Keibul Lamjao :: A synopsis
Direction : Th. Chaotombi Singh


A scene from Keibul Lamjao ( Jan 16 2017)
A scene from Keibul Lamjao ( Jan 16 2017) :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam

Keibul Lamjao
Choreography & Direction : Th. Chaotombi Singh Assisted by Suryamukhi Devi


"Deer dancing on a floating Sanctuary - a thing which could only happen in Manipur" - E.P. Gee.

Keibul-Lamjao, the floating Sanctuary around the Loktak Lake of Manipur is the home of Sangai, Brow-antlered deer which is known as the animal that looks at you. At one time the Sangai population was numerous and covered the entire hills and valleys of Manipur. It is said that they were once very friendly to men.

The rulers of the State jealously protected this elegant animal. The three sub-species of Brow-antlered-deer, of which our Sangai is one, were seen in the South-East Asia, from Manipur to Burma to Thailand to Kampuchea. In course of time, the population of the Brow-antlered-deer reduced, and is now facing a serious danger of extinction in the wild. They have many enemies. And the greatest of these enemies is man, even to this day.

Legends says - In Moirang Principality during the Hunting Festival, Kadeng Thangjahanba, a young chief was assigned by the King to lead a hunting expedition. His lady-love, Tonu-Laijinglembi implored - "My beloved, please bring me a live deer for me." Kadeng brought her a hind. But when he arrived....Tonu-Laijinglembi was taken by the King's men in a Palanquin and now a new queen in the Royal Chamber. Kadeng-Thangjahanba, dissapointed, let loose the hind.

Even to day killing a Sangai is a taboo among the Meiteis. It is believed that this brings pangs of separation.

I often wonder what is the meaning of this civilization - if human beings were so selfish as may ignore that rightful claims of these beautiful creatures - ever so silent and unprotesting? Are we so blind as many claim the azure sky and the green meadows sonely for us?

Yes, if the forest lush, the animals, the birds and the colours of butterflies are vanished, where to rest our eyes? How the human civilization could survive at all if that spark of blue sky is shadowed by the forest of sky-scrappers ?

This anxiety and the vision of the elegant dancing Sangais threatened with complete extinction inspired this ballet, 'Keibul-Lamjao' is an attempt to express the same through dance, the only befitting medium for the dancing Sangais of Manipur. This is an ATTEMPT to represent the APPEAL of the WILD-LIFE to the Thinking Generation.

- M.K. Binodini Devi

A scene from Keibul Lamjao ( Jan 16 2017)
A scene from Keibul Lamjao ( Jan 16 2017) :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam


1. Somewhere in the regions of South East Asia nights falls in the woods. Herds of Sangai slumber. Dawn breaks. The animals play and dance. The master stag is jealous of the young stag. His social status is threatened. The young stag is frightened and feels insecure-away he goes with two hinds.

2. The three Sangais proceed towards North-East regions. They reach the valley. The villagers see the elegant animals running.

3. The Sangais pass the hill tracks of Manipur. The village folk notice with admiration. Now, the valley of Manipur - Moirang, Women are rowing. Perhaps, in the times of two legendary lovers - Kadeng.-Thangjahanba and Tonu Laijinglembi. Yes, Tonu is rowing the boat. She notices the animals. She is fascinated.

4. The hunting festival is approaching in Moirang. Rituals are performed by the priestesses. The young Chief Kadeng is ordered for the hunting expedition. He takes leave from his belove Tonu. Tonu pleads he should bring her a deer - a living present.

5. Kadeng with his followers is in the hunting ground. They chase the hunts. At home, Tonu is taken in King's palanquin to the Royal Chamber. Kadeng returns with a hind for his Tonu but Tonu is not found. The sad Kadeng released the hind, He warns - "Do not touch Sangai".

6. The flourished Sangai population spread out and cover the entire valley of Manipur. The freed hind, joins the herd.

7. The villagers around and Sangais at large reside together in the regions of Manipur.

8. But carnivorous animals did not spare the Sangais. Tigers gather for kill. One young hind is killed and dragged away.

9. Two Sangais engaged in courtship dance. Three hunters chase them. The stag is killed and carried away by the hunters. The hind stares with sad eyes.

10. The tortured Sangais gather in Keibul-Lamjao for safety. Night. Men approach with torches and set fire. Keibul-Lamjao is ablaze. In panic, the Sangais scatter - some burnt, some die and some escape.

11. A new thinking generation comes forward. The Sangais are protected. They announce - "Killing in Keibul-Lamjao is prohibited." Once Kadeng also warned.

See a photo gallery here

* This article was posted on January 18 , 2017.

* 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 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.

