Manipur Megaliths From Menhirs of Social Status to Commemoratives

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Potshangbam Binodini Devi


Though Manipur is a small hilly state of North East India, it is populated by various ethnic groups. The major ethnic groups are the Meeteis/Meiteis, the Naga tribes/Naga groups and the Kuki-Chin-Mizo groups. Each ethnic group consists of a number of smaller groups and has very rich cultural elements of megalithic traditions, which are transmitted from one generation to the next. From the time of yore, various megalithic structures have been raised by various communities on different occasions. The most common type of megalithic structure is the menhir. Here, the author will discuss the megaliths of some tribes which belong to the so-called Naga group. In the past, all the communities were animists and followed their own traditional religions. They performed various rites and rituals along with feastings and raised megaliths, particularly monoliths, the menhirs of social status. Nowadays, most members of the Naga group are baptized Christians and have abandoned their age-old tradition. In this paper, the author tries to highlight the most significant changes that have taken place after the acceptance of the new religion, Christianity, as far as material allows.

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Devi 2019: P. B. Devi, Manipur Megaliths: From Menhirs of Social Status to Commemoratives. JNA, 2019, 107–124. DOI: