TODAY -

Genetic Evidence Of The Origin Of Meiteis From Africa
How Did The First African Meiteis Change To Mongoloid Features

Dr. Irengbam Mohendra Singh *

 8th Manipur International Polo Tournament, Imphal, November 2014
8th Manipur International Polo Tournament, Imphal, November 2014
Front row from left: second Author, his wife Margaret and his niece Amrita Naorem



The most successful 8th Manipur POLO International Tournament, 2014, organised with military precision, ended on 29 November with a fanfare and razzmatazz. It was also a feat to bring out in a matter of a week a beautiful souvenir brochure by the Editorial Board to commemorate the 150th year of the first game of polo, played by Manipuri players in Calcutta.

While flipping through the pages of the souvenir, I noticed an article by N Thongbam and Y Mohendro, titled the "Manipuries [sic] - Origins, Pre-History and Emergence of a People & Nation". It was brilliantly written and well researched.

To my pleasant surprise, I found that the article contained research material that genetically proved my hypothesis based on empirical evidence that the Meiteis came from Africa and settled in Manipur as a tribal population. In my book The Origin of Meiteis & Meitelon is not a Tibeto-Burman Language, 2009. p98-102) from which an excerpt by Sapam Gita, a journalist, was printed in the Sangai Express on December 2009, I bemoaned that no one has ever studied the Meitei gene while so many researchers have studied non-Meitei tribal genes in the Northeast.

It was, I believed then, because Meiteis are Hindus and thus the tail end of Mayang Aryans in India. The researchers however, overlooked the fact that Indonesian Muslims do not have the same genes as the Arabs, who started the youngest religion of Islam - a monotheistic religion initiated by the Jews, who unlike Hindus, got fed-up with so many gods that were not answering their prayers and thus brought them under one "supreme" god, The God.

It now seems that some researchers including a few Meiteis took up the challenge and have genetically proved that Meiteis indeed, came straight from Africa, like the proto-Australoid Khasis of Meghalaya. They did heretically-based research to trace the origin of Meiteis. Now, the primitive wild speculations that Meiteis are bits and bats of some ethnic community in the south-east Asia should be given a deserved rest.

 Genetically decoded population expansion from Africa through India & Manipur
Genetically decoded population expansion from Africa through India & Manipur
(not copyrighted)



In days gone by, a handful of colonial officials and Christian missionaries wrote ethnographies of the primitive and tribal peoples of Northeast India, in which they always included a guesswork description of their migratory origin. In the absence of history and weight of tradition, these clever clogs searched for probable stories of migration and substituted with a fantasy story. And everyone including the educated ones, swallowed hook, line and sinker.

The origin of the Meiteis is also no exception with no clues has so far been in the wilderness time as we continued to skim the shallow surface of our history. However, the missing link of Meitei evolution will be found in the foreseeable future by decoding the full sequence of DNA of the Meitei genome. That will trace backwards, the Meitei origin from Africa in a specific texture of time, place and circumstance.

The plumbline of truth points to the new genetic evidence that all the tribal populations of Manipur except the Meiteis are related to the Southeast Asian populations and that their language is Tibeto-Burman while Meiteilon remains "unclassified" for over 100 years.

There is also evidence that the arrival of Tibeto-Burman speaking Mongoloids to Manipur was possibly around 1,000 BCE, if we were to believe Gangumei Kabui's History of Manipur: Pre-Colonial period, Ed 2, 2003, p53). He wrote: "Who were markers of palaeolithic and neolithic culture? The Hoabinhian cultural traits points to the Australoid who migrated to Manipur before the advent of the Tibeto-Burman Mongoloid who followed them around 1000 B.C."

We now know that the arrival of Meiteis was around 20,000 BCE, from the findings of Neolithic tools at Napachik in the Imphal valley.

The Northeast India is now populated by Mongoloid tribes who I understand, mostly speak Tibeto-Burman except the Khasis and the Meiteis, whose Meitei language remains unclassified and being unable to be attached as a branch to the ‘Tibeto-Burman language tree' for over 100 years.

