TODAY -

Pena : The Royal Court Music Of Manipur

Seram Neken *

Pena Eshei 'Ukai Kappa' at Laihui Festival 2010 :: 16-19 December 2010
Pena Eshei "Ukai Kappa" at Laihui Festival 2010 :: 16-19 December 2010



The government must frame a policy for preserving the valuable indigenous art forms of various communities in Manipur
Review of the Hueiyen Rendezvous-I


Pena is not a mere musical instrument for entertaining the audience. It signifies creation and evolution. As a primordial art form, Pena had medicative values in the days of yore.

A Pena artiste is usually a healer of a variety of ailments. It is said that the Meitei kings patronized this art form so much so that they used to accompany a Pena artiste while heading for voyages. It is said that Chandrakiti Maharaja accompanied a Pena artiste in his Jilla Darbar trips for the purpose of interpreting topographies and also for entertaining him.

Pena may rightly be described as the royal court music of the Meiteis, as almost all civilized nationalities had such an institution. The Japanese too had paid high respect for their imperial court music.

The highly valuable aesthetic elements of the Pena were interacted upon in the Hueiyen Rendezvous - I held on 12th January, 2013 at the Literary Hall of Hueiyen Lanpao Daily at Imphal. The academic interaction and demonstration of the indigenous art form of the Meiteis was organized by the Hueiyen Lanpao Columnists' Forum.

Dr. Makhonmani Mongsaba, scholar and cultural activist addressed the session with his resourceful lecture. Padmashri Khangembam Mangi, renowned Pena artiste presented his performance as part of the programme. Prominent cultural enthusiasts, columnists, writers and media persons took active part in the discussion-cum-demonstration rendezvous.

Hailed as a Shumang Lila artiste in the early period, Padmashri Khangembam Mangi is renowned Pena performer who has made superb contribution in the preservation of indigenous music of the Meiteis. Right from 11 years of age, Shri Mangi started learning Pena from famous teachers such as Ahongjao, Kanhai, Mohon, Pandit Achouba and Kullachandra.

Before retirement from JN Manipur Dance Academy as Visiting Guru, he visited various countries including Russia and United States for demonstration of Lai Haraoba Pena music.

Besides being the president of LAIHUI, he is presently holding the charge of Lupa Leikham Sanglakpa at Sana Konung. Shri Mangi is also advisor of the Umanglai Kanba Apunba Loop (UKAL). In the first Hueiyen Lanpao Rendezvous, this prominent Guru enthralled the audience with his 'Kao-Phaoba' episode.

It was indeed a meaningful rendezvous which hunted the rudiments impounded in the dying art form 'Pena'. The discussion brought forth the need for more research and further discussion on the origin and style of the evocative musical art of the Meiteis. It is high time, rather late, for the present generation to explore the aesthetics inherent in this indigenous art form.

Every component of the instrument has its own meaning. Every posture and every movement of the artiste playing Pena has significance. Pena embodies traditional healing practices, martial arts and evolutionary theories of the Meiteis.

For instance, the performer's fingering on the Pena strings resembles the healing message on the body of a patient. The up and down movement of Pena which identifies with a rhythm symbolizes the heart beat of human beings.

The parts of Pena such as the strings, main body, tube, handle etc. indicates the highly skilled artistic creations of the Meiteis. The technology is truly civilized and outstandingly hi-tech.

Without any script of its own, Pena artistes amazingly play and recite stories with highly literary verses moulded entirely with their intelligence and oratory. It reveals how skilful and intelligent our Pena performers of the yore were. The famous poet Hijam Anganghal extracted the valuable narrations of Pena artistes of his time to compose the legendary epic 'Khambi Thoibi Seireng'. Pena, therefore is a precious and unique literary source of the nation.

According to Padmashri Mangi, 'Pena Phamsak' style has been dying in the contemporary Manipur, due to various reasons. Lack of encouragement on the part of the government and the general people has led to diminishing values of this aesthetic art form. Popularity of Pena has reduced radically nowadays. Learning of Pena has not been institutionalized so far. State patronage is highly called for in the revival of the dying art form.

The Art and Culture department of Manipur needs to put extra efforts to enliven the teaching of and research on Pena music. It has a lot to do in tracing the pre-historic beauty of the Meiteis, thereby preserving the identity of the Meiteis. Moreover, with due scientific studies and improvement, Pena may well be developed as a valuable world-class musical instrument.

It has all the elements of being at par with other contemporary classical music forms. It is however unfortunate that there is no institution for learning the valuable Pena art form in the state. Not only Pena, almost all valuable indigenous performing art forms in Manipur are continuously vanishing.

It is high time the government framed a concrete policy on Indigenous performing Art forms of Manipur to preserve the native art forms of varied communities residing in the state. Such a policy will surely enliven the emotional integrity among the various native peoples of the composite Manipur nation and heighten the richness of our heritage.


