FORMATION OF MUSLIM COMMUNITY IN MANIPUR DURING THE 17th AND 18th CENTURIES

This article by Md. Chingiz Khan was published in five parts by e-pao in April-May 2014
[The writer is presently a research scholar in the Centre for Historical Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. His area of research is in the History of Origin of Muslim Settlements in the North-East India.]

Abstract: The state, Manipur, extending between latitudes 23° 50' and 25° 4' north and longitudes 93° 2' and 94° 47' east and acquiring an area of 22,356sq.km, is sited as the easternmost border of India which has a lucid geographical unit comprising of hills and valleys. It is a land populated and lodged by the hill and valley inhabitants together since eternity. Veritably, one cannot subsist without the other, the hill is nothing without the valley and so is the valley without the hills. It has neighbouring states, namely, Nagaland on the north, Myanmar on the east, Cachar (Assam) on the west and Chin hills of Myanmar and Mizoram on the south.

The valley areas of Manipur retain a portion of the state with an area of 1,800 sq. kms particularly dwelt by the communities known as Meitei and Muslim. Some other religious communities like Tribes and Mayangs (a term used for non-Manipuris residing inside the state) are also staying in the valley areas of Manipur. In this context, an attempt is being made to explore as to how the Muslims started the settlement and formation of their community in Manipur since their arrival in the state in 1606 A.D., i.e. during the reign of King Khagemba (1597-1652). Significantly, another attempt is to trace out the historical analysis of how far the doubtful phrase "Prisoners of War" used in the history of Manipuri Muslims is correct. Their socio-cultural practices like Marriage system, Clan system (unknown in the Islamic World), Dresses, Belief system, Language etc. and its impacts on the expansion, settlement and formation of the community are scrutinized briefly during the 17th and 18th centuries. Moreover, why the population of Muslim community in Manipur is still low is also examined historically.

Keywords: Manipuri Muslim, Prisoners of War, Socio-Cultural formation, Settlement

INTRODUCTION

The state, Manipur, extending between latitudes 23° 50' and 25° 4' north and longitudes 93° 2' and 94° 47' east and having an area of 22,356sq.km, is located at the easternmost border of India which has a lucid geographical unit comprising of hills and valleys. It is a land populated and lodged by the hill and valley inhabitants together since eternity. Indeed, one cannot exist without the other, the hill is nothing without the valley and so is the valley without the hills. It has neighbouring states, namely, Nagaland on the north, Myanmar on the east, Cachar (Assam) on the west and Chin hills of Myanmar and Mizoram on the south. The valley areas of Manipur possess a portion of the state with an area of 1800 sq. kms markedly tarried by the communities known as Meitei and Muslim. Some other religious communities like Tribes and Mayangs are also settling in the valley areas of Manipur.

Now, regarding the formation of the Muslim community in Manipur, we find that they started their formation of the community and their settlement since the time of their arrival in Manipur in 1606 A.D. during the reign of King Khagemba (1597-1652). They were permeating in the four districts of Manipur namely Imphal East, Imphal West, Thoubal and Bishenpur (Mc. Culloch 1980: 4). They were familiarized as 'pangals' which was evident from the primary sources like Nongsamei Puya (Indigenous archaic literature), Cheitharol Kumpapa (The Royal Chronicle of Manipur) (Parrat 2005: 68), Ningthoural Lambuba, Yaad Dasht Kursee-e-Nama (Persian account) etc. for Muslims. Actually, the word 'pangal' was derived from the word 'Bangal' meaning men of the East Bengal. The earliest Muslim settlers came from East Bengal and were consequently called the 'Bangals' meaning Bangalees of East Bengal. The word 'Bangals' soon corrupted into 'Pangal' because most Manipuris in the 17th C enunciated 'b' as 'p'. In medieval period, any man from East Bengal, regardless of his religion, was called 'Pangal'.

There were Pathans, Sheikhs, Syeds and Mughals among the Manipuri Muslims (Singh 1965: 13). Another account was also given in the Persian text Yaad Dasht Kursee-e-Nama by Rafayattullah with regard to the word 'Pangal', where the word was assigned by the King Khagemba to the Muslims particularly their commander-in-chief, Muhammad Sani, on account of his fortitude and intrepidity in the battle fought between Manipuri Meiteis and Muslims at Toubul (near Bishnupur District) in 1606 A.D. by calling him as 'Panganba' and his Muslim groups as 'Pangal' (Rafayattullah 1929: 24; Khullakpam 1997: 35). Since then, the term 'Pangal' has been used and started calling for Muslims by other religious communities continuously till now. As a matter of fact, the word 'Pangal' means 'strength' in Manipuri language.

Then, it is pointed out that after the settlement of the Muslims in Manipur, they started adopting the language of the indigenous dominant community of what we called popularly the 'Meiteilon' as their own since 1606 A.D., despite using the Urdu, Persian, Arabic languages etc. in that time. Further, many socio-cultural and religious practices drawing from the local majority community called Meitei like Marriage system, Clan system (unknown in the Islamic World), Dresses (Phanek, Khudei, Khwangnum), Belief system, Language (Meiteilon), Food Habits (Uti, Eronba, Chamthong/Kangsoi, Ngari, Singju) etc. and their implications for the expansion, settlement and formation of the community had been explored during the 17th and 18th centuries.

It does not mean that they were through and through integrated into the Meitei society but they maintained a unique distinct identity of their own, though they fished out many concepts, thoughts and ideologies for shaping and reshaping of their own community from the nearby communities. Lastly, some scholars said that the Muslim population in Manipur is still low. It might be due to the searching of livelihood in other states, around four-fifth of the total population or repeated successive Burmese invasions namely Seven Years Devastation (1819-1826) known in the history of Manipur as Chahi Taret Khuntakpa (Brown 1975: 15; Khullakpam 1997: 13-16). Moreover, the areas where they took their settlements are also investigated shortly here. Keeping out all these issues in our mind, let us project precisely the thematic issues given here in an analytical way.