  • Tapta :: Funga Wari
  • No hill people quota will be grabbed by valley
  • Effective Communication for Careers #2
  • Mother of All Mothers :: Poem
  • Spot inquiry at Deaf & Mute School, Takyel
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • CM Relief Fund: 50,000 donated
  • Peripheral states & demand of Gorkhaland
  • Season of discontent continues
  • Nungbi Khullen, Ukhrul #1 :: Gallery
  • Subroto Football @Wangjing #2 :: Gallery
  • ISKCON Temple #1 :: 360 ° View
  • Noises of the Silence #1
  • Present Flood Situation In Manipur #3
  • Beef Feast at Kohima: Note to Governor
  • Humanity and everything
  • Expulsion & Suspension order from NPF
  • Supreme Court orders probe into killings
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • Killing two birds..The politician in CM speaks
  • Baffling Budget
  • NH-102 (Maram road) landslide :: Gallery
  • Plea from Kumbi Shandhong P/S :: Gallery
  • Featured Photo for 2017 #3 :: Gallery
  • May I Have Two Names?
  • Procession of Jagabondhu Rath Yatra
  • DBT project positions at Manipur University
  • Career Opportunities at TASHI Interiors
  • Condemns neglect of Collegiate Education
  • NPF clarifies on party whip
  • Dialogue with UNC; ILP demand
  • Perils and possibilities
  • Chingarel Biodiversity Park #2 :: Gallery
  • Poukenpon, Nehkholam :: eMing
  • Manipur Girls win 'Oorja' National Football
  • My visit to Shri Lanka #2
  • Reforestation & afforestation
  • Coaching Scholarship to UPSC aspirants
  • Sendra Park & Resort #5 :: 360 ° View
  • Program Manager at Library for All, Ukhrul
  • Sadar Hills District Demand: News Timeline
  • Statement from NPF Kohima on BJP
  • NPF condemns Nagaland Governor
  • NPF snapping ties with BJP ..repercussion
  • Lesser truth in Manipur education sector
  • Landslide at Jiribam Highway #2 :: Gallery
  • Super Division Football #1 :: Gallery
  • Shirui Lily Festival 2017
  • On MPSC's new syllabus for MCSCCE
  • Death is An Art :: Poem
  • Assistant professor, ECE wanted at NERIST
  • New Head Coach Joao Deus for NEUFC
  • Free eye care camp at Loktak Power Station
  • 40 positions in Bangalore & Hyderabad
  • Threats to the idea of Manipur
  • A virtual dream
  • Travelling in Ukhrul District #2 :: Gallery
  • Echoes of the people
  • Various shades of Irom Sharmila
  • High Court Campus, Imphal :: 360 ° View
  • The savage! :: Poem
  • Jobs for the unemployed
  • Scheduled Tribe ki list ta yaohallu
  • Humanitarian assistance to flood victims
  • The call: Separate administration for tribals
  • Resignation of Parliamentary Secretaries
  • Tribute to Sapam Robinhood #2 :: Gallery
  • Imphal city flooded [13 July] #2 :: Gallery
  • The Suitable Boy
  • Fire safety and prevention #2
  • The Man with the Place :: Poem
  • How do we elect the President of India
  • NPF open to a total reconciliation process
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand : Timeline
  • Plea to protect Manipur ponies
  • Also nail those who gave the order
  • Echum Lairembi, Khurkhul #2:: Gallery
  • Aerial survey of flood :: Gallery
  • Sendra Park & Resort #4 :: 360 ° View
  • Experience in Militarized Landscape
  • Medical: Humanitarian service or job security
  • Deconstructing "THE Thoughts"
  • Fate of JNIMS: MCI may cancel recognition
  • Landslide at Jiribam Highway #1 :: Gallery
  • Subroto Football @Wangjing #1 :: Gallery
  • Rejoinder to Bala & 'Manipuri Feminists'
  • Black sheep in the movement for ILPS
  • My visit to Shri Lanka
  • My First Acquaintance:: Poem
  • Representation submitted to Nagaland Guv
  • Wanted: Noah's Ark for NE
  • Blessing for Sharmila
  • Cabinet outside Imphal: Taking all on board
  • 'Huranbagi Tarani Mapugi nongma'
  • Imphal city flooded [13 July] #1 :: Gallery
  • Wari - Aben :: e-pao Radio
  • Kang Joydeva Chongba #2 :: Gallery
  • In the Quaint Leikai-Village of Kwatha
  • Manipur Sangai International Digital Salon
