Folk festival held to promote Manipur’s Zeliangrong Tribe

Imphal, Feb. 12 (ANI): A village in Manipur recently organised a cultural festival to promote and preserve the indigenous culture of the state’s Zeliangrong Tribe.

The 11th Zelianrong Folk Festival was held at Sangaiprou Kabui village with the theme of unity, peace and solidarity.

Zelianagrong artists showcased their rich culture, including some of their popular folk dances.

The Society for the Promotion of Community Tasks (SPCT) organised the event that included the participation of cultural troupes of Sangaiprou, Ireng, Zeme and Inpui.

The traditional tribal drum beating was the cultural highlight. Performers also demonstrated an age-old custom of creating fire with the help of bamboo.

“It is the biggest Zeliangrong Tribe festival and is organised every year. It is very good for the wellbeing of our tribe,” said Heizalung, a local

The tribal people also set up stalls selling handicrafts items like neck pieces, headgears and other ornaments.

“I’m very happy and very excited because this is the second time that I’m participating in this event,” said Majaru, a participant.

“I’m very happy to be part of this festival and I feel proud to be a Zeliangrong tribe,” said another participant, Babina.

Zeliangrong people are one of the major indigenous Mongoloid communities living at the tri-junction of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland.

The term “Zeliangrong” refers to the Zeme, Liangmai and Rongmei Naga tribes combined together.The Zeliangrong are the apex tribe of the said sub-tribes.

The descendants of Hoi of Makuilongdi (Makhel) were divided and were made peripheral appendages to three political entities – Manipur, Naga Hills (Nagaland) and the North Cachar District of Assam.

The Zeliangrongs number around 450,000, according to 2011 census, though their population may actually number around 500,000 in the three states of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland.

The Zeliangrong can be classified as an ethno-cultural entity. Racially they are of Southern Mongoloid stock and linguistically Tibeto-Burman.

They can be found in an approximately 12,000 square kilometer area stretching from the North Cachar Hills of Assam; Peren District of Nagaland; Tamenglong District, Sardar Hills of Senapati District, northern part Henglep subdivision of Churachanpur District, Jiribam subdivision of Imphal District, Imphal Valley and Silchar Town and its adjoining slopes in Manipur. (ANI)

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