
  • Narcotic Drugs disposal @Lamlai #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Shachi Gurumayum honoured overseas Indian
  • Enthusiasm of LFCA's children
  • Energy Conservation Material Management
  • Commandant 12th Bn NDRF called on CM
  • Water education for sustainability
  • Postpone Public Hearing on Gender Policy
  • Students at the forefront
  • Fuelling the anger
  • COVID Vaccine arrived @ Airport : Gallery
  • Major (Dr) Laishram Jyotin, Ashoka Chakra
  • Mushroom training program at Langmeidong
  • 5 years of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana
  • Drugs ki lansu amani
  • 3rd State Level Jump Rope Championship
  • Vaccine and low count of infection
  • Human fails to learn lessons from Corona
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #13
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Athing Mongbisu, Nemneikim: eMing
  • National Youth Day at Lilong Haoreibi
  • Face it all together: threat of pandemics
  • Majuli - India's only river island district
  • More of a question when, not should
  • Tungjoy re-visited
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • COVID Vaccination Meeting with PM: Gallery
  • Fruits & Vegetables grown in North East #2
  • 18th BIG Call : Biotechnology Grant
  • Trade hate for love : Blissful 2021
  • Jump Rope (Judges & Referees) Exam
  • Connecting via Jiri
  • Dhanamanjuri University & its Identity Crisis
  • INA's Honour at the Battle of Imphal
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Ima Keithel @ Kanglatongbi/Sekmai : Gallery
  • Aromatic Oil Extraction training at Huishu
  • Tulihal - Our sweet old local airport
  • Gita - An antidote for life in Kali #1
  • Training on Mushroom at Nagamapal
  • The call for new normal still stands
  • 187 Death Anniv- Maharaj Gambhir : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 09 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Biocontrol of Parthenium for biodiversity #2
  • A message from mother nature :: Poem
  • New year resolution & complication
  • NEP-2020 : A new Landscape in Education
  • Wildfire in Dzuko, Senapati #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 08 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Satyamala : Most Fortunate Manipuri Princess
  • Transforming economy of the kingdom of God
  • Events and celebration as career
  • How to protect your lips in winter
  • Poppy plantation & drug trafficking
  • We Continue To Strive Forward
  • Press Club Foundation Day : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Bereavement : Grief Reaction
  • Emergency Response System : Gallery
  • This world :: Poem
  • Bitter truth
  • Re-opening and rethinking border trade
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 # 12
  • COVID-19 Status 06 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Fruits & Vegetables grown in North East #1
  • Life goes on !
  • Naga Rapper Macnivil - New Music Video
  • Awareness Prog with Women Commission
  • Farm Acts need of the hour
  • Imphal on eve of New Year 2021 #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Cold Storage @ Bishnupur Bazar : Gallery
  • Pronoia - The sociological antidote to corona
  • New Year 2021 :: Poem
  • Careers opportunity in Fashion Industry
  • Economic growth: A mirage so far
  • The law of Habit
  • Zeilad Lake in Tamenglong #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Biocontrol of Parthenium for biodiversity #1
  • Child Nutrition and their future
  • Guilt free self love - Not a sin!
  • 'Anguish over wild fire at Dziikou Valley'
  • Another message for another year
  • Lamphelpat: Victim of unplanned urbanisation
  • Politics and the War Against Drug
  • Ibudhou Marongkhong Haraoba #4 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn the Manipuri script
  • Linguistic Society of America 2020 to Manipur
  • Time for Modi-Shah duo to ink the final pact
  • Vanishing Lamphelpat calls for conservation
  • New Community Centre at Ningthoukhong
  • Disturbed Area status: An unwelcome gift
  • Paona Independence League of Burma #3
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Presentation of Tourism in Manipur : Gallery
  • Manipur's super cops
  • The passing moment- clock of life :: Poem
  • Executive Committee of 2021-22 YMC
  • Take care of your hands this winter
  • RK Bhubonsana : Profile- Literature Awardee
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Prayers to honourable Home Minister
  • Book Release of Cheerom Meihoubarol
  • Chronicling activity of Veterans in Manipur #2
  • Biswajit Basu as Director (Projects), NHPC
  • Imphal on eve of New Year 2021 #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar :: 2021
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2020 #6: Gallery
  • Bidding Goodbye 2020 with a toast of Corona
  • Let us not down NK Sanajaoba's Spirit
  • Dr Konika Khuraijam- SDP Achievers Award
  • One Day Adventure Programme at Lamdan
  • On stepping into a brand New Year
  • Welcome 2021: Will it be another happy days
  • Romita Yumnam is Mrs Jhansi 2020 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 30 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Mrs Romita Yumnam crowned Mrs Jhansi 2020
  • Year's End - 2020 :: Poem
  • Bye - Bye 2020 :: Poem
  • Maya Kuki in top 25 in Mrs Universe 2020
  • 2020: Decisive for the BJP in Manipur
  • The other side of Amit Shah & Manipuri talent
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #11
  • COVID-19 Status 29 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • The cry of a disgruntled citizen
  • KVRSS Annual Research Awards 2020-21
  • Manage to reduce it
  • Life is a matter of choices
  • Painting Competition : Right to Information
  • New virus strain: The world is worried
  • Mayang Imphal Keithel #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • January Calendar for Year 2021 : Tools
  • Shanti Thokchom #43 : Trip to Grand Canyon
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • 2020 as the 'Year of Science'
  • Sampurna Raas Leela at Guwahati
  • Significant 2 hours delay in leaving lmphal
  • Biren will be Chief Ministerial candidate
  • Amit Shah @Imphal [Dec 27] : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Organic cultivation of tomato
  • Xmas during pandemic - a time to reflect
  • Reviews of Loktak Downstream Project
  • Amit Shah: Man behind ILP in Manipur
  • S Lonphai, Henglep Sub-div, CCpur : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Christmas greetings
  • Halls of Ivy - a lament :: Poem
  • Remembering Jesus- A lonely 'Carpenter'..
