Accepted Paper:

Khongjom Parva: a tradition negotiating changing scenario  


Mayanglambam Sadananda Singh (Manipur University)

Paper short abstract:

The paper attempts to hightlight the remifications of the growth and developments of Khongjom Parva tradition of manipur in the first place. And in the second place underscore is drawn to show the impact of the dynamics of social and technological changes on Khongjom Parva.

Paper long abstract:

Khongjom Parva is a ballad singing tradition that has been existing over the past one hundred and twenty two years in Manipur. It emerged just after the Anglo-Manipuri War of 1891. The ballad started in praise of the great heroes of the War who sacrificed their lives for Manipur. The founder of this singing style was one Dhobi Leinou who witnessed the war, as he led the British force. His singing style has ever since been known as Khongjom Parva, which later on has extensively constituted among others the stories, parts or full, of the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the heroic exploits of Manipuri kings, the legends of Moirang and more especially the Manipuri folk epic, Khamba-Thoibi.

Khonjom Parva is performance-based and its sessions are intended to give repast, recreation to the people in villages. However,the places occupied by the Khongjom Parva in the traditional Manipuri society has gradually been relegated to the vanishing line due to the impact of modernization. Yet, like other forms of folklore it still continues to live in other forms of modern media. On a broader level, the development of the modern form of Khongjom Parva song embodies and reflects interlocking dialectics - tradition and/versus modernity. And the corporate manipulation versus grass-roots spontaneity is able to negotiate with changes brought by time.

The paper will highlight the ramifications of the growth and development of Khongjom Parva tradition diachronically, and then underscore the impact of the dynamics of social and technological changes on Khongjom Parva.

Panel P14
Circulation of cultural tropes in indigenous Adivasi India