Discovery of Kangleipak
- Part 2 -

Wangkhemcha Chingtamlen *

The Religion :

The Religion of the indigenous Meetei Race including the Hill communities is the Sanamahi Religion. The abstract concept of the Space-Time Entity is the ultimate God-creator of the Universe. The Meetei people call Him Ipa (father). Sanamahi Religion is not idolatry.

Military organization :

Lallup system

Lallup = Lal + Lup = Lal means War + Lup means Club or Association or Organised body or Lup may mean any organization of people (in Kangleipak only for Men) for a definite purpose.

In the Lallup, every male person who is born of indigenous Kangleicha parents called Leipak Macha in the country Kangleipak above 16 years of age was a member. Lallup was a Military Duty organization of the country and its membership was compulsory for every Leipak Macha.

When any emergency emanating from a Foreign Power is arising, a big drum will be beaten with a peculiar sound indicating war emergency . Then every member of the Lallup of the country will Assemble at the palace. They will be ready with their weapons for defence or attack. They will wait the order of the king.

Membership of the Lallup

There were seven Lallup groups organized on the lines of the Seven Salai Naota groups. Before Hinduism the Lallup members fought with Turbans (Head Gears) of their own Salai Colours. The Seven Salai Lallup groups were under the central command of the country Kangleipak at Kangla.

Lallup Disorganised

After the advent of Hinduism, the relation between the people of Kangleipak and top command of the king at Kangla became strained because of Puya Meithapa, imposition of the Hinduism etc. The Hindu kings by the time was suspicious of the Lallup Lalmee (Lanmee = Soldiers).

Top military commanders became Hindu immigrants. It further deteriorated the Lallup military organization. In such conditions Lallup Military organization was disbanded and became a civil organization during the Hindu days.

War Machine

The country Kangleipak is a Hilly country with Mountains and small Hills. Road communications were very bad. By the nature of the terrains, the military machine of the country was designed in the nature of very mobile, light and swift to meet any eventuality very quickly.

In the military organization of Kangleipak, cavalry was most important. Every body agree that Polo was originated in Kangleipak. Horse = Sagol = Sakol = Sakon = Sa + Kon = Sa means Isa further means self + kon = Kon means Konnapa further means always with.

So, in the time of yore, Horse was an animal always with any able bodied person or Lallup Lanmee. Every Kangleicha was a very good equestarian. Every Lallup Lanmee had a horse tied near his sleeping bed. Kanglei cavalry was known by the name Cathe Horse or Cassey horse in surrounding foreign countries and was dreaded one in the foreign countries.

Weapons used

Arambai, a little heavier and bigger arrow with string and feather of the cocks, carried in numbers on both sides of the saddle on the horse, on neck side of the horse, was used for attack and defence against the foreign army.

When attacking the foreign army, the Arambai was thrown in front and when the Kanglei army was in retreat, it was thrown backward against the chasing army.

The Cathe horse was so much dreaded in the surrounding countries that foreign army dare not venture to meet the Cathe horse in the open. Other weapons used were swords, spears, bow and arrow etc. big guns were manufactured during the reign of king Khakempa (before 16th century A.D.)

Regarding advanced weaponry of the Kangleichas, please see page 19, 20, 21 of the THE MEETHEIS by T.C. Hodson. We see nothing in the present Museum of Manipur like Arambai.

Downfall of Kangleipak

When Hinduism came to Kangleipak, the guards of sovereignty of the country Kangleipak changed hands from indigenous Kangleichas to immigrants Hindus. The original military genius of the Kangleichas lost to the country Kangleipak.

The original military machine was broken and collapsed. Upto Pamheiba Garivaniwaz, the original military machine was intact. So, he was able to show strength to the neighboring countries. After him everything collapsed.

Five Khuntakpa (Desertion of the country by the people from fear of the Burmease army), two during the reign of king Gourshyam (1753-1759), three during the reign of king Jai Singh Bhagyachandra (1764-1798) in 1764, 1769, 1772 A.D.

After these 5 Khuntakpa, the last 7 years' Devastation happened ending the reign of king Marjit (1813-1819). The country Kangleipak was deserted by its people completely for 7 years continuously from 1819 to 1825 A.D.

Most of the Meeteis outside Manipur now, specially in Kachar and Assam are descendants of the Meeteis who left Kangleipak during the 7 years devastation from fear of the Burmese army.

The writer will conclude this shortest introduction to the History of Kangleipak by quoting two statements from two Foreign English writers :

"The breech Loader above mentioned, which is still in existence is of iron and about three feet long, the breech piece is separable from the gun and received the charge, its extremity being then inserted into the bore of the gun, a portion of barrel being cut out to admit of this, the movable breech piece fastened behind by a slot passing through the gun (see Photograph). The bullet weighed only a few ounce, the bore being small. The piece, carriage and all, was carried by two men. Nothing is known of the inventive genius who made this gun, except that he was a native of Munnipore"
- page 20 of the THE MEITHEIS by T.C. Hodson. What Mr. T.C. Hodson found this gun was in 19th century A.D.
"In 1755 and 1758 Alaungpaya raided Manipur. The Manipuri call this 'The first devastation' and say that he was unspeakably cruel; but he was only doing unto them as they had done unto his people. He left Garrisons in permanent stockades at Tamu and Thaungdut. His successors continued to raid Manipur until 1819, depopulating the country and stamping out Manipuri civilization so completely that it is now impossible to tell what their social and political conditions were like"
- page 133 of Outline of Burma History by G.E. Harvey.
Before the advent of Hinduism in Kangleipak, Burma was a good friend of Kangleipak. Six devastations beginning in 1755 A.D., seven years after the Downfall of king Pamheiba Garivaniwaz, left Kangleipak a pauperized country unable to stand itself.

to be continued...

* Wangkhemcha Chingtamlen contributes to for the first time . The writer is President, Kangleipak Historical and Cultural Research Centre, Sagolband Thangjam Leirak, Imphal, Kangleipak (Manipur). This article was webcasted on February 20th, 2009.

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