In the search for Meitei origin, using the vehicle of prehistoric science, I find that we need more of imagination in order to build up a framework. Manipur, many thousand years ago, in the Pleistocene Age (About 26 million years to about 11,700 years ago) was a distant very cold region. It is in the northern temperature zone between 230 58' – 940 45'E longitudes and between 230 50' to 250 42N latitudes. This was within the range of the ‘Last Glaciation'.

During the Last Ice Age, about 25,000-20,000 years ago, anatomical change from the original dark, African ancestors to the Mongloloid phenotype occurred, as it did to the Meitei African ancestors because of what is known as "genetic drift" change, which means purely by chance, due to adaptation to the extreme cold. In the usual ‘Natural selection', a change is by differentiated reproductive success.

The Meitei ancestors then, was a tiny population and was thus favourable to the force of ‘drift'. The Meiteis had no interbreeding as there are no fossil records of earlier settlers in Manipur, and thus kept their gene pool unmixed. This supports my hypothesis that Meiteis are indeed, the autochthones of Manipur.

The evidentiary component of the proof that such a force of drift did exist, can be seen in Iceland, which has been settled for only 1,000 years by migrants from Norway, Britain and Ireland. There is a new Icelandic population and language. Many of them are rather short, dark-haired, and dark-eyed, with slight Mongoloid features. That's the reason why people living in the Alaskan peninsula developed Mongloloid features. There is now genetic evidence that Meiteis are the primogenitors of Manipur, proven by the two research papers cited below.

(1) "In 2009, K.N. Saraswathy and colleagues studied the Manipuri population to trace their ancestry. He (sic) adopted DRD2 [...] in DNA analysis and found a high variety [...] among the Meiteis. This finding suggests an admixture of incoming Mongoloid groups [from East Asia] with an already existing proto-Australoid (most primitive human race in Asia). The authors expressed that Manipuri population have diverged from the African population much ahead of other Indian populations coming to northeast India."

(2) Another study: "In 2012, Sapam Yaiphaba and others on the basis of study in mtDNA of the Manipuri population (both tribe and non-tribe) observed that there were strong evidences (sic) of genetic inflow from East Asia with the earliest Mongoloid immigrants into then existing proto-Australoid population in the beginning of human habitation in this region. Occurrence of significant East and Central Asian's diagnostic genes within the Manipuri population and complete absence of it in other Indian population, except for a rare observance in a primitive tribal population of south India."

The first study is referring to the research by KN Saraswathy, Kiranmala N Devi (Meitei), Achoubi Devi Nongthombam (Meitei), Somibabu Kahagengbam (Meitei) and others from the Biochemical and Molecular Anthropology Laboratory, Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi.

These researchers embarked on this study "to test the various oral traditions regarding the peopling of Manipur in that these communities immigrated from China, Tibet, and Burma (Myanmar) during different periods of time (Jacobs, 1990), contributing to the varied cultural heritage of the area in the form of tribal and nontribal groups."

Remarkably, unlike Dr Grierson and Dr Konov, who never set foot in Manipur, they did a field study in Manipur. "A total of 1142 random blood samples were collected from 625 males and 517 females, aged 35–75 years who were unrelated up to first cousin. The participants belonged to the Meitei community living in four valley districts of Manipur, India: Imphal East, Imphal West, Thoubal and Bishnupur districts."

They concluded that "Manipuri [Meitei] populations are distant from each other and genetically very far from the populations of other regions of northeast India (Dutta et al 2003, Kumar 2004). This suggests the varied times of migrations, routes, and ancestries for the people of northeast Indian region. PCO [principle coordinate] analysis indicates the inflow of genes from East Asia to Manipur and also admixture with already existing ethnic elements."

Perhaps the odd reader of my book/article, will recall that I highlighted that Meiteis are a distinct tribe with no common origin with any other tribes in Manipur or in the whole of the Northeast.

The researchers continued: "Though the present study is not exhaustive enough to comment on the various evolutionary histories, it is likely that the population movement from mainland India to East Asia through northeast region was difficult, if not impossible. Indian population in general and Manipur populations in particular are very different and not much influenced by the ethnic, geographic, and linguistic affiliations and are to be dealt as unique breeding isolates with regard to their respective genetic constitutions. This uniqueness could be attributed to their unique mating pattern and strict endogamy. The data generated and documented in the present study may not only be used for evolutionary studies but also can give a platform for community-region-septic association studies related to neuropsychiatric diseases and addictive disorders."

