TODAY -

Manipur Sangai Festival, 2014

Kh Shamungou *

A 'Dancing' Sangai at the opening of Manipur Sangai Tourism Festival 2013
A 'Dancing' Sangai at the opening of Manipur Sangai Tourism Festival 2013 :: Pix - Deepak Oinam



The Manipur Sangai Festival, 2014 at the palace compound popularly called Hapta Kangjeibung! Yes, it's knocking on the door. Hope, it would be a grand weeklong (November 21-30) colourful event. Under overall supervisions of chief minister, preparations have begun long days ago.

People would like to ask, why is such type of grand festival organized by a poor state with a huge expense? What are the main aims and objectives of the festival? Why is the festival listed in the calendar of the state's annual functions? Two important probable answers are, firstly, it is a platform to popularize the world classed vanishing Manipur Sangai and to raise the needs of its conservation as global issues.

Secondly, it paves a way to convert the tourism potentials in Manipur into an industry. But confusions arose as to whether these objectives were achieved equally. To me a big 'No' is the only answer. There were no specific arrangements/items/programmes that will provide benefits to the first. There were no provisions that people would feel sympathy and think seriously about the Sangai's destiny and its habitat, the Keibul Lamjao National Park (KLNP).

The 40 sq km KLNP is also famous as the only floating national park in the world. It is the sea of grass and Sangai is the pride of this unique habitat. It is situated near Moirang (a cultural capital of Manipur) in Bishnupur district, 45 km south of the Imphal, Manipur.

Sangai story : The Sangai (a deer awaiting and looking at you) is popularly known as Manipur Brow-antlered Deer or Dancing Deer of Manipur. Scientifically it is Rucervus eldii eldii. Sangai and its allies is also commonly named Eld's Deer in memory of a British officer, Percy Eld. He saw Manipur Sangai during 1836-38 for the first time at the fringe of Loktak Lake (now, a Ramsar Site, 1990). He was amazed to have a glimpse of this spectacular deer with impressive pair of 'arc' shaped crown of antlers.

According to a legend, prince of Luwang clan of Manipur had transformed himself into a majestic deer to be known as Sangai. The ancient royal boat (Hiyang Hirel) had the decoration of Sangai antlers on its head part. Again, according to Moirang Kangleirol (Folklore of Moirang), a legendary hero called Kadeng Thanjahanba, once brought a gravid female as a loving gift for his beloved Tonu Laijingrembi and with a pang of frustration he released the deer free in the wild of Keibul Lamjao, thence-forth the place became the only abode of the Sangai.

The Eld's group of deer was once distributed throughout much of the Asia but of late due to continued hunting and poaching, habited destruction and fragmentation, they have been extirpated from much of their historical range and now persist only as small and fragmented population in Manipur (India), Myanmar, Thailand and Hainan Island. The sister subspecies in Myanmar is called Thamin (Rucervus eldii thamin) and those in Thailand and Hainan is called Lamang (Rucervus eldii siamensis/ Rucervus eldii hainanus). Today, all Eld's Deer are threatened for survival.

Current Sangai Population : Today, Manipur Sangai is looking for its last refuge in KLNP. The deer has so far thrown into a gloomy population of around 200 heads in the wild (similar examples in the 15 Indian zoos). Their existence is vulnerable ecologically, and in the event of a political expediency or a natural calamity their last abode along with the remnant and isolated population could be destroyed or reduced it to such a miserable size beyond revival.

During 1951, Sangai was considered extinct from Manipur, means from earth. However, under IUCN's supervision E.P.Gee (1993) conducted a survey and found certain heads in the thickets of Keibul Lamjao area. Thus began Sangai conservation actions. Certain memorable conservation actions so far taken in and outside Manipur are :

1836-38 : Percy Eld found Sangai near Loktak Lake
1842 : McClelland described the species
1916/1931 : Manipur State Game Rules protected the species
1950 : Sangai considered extinct.
1953 : About 100 survivors discovered by E.P.Gee in Keibul Lamjao area.
1954 : Keibul Lamjao Wildlife Sanctuary born.
1977 : Keibul Lamjao National Park gazetted.
1989 : Declared as 'Manipur State Animal'.
1989 : Recognized as 'Species of the Year' by Nandankanan Zoo, Orissa.
1990 : Honoured as 'Our Sangai', by Mysore Zoo.
1992 : Launched a year long programme 'Conservation of Your Sangai is Now Our Business Also' by British Airways.
1999 : Named, 'Ningthem' (Mascot), by 5th National Game, Manipur.