Review of the Historical Sources of Muslims in Manipur

So far the historical sources of the Muslims in Manipur is concerned, there are lacuna and crunch of literature. Moreover, their population was not large at all and they were not interested in education till very recently. Whatever the sources given here were revisited in order to get the sense of history of the Muslims in Manipur in an analytical way. First of all, let us analyze the primary sources namely Nongsamei Puya, Cheitharol Kumpapa, Ningthoural Lambuba, Yaad Dasht Kursee-e- Nama, Pangal Thorakpa etc. The path-breaking work, Nongsamei Puya, edited by Oinam Bhogeshwor Singh and M.A. Janab Khan, published in 1973, Imphal and the magnum opus of R.K. Sanahal, Pangal Thorakpa, published in 1985, were pondered as essential Puyas investigating with the accounts of Muslims in Manipur. Nongsamei Puya gave the account of the reigns of different kings starting from King Khagemba (1597-1652A.D.) to King Bhagyachandra (1759-62A.D., 1763-1798A.D.).

In the similar vein, such kind of periodisation of different Kings and its accounts were also there in the Pangal Thorakpa. From these two accounts, we can see the evidences of how the war had started and its course of action between the joint Cachari and Muslim forces in 1606A.D. and King of Manipur, the settlement of the Muslims in Manipur, assignment of Meitei women to the noteworthy Muslims and endowment of grants of land by the King Khagemba, further immigration of Muslims in addition to the early Muslim settlers. Moreover, Cheitharol Kumpapa also did not state about the origin and course of war but concisely, despite having some records historically near about 2000 years (78 kings) starting from Nongda Lairen Pakhangba (33- 154A.D.) to Maharaj Buddhachandra Singh (1941-55A.D.) but unluckily, this Royal Chronicle also didn't give much information regarding the history of Manipuri Muslims though there was casually mentioning about it.

Now, in the context of the British Colonial Accounts, it is suggested that the new pattern of writing history had been initiated strikingly by the British Officers such as E.W. Dun's work Gazetteer of Manipur, B.C. Allen's path-breaking work, Gazetteer of Manipur and Naga Hills, B.C. Allen, E.A. Gait, C.G.H. Allen, H.F. Howard's magnum opus, Gazetteer of Bengal and North East India, R.B. Pemberton's book, A Report on the North-Eastern Frontier of British India, Mc Culloch's work, An Account of the Valley of Munnipore, R. Brown's book, A Statistical Account of Manipur, Ethel St. Clair Grimwood's book, My Three Years in Manipur, My Experience in Manipur and the Naga Hills by James Johnstone etc.

All these works emphasized the political, socio-cultural, economic, religious facets of the local dominant communities like Meitei and Hilly tribal people in great length but casually citing about the Muslims which, according to some scholars, might be either due to their low population or indistinct between the physical features of Muslim and Meitei communities or enveloping the strands of Muslims within the account of Meiteis.

Moreover, some works were also written in Manipuri language namely, Manipuri Muslims by M.A. Janab Khan, Meitei Pangal Hourakpham by B. Kullachandra Sharma and Badaruddin, Yaad Dasht Kursee-e-Nama translated by Maulana Muhammad Jalaluddin, Kheiruddin Khullakpam and Maulana Tayeb Ali from the original work by Rafayattullah published in 1929 in Lahore etc. In point of fact, these works pointed out their origins, settlements, clan for the formation of community in a small scale but acted as momentous work in the history of Muslims in Manipur.

Consequently, some other secondary sources like History of Manipur, Vol.1, by Gangmumei Kamei, A History of Manipur by Jyotirmoy Roy, A History of Bengal, Muslim Period,1200-1757, Vol. 2, The Muslims of Manipur by Salam Irene, The Manipur Governance to the Meitei-Pangal, Manipuri Muslim, 1606-1949 A.D. by Hakim Shah Khullakpam, Essays in Sociology: Muslims in Manipur by Mohd. Shakil Ahmed etc. talked about the origins, wars, laws and governances, sociocultural features, economies, religion elaborately in a more or less the same manner of what the primary sources talked about the Muslims in Manipur.

The theories of the origins of Manipuri Muslims and its misconceptions and misinterpretations generated by some historians and scholars:

So far the theories of the origins of Muslims in Manipur, some scholars opined that prior to 1606 A.D., they came to Manipur. John Parrat told that the first Muhammadans, the Aribam family, came to Manipur in the time of Naophangba (Parrat 1998: 83). Further, N. Devendra and the Muslim Panchayat Lilong Report (1932) said that two persons, Sadir Para Koireng and Kutuwan Khan, were the progenitors of Aribam clan. Based on the document of London School of Oriental and African studies for the formation of clan, about fifty in number, some Pandit scholars of Palace (Meitei scholars) told that Manipuri Muslim clan formation began in what was named as 'the Aribam sagei' since the period of King Naophangba (590-680A.D.).

This Pangal population as found in 930A.D. was adept in preparing salt from dug wells, since their co-religionists used to collect salt from the Bengal Sea. Sources based on the Sanskrit, Vaishnavite and Puyas considered the 14th century Muslims as 'Turushka' as per B. Kullachandra (Sharma 1997: 62). Moreover, it was recorded by Maulana Rahimuddin in his work, Mussalman-e-Manipuri, written in Urdu, that three Muslims namely Seikh Ruba, Gora Khan and Ashiq Shah, later on, were considered as the ancestors of Manipuri Muslim clan called 'Aribam Sagei'(oldest clan) after coupling with Manipuri women, from Rajabari (probably Khaspur) who were able to manufacture the muskets, came to Manipur and were given orders by the King Mungyamba (1562-1597A.D.) to manufacture the muskets (Irene 2010: 32-33; Pahari 2010:187). This kind of theory of the coming of Muslims and their formation of clans like the Aribam clan during the reign of King Naophangba was also supported by the scholars like J.C. Higgins based on the information given by Pandit Achouba in 1933 (Khullakpam 2008: 27- 29; Singh 1985: 13; Singh and Khan 1973: 169).

Despite being accounts about the Aribam clan who came for the manufacture of guns in Manipur, recent researches have pooh-poohed such arguments that they might have come for the purpose of seeking other jobs not for the purpose of manufacturing guns because there is no well documented text for propping this account and in that time, inter-regional trade was not a wider phenomenon in spite of existing it. Another possible reason was that Manipur had no ample materials for the purpose of manufacture of guns.

But, considering the actual theories of the origins of Manipuri Muslims, it is important to emphasize that 1606 A.D. was the major turning point in the history of Manipur in the sense that a major event was happened over the issue of Boat Race (Hiyang Tannaba in Manipuri language) between the two brothers namely Sanongba and Chingsomba of the reigning King Khagemba (1597-1652 A.D.). In fact, Chingsomba borrowed boat from Sanongba for Boat Race but unluckily, the boat was broken on account of collision. Sanongba told by forcing to Chingsomba in order to return the original boat not the repaired and broken one. The issue came to be called as "Sanongba Higaiwa" in the history of Manipur.

