Poubi Lai

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Poubi Lai
Paphal (Musée du Quai Branly) (4489839164).jpg
Sculpture of Poubi Lai, being displayed in the Quai Branly Museum, Paris, France in 2010.
GroupingLegendary creatures
Sub groupingDragon
FolkloreMeitei folklore (Manipuri folklore)
Other name(s)Poupi Lai, Paubi Lai, Paupi Lai, Poubi Loi, Poupi Loi, Paubi Loi, Paupi Loi, Poubirai, Paubirai, Poubiroi, Pauburoi
CountryIndia
RegionManipur

"Poubi Lai" also known as "Paubi Loi", was an ancient dragon python, who dwelled in the Loktak Lake of Manipur, in Meitei mythology and folklore.[1][2][3] It is also refered to as "Loch Ness Monster of Manipur".[4]

Mythology[change | change source]

An illustration of Poubi Lai

In the Loktak lake, the spirit of Poubi Lai was awakened by the fishing activities of the fishermen of Moirang. Being angered, Poubi Lai destroyed many human habitats and killed many people. It decided to destroy the whole Moirang kingdom. He threatened the King of Ancient Moirang to offer him one Shangbai (basket) of rice and one human everyday. The circumstance was sorrowful for the people of Moirang.[5][6] Every household had to provide the offer turn by turn. When it was the turn of a young man, the lad seeked help from Kabui Salang Maiba (or "Kabui Tomba"). The maiba was a shaman priest king of Kabui tribe in the Salangthel hill range of the Loktak lake. He promised to save the kingdom from the gigantic evil creature. He transformed a Tou plant (an aquatic plant) (or a Khok Waa bamboo plant in another version) into a powerful "Long" (a 9 pointed javelin). Later, the maiba slayed Poubi Lai with the deadly weapon.[5][6][7]

In popular culture[change | change source]

In 2002, Karam Dineshwar, an artisan had a dream. In his dream, Poubi Lai asked him to craft its image. In the next day, he came across a big tree root at Leimatak. He completed making the 21 feet long wooden sculpture of Poubi Lai in the next 6 months.[5][7][8][9]

The Additional Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Shri K.K. Mittal, visits after inaugurating the 'Poubi Lai-The Story of a Giant Python', Single object exhibition mounted by the Indira Gandhi Manav Sanghralaya (IGRMS), Bhopal in collaboration with National Museum, New Delhi on July 21, 2015.

The artwork of Poubi Lai was first exhibited in the Manipur State Museum, Manipur in 2002. Next, it was exhibited in the National Museum, New Delhi and later in the Quai Branly Museum, Paris, France in 2010.[5][7][8][9] It was also received by the Indian Museum, Kolkata, the largest in India.[10]

The Additional Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Shri K.K. Mittal, addressing at the inauguration of the 'Poubi Lai-The Story of a Giant Python', Single object exhibition mounted by the Indira Gandhi Manav Sanghralaya (IGRMS), Bhopal in collaboration with National Museum, New Delhi on July 21, 2015.

In 2015, the National Museum, New Delhi organized an exhibition of the wooden sculpture of Poubi Lai for 42 days. The carving belongs to the permanent collection of the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahlaya (IGRMS), Bhopal. The object was declared as an "Object of National Importance". It was registered under "AA" Category of the Museum Collections.[5][7][8][9][11]

Artists performing a dance drama on the story of Poubi Lai in 2015.

During the exhibition at Bhopal, 25 artists of Centre for Youth and Cultural Activities from Imphal, performed a dance drama on the story of Poubi Lai.[7][12]

References[change | change source]

  1. Verma, Shalini (2017). Common Errors in English. S. Chand Publishing. ISBN 978-93-85676-20-8.
  2. Culture, India Department of (2002). Annual Report. Department of Culture.
  3. "Story of a Giant Poubi lai". www.dailypioneer.com.
  4. "Manipur's Loch Ness monster and other folktales at Wari-Jalsa storytelling fest". www.theweek.in.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 "Poubi Lai : The story of a giant python ; Single object exhibition begins at National Museum". e-pao.net.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Mystical reptile and enchanting folklore". www.deccanherald.com. 22 July 2015.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 "Loktak's mythical python lives on in wood". www.telegraphindia.com.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Bhanj, Jaideep Deo (22 July 2015). "The story of a giant python called Poubi Lai..." The Hindu.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "'Poubi Lai-The Story of a Giant Python' Single object exhibition begins at National Museum in New Delhi". pib.gov.in.
  10. National Museum New Delhi (2015). Bulletin National Museum New Delhi Number 15. p. 4.
  11. "Snake tales". indianexpress.com. 28 July 2015.
  12. "Exhibition on 'Poubi Lai' inaugurated at IGRMS". www.freepressjournal.in.

Other websites[change | change source]