Apropos to the article ‘Manipuri Pena’ reaching out to Gen Next, while I feel proud that Manipuri Pena found a place on the occassion of the United Nations Millennium Development Gaols Thanks to Shri Mangangsana, an Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuv Purashkar Awardee Pena player from Manipur, I am thoroughly disappointed about his interview to the IANS in which he had freely used Shaman and Shamanism dance as equivalent to Maibi and Maibi Jagoi. This brings to my mind of another Pandit of Manipur, who is no more, who called the Maibis as Devadasie of Manipur. Shamans and Shanimism are a totally different concept – nothing to do with the Maibis. The early British Colonial rulers of Manipur used to translate Umang Lai and Lai Harouba as “Forest God” and ‘Merry making of God’ WHICH CONVEY NOTHING. It is shocking to find such misleading statements like – ‘a Shaman priemtess instructs youngsters in the Shaman Dance’. What he wanted to say probably was- ‘A Maibi instructs youngsters in the Maibi Jagoi.’ It would be more preferable to retain the
original Manipuri words such as Paphal, Umang-Lai, Lai-Harouba, Maibi etc. which are untranslatable into English. What is Shaminism and is it the same as our Maibis? I solicit opinion of the readers through this column.
C. Samarendra Singh