The people of Manipur have also shown love and regards towards Sangai in several ways. Several establishments-like Sangai Tours and Travels, Sangai Industry, Sangai Restaurants, Sangai Artists Association, Sangai Express (local daily), Sangai Channel of All India Radio and amongst them Sangai Festival have named after Sangai deer. Besides, many places in Manipur were named after Sangai. Sangaithel, Sangaitabi, Sangaiprou, Sangailou, Sangaikot, etc are certain examples.

Today, Sangai is listed as critically endangered deer by the International Union for Conservation of Nature or World Conservation Union (IUCN), recorded it as highly endangered species in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and a Schedule I species of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (IWPA). However, it is unfortunate that the authority of 'Sangai Festival' fails to realize these importances in the country and abroad.

The 'Sangai Festival' would be the pride of the nation because the deer is found only in Manipur, India. During the festival peoples from the Eld's Deer range e.g from Myanmar and Thailand, are coming and they will be happy in seeing our dancing deer on the floating phumdi. When returned, they will convey the messages of our Sangai to their sisters Thamin or Lamang.

But what kind of message they will carry? They do not have any chance seeing the deer. Being a lover of Sangai, our pride species, I sincerely place this appeal to the authority of the Manipur 'Sangai Festival' to include certain arousing programmnes/activities that may attract the attentions of the people towards the deer so that they can extend their helping hands to the conservation of this vanishing species, which is, I feel very much need of this grand festival.

Certain Sangai popularizing items/episodes like lively diorama of Sangai and Keibul Lamjao; entertainment films, videos, dances, drama, ballets; paintings, quiz, slogans; popular talks, face to face interactions, etc are suggested.

It would be a terrible mistake for the generation to make the species extinct. Let's save Sangai for our future. Let our generations to come be happy to see this dancing deer on the floating habitat in Manipur.


* Kh Shamungou wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer can be reached at [email protected]
This article was posted on November 19, 2014.


