TODAY -

Thien and its downfall in the traditional Zeliangrong society
- Part 2 -

Dr Budha Kamei *



A Khangchu is also a sanctuary and a criminal, whether of that village or a fugitive from another village cannot be touched while in the Khangchu until the case against him is discussed and settled in the Pei.

J. P. Mills says, even a man "commits murder, the avengers, in the fury of the moment, cannot pursue him into a morung. The men of the Khel to which the morung belongs must protect him at all costs till the case against him has been discussed and calm action decided on. Nor may any crime be committed in a morung. Property can be left lying about in one with absolute safety, for to steal is tabu.

Any stranger, too, entering a morung must be treated politely, and can on no account be refused a night's shelter. High words and abuse are forbidden"(Mills, 1980: 51-52).

The Khangchu is like any other institution, which has its own set of rules, and regulations and no outsiders can interfere in its administration. The one who violates the rules of the Khangchu is liable to punish like other villagers for breaking traditional or customary laws.

Sometimes, as punishment one may be expelled from the dormitory for certain period of time depending on his offences and during which he is not allowed to participate in the socio-cultural activities of the village.

Above the Khangchu there is Ganchang Kaibang, the elder's house. The Ganchang is very important because those who have gone through the experiences of the gradation in the dormitory are promoted to Gaanchang.

The Ganchangs, they are also promoted to the Banja according to seniority of age and now they are the members of Pei, village council and hold offices. They also perform the religious rites and ceremonies of the village.

Since ancient times, the Banjas have been acting as the highest authority in social, cultural, religious, and political affairs of the village. Luchu Like the boys, the girls too have dormitory of their own. Unlike the Khangchu, the category of membership of this dormitory is only the unmarried girls. They have two leaders called Tuna Pi who are the senior most from among the girls.

In addition, two married men from the Khangchu are assigned to look after the affairs of the girls' dormitory. They are locally known as Tunamun Sinmei. The owner of the Luchu and his wife will act as patriarch and matriarch of the Luchu.

In this place, the young girls are given informal education training like art of spinning, weaving, dance, music etc. The girls' dormitory looks after the welfare of the village by contributing voluntary services in the form of collecting firewood and water for the poor and deserted widows during the daytime. They are authorized to use their dormitory only at night time (Ursula Graham, 1986:82).

Above the Luchu, there is an institution called Mathenmei Kaibang (married women's house). This institution is also known as Rakpui Kaibang. After marriage, a woman inevitably becomes the member of Mathenmei Kaibang and the functions of the Mathenmei are limited. But, they perform some social functions during festivals and religious ceremonies.

The senior members of Mathenmei Kaibang are generally promoted to the next social group of the old women i. e. Kengja Kaibang. They are assigned with ritual functions during births, deaths and religious ceremonies of the village. However, the institutions could not survive when the Christianity penetrated in Northeast India in the first half of 20th century and did invade the very core of the Zeliangrong social institutions.

Probably, the early Christian missionaries were confused regarding the religion and cultural values. Therefore, they considered the institution of the Khangchu, which is a cultural centre, as heathen institution and the use of this institution is against the doctrine and rules of the Christianity.

Hence, they uprooted the Khangchu institution with the conversion of the traditional faith into Christianity; for fear that this institution would play against their religion (Nshonga, 2009:83).

The conservative Zeliangrong blamed the Christian missionaries for the impairment of the Khangchu, but the Mission denied the fact that there are many unconverted villages; however those villages also have given up the institution of dormitory.

The Christian missionaries alone were not held responsible for the disintegration of the Khangchu, but the introduction of formal education and its impact led to the fall of Khangchu in the non-Christian villages.

Of the forces, this was the most powerful one because parents were prepared to send their children to school where the children would gain more. They felt they could control their children better at home than what the Khangchu could provide. All these factors lead to the disintegration of Khangchu institution.

J. P. Mills writes, decaying morung means a decaying village and well-used, well-kept morung a vigorous community. It is in the morung that the old men tell of the great deeds of the past, and the coming generation is taught to carry on the old traditions in future.

When the past is no longer gloried in and the future seems dark and uncertain, the morung falls into decay (1980: 51-52).

The proper functioning of the Khangchu has gone, but one cannot out rightly conclude that the system has been totally died out from the present Zeliangrong society (1976:46). It still exists, but functions only during festivals. Similarly, other institutions also function during festivals.

Conclusion: After observing the above facts, we can conclude that a Zeliangrong from his or her adolescent stage till the last of his or her life is to be a member of this or that social institution according to his or her age and he or she has to render his or her best services to the society for its well-being.

(Concluded ....)


* Dr Budha Kamei wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on September 13, 2018.