There is also a briefly mentioned account of Manipur having been once under water that corroborates my scientific article - "How was Kangleipak (Manipur) raised from the bottom of the sea" as a cup filled with water, and how the water drained through the naturally occurring three tunnels known as Chingnunghut in southwest Manipur - not the Hindu mythological belief of Shiva making three channels with his Trisul (trident) to drain the water to prepare a place for Radha and Krishna to indulge in their amorous pastimes - known as Ras Lila.

Today, the tectonic vertical uplift of Manipur - a valley cosseted by nine parallel eastern Himalayan ranges along with the whole of Northeast India has been proven by the Geographical Survey of India, Northeastern region (cf. author's book, Points to Ponder).

It's also my firm belief that a time will come in the near future, when some linguists in the Manipur University, are brave enough to challange that Meiteilon does not belong to the Tibeto-Burman family. At the moment, there is a wishy-washy inclusion in the Tibeto-Burman group, with an inveterate epithet "unclassified". Top linguistic specialists of the world are still unable to put Meiteilon in the Tibeto-Burman language tree, despite its many similarities. For the past 100 years Meiteilon has been hovering in the language firmament like a dove holding a twig in its beak, wanting to find her true nest.


* Dr. Irengbam Mohendra Singh wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at irengbammsingh(AT)gmail(DOT)com and Website: www.drimsingh.co.uk
This article was webcasted on July 17 2019.



