Unity of the 33 tribes/ different social groups in Manipur
By SM Sanasam *
Social, cultural and scientific aspects
The following points may be noted to bring the unity of all tribes/communities
so that we all understand (our)their originality.
Meetei- assimilation of different tribes including parts of Tangkhul, Maring, Kabui, Chenglei, Khuman, Moirang etc. etc.
A common feature of oneness among the indigenous tribes of Manipur and the Meeteis are division of seven or nine clans in their respective society. Till 1980s, I personally observed Maring elders worshiping Sanamahi.
The philosophy behind the original Kabui religion and that of Sanamahism is comparable.
Meetei Lai-haraoba ends with the unavoidable Programme of 'Tangkhul Hao shaba'. The philosophy behind is very interesting to study.
Meetei Luhongba (marriage) still using the Tangkhul's Leirum as an unavoidable item.
Tangkhul folk lore described Meeteis as 'Mei thei'- Mei- fire or light, thei- see, seen. Describing the younger brother in the valley sign the well existence by putting up light on top of a tree, which is seen by the elder brother - the Tangkhul.
Siroi Lily 'Timrawon' story is related to the Meetei King in their folklore. (some people intentionally tried to hide it).
'Ingallei' the historical lady is the relationship between Meetei and Maram tribe.
Kabui, Meetei, Tangkhuls, Maring etc have same ancient cult of worshiping god and goddess of same kind. (before bifurcating as Hindus and Christians).
'Ishanou' the old Meetei word is also a pure Tangkhul word in meaning and tone.
Some of the Meetei Shagei (clan) have its origin in Tangkhul, Maring etc. There are many linguistic similarities between indigenous tribes of Manipur and Mizoram but we dont see much with that of Paka Naga tribes of Nagaland.
It will be possible to find out from the records of Govt. of Nagaland and Manipur, when and where the term 'Naga' was inserted along with the tribe names of Manipur. (likely in 60s to 70s).
* SM Sanasam contributes regularly to e-pao.net . The writer can be contacted at sm_sanasam(at)yahoo(dot)com
This article was webcasted on May 25, 2010.
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