* 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
  • Violence in Manipur 2023-2024 : Timeline
  • Saraighat Bridge - An Expedition
  • Meeting with MP Dr Bimol Akoijam
  • Manipur: 11 medal (5 gold) @ Natl Taekwondo
  • Scientist of Manipur: Raghumani Ningthoujam
  • Chilli Chicken Delivers a Flavorful Punch
  • International Day of Yoga 2024
  • Antimicrobial Resistance: Top 10 health threat
  • Indo-Naga Talks (From 2012) :: Timeline
  • Taste vs Health
  • Fiasco of UGC-NET, NEET 2024
  • From NEET to NET: It's time to fix NTA
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #1 : Gallery
  • Ema Panthoibi Phijol Hongba at Mandalay
  • Proposed Palm Plantation behind Jiri violence?
  • 'Why Impose War on Us'
  • Why workers most affected by scorching heat?
  • Coup of 2021 not the only push factor
  • Last chance not to fall from grace
  • Ibudhou Cheng Hongba #1 : Gallery
  • Kind attention 'Your Lordship' CJ of India
  • 'Opposition-less Govt in Nagaland is rhetoric'
  • Xorai - Assam's cultural symbol
  • Natural ways to lighten dark underarms
  • Is Delhi doing the right thing ?
  • Set the priorities right
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #3 : Gallery
  • Modi's arduous journey & fate of Naga peace
  • Autism: Why fit in, when you can stand out?
  • Bloodstained Masquerade :: Poem
  • Dharamvir Singh: Forgotten hero of TV
  • What is keeping the clash going on ?
  • Warning of a coming politico-military storm
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #6
  • The Great June 18 Uprising : Timeline
  • The Great June 18 Uprising : Gallery
  • Are we on track to end AIDS by 2030 ?
  • 3 writers from Manipur for Sahitya Akademi
  • Manipur's traffic, parking: A big nuisance
  • Career in elderly care
  • Keeping the folks under a state of confusion
  • Nothing neat about NEET
  • Aid to relief camps @ Jiribam : Gallery
  • Id Festival- 'Id-Ul-Azha' :: Book
  • World Day to Combat Desertification 2024
  • NDPP did not lose LS due to local problem
  • RSS chief says, priority Manipur
  • What if not IIT ?
  • Waiting for a response from the PM
  • The test of leadership failed
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #35: Download
  • Gastronomy tourism in Manipur : Gallery
  • Triathlon : Manipur bag 6 medals (3 gold)
  • Illegal immigrants/fugitives from Myanmar
  • Eid-ul-Adha: Embracing sacrifice
  • A solution to Meitei-Kuki-Zo conflict
  • The Power of Poppy - 35 :: Poem
  • Scientist of Manipur: R K Brojen Singh
  • Brief sketch on General Balaram Sougaijamba
  • Non-violent for peaceful, mutual co-existence
  • Homeless person ..alcoholism & defeated TB
  • Cancer on rise among young adults
  • Defending, fighting for Idea of Manipur
  • From partiality to complicity
  • Bike Rally - Sekmai to Kangla : Gallery
  • 'Modi must announce finality of Naga pacts'
  • Gliding over Brahmaputra
  • Question leaks cause stress among student
  • Home remedies for prickly heat
  • After IIT, AIIMS it is now IIM
  • Stealing spotlight from Manipur crisis
  • Tarpon chaklen katpa @ Andro #2 : Gallery
  • Strongly condemns violence in Jiribam
  • Lessons from outcome of LS election
  • Tumcho releases "Goodness of God"
  • Right diagnostic for antimicrobial resistance
  • 12th June is World Day against Child Labour
  • Hands of geo-politics ?
  • The row over NEET-2014
  • 2nd Annual Art Exhibition #1 : Gallery
  • Chilli Chicken: Film Spotlighting NE in B'lore
  • Committee of Narcotics Anonymous - Imphal
  • The Power of Meditation
  • Oceans as a career choice
  • Getting more and more audacious
  • A test of leadership
  • Education Fair @Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Gifting two seats to Cong
  • Voters empowered democracy
  • Postcards from Meghalaya premieres
  • Milk : Essential nutrient for a healthy body
  • Failing in competitive exam not end of world
  • Delhi : A mere spectator
  • Abandoning Jiribam
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #5
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #2 : Gallery
  • Mainstream in Shoes of Alternative
  • Protect the medicines that protect us
  • Lets take action for our land & our future
  • Democracy and independent media
  • Agenda at work to shut Western Gate
  • Keeping Manipur on the boil
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #34: Download
  • The Enigmatic Journey of 'Laikhutshangbi'
  • Individual and the Social
  • An Ardent Appeal to All Concerns
  • Condemnation of Attack & Govt Inaction
  • The Power of Poppy - 34 :: Poem
  • Scientist of Manipur: Laishram Shanta
  • Alien fishes spotted in Manipur's rivers
  • Training on mushroom at Langthabal
  • Digital avatars or deepfakes ?
  • 7th June is the World Food Safety Day
  • How to prepare for UPSC after 10th ?
  • The Jiri violence
  • Beginning of a new vote culture ?
  • Bimol Akoijam (Cong) wins Inner PC : Gallery
  • BJP, NPF & other NDA pay heavy price
  • Nature is one of greatest blessings of God
  • Plantation drive in Tripura, Assam & Manipur
  • Summer beauty
  • Environment conservation & over-exploitation
  • Is Modi cut out for leading a coalition ?
  • 'Ishanou' Selection @ Cannes #2: Gallery
  • Scholarship for Johnstone Hr Sec students
  • 1st foundation day of Interfaith Forum
  • World Environment Day: Our land, our future
  • Indonesia stronger anti-tobacco measures
  • Navigating a fragile Myanmar: India's policy
  • New breed entering electoral politics
  • The road to formation of new govt
  • International Dance Day #1 : Gallery
  • Matchbox marketing mantra
  • Stop harming nature :: Poem
  • Saving for oneself & the Nation
  • Model United Nations (MUN) conducted