* Seram Neken wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao (English Edition)
This article was posted on January 21, 2013



* 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
  • Yaoshang Sports @ Khongman : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Day 3: Rock Concert : Gallery
  • Ayangphabi, Chaphaba :: eMing
  • Nation needs Anti-Mob Lynching Law
  • The Apps that shape up our E-World
  • The Holi(y) invasion
  • RPL trainees of Arunachal Pradesh
  • Congress fields two new faces in Manipur
  • Cong accuses BJP..insurgent-backed..
  • Doctors in Manipur protest assault
  • Yaoshang Pichakari #1: Gallery
  • Abdur Rahaman : Gopal Sharma Award
  • Yaoshang :: Photos related with Yaoshang
  • Journey into Nature of Human Culture #2
  • ..must to eliminate racial discrimination
  • Maharaj & election candidates
  • Poor representation of women from NE
  • Ravi-NSCN/GPRN talks in Dimapur
  • BJP kick-starts campaign for Outer LS
  • BJP national leader arrives in Manipur
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #1: Gallery
  • Miles Of Promises To Keep
  • Time to bend curve sharply to #endTB
  • Postdoctoral position at APU / IISc
  • Closing of NSS Camp at ADBU
  • Female polo players riding up a storm
  • NPP, NPF not to contest in 1 of 2 LS seats
  • Rahul's attack at BJP over jailed Journalist
  • Mizo People(Manipur) visits Jampui Hill
  • Yaoshang Mei Thaba : Gallery
  • Thokchom Sanatombi : Sangeetratna
  • Journey of 'Right To Information (RTI)'
  • Career options in Commerce stream #3
  • Holi skin and hair care tips
  • BJP's first list has 16 candidates from NE
  • 5 ex-MLAs quit Cong in Manipur, join NEIDP
  • KITCO bags contract for Imphal airport
  • What's next for the Rohingya? : Discussion
  • Manipur dancer explore human cost of war
  • Jailed journalist having severe health issue
  • Torch Rally Journalists Sports: Gallery
  • AEgi puNsi :: Seireng
  • UN letter to Govt on Kishorechand case
  • Babloo Loitongbam at UNHR Geneva
  • Yaoshang (Holi) : Festival of colours
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Prevention of kidney disease
  • NPF on PDA electoral campaign
  • Sports Meet at Delhi University
  • Festival of colour is upon all
  • Changing Trend of politics
  • View of Ukhrul Town #2 : Gallery
  • Renu Takhel: UN Human Rights, Geneva
  • Hunting in the Himalayas :: Book Review
  • Justification: against Meeteis ST demand
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Executive Committee 2019 of BMSA
  • Google Workshop on Journalism
  • High level of air pollution
  • Way to go as but hopes stir
  • CCpur Dance @Keibul Lamjao : Gallery
  • The East Wind from Yunnan
  • Journey into Nature of Human Culture #1
  • Yaoshang Thabal :: Poem
  • North East NSS Festival begins
  • Talking... ending social media introversion
  • Opposing stand on ST demand
  • Kounu Lairembi Haraoba #1 : Gallery
  • Nipalsuba Mapok : Shumang Leela
  • Women's Bill : A passage to nowhere?
  • Challenges in elderly for medical tests
  • All's fair in love in war: Nitza :: Review
  • Why I write ?
  • Looking back to 2012, 2014 elections
  • Mukna Kangjei #2 : Gallery
  • Mova Cave of Hungpung in Ukhrul
  • Catapults, Molotov Cocktails & Music!
  • Appeal for Meitei's demand for ST
  • Google News Training for Journalists
  • Of Crimes Against Humanity :: Poem
  • Bedtime beauty hacks to look young
  • Mary Kom to skip Asian championship
  • Thabal chongbagi SenKhaiba : Gallery
  • Zeliangrong women: Role in society #2
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Cry of a Dying River - 69 :: Poem
  • Nationality & Gorkha statehood movement
  • Free Children Heart Surgery Camp
  • Workshop on Python Programing at MU
  • Lining up for BJP, Cong
  • Indian Politics after Pulwama Terror Attack
  • Sory Wahengbam : eRang Actress Profile
  • International River Day @ Nungbrung Village
  • Nongthombam Biren: People's CM
  • Can Jamir Do A Lazarus ?
  • Dr. Shantibala's The Sacred Witch :: Review
  • Rural development process
  • Eyeing 22 out of 25 in North East
  • Interfering the media
  • Myanmar army cracks down on NSCN (K)
  • Phayeng Koubru Haraoba #2: Gallery
  • Komorebi - The Longing :: Poem
  • Little love in twilight of life
  • Election code of conduct anytime
  • Surveying India's unemployment numbers
  • DAMMS' statement on Meitei ST Demand
  • Choosing the right candidate
  • Demand for ILP :: Articles/Photos...
  • The Innampei festival of Chothe #2
  • CC Meet: SU vs NACO : Gallery
  • AEbu tuMduna lEKi gad_ra :: Seireng
  • That Hurts :: Poem
  • Workshop on Statistical Data at MU
  • The International Women's Day
  • Politics : A way of life !
  • Celebrate festival of democracy responsibly
  • The truth unfolded
  • Nipalsuba Mapok #1 : Gallery
  • Maisnam Renuka's Painting : Gallery
  • Parental Alienation: Poem 2 : Poem
  • The cost of a vote
  • Motivation & rewards for development
  • Career options in Commerce stream #2
  • Forest rights more than nine-tenths
  • Setting back final deal by 60 days
  • Traffic woes
  • slams Nagaland CM's statement on ILP
  • Symbolism in the Tribal Art #4
  • Laiphrakpam Ashok Kumar: Akademi Award
  • ST Demand Rally [Mar 3] #2: Gallery
  • Mee Manukhang will not be televised
  • Govt should grant prosecution sanction
  • Zeliangrong women: Role in society #1
  • General Strike mapung fana chathari
  • Rolling out Lok Sabha schedule
  • Saroi Khangba @Imphal : Gallery
  • 'Women Health' Workshop : Gallery
  • Manipuri Muslims Conference : Report
  • Meetei ST demand bu lanna uhanbiganu
  • Caveman & Children of (19)70s : Poem
  • Workshop on "Women Health" at Pune
  • Natural facial at home for glowing skin
  • Inauguration of NSS Camp at ADBU
  • Changing Manipur - which direction ?
  • Nongkhrang Ehanba @Lilong #2 : Gallery
  • Cessation of hostilities to POW
  • Magical power of music
  • Intl Women's Day requires regrouping
  • General Strike Mapung Fahanbiyu
  • Pravish's Case disposed by CJM
  • NSS Camp at Assam Don Bosco
  • Former Cong leader welcomed at Dimapur
  • Never asked India for land quip
  • Issues of women's rights
  • Barak Fest @ Senapati #2 : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2019 #1: Gallery
  • Reading Megh-dut in Manipuri #2
  • To be a woman and to be in India
  • Cry of a Dying River - 68 :: Poem
  • Can Meitei/Meetei be a tribe ?
  • Raging debate over ST demand
  • Climate change matters
  • Class X Exam @Johnstone : Gallery
  • ciH Amadi tMgi KeYnaba :: Seireng
  • Yaoshang be observed as 'Sports Week'
  • Shopping for Shivaratri #1: Gallery
  • 3rd World Bamboo Workshop #3 : Gallery
  • Reinvigorating the Awl-len festival
  • I am a poet :: Poem
  • Roles of Members of Parliament
  • SRF/JRF for Mizoram University [Upd]
  • ST Demand Rally [Mar 3] #1: Gallery
  • Sanaroishingee Nunit : Gallery
  • Rejoinder to TNL's Diatribe on the Kukis
  • Schemes of Panchayati Raj #2
  • Phayeng Koubru Haraoba #1: Gallery
  • Nagaland Dance @Sangai Fest : Gallery
  • Bad Boy Eats the Yellow Snow
  • Name :: Poem
  • Alcohol prohibition
  • Treading murky waters
  • PM Kisan: Reducing risk..increasing return
  • Rallying around ST demand for Meiteis
  • Myanmar Army takes control of NSCN (K)
  • Henjunaha #3 :: Funga Wari
  • Reading Megh-dut in Manipuri #1
  • Purnima Ngangom's Painting : Gallery
  • Impact of Anglo Manipur War 1891 #2
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Traditional Raas Dance #2: Gallery
  • Cultural @Republic Day #2 : Gallery
  • RS adjourned without CAB: What now? #3
  • Retrospection on Sport person's Day
  • Marriage ceremony : Zeliangrong & Tai #3
  • Maharaj Kumar Priyabarta Singh : Profile
  • March Calendar for Year 2019 :: Tools
  • Lui-ngai-ni @Senapati #3: Gallery
  • Yubi Lakpi #1 : Gallery
  • Holi Pala @Sangai Festival : Gallery
  • Indie films: Loktak Lairembee & Soni #2
  • Singcha Wuya Won @Kamjong #2 : Gallery
  • Konthoujam Maikel's Painting : Gallery
  • Pui Jianna Thangamliu :: eRang
  • March Past: Republic Day: Gallery
  • Lui-ngai-ni @Senapati #2: Gallery
  • Police check @Jirimukh, Jiri : Gallery
  • Dzukou Valley, Senapati : Gallery
  • Thamoise Foidattuna :: e-pao Radio
  • Onetwo Okram : Singer- Profile :: eRang
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #3 : Gallery
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2019 : Download
  • List of Restricted Holidays for 2019
  • List of Public Holidays for 2019
  • List of General Holidays for 2019
  • SPONSORED ADS