  • Imphal National Model Shooting Workshop
  • Awunching Biodiversity Park #1 :: 360 ° View
  • Effective Communication for Careers
  • Manipur Girls advance to semi finals
  • Eggs pass Manipur fitness test
  • Making their stand known: On collision..
  • Will BJP Govt. able to defuse it
  • Battle Of Khongjom & Manipuris in 1891 #2
  • A Copula in Manipuri Language ?
  • Brain drain: A burning issue in India
  • Seagull Seagull :: Poem
  • Minister Yitachu Speaks Out
  • Rs 131 crore lost in Manipur flood
  • National media ignoring NE floods
  • It is BJP & BJP all over: Silence of Congress
  • Menace of Mob Justice
  • Professional Ethics or Personal Security
  • Tourist Watch Tower, Khongjom #2 :: 360 °
  • Monsoon rain :: Poem
  • Look Locally act Nationally
  • Nisa na khunaida piba cheitheng
  • Delayed 50 Bedded Tamenglong Hospital
  • NPF points out Model Code of Conduct
  • Hope for kin of 'fake encounter' victims
  • Next round of tripartite talks : Dists creation
  • The flash flood in Manipur is manmade
  • Ukhongsang village, Heirok :: Gallery
  • Sub-Junior Boys Football #2 :: Gallery
  • Unauthorized selling of high priced Meds
  • Once in a blue moon Chief Secretary
  • Free counselling program for students
  • Twinging Turns of Life :: Poem
  • Highways cut off, paddy fields inundated
  • Rights of the consumers
  • Echum Lairembi, Khurkhul #1:: Gallery
  • Kanglen Kang Chingba #2 :: Gallery
  • Edu Min @TG Higher Secondary :: Gallery
  • Cheiraoba Ching Kaba #8 :: 360 ° View
  • Head-huntings : Nagas' perspective #2
  • Personal chit chat: Modi & Trump
  • Emergency meeting of Naga People's Front
  • Removal of Armed Forces from Loukoipat
  • September ultimatum from JCILPS
  • Tribute to Sapam Robinhood #1 :: Gallery
  • Nabakishore's unceremonious removal...
  • Promo Fashion Show of NE Fashion Week
  • ..ensure removal of army camp from Univ
  • Can Indo-Naga political issue be a secret
  • Kang Khichri chaba :: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Depigmentation- Hope for vitiligo patients
  • NCC should become mandatory : Governor
  • Memo to CM on army camp at Manipur Univ
  • Unceremoniously showing the exit door
  • "Framework agreement" on the limelight
  • Camping @ Phangrei, Ukhrul #2 :: Gallery
  • Khongjom War Memorial #1 :: 360 ° View
  • Dynamic Enterpreneurship 2.0 at Imphal
  • Making education a free zone
  • Bone-Setter of Maiba-Maibi Laiyeng Pathap
  • Bhagirathi Ganga : Dance by Lianda Folk
  • Use coconut water for cleaning face skin
  • The will-o'-the-wisp
  • Appraising trajectory of migration in India
  • is hiring
  • Jobs at Vitsofts Tech, Canchipur
  • EMRS Kpi: Breaking Imphal monopoly
  • People spend 15-day in a year at traffic
  • Kanglen Kang Chingba #1 :: Gallery
  • Sub-Junior Boys Football #1 :: Gallery
  • Introspecting Some Old Games :: Folk
  • Kakching community gardening :: Gallery
  • Travelling along the infamous NH-2
  • Great June Uprising #4 :: Gallery
  • Id-ul-Fitr @Imphal #2 :: Gallery
  • Letter to Delhi Golf Club
  • Kang Tournament #1 :: Gallery
  • Konung Kang Chingba #2 :: Gallery
  • Landscape of Ukhrul #1 :: Gallery
  • Football League @Awang Sekmai :: Gallery
  • Monna Sengao lakpa :: e-pao Radio
  • Books & Coffee: Trend set by Bishantham
  • Brahmacharimayum Roji-Photo #2 :: eRang
  • Junior Girls District Football #2 :: Gallery
  • Great June Uprising #3 :: Gallery
  • Kang Chingba @Singjamei :: Gallery
  • 15th Mega Miss North East :: Gallery
  • Suman Ningthoujam is Mega Mister NE
  • Three Mothers Art Gallery :: Gallery
  • Angkor Wat - Cambodia #6 :: Gallery
  • Earth crack at Kangpokpi #2 :: Gallery
  • Lai Khong Chingba @Thangjing #4
  • Yeningthagi Wari Kumhei :: Gallery
  • Arbind Soibam (Singer) :: Erang Photos
  • Film Personalities #3 :: eRang Classic
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #5 : Ooba
  • HSE 2017 : Toppers in Science :: Gallery
  • Landscape of Manipur #6: Wallpaper