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Shapi Leima

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Shapi Leima
Goddess of rodents
Member of Lairembis
Goddess Shapi Leima
Other names
  • Sapi Leima
  • Shabi Leima
  • Shabireima
  • Sabi Leima
  • Sabireima
AffiliationMeitei mythology (Manipuri mythology) and Meitei religion (Sanamahism)
RegionManipur, Northeast India
Ethnic groupMeitei ethnicity
FestivalsLai Haraoba
Personal information
ParentsSalailen (Soraren)
SiblingsKhunu Leima and Nganu Leima

Shapi Leima (Shabi Leima) or Sapi Leima (Sabi Leima) is the goddess of rodents in Meitei mythology and religion. She is a sister of goddesses Khunu Leima and Nganu Leima. Legend says that all three sisters married the same mortal man.[1][2][3][4][5][6]


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The Meitei female given name "Sapi Leima" (ꯁꯄꯤ ꯂꯩꯃ) or "Sabi Leima" (ꯁꯕꯤ ꯂꯩꯃ) is made up of two component words. The two words are "Sabi" (ꯁꯕꯤ) and "Leima" (ꯂꯩꯃ). "Sabi" (ꯁꯕꯤ) is a rat like animal. It lives in the clumps of bamboos.[7] It is known for having sharp teeth.[5] The word "Leima" (ꯂꯩꯃ) is further made up of two component words, "Lei" (ꯂꯩ) and "Ma" (ꯃ). "Lei" (ꯂꯩ) means land or earth. "Ma" (ꯃ) means "mother". Literally, "Leima" (ꯂꯩꯃ) can be translated as "Land Mother" or "Mother Earth". But in general context, "Leima" (ꯂꯩꯃ) means a queen or a mistress or a lady.[8]


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Goddess Shapi Leima (Shabi Leima) is described as the ruler of all the rodents of the world. At any time, she could summon all the rodents at any place she wishes. She is the youngest daughter of God Salailen (alias Soraren).[2][3]

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  1. Tal Taret (in Manipuri). 2006. p. 39. {{cite book}}: |website= ignored (help)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Tal Taret (in Manipuri). 2006. p. 48. {{cite book}}: |website= ignored (help)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Manipuri Phungawari (in Manipuri). 2014. p. 203. {{cite book}}: |website= ignored (help)
  4. Regunathan, Sudhamahi (2005). Folk Tales of the North-East. Children's Book Trust. ISBN 978-81-7011-967-8.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Singh, Moirangthem Kirti (1993). Folk Culture of Manipur. Manas Publications. ISBN 978-81-7049-063-0.
  6. Eben Mayogee Leipareng (in Manipuri). 1995. p. 107. {{cite book}}: |website= ignored (help)
  7. "Learners' Manipuri-English dictionary.Sabi". uchicago.edu. 2006.
  8. "Learners' Manipuri-English dictionary.Leima". uchicago.edu. 2006.


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  • Glimpses of Manipuri Culture - Dr. Yumlembam Gopi Devi
  • The History of Manipur: An early period - Wahengbam Ibohal Singh · 1986

Other websites

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