  • Beauty oils: The solution for dry winter skin
  • Of Manipur and HM visits
  • Works of Haobam Paban Kumar #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Pukhrambam Narjit : Asangbi Sanagi Medal
  • Community health work is work
  • Chronicling activity of Veterans in Manipur #1
  • What are friends for ?
  • Discontinuation of Traditional Elopement
  • Christmas Traditions :: Book
  • Lessons from COVID-19: Universal healthcare
  • Getting bronze medal in drinking
  • Manipur on the way to development
  • Towards Atmanirbhar Cities
  • NSCN (K) in talk mode
  • Still murky news from Manipur University
  • Paona Independence League of Burma #2
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Christmas 2020: Pandemic time Choice
  • Winter woods :: Poem
  • Cultivation practices of Soybean in Manipur
  • Laishram Mema honoured at Mumbai
  • Blow out the old, ring in the new
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #10
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • School Fagathanshi Mission : Gallery
  • Yongchak: The Dying Bean in Manipur
  • Economy of using concrete transmission line
  • Careers opportunity in Journalism
  • The reality: Virus is still out there
  • Are we in the right direction
  • Khamba Thoibi Jagoi at JNMDA #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • 84 yrs recovers from C0VID-19 at Ukhrul
  • Azolla : A potential biofertiliser for rice
  • Rice water for winter beauty
  • Boring 2020
  • War on Drugs campaign : Drawing attention
  • War on Drugs: The uncheck loopholes
  • Cherry Blossom at Mao #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • CM visit to Senapati: Gallery
  • As the year comes to an end :: Poem
  • This too shall pass
  • A tribute
  • No test for incoming passengers
  • ILMDG's approach to preserve Ariba Pala
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipuri Filmmaker @ 51st Intl Film Fest India
  • Revisiting the life of Lamyanba NK Sanajaoba
  • 5 days skill development training program
  • Symposium on Combating COVID-19 : Day 3
  • The art of cleaning the dirt
  • Festive mood in CCpur for Xmas: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Panti Neimei : Prayer for longevity
  • New species of lac insect found in Manipur
  • Community-led approaches pivotal to HIV
  • RIST Talk 47: Photoacoustic signal strength
  • Symposium on Combating COVID-19 : Day 2
  • High profile arrest, high profile acquittal
  • Attracting tourists: post COVID
  • Paona Independence League of Burma #1
  • COVID-19 Status 17 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Irang bailey bridge @ Noney : Gallery
  • My Tryst with Preeclampsia, Again!
  • Adieu to a maverick IPS officer
  • Symposium on Combating COVID-19 : Day 1
  • Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana
  • Dry but ranks third in the country
  • The dirty game
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Thanga #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #9
  • My mother :: Poem
  • Love who you are !
  • AR organizes Weapon Display for Students
  • COVID-19 highlights virtues of villages
  • From deadlock to 'imposed solution' ?
  • Persons with Disabilities [Dec 15] : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • ADR Centres at 5 districts : Gallery
  • Works of Haobam Paban Kumar #1 : Gallery
  • State level Nupi Lan Day : Gallery
  • Langban Lam-Haiba @ Andro #2: Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Sory Wahengbam - Actress Gallery :: eRang
  • COVID patient cast vote @Wangoi : Gallery
  • 'Zehara' - Manipuri Movie :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS