TODAY -

Evolution of kinship and clan system among Manipuri Muslim
Corvee Labour (Lallup) to Functional Divisions of Labour (Loyamba Shinlen) Perspectives
- Part 1 -

By: Imam Khan Makhjummayum *



In the age of silk route trade and ancient globalization, other than the main Silk Route across Central Asia connecting Roman and Arab lands and China, there was also another lesser known silk route passing through Manipur along which Brahmanism, Buddhism, Nestorian, Christianity and Islam traversed to reach East Asia and Southeast Asia.

There were both land silk route and sea silk route. From the sea silk routes, Arabs were sea-farers and explorers who converted an ancient Kerala king named Perumal to Islam, coastal people of Bengal delta, and some Nagara Brahmans of Sylhet embraced Islam in post-Harsha period in c. 655 AD who learnt the art of paper-making and silk-craft (sericulture) from the Chinese who participated in the trans-Asiatic trade, and Manipur valley was an entrepot and meeting place of Indo-Aryans and Mongoloid races.

Manipur traced their first king to Nongda Lairen Pakhangba (33-154 AD) to whose period is attributed the intermingling of at least nine racial (ethnic) ethnic groups known as Salai, and by the period of king Naophang Ahal period (594-624 AD) there existed on record two known racial groups (Salai) of Pasha and Pathan who were variously described as Turushka, Mlechhas, Aribahs in Vaishnavite literature or known as Passi, Ta-shih and Ta-t'sin in Tang period Chinese accounts, or known as Pangals, Khalazi, Aribam, Pasha, Turushka, Pasa, Pathan in Manipuri Meitei accounts (Puyas). There was Aribam clan in Naophang Ahal period (624 d.) period and Aribam, Makak, Khullakpam, Merai clans in Naophang Ahal period (624-714 AD).

Almost all Pangal (Manipuri Muslim) clans- numbering upto 62 so far, are patrilineal (Piba lineage) in nomenclature except in the case of two clans. There were matrilineal clans- Chesam and Phisam, and patrilineal clans as Aribam, Khullakpam, Makakmayum, Solaimayum which were apparent in king Irengba period of 10th century. An Arab account Hudud al-Alam (982 AD) described 'Manipur' as 'Manak' and Al-Beruni (1030 AD) called 'Manipur' or its neighbour as 'Udayagiri' in his Kitabul Hind.

The term 'Bangal' is derived from 'Bang'. 'Pangal' is derived from 'Pang' tribe who embraced Islam like the Nagara Brahmans did in Sylhet in early 7th century AD. This was possible because there was early form of globalization of trade involving Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Persians, Indics, Bengals, Chinese peoples well in the 7th century.

G. Kabui et al noted: "Muslim traders and explorers established an early global economy across the world resulting in globalization of crops, trade, knowledge and technology. During the Mongol Empire there was greater integration along the Silk Road. Such integration continued through the expansion of European trade in the 16th and 17th centuries when the Portuguese and the Spanish empires expanded to the then recently discovered America. Globalization had tremendous impact on indigenous cultures around the world". From the matrilineal side, Manipuri Muslims are indigenous people speaking Manipuri, wearing Manipuri clothes and taking local food habits conforming to Islamic tenets.

The Panchayat report of 1932 tried to group the then 51 clans under four major groups (Salai or heritage) as- Shaikh, Syed, Pathan and Mughal which was plausible and incorrect. However, it was compelled due to the British historiography that grouped the Muslims as- Pathan, Shaikh, Syed, Bengal, Mughals etc in frontier Bengal and Brahmaputra-Barak region.

The British however identified the Muslim population of Manipur as belonging to Sunni group of Hannafi school of thought after perusing the Shariat system as provided in the Personal Law Board of the Pangals (Muslims) and some Muslim chiefs were made members of the Manipur Durbar of the king under British suzerainty (1891-1949).

'Corvee labour', functional division of labour, confederate:
"Corvee labour" refers to the "obligatory service by subjects due to the kingdom or military service for the king" especially in old period. The historic "Lallup" of erstwhile Manipur kingdom and "Paik" that of Assam would mean this "corvee labour". Most of the Pangal clans (yumnak or sagei) were named from the epistemology that developed out of functional division of labour in horizontal effect not vertical-hierarchical model.

There are four Panas as groups (whether 'social divisions' or 'revenue divisions' or 'military group" are not clearly explicable historically) in Manipur society that comprises of both Meitei (Vaishnavite Hindus) and Pangal (Muslims) as: Ahallup, Naharup, Khapham, Laipham. This is because Ahallup and Naharup developed in Muslim context historically, and the later two- Khapham and Laipham developed in Meitei context. They became mixed up or irrelevant in certain period or contexts; yet the names survived which needs an explanation accordingly. Ahallup of the Muslim was originally (functionally) equivalent to Laipham of the Meitei. Same is Naharup with Khabam in this model.

However, in certain period (s) of history it appears that these four- Ahallup, Naharup, Khapham and Laipham became four Panas for broadly four functional division of labour that seemed to cover both the valley communities. They were called lup (luf) and pana interchangeably meaning the same entity. 'Lup' today is a common Manipuri terminology (Meiteilon which is also adopted/spoken by the Pangal) term that means an 'organization' or a 'confederacy' or a 'joint action committee'. There are many Arabic and Persian words or loan words that have become Meiteilon.

Ahal'laf (Arabic) carries the meaning "Body of lawmakers" having the same meaning of 'Majalis". Though Ahallup was established by Naophang Ahal (d. 624 AD), some opine that it might have arisen in the time of king Naothingkong in his phambalkaba (coronation in 744 AD) and the Naharup was established in the wake of proclamation of king Loiyamba shinlen (functional distribution of labour) in the period 1121-41 AD. It is certain that Muhammad al-Hanifa died in Maungdaw (Upper Burma) after marrying the native queen Khaya Pari (who embraced Islam), in c.710 AD. They had two sons- Shaikh al-Hanifa (Sukhanfa) and Salim al-Hanifa (Samlong alias Samlongpha).

The legendary Pangalba who arrived in Manipur in king Naophangba period and further proceeded to settle in Taraf (Srihatta/Sylhet) is identified with Pang al-Hanifa.

While the Naophang Ahal period Muslim pir is identified with Amir Hamza who temporary abode (amirate/umarate) later came to be called U'mara (or Pangal Mar in later puya/annals of Meitei). While the king Irengba period pir identified with Makhdum Jahaniyan Jahanghast (World-roamer), who by tradition brought the Qadam Rasul (footprint of the Prophet) and the Jhanda (heraldic device mounted on a staff) who is related with Poa-Makka tradition of Hajo in Kamrup. Some believe, the Irengba period saint is Shaikh Jalaluddin Tabrizi d. 1244 or Shah Sultan Rumi who on the way converted the Koch king to Islam in 1054 AD.

The term "lup" is derived from "louf" which is an Arabic word meaning "confederate". The 'pana' of Manipur refers to 'revenue divisions of territorial lands' as was prevalent in Shan (Pong) region. "Lup was the former name of Pana". "Ahali" (or "iyal") means family; "Ahl" means "the people of…"; "ilaf" means "pact of security"; hilf means "limited alliance".

The "Ahl-e-louf" became "Ahallup' in nomenclature development that was of 7th or 8th century context. Now, 'Ahallup' is to be explained from current/existing vocabulary. Now, what do 'Aha'l and 'lup' mean? Somehow, if 'Ahallup' term existed, the term 'Naharup' has to arise for the sake of identification or formality. So, epistemologically speaking, 'Ahallup' is Islamic origin, and Naharup is local (indigenous) term. Now, "Ahal" means "old"; and that "Naha" means "new". Thus, the term 'Ahallup' is Arabic origin but 'Naharup' is not.

In other words, Ahallup also developed among Meitei community simultaneously in co-relational manner.

to be continued....


Imam Khan Makhjummayum wrote this article for The Sangai Express . This article was webcasted on December 04th, 2009.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Students for HSLC Exam :: Gallery
  • Governor Cup Polo tournament #1:: Gallery
  • Blast of Md Kora & his shadows
  • A Drunken Dream :: Poem
  • Downfall of Congress party in Manipur
  • Corruption a part and parcel in our society
  • Hangkhanlian, Radheshyam, Nemcha ...
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • Lecture on TS. Eliot's contribution
  • Naga integration via FA: Game of word play
  • Almost perfect team...missing "Lok Ayukta"
  • Miss Manipur Queen 2017 #2 : Gallery
  • Yangkholet, Somatai, Mangaleima :: eMing
  • N Biren sworn-in CM #3 :: Gallery
  • Lanmei Thanbi Re-imagining the Light Spirit
  • Did we glorify the UNC highway blockade?
  • Career penchant in Anthropology
  • The formation of new BJP-led Government
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • Nagas safe under Framework : NSCN-IM
  • New fish species discovered in Assam
  • Making Manipur bandh & blockade free: Guv
  • Politicking the politics
  • Photo : Governor with all Elected MLAs
  • Day 3: @ Bamon Leikai #3 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Day 3 activities #2 : Gallery
  • Kanchan Soibam in Femina Miss India 2017
  • RIST talk 28-Transition in amorphous solid
  • Formation of Gender Champions @RGU
  • Free spectacle distribution at Loktak Station
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Naga history of transition stands unique
  • Delhi warn NE against shady land deals
  • Screen kids' films in NE languages
  • Looking at the pre-poll promises of BJP
  • State govt- perceptions & premonitions
  • MLAs took oath of office : Gallery
  • SundarGopal Condolence @Ghy : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Thabal at Pune #2 :: Gallery
  • Yaoshang: Journalist Sports #2 :: Gallery
  • What Term of Negotiation btn GoM & UNC?
  • Class 12 marks may decide your college..
  • N. Biren led Govt won the floor test
  • Sadar Hills Demand 2011-2017 : Timeline
  • Job @ VK NRL Hospital at Numaligarh
  • Cycling from Jessami to Mantripukhri
  • Lifting the longest ever blockade
  • Hope amid the hesitations
  • Tenwa Chandrasakhi :: Funga wari
  • Yaoshang Day 5: Sports #2: Gallery
  • Day 3: Yaoshang activities #1 : Gallery
  • Day 3: @ Bamon Leikai #2 : Gallery
  • Drinking bottled mineral water culture
  • Condolence meeting for friend of Assam
  • Food Outlet at DM Community College
  • APFEJ urges Delhi to be respectful to media
  • TSA Ceremonial Rite to its Former SG
  • Statistics not telling the whole story
  • Kangleipak Kang Trophy #1 : Gallery
  • Day 5: Yaoshang Activities #4: Gallery
  • N Biren sworn-in CM #2 :: Gallery
  • Insurgency as reflected in Chagi Khuji
  • Yaoshang Meithaba @Uripok: Gallery
  • Women Empowerment
  • Construction as career choice
  • Condolence meeting for Sundar Gopal
  • Manipuri group to stall trains
  • Manipur State Archery Championship
  • Miss Manipur Queen 2017 #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Halankar celebration : Gallery
  • 2nd phase Polling @Nungba #2 :: Gallery
  • Art of Lamangdong's stone bowls & Toupokpi
  • Yaoshang Day 1: Mei Loukhatpa #2: Gallery
  • Pabung Sunder Gopal funeral at Mandalay
  • Emotional integration of all communities
  • Training on Traditional Snacks
  • CM seeks Manipur's titular King's help
  • NPF-BJP rule a threat to Nagas, says NPCC
  • Centre apprised of unofficial NSCN camp
  • How to take along disparate parties
  • Yaoshang Day 5: Sports #1: Gallery
  • Meetei Pokpi :: Radio e-pao
  • Day 3: @ Bamon Leikai #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Day 1: Mei Thaba #4: Gallery
  • Letter: Manipur Public Service Commission
  • Career as Chef
  • HQ IGAR celebrates 14th Raising Day [upd]
  • Manipur govt to appeal UNC to lift blockade
  • Jiribam decries foreigner tag on MLA
  • Yaoshang fest concludes
  • Fate of NE Industrial Policy hangs..
  • N Biren sworn-in CM #1 :: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Thabal at Pune #1 :: Gallery
  • Mix Media Art exhibition #2 :: Gallery
  • Yaoshang: Journalist Sports #1 :: Gallery
  • Nongthombam Biren sworn-in CM, Mar 15
  • Glaucoma Week : March 12 - 18, 2017
  • Annual Yaoshang Thabal 2017 at Pune
  • Course in Butterfly Studies at BNHS
  • Biren Singh takes oath as Manipur CM
  • Biren: From BSF barracks to Manipur's CM
  • Ruckus in RS over Goa, Manipur issue
  • DESAM warns pol parties on Ashab Uddin
  • CM assures Naga blockade will be lifted
  • Yaoshang- with DJ @Sekmai :: Gallery
