The history of Manipur Meities is chronicled in Puyas or Puwaris (stories about our  forefathers), namely, the Ninghthou Kangbalon, Cheitharol Kumbaba, Ningthourol Lambuba, Poireiton Khunthokpa, Panthoibi Khongkul, etc. in the archaic Meitei script, which is comparable to the Thai script.  The historical accounts presented here were recordings from the eyes and the judgment of the Meitei Kings and Maichous (Meitei scholars).  Hill tribes have their own folk tales, myths and legends.

Manipur was known by different names at various periods in its history, such as, Tilli-Koktong, Poirei-Lam, Sanna-Leipak, Mitei-Leipak, Meitrabak or Manipur (present day). Its capital was Kangla, Yumphal or Imphal (present day).  Its people were known by various names, such as Mi-tei, Poirei-Mitei, Meetei, Maitei or Meitei.  The Puwaris, Ninghthou Kangbalon, Ningthourol Lambuba, Cheitharol Kumbaba, Poireiton Khunthokpa, recorded the events  of each King who ruled Manipur in a span of more than 3500 years until 1955 AD (a total of more than 108 kings). Ningthou Kangba (15th century BC) is regarded the first and foremost king of Manipur.  There were times when the country was in turmoil without rulers and long historical gaps in between 1129 BC – 44 BC.  In 1891 AD, after the defeat of the Meiteis by the British in the Anglo-Manipuri war of Khongjom, Manipur’s sovereignty for more than three millenniums was lost.  It regained its freedom on August 28, 1947 AD but did not last long. On 15 October  1949, Manipur was annexed into the Indian territory.

“Many a history has now been written. But none is so authentic as it seems. The reason is, of course, not far to seek. Manipur was absolute all through its past. Its society evolved on its own course or got revolutionized in its own way.  So did its religion.  And its government followed the suit.  Neither India nor Burma had much direct influence thereon, but for a tint from time to time.  Its history flowed on in its own course with little disturbance from outside until as late as the eighteenth century when several cults of Neo-Vaishnavism flowed into this soil and wrought the present-day Manipur.  Its activities and its achievements are all recorded in its own scripts unintelligible to the world.  So the writers however profound scholars they may be, had to work at a forfeit, no less considerable since the building of history of Manipur must need call for a study of some of them at least.  So, their works turn unauthentic.  Some indegenous scholars also have produced some works.  But they are students more of Purana than of history.  So their works fall more in the category of Purana than that of history.  So is the case, this country badly needs an authentic history of its own.” [A. Minaketan Singh (1958), Forward p. vii, in “History of Manipur” by Dr. Jyotirmoy Roy, 1958,1973 editions].

“Leen-Wai Yi-Maru,
Taangja Leela Paakhangba Waai-Chat-Lam,
Hang-Goi Konthing Nuraabee Waai-Chat-Lam,
Hao-Rei Laina Paangba-Lam,
Leel-Wai Yi-Maru,
Paat-Lou Lai Makol,
Leel-Wai Kharang-Pok,
Kak-Len Seenaang Sang-Kon,
Meera Pong-Thok-Lam,
Ouri Saamei-Thaang,
Lam-Yen Konbiraa ….”

In Short, this piece of script expressed a part of the ancient history of Manipur in a concised manner. [K.C. Tensuba (1991): An Approach to the History of Meiteis and Thais, page 54].


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