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Manipuri Dance History, Culture, Heritage, dance Costume, Dress, Tradition



Classical Dance Manipuri History, Essence of Mahabharata, Culture, Heritage, Dance Costume, Dress, Story

Manipur finds a place in age-old Sanskrit texts including the great Indian epic, the ‘Mahabharata’, which mentions that one of the five Pandava brothers, Arjun met Chitrangada and fell in love with her in this beautiful valley.

The ethnic majority of Meitei people call dance as ‘Jagoi’ and the traditional ‘Lai Haraoba’ festival observed in honour of the sylvan deities called Umang Lai includes several dance postures of Nataraja, an illustration of Lord Shiva as the cosmic ecstatic dancer, as also His disciple Tandu or Tangkhu.

The ‘Khamba Thoibi’ dance is performed during ‘Lai Haraoba’.

It is a duet dance of male and female partners that are dedicated to the sylvan deity, Thangjing of Moiran, and associated with the Manipuri folklore of two lovers an orphan boy Khamba and a princess Thoibi, daughter of King Chinkhuba, from the epic ‘Moirang Parba’. 

The age-old dance tradition of the place is manifested from great Indian epics, ‘Ramayana’ and ‘Mahabharata’, where the native dance experts of Manipur are referred as ‘Gandharvas’.

The Manipuris perform this religious art that aims at expressing spiritual values during Hindu festivals and other important cultural occasions like marriage.


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