Folklore of Hao communities
- Part 3 -

Yarngam Lunglo *

 Leirum and other item used in a Luhongba ( Marriage ceremony for Meiteis) :: 10th July 2019
Leirum and other item used in a Luhongba as seen on 10th July 2019 :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam


The old man said something about Hao scripts. The script was written on dry leathers and dry hard bark. The elder brother groups carried dry leathers and the younger brother carried the dry hard bark. The elder brother who possessed the script kept it near by the fire place in the kitchen shelf.

Unfortunately one day a dog had taken it and spoiled completely whereas the younger brother kept in a safety place. As a result of this the younger brother groups could developed faster than the elders brother groups because every event and knowledge was written on it and it guide the people what to do and what not to do.

To add more concrete proof in support of Tangkhul folklore, I extracted a few lines of comment from the book of Meithei by Hudson. On page six Hudson comment goes like this. There is close connection between Meiteis and Nagas.

The ceremony denominated (phumpankaba) or ascending the throne is performed in Naga dress both by Raja and Ranee and the yumchau (great house) ,the original residence of the Meithei Chief is though he doesn't reside in it, still kept up and is made in the Naga fashion. It also appear that Meiteis and Nagas were friendly and inter marriage between them took place every now and then. This is a crystal clear that Meiteis and Nagas are brothers since time immemorial.

Now the intellectual of Meitei have openly come out to claim that they are tribal from the very inception. I think there is nothing wrong in claiming as tribal.

At a glance everybody knows that they became general during the early 18th century when they embraced Hinduism. The mistake they had committed can be corrected if they realized.

It is a welcome process from my perspective because they are one of our brothers from the very inception as per the folklore of the Tangkhul. On the contrary the tribals of Manipur do not like the move fearing that once the Meiteis convert to tribal there will be problem in getting tribal quota in govt. jobs. So there is a tug of war between tribals and Meiteis.

To be very frank if we want to co- exist side by side peacefully it is good to recognize the right of others. The Bible says do unto others what you want other to do unto you. The Bible is true and we should follow the truth path. Many problems will arise so long we live in this world.

However, we must learn how to overcome it through love only then we can co-exist peacefully. The society is sure to collapse if single ethnic group have passionate attachment towards only their goal while forgetting the others right. This type of attitude is the way to Hell.

In recent years we have witnessed 3 to 4 political Tsunamis in Manipur. In each Tsunami 2 to 9 people have lost their lives due to protest against the Government. The whole people of the state had been buffeted by a wave of strikes, bandhs, dharna, blockade.

Now, recently framework agreement between GOI and NSCN-IM was signed. Could the peace talk be a successful one or a failure one only God knows it. In case the GOI and the Nagas came to an amicable solution to the vex problem, are the Meiteis going to fight for it till the GOI roll back the solution?.

I presume that once the two entities find a solution to it, the Nagas together with central India will not withdraw their hard earned solution. So it will be futile exercise on the part of the Meiteis.

I personally appeal to Meitei brothers to give in to it, not that you are weak but show your due respect to the hard earned achievements by your own brothers. So that in return your brothers will do the same to you in many areas in the days to come.

As for the Naga , for the last 70 years we have been fighting and sacrificing for Naga independence/ sovereignty/ integration long before Manipur merged with India. So no organisation on earth can let it go easily.

Nagas should help Meiteis and Meiteis should help Nagas and promote mutual understanding of brotherhood whenever an opportunity come to each of them. I think this is the only magic or mechanism that can bind two brothers together side by side in the long run.

One Ao woman who was married to a Tangkhul guy said that there are similarities of dialect between Tangkhuls and Aos. She came to know this because she speaks Tangkhul dialect well.

In general both Tangkhuls and Aos girl name suffixed 'La' like in Tangkhul Hormila, Huimila, Seishimla. Likewise in Ao - Amenla, Pendangla, Atola and so on. Our Tangkhuls original clan name is Hao and brothers in Nagaland they called it Ao, these two are from the same clan, the old man said.

Language affinity between Meiteis and Tangkhuls.

I was a mere headmaster at New Canaan Top High School, Ukhrul district. Half of the staff were Meitei brothers and another half were Tangkhul brothers. Our common medium of teaching was done in bilingual e.i, in English and Manipuri. As I had been serving there from 1981-2014 February together with Meitei brothers.

I came to know that there are a lot of similarities of words carrying the same meaning between Tangkhul and Meitei languages. With little effort, I have brought out a small booklet on language affinity between these two communities.

To enable the readers to understand the two languages, I place Meitei-lon in the first place, Tangkhul in the second place and English in the third as follows:

Sl. No. Meiteilon Tangkhullon Englishlon
203.Pak PhangdabaPak MasamkaphangVery Rare to get
206.PhaotokbaPhaokashokPass Through
215.PhingbaKaphingHot Tempered
216.BoraBoraSack Bag
250.SamnaSamlakeinaIn Brief
252.SoiganuMasoiloDon't Fail
254.ShumpaKashumPress Between Teeth
255. ThongThongBridge
259.Tarang (old)TaraWater
265.TarengTarengSpinning Machine
268.TapuTapuA Basket in which clothes were kept in the olden days
271.TeibaKateiApply Varnish
272.ThuroThakloFast/Be Quick
277.UmmarokUmmarokKing Chilli
281.YenmapheiHerpheiChicken Leg
282.YamkokYamkokWinnowing Basket
285.YentemYentemTaro/Common ariod
291.ZatnabaZatkhanaCustom up-to-date
292.ZanguZangluCome in
295.ZamphutZamphutSimple Boil Vegetables
296.MangchaonaMangchaodaIn Advance
298.ZeirongZeirongThrusting stick for paddy
305.NamthibaNamkashiFoul Smell
309.MenbaKhamenFilling up
310.PokharePohairaAlready defeated
311.Hangkam MachuHangkam MachuYellow colour
317.HuirongHuirongOffensive word

Concluded .....

* Yarngam Lunglo wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on August 08, 2019.

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