* 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
  • 46th AMWJU Foundation Day : Gallery
  • Machengluang cleared Tamei road
  • Scrapping of Constitution Article, 35 & 370
  • Her Kitchen :: Poem
  • Career in journalism
  • BMSA Freshers' Meet : Thanks Giving
  • Mass Awareness for PMJAY & CMHT
  • Oscar Winning Film - Hugo screening
  • Need for JAC & school to act reasonably
  • Traffic Challans & other challenges
  • Hinduism in Manipur #3
  • Atomacha, Adibo, Leikoiba :: eMing
  • An interaction with Dr. O.K. Singh #2
  • Loneliness :: Poem
  • Let Road Users have their say ..
  • RIST Talk: Binary Recurrence Sequences
  • Racial profiling & criminalization of people
  • ZPO rejects its dissolution
  • 10 houses torched in inter-village dispute
  • Heikru Hidongba #2 : Gallery
  • Attitude to life and family
  • Breaking the glass ceiling
  • 28th NAMA Convention at Chicago
  • Inpui Naga Karing Ngei 2018 : Book
  • Dr. Md. Hamidur Rahaman : AMP Award
  • World Patient Safety Day
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Peace talk reportedly at final stage
  • Chayom Thupki (Meetei Philosophy) #11
  • 48th Foundation Day of RIMS : Gallery
  • Tarpon: Annual offerings to the dead
  • Licypriya : Climate change in Angola
  • World Ozone Day 2019
  • iKON 4th anniversary : Indian iKONIC
  • Gratitude to Dk. Korungthang
  • Xavier Board Higher Education Conference
  • Confusing announcement: ban on plastics
  • Nongpok Sanjenbam village #1: Gallery
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #4: Gallery
  • Ways of seeing Atiyagi Maya
  • National Lok Adalat at Lamphel Court
  • Take Me Home :: Poem
  • Money Lending business in Nagaland
  • Ambeshori : Gold at Jr Women Natl Boxing
  • Crime against nature deserve punishment
  • Khamba Thoibi Museum #1 : Gallery
  • Time- Is it an illusion? Certainly not
  • Can there really be peace without justice
  • Enrollment Program for PMJAY & CMHT
  • Heavy traffic fines, Harekrishna krishna
  • Jenil Khuman : Heroes of India award
  • Cracking the whip on driving by minors
  • ST demand: Is this a consensus decision..
  • Mukna - indigenous game : Gallery
  • An interaction with Dr. O.K. Singh #1
  • Cry of a Dying River - 92 :: Poem
  • Missing person : Dongminlian at Tirupati
  • Google Earth for ground & aerial survey
  • Mary Kom 1st woman athlete for Vibhushan
  • Delivering a point maturely
  • There should be a toll free grievance cell
  • Hiyang Tanaba @Lamlai #1: Gallery
  • Shrinking safe spaces
  • Child sexual abuse (CSA)
  • Demands: Flag for Naga & ST for Meitei
  • Proud of our scientists & ISRO
  • Daanveer Dutta Karna : 2nd best play
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Significance of Sept 11 to TSE
  • Climate Crisis, People, and the State
  • Ibudhou Marongkhong Haraoba #3: Gallery
  • Conundrum for Manipur govt over CAB
  • Violence against medical fraternity
  • Thongkhatabam Ankita : Governor's Award
  • The Enchantress :: Poem
  • Sunyata & Kenosis: Search of Ultimate Truth
  • Lim divide continues to run deep
  • Of nationalism, patriotism & against nature
  • Heikru Hidongba #1 : Gallery
  • Komrem Students Day @B'lore : Gallery
  • Protective Thinking: Village Nationalist #1
  • Haipou Jadonang: A Social reformer #3
  • Ungracious :: Poem
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • IAS Officer: Hero- Whipping boy- Villain
  • Petition CM to revoke breach order in Edn-S
  • Stand against illegal immigrants
  • September and Hijam Irabot
  • Impact of Christianity among Vaiphei #3
  • Kakching WW II Memorial Run : Gallery
  • Framework Agreement: Divide the state
  • Training Program for Remand Advocates
  • Hunt for North East designers & models
  • Kakching World War II Memorial Run: Report
  • Common Admission Test for IIMs
  • No school bags day for young students
  • GoI backtracking on Framework Agreement
  • Trekking to Dzukou #3 : Gallery
  • English as a Lingua Franca for NE
  • A Good Place to Spend the Night : Poem
  • The idea of Manipur
  • Vacancies at Hadron Techs, Imphal
  • 8th Convocation of Assam Don Bosco held
  • Yogurt based DIY packs to try
  • Big Bang Edge Test
  • Bhabananda was right; it was not only him ..
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #3: Gallery
  • Judicial administration under Bhagyachandra
  • Reena Bhavsar(Pebam ningon): Mrs India
  • Sick Education System should be blamed ...
  • Foundation Day of Physics Dept, MU
  • 26th World Congress of Political Science
  • DBC, Maram bags SBSI National award
  • Regulate pay of Pvt school teachers
  • Chingda Satpi Engellei #1 : eRang
  • The Endurers : a growing tribe
  • Swachh in Manipur
  • Khongoinaba & Kanglei Chanura Kanba
  • The ten in between :: Poem
  • Happy for no reason