In this context, Khagemba tried to solve the problem through compromise basis happening in between the two brothers but could not solve the issue on account of demand made by Sanongba for returning the original one thereby leading to the fleeing of Sanongba with his mother Queen Dowager Luwang Changpombi and some followers to Cachar. He requested the Cachari King Dimasha Prataphil to invade Manipur. In this context, the Cachari King Dimasha Prataphil arranged joint invasion of Cachari and Muslim forces under the leadership of Yakharek, Bhimbal and Prasena (a leader of the Muslim mercenaries of a locality known as Taraf somewhere near Habigunj in Eastern Bengal) who had requested the Nawab of Taraf, Muhammad Najira, for extending his collaboration and federation in doing war against the King of Manipur Khagemba. Muhammad Najira accepted the request of Dimasha Prataphil by giving 7000 soldiers including the leaders of Muhammad Sani (the commander-in-chief of the contingent), Shah Kusum, Sheikh Juned, Kourif Sheikh (his younger brothers), Akon, Alup, Shuleiya, Nampha, Phaitong, Tumiya, Khamya, Aman, Khela, Aqya, Khamba, Punom, Kashra etc. (Singh and Khan 1973:11; Rafayattullah 1929: 6-8).

But, it was critically examined by some scholars emphasizing the point that the number of soldiers was regarded as a caricatured figure in the sense that it was not equalized with the number of soldiers staying in Manipur in the aftermath of the battle which was mentioned also in the Cheitharol Kumpapa (the Royal Chronicle of Manipur) as 1000 Muslim soldiers. However, one should know that this was the battle taking place in between the two groups and no one knew the exact figures. Therefore, it is very difficult to say the exact figures in the sense that how many soldiers had been killed in the battle were not mentioned in either of the primary or secondary sources. The combining Cachari and Muslim forces invaded Manipur in 1606 A.D. In this battle, the Muslim forces won the war though they fought bravely and ultimately, they brought agreement in 1606A.D. through three conditions signed between the King of Manipur, Khagemba and the Qazi Muhammad Sani for the settlements and inhabitants of Muslims in Manipur permanently. The conditions are given below:

First Condition
The Islamic religion should never be looked down. Muslims should be kept with respect in every place. Muslims should never be humiliated. And whatever the acts done by the Qazi should never be given restriction. If the conditions were not fulfilled, the Manipuri women, the mother of Muslims, should be given their shares.

Second Condition
Muslims, according to the religion of Prophet Muhammad, practicing the rules and regulations of Shariat, should neither be given restriction nor taken into repugnance. No one should be allowed to torture, blame upon the Muslims and their descendants. All the Muslims and their descendants should never be expelled from Manipur. If any unavoidable circumstances demanded an expulsion from Manipur, then the share entitled to the mother of the Muslims should be granted.

Third condition
Those Manipuri women who have already performed "Nikah" should be granted their shares.

One copy which contained such legal treatises was kept at the court and another copy was kept at the Qazi (Rafayattullah 1929:11-12). But unfortunately, some scholars projected Manipuri Muslims as "Prisoners of War" which is a matter of huge debate and contestation among the scholars and historians over this issue. Detail historical analysis and understandings of this phrase is given here. The phrase "Prisoners of War" which was used in a loose way in the History of Manipuri Muslims is a matter of debate and contestation among the scholars.

Muslims were considered as prisoners of war or war captives. In this context, one can arise many questions like in which and in what way do they call the Muslims in Manipur as prisoners of war or captives?; For what purpose do they call so?; Is there any word to replace it in the context of Manipuri Muslims?; How far is it applicable to the Muslims in Manipur? Which kind of sources do they go through for establishing this doubtful phrase? Did the King of Manipur really win the battle of 1606 A.D.?

Keeping all these questions in our mind, it is necessary to know the different meanings of captive in a lucid manner. The term captive means kept as a prisoner or in a confined space or unable to escape according to Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary (p. 220). In this context, let us assume that Muslims were kept in a prison in that time or they would not move from one place to another or they were kept in a confined space but nothing of this kind was happened or mentioned in any of the primary or secondary sources. Through three different conditions discussed earlier, signed between the King of Manipur and the Qazi Muhammad Sani for the settlements and inhabitants of those Muslims in Manipur permanently, they brought agreement in 1606 A.D. and they started settling in Manipur after coupling with Meitei women who were assigned by the King of Manipur, Khagemba.

In the Nongsamei Puya and Yaad Dasht Kursee-e-Nama, it is clearly mentioned that the battle of 1606 was not won by the King of Manipur and how they became prisoners of war is a myth. Further, the term 'prisoner' means word for a person who has been captured and is being kept somewhere. The terms like captive, detainee, hostage, and prisoners of war have been used synonymously. Actually, the difference between prisoner and captive is that while captive occurs in more historical contexts involving people such as Kings, Queens and Princesses and is also found in political organizations holding people against their will, but prisoner is more often used to talk about people who have been captured in the war.

Now, after knowing the phrases prisoners of war and war captives in a clear manner, it is necessary to point out the fact that it is very difficult to accept this viewpoint that Muslims were prisoners of war in the sense that the kind of treatment given by the King of Manipur to the Muslims was also very different. This is because of the fact that there might be a feeling of fear of another invasion if they treated the Muslims in a bad condition which was mentioned in the Yaad Dasht Kursee-e-Nama (Rafayattullah 1929: 9). Moreover, a very interesting account was given in the Nongsamei Puya in connection with this theory that the King of Manipur brought the Muslims on the elephants after the battle of 1606 A.D. (Singh and Khan 1973: 32). The question comes as to why they were brought on the elephants?

The reasons were not given in the Nongsamei Puya and other reference books but it is emphasized that they brought agreement the battle of 1606 through three different conditions signed between the King of Manipur Khagemba and the Qazi Muhammad Sani which was discussed earlier. That is why, they were brought on the elephants which meant, in another sense, that Muslims were not prisoners of war or war captives. Hence, it is a matter of debate and contestation among the scholars.

