Glimpse of the Indigenous Tribes of Manipur

14 Jun 2021

This is a continuation of the previous blog “A glimpse of the indigenous tribes of Manipur”.

11) Inpui: Inpui is one of the Naga tribes of Manipur. They initially settled in Haochong sub-division of Tamenglong, and Senapati districts. They speak the Inpui also known as the Puiron language. Many of the Inpuis have also settled in Imphal valley. They are the lovers of festivals and they observe several festivals throughout the year. Some of their major festivals include Karing-Ngei, Tataaknu, Nabitnu, Ba-Ngeipui, Muiliangnu, etc. The festivals are celebrated to showcase the culture, tradition and strength of the Inpuis.

12) Lamkang: The Lamkang tribe is one of the Naga tribes that mostly settled in Manipur and Myanmar. They share close cultural and language similarity with the Anal tribe. They speak the Lamkang dialect which originally belongs to the Tibeto-Burman group of language.

13) Liangmai: They settle in Tamenglong, Kangpokpi and Senapati districts of Manipur. The Liangmais in Manipur follow Christianity while there are some non- Christians in Nagaland. They speak the Liangmai language, a Tibeto-Burman language. Chaga- Ngee is the biggest festival of the Liangmai community which is celebrated in the month of October. This festival showcases their rich culture and tradition.

14) Mao: The Mao tribe is one of the major tribes constituting the Nagas. They mainly settled in Senapati district of Manipur. Agriculture is their main occupation while many have started to adopt other business activities. Christianity is their main religion. Chiithuni and Saleni are their major festivals.

15) Maram: The Maram tribe is one of the tribes that form the Naga tribes of Manipur. They mainly settled in Senapati and Kangpokpi districts of Manipur and speak the Maram language. Agriculture is the main occupation of the people- both men and women. The most important festival for the Marams is the Ponghi festival. This is a pre-harvest festival which is celebrated for 7 days in the month of July. The Kanghi festival is another major festival celebrated in the month of December.

16) Maring: The Marings are settled mostly in Chandel District of Manipur. Some of them also settle in places like Senapati, Ukhrul, Churachandpur, Tamenglong and Thoubal. There are also few Maring villages in Andro and Waithou. They speak the Maring language. Agriculture is the main occupation of the people. They follow Christianity however there are one or two non- Christian practitioner in every village. The Hnungkaap is their biggest festival which is celebrated after every five years in the month of May.

17) Mate: The Mate tribe belongs to the Kuki tribes of Manipur. They speak the “Mate Pao” language which is similar to the language of the Thadou tribe. Earlier, they settled in the hills of Myanmar but now with the growth of their population they have started to settle in various parts of Manipur.

18) Monsang: The Monsang tribe mostly settled in Chandel district of Manipur. They have their own distinct culture and tradition. They speak the Monsang language which is a Sino-Tibetan language of Northeast India.

19) Moyon: They mainly settled in Chandel district of Manipur. They are involved in consuming rice beer, which they make locally and in a traditional way with the help of fermented rice. They have unique designs of traditional dress which is related to their history and culture. Women are involved in designing and weaving the attire by themselves. The Moyon tribe preserves their tradition and culture by passing from generation to generation through folk tales and folk dances. Moyons also have their own music and musical instruments which are used in festivals and different dances.

20) Paite: The Paites are dominant in Churachandpur district of Manipur. Jhum cultivation is the main occupation of the people in the villages. The tradition of folksongs and folktales and culture of the people have been passed through generations. They speak the Paite language and follow Christianity.

21) Poumai: The Poumais mostly settled in Senapati district of Manipur. They speak their own language called the Poula and are generally Christians. Thounii is one of their major festival. This festival is translated as “New year festival or the festival of dawn”. On festivals and occasions, men wear Roh-lai (a type of crown), Vee-hoxzu (a colourful bird’s feather), Phao-hah, paongi (bangles), etc. Women wear Lakiteisha (a black shawl with red and green stripes), Poupumu (a white-skirt with black and green stripes), bangles and necklaces.

22) Purum: The Purum tribe currently settled in Saikul sub-division of Kangpokpi district. They speak Purum which is a Kuki-chin language. They mostly communicate in Kom language. Hunting and cultivation are the main occupation of the people. Phou hongba is their traditional festival which is celebrated just before the sowing of seeds.


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