Monday, 12 April 2021

Cultural superiority of the Meiteis was discernible in almost all fields. Their millennia-old political organisation, social set up, religion, language and literature, martial tradition, dance and music and other fine arts etc. each is a class by itself.


Manipur's prehistoric cultural affinity with the Chinese Neolithic culture of second millennium B.C. has been exposed at the 1981 excavation at Napachik. The Chinese records of the second century B.C. by Chang-Kien (Acharyya, 1988), have thrown limelights on Manipur's cultural link with China from the times immemorial.


The beginning of Manipuri literature may go back to 1500-2000 years from now. The Meiteis had a strong sense of historicity and maintained chronicles and numerous records about their genealogy, society, religion, government, astrology, charms and mantras, lexicography, medicine, earth sciences etc. More than one thousand Meitei scripture had already existed before 18th century A.D. Such a rich heritage could be developed and maintained because, the Meiteis probably became literate long back and art of writing was spread extensively as a result of their historic association with the Chinese who were the first literate people on the earth and who invented paper and the art of writing etc. A cultural onslaught occurred when all the archaic Meitei scriptures were destroyed by king Garibiniwaz at the time of proselytization of the Meiteis into Bengali Vaishnavism in the 18th century A.D. Proselytization of the Meiteis into Hinduism and the Tribals into Christianity have brought about a metamorphosis of their original culture to a state of a blend of old and new but not to a replacement of the former by the latter.

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