Then, after the battle, the Muslims did not return to their mother country, Sylhet in Bangladesh, and started settling in Manipur coupling with Meitei women as given by the King of Manipur Khagemba. Many questions come to our mind as to why they were not allowed to return to their mother country Sylhet in Bangladesh?; Was there any restriction given by the King of Manipur to the Muslim forces in that time? This was due to the practicable reasons that there might be a feeling of fear of another invasion to the King of Khagemba and His officials (Rafayattullah 1929: 9) or a matter of realizing the momentousness of different skills retained among the Muslim forces in different occupations thereby leading to the welfare of the country, which explained the reason why they were made settled down in Manipur or, moreover, their valuable strength, fearlessness and intrepidity for the territorial integrity of Manipur on a safe and sound footing as was evident from the battle fought between the Manipuri forces and the joint Cachari and Muslim forces which were realized by the King of Manipur.

Apart from these earlier settler Muslims coming from Taraf in Manipur, there were further entries of Muslims in small number in 1608 A.D. as stated in the Nongsamei Puya, where there were three brothers of Syed Auriya, the guru of the King of Taraf, Muhammad Najiri, namely Syed Ambiya, Syed Abdullah, Syed Kalka Hussain who were made to settle down by King Khagemba, after consulting with Muhammad Shani, by honouring and giving land for settlement and women. Among these three Syeds, Syed Hussain went back to Taraf and reverted with a Qur'an who was the forefather of the clan Meraimayum which was derived from Mir (Singh and Khan 1973: 76-77; Rafayattullah 1929: 21). During the reign of Khunjaoba (1652- 1666A.D.), seven persons from Takhel (Tripura) namely Isakalimullah and his wife Fatima Bibi, his younger brother, Musakalimullah, Kshtridashi, Bamon Sitaram, Gonok Dakhila, Gonok Basudev, came to Manipur who were made settlement at Apong Ingkhol (Singh and Khan 1973: 84-85).

Further, in the reign of Paikhomba (1666-1697A.D.), 37 Muslim travellers including Sunarphool, the prince of Makak, Miliya Sheikh, traveller and religious man from Lukhiyaphool, Phuleicha Sandulla Sheikh, Leithou, Sheikh Jali etc. arrived in Manipur who were introduced by Muhammad Shani and made them settlement by giving women as wives when they presented elephants, gold and other precious things to the King of Manipur. There was no official policy of settling the outsiders but when they said simply that they wanted to stay in the state of Manipur, the Maharaj Paikhomba, being pleasure, allowed them to settle by giving land, women and servants (Singh and Khan 1973: 92- 93). In this period also, four Mughal princes along with ten commanders-in-chief came to Manipur who were settled down by giving servants, land and women.

Actually, before entering into the royal Palace and coming with two Mughal princes hand-inhand, Paikhomba, the King of Manipur, entered into the Mughal-Shang (Pangal Shanglen) and latter named as Mangal Khutsham-Shang (Singh and Khan 1973: 104). Some scholars like M.A. Janab Khan hooked up these Mughals to Shah Shuja, the ephemeral brother of Aurangzeb and his followers and they didn't give the reasons behind this but was refuted on the ground that he had already been killed in Arracan by the Maghs as mentioned in the Sir Jadunath Sarkar's book, A Short History of Aurangzeb, which said that "the king of Arracan heard of the plot and planned the assassination of Shah Shuja. Shah Shuja with a few men fled into the jungle. The Maghs ….pursued the poor prince ….…cutting his body into pieces" (Dutch report, February, 1661).

Moreover, Pangals namely Chuki Meihaiba, Huipuba and Singga Khongba working in the Pangal Mall and the Singga Loisang of Manipur visited in Tripura in 1676 A.D. and returned in Manipur in the same year. The arrival of seven Muslim Fakirs (saints) from Cachar in Manipur in April, 1795A.D. was the largest Fakir immigration in which Kashoudin (Kashimuddin) was the leader, Pir Baba of Fakirs, which brought a great impact in the Manipuri Muslim's Islamic way of life. Further, some immigration took place in Manipur in small number which, slowly and gradually, continued till the reign of Chandrakirti (1850-1886A.D.) say, for instance, Sayyids and Pathans from Gujarat came to Manipur in search of fortune (Ali 1979:12).

During the repeated and successive Burmese invasions in Manipur in the 18th century, some Muslim immigrations happened in Manipur say, for instance, during the periods of 1755, 1758-9, 1764, 1770, 1782, Maimu, Pukchao and Tonba from the Sylhet District arrived in Manipur in which the King Bhagyachandra allowed Tonba to serve Wakil Haridas Gosai who was deputed by the King to sign the Anglo-Manipuri Alliance 1762 in favour of Manipur (Hamilton 1940: 80-81). Though there was large number of migration in these two centuries, the population was not increased to a maximum level but increased slowly i.e. microscopic number in the sense that there was no well documented text to give the exact number of population of Manipur in these two centuries. Muslim population in Manipur is still low which, according to some scholars, might be due to the repeated successive Burmese invasions like Seven Years Devastation (1819-1926) or search of livelihood in other states approximately four-fifth of the total population as stated earlier. Really speaking, a greater portion of this community was brought into captivity during the repeated successive Burmese invasions in Manipur (Brown 1975: 15).

For these reasons, Manipuri Muslims were mushrooming in different parts of the world like Cachar (Baskandi, Hilghat, Govindpur (Moijing), Tolen Khun, Lalang, Kanokpur), Tripura (Aalali, Latiyabil, Manikbhandar, Moleiya etc.), Assam (Hojaisalbagan, Sadiya and Bokajan), Nagaland (Nichuged, Semile, Charmile, Kapunpur-14kms from the north of Dimapur), Bangladesh (Shripur, Jalalpur, Ghuramura, Mankhei Makhong, Samser Nagar, Maulvi Bazaar etc.), Burma (Mandalay Chhatra Number) and Saudi Arabia (Tayef, Mecca and Jeddah) (Singh and Khan 1973: 171;Khullakpam 1997: 13-16). After analyzing very briefly over this issue, we come to the conclusion that 1606 A.D. was the major turning point in the history of Manipur because in this time, Muslims came to Manipur despite having some theories for the origin of Manipuri Muslims prior to this period. Indeed, the actual settlement of Muslims in Manipur started from this period after coupling with Meitei women presented by the King of Manipur Khagemba who gave the clans to them on the basis of origin, place of settlement, occupation etc., which, therefore, played a crucial role in the formation of Muslim community in Manipur in the beginning of seventeenth century and it is still important till now for such community.

