To show the symbol of a mythical being used by the Andro potters of Manipur in their ritual pot, an exhibition of artistic installation ‘Anji Paphal’ is being put up at Kumhar Para open air exhibition, IGRMS.
The exhibition was inaugurated by Prof Sarit Kumar Chaudhuri, Director IGRMS in the presence of Dilip Singh, Joint Director IGRMS and Prof KK Rasa, Tagore National Fellow. Museum employees and a good number of visitors had witnessed the inaugural event of the exhibition.
On this occasion, N Shakmacha Singh (Museum Associate, IGRMS) told that, Anji Paphal is a symbolic representation of the ruling deity, the Pakhangba of Manipur. The Meitei people who live in the valley of the State worship different assumptions of the deity in mythical forms as their protector whose benign presence is believed to guard from all the ill ailments.
This mythical form characterizes the unique blend of reptilian and mammalian characters; the head being mammalian and the body and tail being a form of serpent. The Meitei people of Manipur believed that there are more than 365 different forms assumed by Pakhangba and they consider them as the baseline of their culture.
Illustrations of these 365 mythical figures are found in the ancient manuscript called Paphal Lambuba.
The Paphal cult is deeply rooted to the psyche of the Meitei community, the reflections of which could be seen in their culture, be it artwork or architecture, pottery, martial arts, performing art traditions and many other aspects of their life.