Accepted paper:

Megalithic rituals of the Poumai Tribe of Manipur


Potshangbam Binodini Devi (D.M. College of Science)

Paper short abstract:

The Poumai is one of the largest tribe of Manipur. They occupy the northern part of Senapati district. They practice of erecting varied megalithic structures, which are accompanied by megalithic rituals, are found among this tribe till date with that of Southeast Asian megalithic cultures.

Paper long abstract:

The Poumai is one of the indigenous, largest, and earliest tribes of Manipur. It has three circles. They are: the Lepaona; the Chillevai; and the Paomata. They are distributed in 77 villages. They are mostly concentrated in the Oinam-Purul, and Paomata sub divisions of Senapati district, Manipur. Scattered pockets are also found in the Imphal East district. This tribe has its own dialect, social organisation, religious beliefs and practices, and cultural life. This community practices the erection of varied rude stone structures of different shapes and sizes. The different megalithic structures perform different functions and the erection of such structures is associated with various rituals. The Christian converts are also raising such structures with some modified forms. Till date they are practising and preserving this prehistoric cultural element, in their traditional way, even though most of the people are influenced by the Christian converts. In this paper the author tries to highlight the different megalithic rituals performed by individuals of different villages of those Poumais of those three circles and relations with the megalithic traditions of the Indonesian regions as much as the materials allow. The main aim of this paper is explain the cultural relationships of Southeast Asia with that of Northeast India.

panel P10
On the prehistoric cultural relations of Southeast Asia with Northeast India