Umang Laigi Laikon exhibited at IGRMS

| | Bhopal
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Umang Laigi Laikon exhibited at IGRMS

Friday, 20 August 2021 | Staff Reporter | Bhopal

Under the 62nd series of its online exhibition by Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, on Thursday presented the Umang Laigi Laikon, sacred groves of Manipur situated in the Sacred Groves open air exhibition of Manav Sangrahalaya has been presented online with its basic information and photographs and videos. About this exhibition, Praveen Kumar Mishra, Director, IGRMS said that – The Meiteis of Manipur practice nature worship & ancestor worship. Many of the lofty hills surrounding the valleys are named after the Umang Lai (the ancestral deities) who is worshiped to be the presiding deities of land and people of areas under the control of the deities.

They also have the tradition of worshipping sacred groves. 'Umang Lai,' literally means deities who give an appearance and illusively vanishes from the common sight. There are about 365 Umang Lai groves all over Manipur.

About the Umang Laigi laikon Dheer Singh, Assistant Horticulture Officer told that – The cultural practices such as maintenance of Umanglai (areas of Umang Lai) and celebration of Umang Lai Haraoba (an annual festival of  Umang Lai) in the villages and clan level, and observances of Jina (taboo) among the hill tribes had been a medium to control the society in maintaining a harmonious relationship with nature.

Since time immemorial, such kinds of cultural practices have been a powerful source in maintaining the region's ecological balance. The Meitei people believe in the existence of their ancestral soul, who possesses the divine power to regulate society under his good or evil. According to the local belief, Umang Lais are those ancestral or guardian deities who indicate and reserve their permanent abode by divine actions.

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