Their Socio-Cultural Roles for the Formation of Community

So far the socio-cultural practices drawing from the local majority community called Meitei like Marriage system, Clan system (unknown in the Islamic World), Dresses (Phanek, Khudei, Khwangnum), Belief system, Language (Meiteilon), Food Habits (Uti, Eronba, Chamthong/Kangsoi, Ngari, Singju), Arts and Aesthetics, Recreations, Games and Sports (Mukna, Mukna Kangjei-Wrestling, Yubi Lakpi, Sagol Kangjei-Polo), etc. and their implications for the expansion, settlement and formation of the community during the 17th and 18th centuries are concerned, it is suggested that huge local socio-cultural structure was there in the Muslim's socio-cultural way of life in the fields mentioned above. But one should know that such kind of cross socio-cultural interaction among the Muslims and Meiteis is not a special case not only in Manipur but also taking place in any place of the world.

They started using the local language 'Meiteilon' as their own which was evident from the fact that many books were translated into Manipuri language (Shah 2008: 163-174). They started changing their food habits and the way they lived based on the Manipuri styles. In the belief system like Bhut, Lairen (a form of Python), Heloi, Maiba etc. also, they were changing a lot due to the influence of Meitei community's belief system i.e. it became a traditional social facet of Manipuri Muslims which had been continuing till now since their arrival in Manipur in 1606 A.D. In all spheres of life, some local elements were brought out in Muslim's life styles which did not mean that they were not following the basic teachings of Islam but they held it along with local community's belief system in their activities.

Then, the Marriage (Luhongba in Manipuri language) customs of Manipuri Muslims were influenced exceedingly by the local community's marriage system based on exogamy (Irene 2010: 66-74). Despite having some influence by the local community into the marriage system of Muslims, they always focused on the Qur'anic injunctions and basic teachings of Islam in the sense that they preformed "Nikah" after consulting and bringing an agreement of both the parties.

Its main object was the procreation and legalizing children. A marriage was usually preformed in the way of four forms namely, Hainaba (Engagement), Chenba (Elopement), Chenba Phaba (Capture), Loukhatpa (Recognition of Elopement). Marriage is a civil contract not a sacrament. There can be no marriage without consent. It can be dissolved or separated based on the will of both the parties or operation of law. Marriage without consent is void and a marriage with consent under compulsion is invalid.

Actually, Islamic law was always used in marriage ceremony of Manipuri Muslim though there was some unislamic local elements in the way they performed like Sagei Kwa Yenba, Kwa Khaiba , Panuka Puba, etc. and they strictly followed the tradition of paying of Mohr or Dower by the husband at the time of marriage. At the time of marriage, they performed some traditional dances like Thabal Chongba, Maibi Jagoi, Khullang Esei etc. There was no ceiling on the Awonpot and parents gave the bride with what was deemed essential to start a happily married life.

According to Salam Irene, a charmingful and meaningful custom prevalent among the Manipuri Muslims was the presentation of a copy of the Qur'an by the father to the bride on her wedding day which was a symbolic gesture greatly appreciation. The Muslims started learning the Manipuri language since the days of King Khunjaoba (1652-1666 A.D.) and used it as their mother tongue. Some scholars claimed that not only they used the traditional music but they used also their own music into the soil of Manipur like Ghazals, Kasida, Masnawi written in Urdu which were used during the marriage ceremony. But nowadays, such musical practices are not used in the Manipuri Muslim marriage ceremony.

Cross-cultural language interactions took place in Manipur since the days of arrival of Muslims in Manipur in the sense that some Urdu, Arabic, Farsi words were introduced in Manipur like Hokum, Dukan, Khabar, Amil, Wakil, Rumal, Dalali, Darbar, Diwan, Sarkar, Gulab, Sabun, Haq, Sabi, Sanam (in the sense of mistress/sweet heart), Qalam, Dalil, Sahar, Bazaar and many others. It may be said that the use of Persian and Arabic words had enriched and beautified the Meiteilon language considerably (Sanajaoba 2005: 459). Some Turkish words were also introduced like Coolie. Further, some words were a combination of Urdu and Meitei words say for instance, Dadash + Ahal = Dahal (elder brother), Bahin + Ahal = Beihal ( elder sister) and Hanum + Hanba = derivation from Hinam and Hanba- return of bride and groom to bride parents residence after three or five or seven days of marriage. Other words were independently coined like Ithou-Ibok (grandmother).

Besides these, the Muslims used words slightly different from Meiteis like lapkang for leikang (soot), ipunga for ipuwa (younger brother), mayem for mayum (house), kanthra for kantha (quilt), etc. (Irene 2010: 161). Such type of cross-cultural language interaction created in enriching the Manipuri language. In this context, T.C. Hodson emphasized that "the title Shahi used by the successors and sons of Garib Niwaz has been suggested to me as due to a temporary predominance of Muhammadans influence in Manipur" (Hodson 1975: 58). The title Garib Niwaz was regarded as given by a Muslim as to King Pamheiba (Khan 1972: 27). Hence, these interactions helped in the way of creating a sound and healthy community in Manipur through exchange and borrowing of ideas and traditions since the early days.

In the similar vein, the belief system of Manipuri Muslims was also shaped tremendously by the local dominant community which could be descried Bhut (ghost), Lairen (a form of python), Heloi, Maiba (traditional doctor in the ministrations of bodily disability like puncturing of dog, Najr or Mihu). It does not mean that they were not following the basic teachings of Islam. Indeed, they strictly adhered to the basic teachings of Islam. But some scholars claimed that they have no Masjid and are for the most part very ignorant of the religion they profess (Brown 1975: 15).

Another scholar B.C. Allen said that there were no masonry mosques in the state and foreign Muslims in Imphal have a separate Maulvi of their own (Allen 1980: 65) which indicated that some mosques made of woods and bamboo were there in Manipur. Such point was made invigorated by several mosques available before the Seven Years Devastation (Chahi Taret Khuntakpa) (Rafayattullah 1929: 35) namely Mukame Musalla Mosque known as Muhammad Sani Lainingshang, southern side of Moirangkhom Mongba Hanba; Changamdabi Kangla Ukok; Ningthounai Yairipok; Irong Cheshaba Leikai; Mayang Imphal; Kairang Khumidok; Sangai Yumpham; Keirou; Haoreibi Awang Leikai; Lilong Khunou; Haoreibi Makha Leikai and Porompat called as 'Verandah Mosques' or 'Sangoi Laisang'. It means that they were not ignorant of their religion but conscious of their religion.

