TODAY -

Phamlons Of God
Moirang and Ebuthou Thangjing :: Part 15

Hemamcha Shobha *



Ching-ngu Thangjing Laikon gate: Moirang
Ching-ngu Thangjing Laikon gate at Moirang :: Pix by Jinendra Maibam



PHAMLONS OF GOD

The different phamlons-posts of the nine Laibunthou-male god and nine Laibenthou-Female goddess who participated during the festival of Eputhou are:

LAIBUNG THOU LAIBENTHOU
1. NUNG-SABA ((NONGSABA) 1. KOUJENG LEIMA
2. MAHARABA 2. CHINGSANG LEIMA
3. SORAREL 3. KUMJING LEIMA
4. URI 4. NONGTHANG LEIMA
5. THONGNANG 5. EMU KHANG CHET LEIMA
6. KHANA CHAOBA 6. ANAN CHANU
7. KORI PHABA 7. ERAI LEIMA
8. LEIKOI (TINKHUL LAISAK SIDABA) 8. THUM LEIMA
9. SAHAMAHI 9. CHOTHE CHANU EMOINU AHONGBI



But the above listed names of the nine Laibungthou or Umanglai, participating at present, were not known and not found upto the reigned periods of Iwang Puriklai Khellei Nungnang Telheiba. They were known and worshipped in the old names before the periods of the said king of Moirang. As such, old names and present names are stated below in a comparative table.

OLD NAME PRESENT NAME
1. EPULLEN 1. NONGSABA
2. ETAOREL 2. MAHARABA
3. LEIKACHENG 3. SORAREL
4. NONGKACHENG 4. URI
5. WANMUBI 5. THONGNANG
6. WAN NGOUBA 6. KHANA CHAOBA
7. NUNGKAPAK 7. KHORI PHABA
8. NUNGCHONGBA 8. LEIKOI
9. MAKULON 9. SANAMAHI



THANGCHING LOUTABA

It was prevalent and performed as an inevitable programme for every year during Eputhou Haraoba. It was considered as an event to introduce cultivation of paddy field in a ceremonial manner by Eputhou for human food. For such act, Eputhou sent Laiyingthou Sandhong Apanba-Sanamahi and seven Laipakhang-youth and seven Lai Nura-girls along with Amaiba and Amaibi and others, to cultivate Eputhou's paddy field. The names of the seven Lai Pakhang and Lai Nura who participated in the ploughing, sowing of seeds and transplantation works were:

LAI PAKHANG LAI NURA
1. ASANGBA 1. TOUBI LOINAI
2. ANGAIBA 2. LAIKHUREMBI
3. ATONGBA 3. LAINAOTABI
4. ARENGBA 4. YAIBIROM
5. AKUPPA 5. LEINUNG NGANGSABI
6. ARANGBA 6. MALEM LEIPHURUMBI
7. HUMLEN 7. LEINUNG PIYAINU



The work of ploughing is surprisingly described and written in the book that a tiger and a lion were combined into a pair for ploughing by Lai Pakhang, while the materials or articles essential for the plough were used and made by different snakes viz, Lindu, Narin, Linkhak, Tanglei, Lilha etc. and the works of transplantation were done by Lai Nura so as to produce food crops for future mankind. This is called "Lai-loutaba" at present and no one can start cultivation work in the paddy fields until and unless Eputhou's Loutaba is done and it is still prevalent and in vague in Moirang.

FESTIVAL PROGRAMME

Summerising the other items in the festival programme includes Maibi Laimang Phamba that is, foretelling of Eputhou's messages to the worshippers, devotees and to the public connected with the day's offering; Tara Luk Katpa-serving of meals; Leilangba-offering of flowers by Leiroi Hanjaba, generally done in a special function in which collected flowers from the Thangjing Hills are brought and offered to Eputhou and then distributed to the King, the Queen,the Knights and others; Lailoutaba or Thangjing Loutaba-Ploughing of Paddy field without which farmers and cultivators cannot start any field works like ploughing, cultivation and transplantation and seeding etc. Nowadays, some two days ahead of the closing of Lai Haraoba, the most important functions are Lailamthokpa, Khongchingba and Yumphamba which are performed every alternate years. In this regard, it is found that in ancient period-one year was for cleaning of canals and rivers, called Tukhong Sengba; one year for Kong Chingba which was done around Keke Kangla and another year was for Lamthokpa or Kongba Lamyengba-a tour or picnic-like outdoor festival.

The most important programmes were performed one day ahead of the closing of the festival called Lairoi, Lamjen-Mukna are compulsory by tradition in every Haraoba ceremony. Lamjen means competition for race between Eputhou Pana (party) and Ebenthou Pana (party); and Mukna-a traditional martial art of wrestling type between the two same panas are performed in great pomps and granduers today.

CONCLUDING PROGRAMME

Thus, with different programmes and ritual prayers, dances like Laibou for Lairoi ceremony which J. Shakespear wrote as "....... important that no mistake should be made, hence the reference to the manuscripts, the actions refer to the story read by the Maiba which tells of how Thangjing created mankind"; and other related closing items along with distribution of Ngamu metpa, a food item prepared with Ngamu-fish and ginger, are generally done as concluding customary practice a ceremony of Eputhou Haraoba and all the devotees, king, queen, courtiers or Phamnaiba, Phamnaibi and those participated in and around the temple complex bow down to Him giving leave or parting to Eputhou and to see again next year.

to be continued ....



About the Book:

Source Author: Hemamcha Shobha (b.1941), President of Moirang Thangjing Yageirel Marup [Register No: 1025/1972] and Chief Editor of 'Yageirol'.
Reproduced from Chapter - 3 of his book 'Moirang and Ebuthou Thangjing'
for public reading by: Shanjoy Mairembam, London (UK), shanjoym (at) gmail (dot) com




* Shanjoy Mairembam , resident of UK, regularly contributes to e-pao.net. He is sharing this book for public consumption and can be contacted at shanjoym (at) gmail (dot) com
This article was webcasted on August 14, 2012.


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