* 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
  • Mary Kom - Meethoileima : Gallery
  • Cultivation of low Chilling Apple Variety
  • Sangai Fest: Nagaland : Gallery
  • Human Rights Day & Draconian law
  • Oh! Joy of being veteran
  • War and Peace :: Poem
  • Bali Jatra- Odisha's maritime heritage
  • Understanding nature's gift
  • SC stand on victims of rape
  • Nupi Lal Ningsing Lamjel #1: Gallery
  • Chingningthou, Chaonu :: eMing
  • Chengni Khujai: Insurgency Chronicle #2
  • Taboo of Casteism in Manipur
  • Cry of a Dying River - 57 :: Poem
  • Understanding CMA as career
  • Smallest Child's Heart operated at SKY
  • Channeling the drive
  • Big anti-incumbency factor: Lok Sabha poll
  • Lamklai Kummoi Maring Fest #3: Gallery
  • Nupi Lan : Women Agitation, 1939-40 #2
  • Sangai Day 1: Inauguration #4 : Gallery
  • Tibetan Refugees in India :: Review
  • Nongpok Thong Hangba ...opportunities
  • Significance of Panti Neimei
  • Memoirs of love :: Poem
  • Developers required for Jobsenz @ NIELIT
  • On assembly election victory of Congress
  • The day after tomorrow
  • Kudos to rights defenders
  • Sangai Fest: Maibi Jagoi : Gallery
  • NEROCA FC Vs Indian Arrows : Gallery
  • Nupi Lan : Women Agitation, 1939-40 #1
  • Promoting Human Rights: A Perspective
  • Khongji :: Poem
  • Surveying tigers: A big challenge in Manipur
  • Terrorism & Technology - II
  • Silencing significance of Human Right Day
  • Trun up to Parliamentary polls: Issues
  • Deteriorating Tumukhong Village road
  • Sangai Fest: Chareng Len : Gallery
  • International Mountain Day, 2018
  • Loudness not ok please
  • A wounded Pine Tree :: Poem
  • Natural remedies for hair growth
  • BEHS office inaugurated at Motbung
  • Tattooed With Taboos :: Review
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Stone Forest @Yunnan, China : Gallery
  • Eerie, Eerier, Eeriest :: Review
  • Sangai Fest: Muay Thai : Gallery
  • ..that made me fall in love with Naga
  • Research Support Officer wanted
  • Condemns arrest of Journalist Wangkhem
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Programs at Public Health Foundation
  • Fixing the broken window
  • Head count of dogs !!
  • Pari Imom (Film) #2 :: eRang
  • Matheous Thingbaijam Cycling NE: Gallery
  • Gwangju Prize for Human Rights 2019
  • Tests for allergies
  • Cycling across NE: Matheous Thingbaijam
  • Site Officer/ Manager @R-Square Design
  • Armed Forces Flag Day celebrated
  • A lasting legacy
  • 'Stray dogs' as predators
  • Sangai Day 3: Pung Chollom #2: Gallery
  • Thai Princess @Imphal Airport: Gallery
  • Fashion Show @Sangai Fest #1: Gallery
  • Mysterious Animal Attack of Manipur
  • Khelen Thokchom Media Fellowships
  • Career option in Purchase Management
  • Terrorism & Technology - I
  • Intimidation to media person
  • Ban on hunting migratory birds
  • Manipuri Diaspora in Myanmar #3
  • Sangai Day 3: Pena: Gallery
  • I am a beautiful HIV Virus :: Poem
  • Teacher & Student: Stop eroding education
  • Diaspora unites at Thadou Nampi, USA
  • Deciding Mary's title :: WJ
  • A good man perspective
  • Now people need to extend co-operation
  • Day 3: Kabi Burnan : Gallery
  • Art meets Fashion : Gallery
  • Sangai Day 5: @ BOAT #3: Gallery
  • NAF announces Annual Scholarship
  • Preventing methods to save livestock
  • How Do You Do ? :: Poem
  • Competitiveness of Manipur
  • Shattered dream - "The Smart city"
  • Arrest, release & re-arrest of young man
  • Ningol Chakouba @ MBC #3 : Gallery
  • Sangai Day 3: Thang Ta #3: Gallery
  • Stalls at Hapta Kangjeibung #1: Gallery
  • How do you see 'disability' today ?
  • I don't exist without polo: Rafael Secco
  • The Road :: Poem
  • Students needed for cultural revolution?
  • Hard stand, hard decision
  • Cong rolling up sleeves ahead of LS polls
  • Day 8 : Arambai Langba : Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Evening Program #3: Gallery
  • The Midnight Hunter : Analysis
  • Art exhibition "Art meets Fashion"
  • The Haipi Lho-lhun Kut
  • Gaudiya Vaishnavism in Meitei Nation #3
  • Sangai Day 9: Thadou Dance: Gallery
  • Sangai Chef: Cooking Final : Gallery
  • Han Kang's The White Book
  • Sangai Day 4: Yubi Lakpi : Gallery
  • Sangai Chef: Season 1 Cooking Final
  • Disaster Management Course at NEHU
  • Training on Online Fact Checking
  • Clarify : Impact of Act East Policy
  • On the series of Killing of Livestock..
  • Today is World AIDS Day
  • From entrails to body now