All the ritual practices and rites had been taught initially by the three Sayyids namely Sayyid Ambia, Sayyid Abdullah, Sayyid Kalka Hussain to all the Muslims in Manipur in 1609 A.D. (Sharma and Badaruddin 1991:1-2). Actually, in Manipur, during this time, Sayyid Kalka Hussain brought the Qur'an to Manipur and prayed to God in the Nongmaijing Hill. All the religious works were handed over into the three Sayyids. It is surprising the fact that all the Muslims in Manipur followed Sunni laws of Jurisprudence (Khullakpam 1997: 216; Dun 1992: 16). Even a single Shia sect was not available in Manipur.

All in all, one can say that it is very clearly seen that despite having injunctions to the basic teachings of Islam, they also believed in the local community's belief system because of the influence of Meitei women on the Muslim men. In the process of their settlement, they adopted and assimilated much of Manipuri's culture, married Meitei women, adopted Meiteilon as their own mother tongue and lived side by side in harmony with Meiteis. In fact, Salam Irene emphasized that the degree of assimilation and enculturation was extremely high.

In the context of education, their position was very ground-hugging in the society because we didn't get the evidence of formal religious and secular institutions of education system of Muslims in Manipur during the 17th and 18th centuries. This might be due to their ignorance in the field of education and they were not interesting in education.

On the other hand, some scholars said that being come from Sylhet, they used to teach their children in houses about the Persian language. Such practice was continued from the reign of King Khagemba (1597-1652) to King Gaurashyam Maramba (1752-1753). But, the period between 1754 and 1891 with regard to their educational status was really doomsday scenario (Khullakpam 1997: 219). Indeed, they started learning it in the latter part of the 19th century as was evident from the fact that the first Maulana namely Maulana Ibadullah (1840-1921) at Irong Chesaba Mayai Leikai (Thoubal District) appeared and started imparting the theological education.

Moreover, the first Madrasa namely the Madrasa Muhammadiya later on known as Madrasa Mazharul Uloom in the early part of the twentieth century was instituted at Mayang Imphal Bengoon (Imphal West District) whose principal was Maulana Abdul Halim of Wangmayum clan, a student of Maulana Ibadullah. Besides this, there are shortages of documented texts about the condition of Manipuri Muslim women during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. But we assume that as Muslim women were the sisters of Meiteis, they too must have retained their independence but bound by some Islamic rules. They played a significant role in the economic tasks like cultivation, weaving and other activities.

In Manipur, Muslim society was male-dominated and a gender bias, even though under the Shariat, Muslim women enjoyed equal status with men. Moreover, the wife being under the supervision of her husband had to consult him before making any decision as husband was the head of the family (Irene 2010:76). In the social life of the Manipuri Muslim women, they were at great length disadvantage to their counterparts because of the factors of rigid patriarchy, social custom and traditions like restriction on movement, early marriage, misuse of personal laws particularly with reference to 'talaq', adoption and guardianship of children, maintenance and inheritance. Such factors retarded the social empowerment of Muslim women in Manipur.

But Muslim mother-in-laws were unjust and cruel to their Mous (daughter-in-laws). However, the Muslim wife was the queen of the house, run it on her husband's earnings and contributed to the family kitty through her own economic activities according to Riyaj Ahmed Shah in his article Status of Muslim Women in Manipur State. Apart from these socio-cultural activities of Muslims in Manipur, the system of polygamy was rare among the Muslims in Manipur because of their financial background probably. They also followed the same procedure of what the Muslims in other parts of the world followed in the fields of divorce, birth, death (Irene 2010: 51-104).

In the field of games and sports, we find that during the reign of King Khagemba, there were two Muslim wrestlers, Akun Shah and Kanba Shah who attached to the King's palace. The tradition of wrestling was going on by their successors who came to be called as Mansham Sagei (Wrestling Clan). The existence of institutions like the Pangal Loishang, Shinglup, Keirup, and Leirup, encouraged and facilitated sport among the Pangals.

Two games as 'Likkon Shannaba' and 'Kang Shannaba' were played with the Meiteis but Pangal women did not play Kang. Many Pangals kept a Kang in their homes for playing. They also played Shagol-Kangjei, Mukna, Mukna-Kangjei, Khong Kangjei, Yubi-lakpi and were split into two groups 'Khunthak and Khunkha' and 'Ahallup and Naharup'.

It would seem that these divisions were on locality because when there was a competition organized between the panas, the Pangals were included in the pana of the Meiteis, which was adjacent to their settlement. Special dresses were worn for different sports (Irene 2010:162).

Lastly, clan system, unknown in the Islamic world and Sagei in Manipuri language, acted as an indispensable social engineering agent for the formation of Muslim community in Manipur during the 17th and 18th centuries.

First of all, this was the family title given by the King Khagemba to the Manipuri Muslims, which was transforming into lineage groups or clans with the rise of population after 1606 A.D. on the basis of their place of origins, occupations, place of settlements, skills etc. The importance of clan in the consolidation of Muslim community was that it was used as a determinant factor of identification of a person and as a social institution, it had helped them to the social unity in Manipur and became a similarity in norms with the social institution i.e. clans of the Meiteis. Their legitimized clan system given by the King of Manipur has been functionalized since their settlement in Manipur. Actually, clan, the basic social structure of Meitei community, influenced a lot in the social structure of Muslims in Manipur playing an important social engineering agent for the formation of community in Manipur.

Sagei can be closely knit or vice versa. A Sagei contained many families- 'Yumnak' of the same clan. These were further subdivided into Singlup or subclans. In a Sagei, there were normally 'Phurups', 'Singlups', 'Kangbu' or 'Khut' groups based on lineage, social and customary considerations (Irene 2010: 51). There was no hierarchical differentiation within the Sagei, based upon either economy or occupation (Shah 1998: 197). The Muslim clans have been invariably exogamous.

What is permissible under Islamic law- endogamy became almost a dead letter (Singh 1994: 29-30). But one thing is that they didn't adopt the prefix or suffix of the Sagei's like the Meiteis to their names i.e. Meitei community usually used the prefix or suffix in their names say for instance Thokchom Chandramani or James Lourembam, however, the point that they used generally the Muslim titles like Shah, Khan, Sayyid, Sheikh etc. without knowing the divisions.

