Posts made in August, 2014

PHILOSOPHICAL ANALYSIS OF CHAINAROL THE LORE OF DUAL COMBAT IN ANCIENT MANIPUR, INDIA – Onukwube Alex Anedo & Irom Sophia Devi

Posted by on Aug 22, 2014 in publications | 0 comments

Abstract Chainarol is the lore of personal combat between the representative warriors of two chiefdoms for resolving a conflict over the boundaries and control of economic resources. In Manipur on the Northeast India, it is practiced since first millennium BCE and performed with the human sacrifice to please the divine custodian who dispenses justice according to the code of combat. This piece of research work emphasized on philosophical aspects of Chainarol, its humanitarian values and respects as it has been evidenced in the literary accounts. It leads to the conclusion that Chainarol is not just dual combat rather it’s accompanied with rites and rituals which made it different from modern war. It also underlines the human nature associated with animal instinct and sanctity of the inherent traditional code of combat. It further reaffirm that the death.   Introduction During the first millennium BC, Manipur valley on the northeast India was a cradle of small chiefdom states of Khaba, Nganba, Moirang, Sarang Leishangthem, Khuman, Luwang, Heirem khunjan, Ningthoucha and many others. These Neolithic tribes lived in a hostile world, battling both natural enemies and rival clans, a world where warfare was a very important part of life. These chiefdom states were found to be scattered in the low lying marshy land between the lakes and rivers and their societies were ruled by mixed brute force with legitimacy to buttress their principal claim to ruling authority. These were not “states” in any modern sense, merely the extended power and influence of ruling chiefdoms over a particular piece of territory. Territorial boundaries within this mountainous valley were likely defined by local geographic features such as rivers, streams, valleys ridge lines and mountains, and the size of any particular kingdom was probably anything chiefdom could decide to claim and defend. Few of these chiefdom states shared a common frontier and most military confrontations occurred frequently between chiefdom states were resolved under the sacred code of Chainarol (Suresh, Singh, L., 2012). The long confrontation between different chiefdom states give birth to a traditional lore of warfare, the Chainarol and evolution of the indigenous martial arts of this land. Out of this chaotic period of inter-chiefdoms warfare came one of the Manipur’s greatest legendary figure with the name “Nongdalai Pakhangba” the founder of the Ningthoucha’s dynasty (Ibungohal & Khelchandra, 1967). The small, but powerful State of Ningthoucha emerges to unify Manipur from 33 A.D. onwards. The Legalist, authoritarian regime of Nongdalai Pakhangba was the first historical chiefdom of Manipur, his blood ruled until 1949 (Bheigyachandra, 1967). In those days the valiant and heroic warriors enjoyed tremendous respect within their own clans. Some clans elevated their status and power to a great height only to see them wither and die in a few generations. Their remarkable deeds and all traces of their existence withered and decayed, blown away by the winds of time and never again to be seen. Ancient Manipur society followed strict rules of Chainarol or dual combat. Powerful states not only defeated their opponents by dual combat but also they obliterated them and turned the conquered lands into centrally controlled provinces of the victor, inexorably moving Ningthoucha‘s kingdom toward a unified single kingdom. The unification of all the chiefdoms states completed during the time of King Khagemba in 16th century (Bheigyachandra, 1967). However, the chiefdom states of Moirang, Khuman and Heirem khunja remained un-absorbed until 15th century.I Numbers of oral accounts describing Chainarol of different ethnic groups are handed down from generation to generation and written down in indigenous Meitei script collectively known as Puya. They begin compilation since 15th century onwards in...

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