  • Tobacco: Threat to health & environment
  • Candidate from ruling party biting the dust
  • The verdict
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #4
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #3 : Gallery
  • Navigating Remal amidst Manipur conflict
  • We are #GenerationRestoration
  • Intl Day of Innocent Children Victims
  • Apparel Industry Skills & Innovation CoE
  • What's in a cyclone's name ?
  • Ongoing clash, the floods, the losses
  • Exit poll predictions
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #33: Download
  • Evading flood & rethinking urbanization
  • Manipur Flood: Health Advisory
  • Onus on civil bodies to ensure NNPG unity
  • Rats also cause flood
  • Benefits of JEE Main mock tests
  • People have spoken, now the results
  • The fury of Remal
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #1 : Gallery
  • The flood in our Stars
  • The Power of Poppy - 33 :: Poem
  • 'Group of people misrepresented themselves'
  • EV industry and career options
  • Scientist of Manipur: Chandrakant Aribam
  • Candy flavoured traps to hook next Gen
  • Commemorate Naga Plesbicite Day 1951 #2
  • Tobacco affects health & environment too
  • Jio extend validity for Customer in Manipur
  • Students must learn about AI irrespective
  • As vote count day approaches : Floods
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #2 : Gallery
  • Flooded : Sacrifice of Yairipok's Maiden
  • World No Tobacco Day 2024
  • Chandam Rishikanta wins NPC Nat'l C'ship
  • Flood: Helpline numbers for emergency
  • Battling body odour ?
  • Floods : Not entirely natural phenomena
  • PM Modi's purpose
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #1 : Gallery
  • June Calendar for Year 2024 : Tools
  • Flood: Control Rooms & Helpline numbers
  • Economic impact of ongoing conflict
  • Army Recruitment Rally for Manipur
  • Cut deficit, boom likely
  • Are Gods angry ? Wake up call for Manipur
  • Beating of the Retreat #2 : Gallery
  • We did Overcome: Mayhem of Month of May
  • Training on mushroom at Potshagbam
  • Famous female Mathematicians in India
  • Disinformation campaign thengnare
  • Human trafficking puts humanity to shame
  • Sky opens up in all its fury
  • Licypriya meets Italy PM & Pope Francis
  • HSLC (Class X) 2024 : Full Result
  • HSLC 2024 : Important Info & Grading System
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Private Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Aided Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Govt Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Statistical Abstract
  • HSLC 2024 : Comparative Statement
  • Combined Defence Services Exam 2024
  • Good show in Class X exams
  • Downplaying the crisis
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #3
  • Reviving Lamphelpat : Conservation : Gallery
  • Commemorate Naga Plesbicite Day 1951 #1
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Hojai
  • The Power of Poppy - 32 :: Poem
  • Insights from CUET-UG Counselling
  • International Day for Biological Diversity
  • Unseen force at work: Time to unravel it
  • Sheikh Hasina's revelation
  • The Vanishing Meitei Tribe
  • Building career in defence & strategic study
  • Why example of model code of conduct ?
  • Ownership of responsibility
  • Will pressure mount on key players in NE
  • How to save your foot after an accident
  • Children Camp @JNMDA Imphal #3 : Gallery
  • Education Fair @Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Project Associate @ CSE, Assam Univ
  • Understanding schizophrenia
  • Advancement in Multi Objective Optimization
  • When will women in voter list increase ?
  • Making 2 plus 2 is equal to 5
  • Changing face of drug menace
  • Scientist of Manipur: Jayanta Manoharmayum
  • 25 yrs since Atal Vajpayee visit to RIMS
  • 4 Lakhs donated to support (L) Maipak Family
  • Clarification: Guwahati Meet on Humanitarian
  • Start UPSC prep after 12th for success
  • Tips to avoid melting makeup in summer
  • Giving a big solid push to ST demand
  • Time to come clean
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba: 1 occasion, 2 narratives #3
  • Khongjom Day @Khebaching #2 : Gallery
  • 'Ishanou' Selection @ Cannes #1: Gallery
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #2
  • Scientist of Manipur: Amom Ruhikanta
  • Preserving Thang-Ta :: Rare Photos
  • Regarding Human Rights Situation in Manipur
  • Malemnganbi Laishram : Science Topper
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2024 #2: Gallery
  • Thokchom Sheityajit : Arts Topper
  • Aiena Naorem : Commerce Topper
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Science Topper
  • HSE 2024 : Subject Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : District Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : Candidates with Highest Marks
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Science Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Arts Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Commerce Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Arts Topper
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Commerce Topper
  • Aftermath of ferocious hailstorm #1 : Gallery
  • Radio E-pao: Manipuri Film OST (130+ song)
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing : Full Book
  • A ferocious hailstorm @Imphal : Gallery
  • '365 Days of Chin-Kuki Aggression' : Gallery
  • National Science Teacher workshop
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #2 : Gallery
  • Scientists of Manipur : Ngangkham Nimai
  • GHOST of PEACE :: Download Booklet
  • List of Kings of Manipur: 33 - 1984 AD
  • SPONSORED ADS