  • Convocation: Assam Don Bosco University
  • Sounding the alert at the entry points:
  • Victims of greed
  • Folk Dance @Retreat ceremony #2: Gallery
  • Call for Papers : NACETER 2019 at Aizawl
  • Celebrating Teachers' Day 2019
  • Draft Bill on violence against healthcare
  • From the heart - Transcending fears
  • Her Richness :: Poem
  • Beauty benefits of mint
  • Return of the power struggle
  • 'We Dont, So Shouldnt You' of Mayangs
  • Licypriya: Peace Prize : Gallery
  • Haipou Jadonang: A Social reformer #2
  • Licypriya : World Children Peace Prize
  • Champions at 5th Intl Thang-Ta C'ship
  • International Geological Congress 2020
  • Manipur Tourism: Best cultural Award at TTF
  • 46th AMWJU Foundation Day
  • NDPP leaders called on Nagaland Governor
  • Condemns UP Govt for case against Journo
  • Looking to CBI to deliver: The trust deficit
  • Mockery of the legislation
  • Hinduism in Manipur # 2
  • No mee should disturb peace in Kuki Hills
  • Cry of a Dying River - 91 :: Poem
  • Human service demands need to save river
  • Aromatherapy as career option
  • Khelen Thokchom Media Fellowship
  • Rejoinder to Yanthungo Patton
  • New traffic rules and regulations
  • Myopic leaders and misplaced priorities
  • Over 19 lakhs excluded in Assam NRC
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #2: Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Maibi Jagoi : Gallery
  • FMGE -Foreign Medical Graduates Exam
  • Referendum in Catalonia
  • Allergen-specific blood test for allergies
  • Better investment climate: Challenge of Govt
  • AMWJU Identity Card
  • Chayom Thupki (Meetei Philosophy) #10
  • September Calendar for Year 2019 : Tools
  • Freshers Meet/Musical Night at Bangalore
  • Surgery over Healthcare
  • Discussion: Identity at India-Myanmar Border
  • A Euphoric Day Of Freedom :: Poem
  • Remembering the past famine...
  • Stalls- Hathei Phanit, Ukhrul #1: Gallery
  • AMSU & Naga Peace Talk
  • Hypocrisy of 'The Federation Of Haomee'
  • Introspecting renewed Hydropower push #2
  • Enrolment Program for PMJAY & CMHT
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang: Gallery
  • The traffic maze
  • Haipou Jadonang: A Social reformer #1
  • Chinglensana Kangujam : Arjuna Award
  • A Rainy Morning in Summer :: Poem
  • Apple Farmer Mayengbam Shyamchandra
  • The idea of a book club Imphal
  • Condemns act of locals in ICFAI Univ
  • Free medical camp at Ithai Barrage
  • Attacker on Childline must be arrested
  • Computer Courses at IP Infotech
  • Dead men or dead girls tell no tale
  • Going beyond people's expectations
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #1: Gallery
  • Wainu Chara : An indigenous rice breed
  • The sugarcane crisis
  • Positive Teachers-Students relation
  • NDPP & BJP met with Bishop of Nagaland
  • Zero budget natural farming
  • Helmet drive with sweets at CCpur
  • Responsibility matters
  • Manipur Independence Day : Gallery
  • Manipur Heli Service : Gallery
  • Kariang nuna sip eh :: Poem
  • River Rights as legal person
  • Athokpam Right: Kalams Book of Record
  • Be Educated; Be Empowered 0.02 Edition
  • Separate flag and separate Constitution
  • Manipur on a high: Drug menace
  • Impact of Christianity among Vaiphei #2
  • Introspecting renewed Hydropower push #1
  • Jhulon @ Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Climate variability in Phalee khul, Ukhrul
  • What vows does a catholic priest take ?
  • Leg Pain : What to do ?
  • Convention: Defense of Democratic Rights
  • Transit route to manufacturing unit
  • Khangkhui Cave, Ukhrul #5 : Gallery
  • Meeting on Road project at Phalong
  • The road that halted us by earthfall
  • National Entrepreneurship Awards 2019
  • Strategies to adopt for IAS Exam
  • Discussion: Issues of Legal Services
  • Irregularities of Non-NET Fellowship in MU
  • Threatened democracy
  • Nagas await historic day: NSCN (I-M)
  • Hathei Phanit @Ukhrul #1 : Gallery
  • Dr Ak Priyokumar : Golden Achiever Award
  • Lai-Harouba @JNMDA #2 : Gallery
  • Sangai fest: Dance Drama : Gallery
  • N'Jang-Ngi Thangal fest : Gallery
  • Jhulon @ Nabadwip, WB : Gallery
  • School Fagathanshi Mission : Gallery
  • Healthy & active lifestyle: A healthy Manipur
  • Heikat-Leikat [13 Aug] #2 : Gallery
  • Babysana: Student - Aug 10 #2: Gallery
  • Jhulon @ Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Chayom Thupki (Meetei Philosophy) #9
  • Patriots' Day @ Pune : Gallery
  • Babysana: State bandh - Aug 9 #2: Gallery
  • Folklore of Hao communities #3
  • Aliyah #2 (Film Scenes) :: eRang
  • Babysana's last rites performed: Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2019 #3: Gallery
  • Tolloi, Ukhrul :: 360 Panorama View
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2019 : Download
  • SPONSORED ADS