Keke, Moirang and Ngangoi
Moirang and Ebuthou Thangjing :: Part 4

Hemamcha Shobha *

RKCS Painting at Ibudhou Thangjing, Moirang, Manipur
RKCS Painting at Ibudhou Thangjing, Moirang, Manipur - Pix :: Recky Maibram

In general Keke, Moirang and Ngangoi are literally synonymous words, although, more detailed interpretations may denote a lot to know about the derivation of the words separately. The three are just like three epitomes of Keke Loiren Sana Pung-an ancient name of Moirang kingdom.

Speaking elaborately, they together or separately express the name of place and region; settlement of the people and for formation of the kingdom; for narrating the probable myth creations; and for composite elements of the ethnic groups or stream of Salai-Clan blood; other related folktales and others alike.


Keke, in the broad sense, signifies the place or the site where mother Earth-Leimarel Kongjang Leimaihanbi and heavenly father-Kasa Nongthou Sidaba-meet and dwell-that is to say, the union of mother Earth-Leibak and Heaven-Nongthou.

Calling the mother Earth Leimarel out from the malem sekning i.e. from the Central Core of the Earth, Kuru末the father when opens her door-"Ke", "Ke" sounds are produced and heard which is, according to ancient writers thought to be the sounds of the union of the father and mother in a deeper sense.

Accordingly, Keke is now taken as a passage on the Earth's surface which some old books describe it as the sacred Keke Kangla. In the true sense, it is a holy place from where human birth and death originate; and is strongly supported by an old maxim-"Kangsu Kangle, Lasu Lare". Here Laba means birth and Kangba means death. This is, from such facts and in the deeper myth creative sense, deemed as the place of birth and death; hence Keke Kangla becomes a very very important and sacred site, a religious spot worth to be worshipped by all human beings.

Again the long used traditional verse-'Hou Kekebu Lammahal-O' used as the first prayer of Kontharol末languages or words in telling God's message while playing pieces of small gold and silver coins by Maibi -Priestess, signifies and identifies Keke Kangla's utmost importance and its location in Moirang Khunthak i.e. Moirang Part-I. In this way, Keke is now used in the territorial extent and value covering the western regions of the Moirang river which has been known as Keke Khunthak since long historical past.

Despite the mythological origin and related interpretations, Keke is now, according to modern scholar末a Tai section of Mori, Khuyon etc. belonging to the Himalayan Sub-Tribes who migrated due to their inter conflict over there, through the route of Napachik and finally settled on the southern bank of the present Loktak Lake. They are one of the sectional ethnic groups of Iwang, Keke and Khuyon.


Unknowingly Moirang is intepreted as Murang末which means Mu from Amuba (black) and Rang (Lang) from Arangba (mixed colour), thus comes black and mixed colour for Murang. Such meaning won't help history, and will remain as a layman's cry. So, Moirang as a place name; Moirang as a Salai group; Moirang as the settled people or settlers末are all discussed above in the previous chapter.

So, generally it is thought that Moirang as a whole comprises and uses both Keke Khunthak-Part-I and Khunkha-Part-II and all the attached villages within the present Moirang sub-division.


Ngangoi too is one of the ethnic group of the people of Moirang who belongs to the Himalayan sub-tribes like the former group of Keke, and scattered in between the Brahmaputra river and the Chin hills, and therefore they are in the same group of Kouba and Keke (see above).

According to old texts, Ngangoi is the only son of Leimarel and Kuru born during their meeting or union and formation of Keke. It is said that Ngangoi was born specially for designing and creating the first mankind on the earth. It comes to know and understand it when the mother Leimaihanbi told her son-Ngangoi that the place Keke Moirang was the centre and heart of the Earth and gave the tittle name as-Leitak Ngangoi Pung-Kingdom.

'Hou Ngangoibu Lammahal-O' is the first hyming verse in Kontharol used by maibis before the start of giving Eputhou's Laipao-message to the public. The words interprete that the suitable habitable land末the first and formost of all末is called Ngangoi being the birthplace of Ngangoi. In most cases, therefore it indicates homage and devotion to Eputhou Thangching and the locational temple complex site at Moirang Khunkha. This is, all the more, taken as an expression of Ngangoi area on the eastern region of Moirang river.

Again, some are of the opinion that Nganba Sirai Kangcha ruled and settled at this place, as such the place might be called as Ngangoi. Perhaps there may be different views regarding the origin of Ngangoi, either from ethnic source or from place-name or location but Ngangoi finally and in general, stands for naming of place; and origin of an ethnic group; extension and location of kingdom; and above all used in identifying the people of Moirang both for male and female. Some commonly used examples are- 'Nurana Ngangoi Ebemma' meaning girl of Moirang; Ngangoicha means man of Moirang.

Arguments arise that the descendents of Kouba Angangnga namely, Ngangoi dwells on the western areas of Moirang river, hence Ngangoi should comprise Moirang Part-I i.e. Khunthak; but others argue that Eputhou's temple complex being located in Moirang Part-II i.e. Khunkha, it should be called Ngangoi. Though there may be differences in opinion connected with Ngangoi but the last to remember and finalise is that "Leitak Ngangoi Pung" which reveals in consisting one compact kingdom of Moirang in oneness, and include the whole kingdom of Moirang.

To be continued....

About the Book:

Source Author: Hemamcha Shobha (b.1941), President of Moirang Thangjing Yageirel Marup [Register No: 1025/1972] and Chief Editor of 'Yageirol'.

Reproduced from Chapter - 1 of his book 'Moirang and Ebuthou Thangjing' for public by: Shanjoy Mairembam, London (UK), shanjoym (at) gmail (dot) com

* Shanjoy Mairembam , resident of UK, regularly contributes to He is sharing this book for public consumption and can be contacted at shanjoym (at) gmail (dot) com
This article was webcasted on March 29 2012.

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