Laikhurembi

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Laikhurembi
(Old Manipuri: Laikhulempi)
Chief Queen of the Underworld
Goddess of argument, justice, good counsel, divine law, order, retribution and secrecy
Member of Lairembis and Umang Lais
LAIKHULEMPI.jpg
"Laikhulempi", the Ancient Meitei (Old Manipuri) name of goddess Laikhurembi, written in archaic Meetei Mayek abugida
Venerated inCourts
AffiliationMeitei mythology (Manipuri mythology) and Meitei religion (Sanamahism)
Major cult centerUripok town in Imphal
TextsPoireiton Khunthok
GenderFemale
RegionAncient Kangleipak (Antique Manipur)
Ethnic groupMeitei ethnicity
FestivalsLai Haraoba
Personal information
ConsortThongalel (Thongarel)
Parents
  • Lai-ren Humchouba (father)
Greek equivalentThemis
Roman equivalentJustitia

Laikhurembi (Meitei: ꯂꯥꯢꯈꯨꯔꯦꯝꯕꯤ, Old Manipuri: Laikhulempi) is a goddess in Meitei mythology and religion of Ancient Kangleipak (Antique Manipur).[1][2][3] She is the goddess of justice, good counsel, divine law, order and secrecy.[2][4][5] She is the chief Queen of God Thongaren (Old Manipuri: Thongalen).[6] She is the daughter of Lairen Humchouba.[7] She is one of the divine incarnations of Leimarel Sidabi.[2] She is one of the most important Umang Lais. Her pantheon is maintained particularly by the Taibungjam clan of Meitei ethnicity.[8][9][10]

Etymology[change | change source]

In Meitei language (Manipuri language), the female first name "Laikhurembi" can be split up into three parts, "Lai", "Khu" and "-rembi". The Meitei language word "Lai" has multiple meanings. It may mean a god or a deity or a spirit or a disease or a picture or a painting in noun form. "Lai" may mean easy in adjective form in Meitei language.[11] The Meitei language term "Khu" also has many meanings. It may mean "narrow" or "not wide" in adjective form. It may mean a knee in noun form. It may mean "to kneel" or "to cough" in verbal form.[12] According to "The History Of Manipur" written by Wahengbam Ibohal, the words "Lai" and "Khu" are the names of tribes. The last part "-rembi" means chief, head or graceful in feminine form.[13]

History and Origin[change | change source]

According to the Poireiton Khunthok, Laikhurembi (Old Manipuri: Laikhulempi) was the chief queen of Thongaren (Old Manipuri: Thongalen). This book talks about her body in ways that show her personality. They say she had a wide mouth, which means she was loud or boastful.[14] They say she had small breasts, which meant she used her heart less than she used her head; she was a thinking person and not a feeling person.[15] They say she had sideways eyes, meaning she did not look at people straight on.[16]

Scholars think this queen may have had Asian ethnicity. Some scholars think Laikhurembi could come from a tribe that had both Lai and Khu people in it.[13] Other scholars think "Laikhurembi" is just her title and not her name.[17]

Laikhurembi (Old Manipuri: Laikhulempi) is the daughter of Lai-ren Humchouba (Old Manipuri: Lai Len Hum Choupa, Shan: Hoom Chao Hpa). In Meitei language (Manipuri language), "Lai-ren" means "Chief of Lai".[17] In Meitei language, the word "Lai" has many meanings.

Queen Laikhurembi was the first wife of King Thongaren (Old Manipuri: Thongalen). Then king asked her to marry his younger brother, Poireiton, instead, because Poireiton's wife had died. Poireiton was beginning a journey to Tai Pang Pan and King Thongalel thought it would not be good for Poireiton to go without a wife.[18] However, Laikhurembi did not want to go. Trees had already been planted to honor her as the King's wife. Instead of Laikhurembi, King Thongalel sent his second wife Leinaotabi to accompany her brother in law Poireiton as a wife.[19]

Description[change | change source]

The Goddess Laikhurembi had special powers. She was Yungyatnaba (lit. erect and sharp) which meant she could see objects accurately no matter how far away they were. She could look at a person and see who he or she truly was inside. When she made a judgement, she would announce her decision wisely, and people got the right rewards for what they had done (things given in recognition of service, effort or achievement).[2][4]

No one could find the Goddess Laikhurembi unless she wanted them to find her. No matter how hard a person would look, she could hide and stay hidden.[2]

Cult[change | change source]

There is a temple dedicated to Goddess Laikhurembi in Uripok town in Imphal West district of Manipur. During the Lai Haraoba festival of Uripok, a carnival like atmosphere subdues the sacred traditional ritualistic ceremonies. During the noisy possession of the festive occasions, the maibis dance in the gentle melodies of pena. The maibis became possessed by the spirits when the music stopped and they delivered oracles. During this, the audiences listen to them very attentively.[20]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Brahmacharimayum Kulachandra Sharma. চৈথারোল কুমপাপা (in Manipuri). p. 365.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Bhogeshawr, Oinam (1970). Leimarel Mingkhei (in Manipuri). p. 13.
  3. H Surmangol Sharma (2006). লরনর্স মনিপুরী-ইংলিশ দিক্সনারী. p. 175.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Folk Culture of Manipur - Page 194 - Moirangthem Kirti Singh · 1993
  5. Rao, Nitya; Rürup, Luise (1997). A Just Right: Women's Ownership of Natural Resources and Livelihood Security. Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. ISBN 978-81-7440-044-4.
  6. Ray, Asok Kumar; Chakraborty, Satyabrata (2008). Society, Politics, and Development in North East India: Essays in Memory of Dr. Basudeb Datta Ray. Concept Publishing Company. ISBN 978-81-8069-572-8.
  7. Singh, Wahengbam Ibohal (1986). The History of Manipur: An early period. Manipur Commercial Company.
  8. Sanajaoba, Naorem (1993). Manipur: Treatise & Documents. Mittal Publications. ISBN 978-81-7099-399-5.
  9. Singh, Moirangthem Kirti (1988). Religion and Culture of Manipur. Manas Publications. ISBN 978-81-7049-021-0.
  10. Proceedings of the North East India History Association North East India History Association. Session · 1982
  11. Sharma, H. Surmangol (2006). "Learners' Manipuri-English dictionary.Lai". dsal.uchicago.edu.
  12. Sharma, H. Surmangol (2006). "Learners' Manipuri-English dictionary.Khu". dsal.uchicago.edu.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Singh, Wahengbam Ibohal. The History Of Manipur. p. 233.
  14. "WIDE-MOUTH English Definition and Meaning | Lexico.com". Lexico Dictionaries | English. Retrieved 2022-02-24.
  15. "Definition of BOSOM". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 2022-02-24.
  16. "Definition of OBLIQUE". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 2022-02-24.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Singh, Wahengbam Ibohal. The History Of Manipur. p. 234.
  18. Singh, Wahengbam Ibohal. The History Of Manipur. p. 245.
  19. Singh, Wahengbam Ibohal. The History Of Manipur. p. 246.
  20. Chaki-Sircar, Manjusri (1984). Feminism in a Traditional Society: Women of the Manipur Valley - Manjusri Chaki-Sircar · 1984. archive.org. p. 122. ISBN 9780706919677.

Other websites[change | change source]