Meetei-Mayek is the script which was used to write Meeteilon (Manipuri) till the 18th century. The script nearly became extinct as a result of a mass burning of all books in Meeteilon ordered by Ningthau Pamheiba who ruled Manipur in the 18th century. The main person behind this atrocity was Shantidas Gosain who had come to Manipur to spread Vaishnavism, on whose instigation the king gave the order. The king embraced Vaishnavism, took the name Garibnawaz and made Vaishnavism the state religion. Subsequently, Bengali script was adopted to write the language and is being used till date. Recent research has resurrected this script, and it is now being given its due place.
It is indeed difficult to trace the exact period of the origin of the Meetei Mayek. The burning of vital historical documents or the Puyas of Kangleipak (Manipur) written in Meetei Mayek during the reign of King Pamheiba in the early 18th century, made the effort all the more difficult. The earliest use of Meetei Mayek is dated between 11th and 12th centuries AD. A stone inscription found at Khoibu in Tengnoupal district contains royal edicts of Kiyamba – this was the beginning of Chietharol Kumbaba – the Royal Chronicle of Manipur. According to the very few Puyas that survived, such as, Wakoklon Thilel Salai Singkak, Wakoklol Thilel Salai Amailon, Meetei Mayek comprised of 18 alphabets. Even during the reign of King Pamheiba Meetei-Mayek is the script which was used to write Meeteilon(Manipuri) till the 18th century.