  • NESO : abolish Citizenship Bill
  • NEC building cultural centre at Delhi
  • 12th Manipur Polo Intl #1 : Gallery
  • Sangai Day 9: Kabui Dance : Gallery
  • Day 5: Stalls @Keibul Lamjao: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Holi Pala #1: Gallery
  • Importance of TESOL in Government School
  • Farewell to Lt Gen LN Singh, VSM**
  • Waphong Inthan - A failed village
  • On the arrest of Kishorchand
  • Blank Editorial
  • Predator or predators on the prowl
  • Thai Princess visit Kangla #1: Gallery
  • December Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • Sangai Day 8: Mukna Kangjei #1: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Evening Program #2: Gallery
  • Polo grows on you: Col Tarsem
  • Rediscovery of Gangmumei Kamei: Review
  • For whom does she cry ? :: Poem
  • DG Assam Rifles visits Manipur
  • Detention of TV journalist not fair
  • Arrest of 8 mountaineers from Manipur
  • Sangai Day 4: Lai Haraoba #1: Gallery
  • Bangladesh Manipuri Students : Gallery
  • Sangai Day 3: Pung Chollom #1: Gallery
  • We have a balanced team: George Shelton
  • Cry of a Dying River - 56 :: Poem
  • Sangai with Sumo & Samba ?
  • Morphing : An innocent loses her life
  • Bangladesh Manipuri students at Sylhet
  • Thai princess visits Kangla Fort
  • Olympics gold my dream : Mary Kom
  • Exploring the beaten path
  • Opening up Manipur: Visa office assurance
  • Thai Princess Sirindhorn @Sangai : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2018 #5: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 6: Pherzawl Dance : Gallery
  • Manipuri Maichou 7 :: Book Review
  • Chandon :: Poem
  • Conservation of biodiversity
  • Defers proposed indefinite highway bandh
  • 19th Hornbill Festival at Kisama
  • Sangai stops dancing
  • Mary Kom: Epitome of sporting excellence
  • Sangai Day 5: Evening Prog #1 : Gallery
  • Sangai Day 5: Thailand Dance : Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Imphal Art Camp : Gallery
  • Edward Armstrong - USA Polo Team
  • An abrupt journey to an oasis of blue bull
  • Winter Blues :: Poem
  • Technical Internship Training for Japan
  • NPF on Nagaland Deputy Chief Minister
  • A ditch to Technology
  • Border row: India Myanmar, sacrificial lamb
  • Sangai Day 4: Pena Esei :Gallery
  • Day 5: Sangai Chef: Season 1 : Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Evening Program #1: Gallery
  • Sangai Festival 2018: Turning into a Mela?
  • Sumo Wrestling: popular event in Sangai
  • Sangai Chef: Season 1: Cooking : Day 5
  • Truths in rumours & humours
  • PANE Conference organized at AUDC
  • Sangai Day 2: Dance from Kamjong: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 3: Thang Ta #1: Gallery
  • Can we have the Sangai festival daily?
  • Platonic love :: Poem
  • IGAR(s) congratulates Mary Kom
  • WPW Syndrome operated and cured
  • NSUD clarification on Nagas' Meet
  • National Highway bandh from Nov 27
  • Prospective candidates of Cong, BJP
  • Sangai Day 2: Sumo Wrestling #1: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Myanmar : Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Geet Govinda: Gallery
  • 2017- a watershed year for Manipur Polo
  • Faculties (PG) at Gauhati University
  • Biodiversity for economic development #2
  • Mera Kongchat Mass Rally #4: Gallery
  • Sangai Chef: Season 1 : Day 1
  • GC Tongbra's 'Chengni Khujai'
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Thy name :: Poem
  • Bartending as a career option #2
  • Legal Awareness Programme
  • Tribute to Bhupen Hazarika at London
  • Blessing for Manipur
  • Cherry Blossom & Sangai: beyond Imphal
  • Sangai Fest: Inauguration #2 : Gallery
  • Mera Wayungba #2 : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba @Pune : Gallery
  • ChingTam Ningol Chakouba @Goa: Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Mysore #2 : Gallery
  • Scaramouche, Fandango, Galileo, Figaro..
  • Laija (Film Scenes) #1 :: eRang
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Dubai #2 : Gallery
  • Rajkumar Jhaljit : Sahityaratna 2017
  • Ningol - mapam lamdam : Gallery
  • Mera Houchongba @Konung #3: Gallery
  • Fabrics of Bangladeshi Manipuri: Download
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Eepan Thaba #1: Gallery
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2018 : Download
  • mtM :: Seireng
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #4: Gallery
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS