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Khuman Pokpa

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Khuman Pokpa
Apokpa (Ancestor God) of the Khuman clan
God of the sunset and the night
Member of Mangang Luwang Khuman
Other names
  • Khuman Apokpa
  • Khuman Sidaba
  • Khuman Sitapa
AffiliationMeitei mythology (Manipuri mythology) and Meitei religion (Sanamahism)
Major cult centerMayang Imphal (Khuman kingdom)
RegionMayang Imphal (Khuman kingdom)
Ethnic groupMeitei ethnicity
FestivalsLai Haraoba
Personal information
ConsortKhuman Pokpi (alias Khuman Apokpi)
SiblingsMangang Apokpa, Luwang Apokpa
Greek equivalentErebus
Roman equivalentScotus

Khuman Pokpa (Meitei: ꯈꯨꯃꯟ ꯄꯣꯛꯄ) or Khuman Apokpa (Meitei: ꯈꯨꯃꯟ ꯑꯄꯣꯛꯄ) is the Apokpa (Ancestor God) of the Khuman clan.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] He is regarded as the founder of the Khuman dynasty.[8][9] He is one of the three members of the Mangang Luwang Khuman in Meitei mythology and religion.[10] He represents the time of the sunset and the night.[11]

Name[change | change source]

The name "Khuman Pokpa" is made up of two words, "Khuman" and "Pokpa". In Meitei language (Manipuri language), "Pokpa" means "to beget (be the father of) or to give birth to". The word "Apokpa" comes from "Pokpa". Apokpas are the dead male members of a family for the last three generations. They can be the father, grandfather, or great grandfather of any living person. They looked after the family in the past.[12] So, "Khuman Pokpa" or "Khuman Apokpa" means "The one who gave birth to the Khumans".

Description[change | change source]

Meitei people worship fire in the fireplace called Phunga Mei (lit. hearth fire) at home. In the fireplace, there are three stones kept. One stone is in the right west, another in the north east and another in the south east. This forms a triangle. These three stones represent the three great times of a day. The northeastern stone represents the Mangang. The southeastern stone represents the Luwang. The western stone represents the Khuman. Here, Khuman represents the time of the sunset and the night. The remaining Mangang and Luwang represent the sunrise and the noon respectively. The Meiteis addressed the hearth fire (phunga mei) as "Meitreng Arabana Yoimayai Mahut Sinna Mei". The English translation of this Meitei language (Manipuri language) passage is "The burning fire in the hearth place substitutes the Sun". Thus, the Sun is worshipped in the Meetei Phunga.[11]

Cults and pantheons[change | change source]

Among many, one of the most important pantheons of God Khuman Pokpa is in Mayang Imphal. Mayang Imphal is the ancient capital of the Khuman kingdom.[13][14]

Worship[change | change source]

In ancient times, God Khuman Pokpa was worshipped for good health and prosperity. According to the beliefs of the fishermen of the Karang Island, diseases with unexplainable causes are caused by gods and goddesses. According to their beliefs, the danger of natural calamities, epidemics, diseases and other miseries are all due to the getting angry of gods and goddesses. The reasons for their anger are usually because of not performing rites and rituals.[15]

Festival[change | change source]

The religious festival of Lai Haraoba is celebrated in honor of God Khuman Pokpa in the Karang Islands. The celebration lasts for ten consecutive days during the month of September. In modern days, the celebration draws attention to a large number of tourists.[16]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Prakash, Col Ved (2007). Encyclopaedia of North-East India. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. ISBN 978-81-269-0706-9.
  2. Devi, Lairenlakpam Bino (2002). The Lois of Manipur: Andro, Khurkhul, Phayeng and Sekmai. Mittal Publications. ISBN 978-81-7099-849-5.
  3. Frazer, Sir James George (1986). Marriage and Worship in the Early Societies A Treatise on Totemism and Exogamy. Mittal Publications.
  4. Frazer, Sir James George (2013-01-01). Totemism and Exogamy, Vol. II (in Four Volumes). Cosimo, Inc. ISBN 978-1-60520-979-1.
  5. Hodson, T. C. (1908). The Meitheis. p. 147.
  6. Roy Jyotimoy. Firma K. L. Mukhopadhyay. 1958. p. 178.
  7. Ghosh, G. K. (1992). Tribals and Their Culture in Assam, Meghalaya, and Mizoram. Ashish Publishing House. ISBN 978-81-7024-455-4.
  8. J.G.Frazer (1910). Totemism and exogamy. p. 333.
  9. Frazer, Sir James George (1935). Totemism and Exogamy: A Treatise on Certain Early Forms of Superstition and Society. Macmillan and Company, Limited.
  10. Meitei, Sanjenbam Yaiphaba; Chaudhuri, Sarit K.; Arunkumar, M. C. (2020-11-25). The Cultural Heritage of Manipur. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-000-29629-7.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Singh, L. Bhagyachandra (1991). A Critical Study Of The Religious Philosophy. p. 75.
  12. Parratt, Saroj Nalini (1980). Religion Of Manipur. Firma Klm. p. 69.
  13. Singh, N. Tombi (1975). Manipur and the Mainstream. Chitrebirentombichand Khorjeirup.
  14. Chatterjee, Suhas (2000). A Socio Economic History of South Assam. Printwell Publishers Distributors. ISBN 978-81-7044-518-0.
  15. Chaudhury, Sukant Kumar (2006-01-01). Culture, Ecology, and Sustainable Development. Mittal Publications. ISBN 978-81-8324-132-8.
  16. Singh, E. Ishwarjit (2005). Manipur, a Tourist Paradise. B.R. Publishing Corporation. ISBN 978-81-7646-506-9.

Bibliography[change | change source]

  • An ethnographical survey of totemism (cont.) - Page 327 - Sir James George Frazer · 1910
  • History of Manipur - Page 174 - Jyotirmoy Roy · 1973
  • Khamba and Thoibi: The Unscaled Height of Love - Page 189 - N. Tombi Singh · 1976
  • Manipur: Law, customs, hill-men, language and religion - Page 673 - Naorem Sanajaoba · 2003
  • Out of Isolation: Exploring a Forgotten World, Uncovering a Culture in Conflict - Page 492 - Frans Welman · 2007
  • Proceedings of North East India History Association - Page 115 - North East India History Association. Session · 1983
  • The Meitheis - Page 99 - Thomas Callan Hodson · 1908

Other websites[change | change source]