India | Manipur


Meitei, also known as Meetei, is a tribal community found in Imphal valley of Manipur. Some of them have settled in the states of Assam and Tripura. Meiteis speak Manipuri, a Tibeto-Burman language.

Their main occupation is agriculture. For additional income, they engage in business, fishing, weaving and basket making. The community members are considered as the strong and heavy members of Mongolian type. Men folk wear white kurta, dhoti and pagari, while women like choli and fanek.

Meiteis live in small houses, which are constructed using bamboo and wood. The roofs are thatched, supported by bamboos. A bamboo pillar is placed at the south-western corner which is the place for worshipping Sanamahi (the Meitei deity).

Virtually Meiteis are followers of Vaishnavite Hinduism mixed with traditional beliefs. Some follows ancient Meitei religion called Sanamahi laining. A small section known as Meitei Pangal follows Islam.

Khong kangjei, lamchel, hockey and kangand polo are their traditional games. Ningol Chakouba is an important festival celebrated by the female member of the tribe.

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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