  • Kangleipak Football Trophy 2017 :: Gallery
  • Thabal chongbagi Peisa khaiba #2:: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Day 1: Mei Thaba #3: Gallery
  • Cue card for the new Chief Minister
  • International Rivers Day at Tamenglong
  • What kind of Nagaland are we moving..
  • Yaoshang Day 1: Mei Loukhatpa #1: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Day 1: Mei Thaba #2: Gallery
  • Election: Counting & Winnners #2:: Gallery
  • Ending TB is going to be hard...
  • Holi Pala performance at Raj Bhavan
  • Archery Championship at Keithalmanbi
  • NPF to support non-Congress coalition
  • Workshop on filmmaking at MSFDS
  • Yaoshang Day 1: Mei Thaba #1: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Day 1: AMWJU Sports : Gallery
  • 2nd phase Polling @Chandel :: Gallery
  • Testing patience of Manipuris, Cong-UNC
  • Bangladesh Meetei leisabi at Sylhet
  • A Hindi tract with feminist ideals
  • Condemns decision on Sajibu Nongma
  • Churchill Brothers vs Shillong Lajong
  • Myanmar Army intrudes into Manipur
  • Election: Counting & Winnners #1:: Gallery
  • Mamliba maikeise :: Radio e-pao
  • Saroi Khangba #3 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang :: A flash presntation
  • UNC in Manipur Electoral Politics #3
  • The Election Trap :: Poem
  • Mix Media Art exhibition #1 :: Gallery
  • Mountain Division Polo #2 : Gallery
  • MCA T20 Luwangpokpa Trophy :: Gallery
  • Twists and Turns of Life :: Poem
  • Lok & Rajya Sabha MP must be increased
  • World Kidney Day: Obesity & kidney disease
  • UN attention on NE farmers
  • Miss Manipur Queen 2017
  • Possibility of hung House
  • BJP will form government in Manipur
  • Trade connection with Southeast Asia #2
  • Breast Cancer Conference :: Gallery
  • Saroi Khangba #2 : Gallery
  • 2nd phase Polling @Sora :: Gallery
  • Judgement regarding MCSCCE - 2016
  • Emotional support is crucial for TB patients
  • Election regale in Manipur - societal point
  • Miss Manipur Queen: Audition for Miss India
  • Yaoshang Sports 2017 at Mysore
  • Is the CEO fooling the people
  • 2nd phase Polling @Nungba #1 :: Gallery
  • Thabal chongbagi Peisa khaiba #1:: Gallery
  • Featured Photo for 2017 #1 :: Gallery
  • Exam Centers for HSE 2017 : Download
  • 'Thammoi Tahoure' : Muslims' musical
  • Who will form the new Government?
  • International Women's Day at Delhi
  • Polling concludes peacefully in Jiribam
  • International Women's day
  • Thoubal Keithel #1 : Gallery
  • Gita-Govinda- Dance Drama #2: Gallery
  • Blessings Of The Countryside : Poem
  • Women in changing world of 50 work
  • Fractured mandate in the offing
  • Trainers wanted at Rainbow Foundation
  • Job Opening at Eastern Entrepreneurs
  • Women's Day: Women Safety in Train
  • All eyes on 2nd phase polls
  • Not so hard verdict, but perhaps..
  • Kabui Keioiba & Lai Khutsangbi ...
  • Rahul Gandhi @Imphal #2: Gallery
  • Media war between Congress & BJP
  • PRJA, alternative politics & Manipur
  • Divine love and religious harmony
  • Mass Awareness Rally on Breast Cancer
  • To the BJP, Cong is equal to Ibobi
  • Eye witness
  • Mountain Division Polo #1 : Gallery
  • People's Convention on FA : Gallery
  • Manipur hills as tourist destination
  • Armed Violence & Nationalism : Report
  • The Future Of Manipur #1
  • FA People Convention: Resolution
  • It's your suffrage; vote ethically
  • Manipuri: Do we care for the environment
  • Saroi Khangba #1 : Gallery
  • Polling for Assembly election #2 : Gallery
  • Wari- Chapter 3: Stories from Page of life
  • Hwjikki Matamda Moral Value Gi Kanaba
  • A Fairy Story :: Poem
  • Archaeological Ruins on Narakaaxur Hills
  • The vote that matters
  • 7th World Forum of Fisher People
  • Polling for Assembly election #1 : Gallery
  • Festival of Thang-Ta : Gallery
  • South Asian University : Admission
  • Manipur of my dreams
  • PM Narendra Modi #3: Gallery
  • Maphou Dam :: 360 View Panorama
  • Shopping List for Shivaratri #2: Gallery
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #2 : Ooba
  • PM Narendra Modi #2: Gallery
  • Laisram Birendra Kumar: PadmaShri Award
  • Speech by Meidingu Leishemba Sanajaoba
  • Trekking to Dzukou Valley #2: Gallery
  • Travelling in Ukhrul Dist #1 :: Gallery
  • Biju Ningombam (Photos) #3 :: eRang
  • Laihui @Tanglei Music Festival :: Gallery
  • Landscape of Manipur #5: Wallpaper
  • Singju Fest @Khangabok #3 :: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Wareppa Naba :: Profile of Theatre Actor
  • 'Carrying lives in hand' :: Gallery
  • Meiteilon Folk & Tangkhul duet : Ooba
  • Khunung Eeshei/ Ema Emoinu #3 : Radio
  • SPONSORED ADS