The divisions like Sayyids, Sheikhs, Mughals, despite existing in the Islamic world, were not found in Manipuri Muslims. Simply, they used these as the title of the names without having divisions. Now how the formation of clan took place was also important to know. As I had already mentioned in the above, it was based on the occupations, skills, place of origins etc., say, for instance, Muhammad Sani, the commander-in-chief of the Muslim forces, was given two Meitei girls by the King of Manipur Khagemba namely, Nongthombam Maitek and Chakpram Melei as his wives, two servants, 5 paris of good and fertile land (1pari = 2 and half acres) and he found residence in the area of Paka (Paka Leikai), nowadays called Yaishkul Leikai in Moirangkhom and his clan name was Khullakpam (Khullakpa means in Manipuri language, the head or the commander of the community) (Singh and Khan 1973: 34);

Nooriya Sheikh, an expert in pottery making, made a pot by using the technique of pottery wheel and provided it to the King Khagemba and being satisfied, he got one Meitei girl namely Peti from the Maharaj and his clan came to be known as Chaphusabam (Chaphu=pot; Saba=make in Manipuri language) (Singh and Khan 1973: 34);

Sheikh Juned, proficient in paper making and the third younger brother of Muhammad Shani, introduced the art of paper making in Manipur and his clan was called Chesabam Sagei (Che = paper; saba =make in Manipuri language) (Sharma 1999: 19);

Muslims coming from Makak, a place in Sylhet District in Bangladesh, were known as Makakmayum which had a further division into two namely Makakmayum Angouba and Makakmayum Amuba based on fair and dark flush persons.

In the similar manner, Mayangmayum group was divided into two Mayangmayum Ariba and Mayang Anouba (new and old, the former migrated in and Badaruddin 1996: 95-96). Puton Khan and his son, Salim Khan came from Gujarat to Manipur during the reign of King Paikhomba (1666-1697A.D.), who guarded thatch called 'Ee' in Manipuri language in the Ingkhol of the King of Manipur and their clan was known as Eepham Clan and so on.

Similarly, different clans like Ayekpam, Korimayum, Patsoimayum, Aribam, Yumkhaibam and others and their various lists were analyzed in detail (Khan 1972: 14-15; Singh and Khan 1973: 169-170; Khullakpam 1997: 65-198; Rafayattullah 1929: 16-22). Some of the clans were as same as those of Meiteis like Yangkhubam, Oinammayum (Singh and Khan 1973: 170).

Hence, Clan system (unknown in the Islamic World) played a crucial role in the formation of Muslim community in Manipur by functioning as a symbolic social engineering agent since their arrival in Manipur in 1606 A.D. It can be safely said that many socio-cultural practices of the Manipuri Muslims discussed above drawn from the local dominant community indicated a high level of assimilation and enculturation in their socio-cultural practices thereby keeping a unique place in the history of Manipur.

CONCLUSION

The actual formation of Muslim community in Manipur was started from the reign of King Khagemba, despite having some claims prior to this reign, because in the early part of the 17th century, some thousands of Muslims started living on the soil of the valley of Manipur after the battle of 1606A.D. By realizing the importance of the skills in diverse fields possessed in those Muslims, King Khagemba patronized them by presenting Meitei women, land and servants for subsistence and victuals as a part of appreciation of their skills in different activities.

Like the Meitei, clan, an important social engineering agent for the formation of Muslim community, was conferred to them on the basis of origins, occupations, place of settlements etc. after transforming from the family titles.

In the socio-cultural contexts, some local elements (Meitei's socio-religious and cultural elements) were synthesized into the Muslims socio-religious and cultural systems which could be clearly witnessed in food systems, literature, language, belief systems, clan, marriage etc. It does not mean that they don't follow basic teachings of Islam but they hold the basic teachings of Islam in their activities though there were huge local influences over them.

In other words, the process of assimilation and enculturation was extremely high. One of the surprising things is that they have been staying as a unique distinct community in Manipur since 1606A.D. though they are a small community. In a nutshell, it can be concluded that the formation of Muslim community in Manipur during the 17th and 18th centuries was by assimilation, enculturation and intermixture with the local community politically, socially, economically, culturally which therefore provided them with a unique history.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Primary Sources

1. Allen, B.C., E.A.Gait, C.G.H.Allen and H.F. Howard. Gazetteer of Bengal and North East India, Mittal Publication, Delhi, 1979.
2. Allen, B.C. Gazetteer of Manipur and Naga Hills, Gian Publication, Delhi, 1980.
3. Brown, R.A Statistical Account of Manipur, K.M. Mittal Publication, Delhi, 1975.
4. Dun, E.W. Gazetteer of Manipur, Manas Publication, Delhi, 1992.
5. Grimwood, Ethel St. Clair. My Three Years in Manipur, Rechard Benley, London, 1891.
6. Hodson, T.C. The Meitheis, B.R. Publication Corporation, Delhi, 1975.
7. Mc Culloch, W. An Account of the Valley of Munnipore, Gian Publication, Delhi, 1980.
8. Pemberton, R.B. A Report on the North-Eastern Frontier of British India, Baptist Mission Press, Calcutta, 1835.
9. Singh, Bhogeshwor, O. and (ed.) M.A., Janab Khan. Nongsamei, Manipur Stationary and Printing Industries, Imphal, 1973.
10. Singh, Lairenmayum Iboogohal and N.Khelchandra Singh.(ed.) Cheitharol Kumbaba, Manipur Sahitya Parishad, Imphal, 1989.
11. Singh, R.K.Sanahal. Pangal Thorakpa, Liberty Publication Association, Imphal, 1985.

