Monday, 12 April 2021

The Meiteis of today are Tibeto-Burman Mongoloid with Australoid, Aryan and Thai admixture and still blended with some Negrito and Dravidian elements. This racial blending is intimately hooked to the evolution of a distinct civilization in Manipur valley. The ethnonym "Meiteis" was originally applied to the "Ningthouja" salai (clan-dynasty), which was one of the seven salais who ruled seven independent principalities in the valley in the early part of the recorded history. Later on the Ningthouja salai overruled other principalities thereby absorbing the different social groups thereof to form the "Meiteis. Again, Mc Culloch (1859) and Brown (1874) subscribe to the theory of the Naga Kuki origin of the Meiteis. Hodson (1908) was also fully described the Nagas and Kukis of the hills. This ethnic homogeneity facilitated the absorption of many tribes into the Meitei social groups.

Besides, oriental Mongolians consisting of Shans Burmese and Chinese etc. who settled in the valley either as war captives or peaceful immigrants were also observed. The settlement of people from the East continued since the time of king Naothingkhong in the 7th century A.D. till the time of king Maramba in the 18th century A.D.


Absorption of people from the rest of India was rather late. The settlement of these people probably started since the time of king Thangbi Lanthaba (1302-1324 A.D). The amalgamation of the new entrants into the Meitei society was effected by conferring them appropriate Sageis (surnames) and Salai (clans). This "meiteisation" of different migrants gave the Meiteis, not only numerical advantage but also helped in enriching their literature and culture and ultimately evolving into a settled civilization with pristine national heritage of its own long before the Aryans came.

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