Meitei Tribe: A Glimpse into their Enchanting Culture

4.6/5 - (33 votes)

Meitei Tribe

In the northeastern state of Manipur, nestled amidst the lush green hills and breathtaking landscapes, lies a community that boasts a vibrant cultural tapestry: The Meitei Tribe. Their culture which finds its roots in ancient traditions and fascinating folk tales, makes them truly unique and interesting. So, my dear readers today, I’ll take you all into the scenic beauty of Manipur, to uncover rich history of Meitei tribe and explore their vibrant cultural heritage. With the dream to learn about their special customs, which has been the center of interest for the anthropologists and travelers let’s begin our adventure into the wonderful world of the Meitei Tribe!

A Glimpse into History

The beautiful valley of Manipur preserves in itself a long and fascinating history of this tribe. Their bonding with this region has not only helped them to flourish but has protected the area from external threat. If we believe their luring folk stories, we will come to know that they are connected to Gandharva king, Pakhangba, who is highly respected as their forefather. The Meitei people’s history is closely linked to the political and cultural development of Manipur. They have integrated themselves with the region which has helped in shaping the identity of this incredible place.

Cultural Expressions

Various art forms such as dance, music, literature and paintings etc. are different ways through which they express their emotions for their culture. The Ras Leela and Lai Haraoba are simply breathtaking dances performed by them. I can imagine that watching these performances would be like witnessing a graceful and captivating folk story unfolding right before the eyes.



The folk music and songs accompanied by traditional instruments like the Pena, narrate tales of love, valour, and nature. Meitei Script is an ancient script which has deep connection with their history and mythology. All their literature is present in this script only. Meitei language was successful in securing its place in the 8th schedule of the Indian Constitution through 71st Amendment,1992.

Festivals and Celebrations

Like, all other cultures and society around the world Meitei’s also have their own festival to celebrate. Festivals hold a special place in the heart of the Meitei Tribe. These Festivals are mere reflection of their community and social beliefs.

meitei tribe

One of the most famous festivals is the Yaoshang, a six-day event marking the arrival of spring. During this time, people come together to celebrate with traditional dances, folk songs and the famous Thabal Chongba dance where children hold hands and dance in a circle. Other significant festivals include Lai Haraoba, Ningol Chakouba and Kang Chingba, each of these festivals have unique customs and rituals.

Manipuri Cuisine

Food is the basic necessity for survival but when this food is prepared with love and affection and adding a small touch of the culture makes it a cuisine of the society. Similarly, the food of the Meitei tribe is a delightful blend of different flavors. Their food is influenced by their neighboring communities and their own ancient practices. Eromba, a spicy stew made with vegetables and fish that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy is an important and a popular dish.


Eromba is often accompanied with Singju, a salad made with fresh seasonal vegetables that burst with flavors. Rice forms an integral part of their food in various forms.


What’s truly special about the Meitei people’s cooking is how it reflects their deep connection with nature. Their skill of using local ingredients and converting them into delicious dish is incredible.

Handicrafts and Artistry

The Meitei Tribe is also known for its exceptional craftsmanship. Beautiful Handicrafts such as handwoven textiles, pottery and bamboo craft are prepared by the skilled artisans and the same legacy is passed on from one generation to another. The intricate designs and patterns on their fabrics reflect their artistic prowess and the beauty of their culture.

Preservation and Challenges

In spite of having such a rich cultural heritage they are facing a good number of challenges. Modernization and socio-economic changes have impacted them to a great extent. It becomes difficult for them to adopt these changes while preserving their traditions. In recent times several efforts have been made to preserve their traditions and protect their identity. One such efforts was granting them the status of OBC in the State. Various organizations and individuals are working together with the government towards documenting their history, reviving dying art forms, and providing economic opportunities through sustainable tourism.

Present Situation

Assam, Tripura, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram are other states where this tribe is also found. But the majority stays in Manipur. Although they dominate the population of Manipur with 53%, they are further demanding the status of Schedule tribe in the state. This is the root cause of violence in Manipur as discussed in my previous blog on Manipur. Moreover, the Naga’s and Kuki’s are afraid that if Meitei’s are given the status of ST, they would be the ultimate sufferers in that case.

The Meitei Tribe is a treasure trove of cultural richness, captivating folklore and ancient wisdom. Their history and traditions have left an a never fading mark on the landscape of Manipur. It is our responsibility to show our brotherhood and to ensure that their heritage continues to thrive for generations to come. We should also ensure the chicken neck of the country i.e., the Siliguri corridor should not impact our relation. Moreover, they should never feel left out from the rest of the country. Let us appreciate the beauty of diversity and celebrate the resilience of a community. And pray that it continues to cherish its roots while embracing the winds of change.

4 thoughts on “Meitei Tribe: A Glimpse into their Enchanting Culture”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top