Secondary Sources

1. Ahmed, Mohd. Shakil. Essays in Sociology: Muslims in Manipur, published by the Institute of Objective Studies, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi, 2011.
2. Ahmed, Syed. Islam in the North-East, 17th to 19th centuries, Unpublished Ph.D Thesis, JNU, Delhi, 2003.
3. Bose, Manilal. Historical and Constitutional Documents of North-Eastern India, Delhi, 1979.
4. Brara, N. Vijayalakshmi. Politics, Society and Cosmology in India's Norh-East, Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1998.
5. Eaton, Richard M. The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier, 1204-1760, OUP, Delhi, Third Impression, 2002.
6. Gait, E.A. A History of Assam, Tnacker Splk and Co . Ltd, Calcutta, Reprint Edition, 1967.
7. Goswami, Harishwar. History of the People of Manipur, Kangla Publication, Imphal, 2004.
8. Irene, Salam. The Muslims of Manipur, Kalpaz Publication, Delhi, 2010.
9. Kamei, Gangmumei. History of Manipur, Vol.1, National Publication House, New Delhi, 1991.
10. Laldena. Christian Mission and Colonialism, Mehra Offset Press, New Delhi, 1988.
11. Majumdar, R.C. History of Bengal, Vol.1, Delhi, 2004.
12. Pahari, O. "Economic Conditions of Muslims in Manipur", SKWC Journal of Social Sciences, Vol.1, Issue.1, Jan-Dec, 2010.
13. Pandey, S.N.(ed.) Sources of the History of Manipur, National Publishing House, New Delhi, 1985.
14. Parrat, Saroj Nalini. The Religion of Manipur, Beliefs, Rituals and Historical Development, Firma KLM Private Limited, Calcutta, 1980.
15. ---------------The Court Chronicle of the Kings of Manipur: The Cheitharol Kumpapa, Vol.1 and 2, Original Text, Translation and Notes, Routledge, London, 2005.
16. Roy, Jyotirmoy. A History of Manipur, Calcutta, 1958.
17. Sanajaoba, N.Comp. Manipur (Past and Present),Vol.4, Imphal, 2006.
18. Sarkar, Sir Jadunath.(ed.) History of Bengal, Vol.2, Delhi, 2004.
19. Shah, A.Hakim. The Manipur Governance to the Meetei-Pangal (Manipuri Muslim), Pearl Publication, Imphal, 2008.
20. Sharma, Kullachandra. Typology and Technology of Meitei Writing Materials, Imphal, 1988.
21. Singh, N. Devendra. Identities of Migrated People in Manipur, published by the Centre for Manipur Studies, Manipur University, 1994.
22. Singh, R.K. Jhalajit. A Short History of Manipur, J.M. Printing Works, Imphal, 1992.
23. ---------------------A History of Manipuri Literature, Vol.1, Second Revised Edition, Imphal, 1987.
24. Singh, M.Kirti. Religion and Culture of Manipur, Manas Publication, Delhi, 1988.
25. Singh, N.Joykumar(ed.). Globalization and the Changing Scenario of Cultural Interaction, Manipur Experience, Akansha Publishing House, Delhi, 2007.
26. Singh, W.Ibohal. A History of Manipur, Imphal, 1986.

Sources: Manipuri Languages

1. Khan, M.A. Janab. Manipuri Muslim, Imphal, 1972.
2. Khullakpam, Kheiruddin. Turko-Afghangee Chada Naoda, Circles, Imphal, 1997.
3. Rafayattullah. Yad-Dast Kursee-E-Nama, Lahore, 1929, trans. by Maulana Muhammad Jalaluddin, Kheiruddin Khullakpam and Maulana Tayeb Ali, Circles, Imphal, 1997.
4. Sharma, Kullachandra and Badaruddin. Meitei Pangal Hourakpham, Chingtam Press, Imphal, 1991.
5. Singh, N.Khelchandra. Ariba Manipurgi Sahityagi Itihas, Imphal, 2004.

1. Tribes mentioned here include Nagas and Kukis and their origins, society, culture etc. studied in detail in R.R. Shimray's work, Origin and Culture of Nagas, Revised Edition, Delhi, 1986, pp.12-42; E.W. Dun's work, Gazetteer of Manipur, Manas Publication, Delhi, 1992, pp.32-33; R. Brown' work, Statistical Account of Manipur, Mittal Publication, New Delhi, 1975, pp.16-17.

2. The term 'Mayang' indicates all those who come from the western direction and who don't belong to the Mongoloid stock. It was used originally for the people of Cachar and Tripura, who came and settled in Manipur and called themselves 'Bishnupriyas'. Besides this, it was given to those immigrants, who did not adopt Manipuri language as their language and did not intermix culturally with the larger society. To sum up, the term 'Mayang' was applicable to those who came from outside Manipur, for instance, Muslims in that time and nowadays it is used to denote to those outsiders, may be Muslims or Hindus not the Christian people, which means that it is used regardless of religion, studied in great detail in Brara's book Politics, Society and Cosmology in India's North East, Delhi, 1986, pp.120-21.

3. The term Nupi Chenba means elopement in Manipuri language and this practice, prevalent in Meitei society, was practiced by the Muslim couples anxious to wed. This had led Quazi Hamid Ali to conclude that the marriage system of the Manipuri Muslims is a combination of Islamic and Manipuri customs. In spite of not permitting by the Qur'an, the Muslims were influenced by the Meitei practice of 'Chenba'. The process of elopement was that the man took the woman to a friend's house and spent the night there. In the morning, the father of the intending groom together with his male relatives went to the women's residence and made a proposal for marriage. If it was acceptable, the Nikah was performed on the second night after the elopement either at the residence of the bride or groom. If a negative response was received, the marriage was deferred till an agreement was reached. Essentially, it was relation of love based on the spouse's willingness to have the union and it was supposed to strengthen faith and to further the cause of Islam. It was known as 'Nikah'. For details see Qazi Hamid Ali's book, The Manipuri Muslim, Banskandi, 1979, p.29.

4. Sagei Kwa Yenba, one of the traditional functions before the marriage ceremony of the Manipuri Muslims, is the distribution of green betel-nuts and leaves to each of the Sagei relatives of the girl staying in that locality which is executed in a certain day by the groom's father. The father of the boy engages a person for this purpose and sends him along with betel-nuts and leaves for distribution of the Sagei relatives of the girl. The information about the agreement between the girl's and boy's parents towards engagement of the girl is communicated in this medium.

5.Kwa Khaiba (cutting of betel-nuts into four equal pieces), is also one of the conventional operations before the marriage ceremony which is conducted after the Sagei Kwa Yenba on a date and agreed to between the parents of the boy and the girl. Some selected friends and relatives of both parties are invited for this function. It is usually done for formal declaration of the agreement between the boy's and girl's parents towards engagement of the girl.

6.Panuka Puba, a compound word of Pan and Kwa (betel leaves and nuts), is performed after Kwa Khaiba on a date and fixed for it, which is compeer of the Heijapot (Heijing Pot) Puba of the Meiteis. In this case, friends and relatives of both sides are also invited. The parents of the boy arrange betel-leaves and nuts in pieces (in packet known as Putla), sweetmeats and fruits of any kind of the season in large amount and bring to the house of the girl, which are scattered to the invited guests. Such function is performed in the afternoon. In this function, a special share of these items is reserved and given to the girl and her friends. Otherwise, the boy's father would have to pay a fair amount of money to the bride. This function is come to an end with a prayer. After this function, the date of marriage is fixed. For details of these three traditional functions, see in A. Rahman, "The Meitei-Pangal" in Naorem Sanajaoba's edited book, Manipur, Past and Present, Vol.4, Imphal, 2006, pp.462-463.

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