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April 19, 2011

Loiyamba Shinyen (The 12th century Constitution of Manipur)

I. PROLOGUE
Pray you the Almighty, before this edict is proclaimed. By taking a ride on the back of Nungmu (a pitch-black rounded substance), Pakhangba rose to the universe from beneath the terra firma with the shining glow of Nungganggum (a fragment of rock).
The divine monarch, Loiyamba has chosen six high dignitaries, after a classification of six loops (groups). Pray bless me in the equitable distribution of Shintha (assignment) to each family-surname for the Maibas (specialist with the dual function of a doctor and priest) in the charge of nine sylvan deiteis and distribution of mashil (duty) for the invocation of gods and spirits by the maibis (priestess). The divine monarch Loiyamba makes the proclamation by sitting on the Langshang (office of the Meetei crown). The duties assigned to the family-surnames will be made known. You the Thingujam weave the Mungphi (clothe known as Leirum ). You the Lairellakpam , weave the Laiphi (clothe for the god). You the Chakpa , Thiyam , weave the Laakphi Tongkap (a clothe). You the Chakpram , weave the phirel (clothe of topmost quality). Your the Kongpa Cham , weave the Langdomphi . You the Wahengbam , weave the Dolaikupphi (palanquin cover). You the Haodeijam , weave the Heikoi-phi (specifically designed clothe).
II. INVOCATION OF GOD
You the Heirom , pay homage to Meireima (a deity). You the Irom , do service to Khanglangba . You the Sorelsangbam , attend to the Shorarel (heaven). You the two Sharang Leishangthem , bow down to Lammabee . You the Sharotkhaibam , invoke the goddess Phouoibi (goddess for paddy). You the Potshangbam , glorify the Shanglangmei (Kangla). You the Moirang Pukhrambam , do service to the Kutchu (Wayenshang). You the Shoubam , look after the Mawao Leima . You the Heishnam , offer up prayers to the Panthoibi (most adored Meetei goddess). You the Khoisanam , worshipthe Petangnga . You the Taibangjam , say prayers to Laikhurembee . You the Konthoujam , pay divine service to Huimureima . You the Ashangbam , bow down to Lainaotabi . You the Chingkhwam , invoke the Nungthelleima . You the Arambam , worship the Shoubonleima . You the Yenkhom Phisabam , pay divine service to Awangba (deity Laiwangba).
You the Luwangshangbam , idolize the Luwaang Ching . You the Sinam Laishangbam , worship the Lainingthou . You the Moirangthem Puthem , idolize the Puthiba . You the Mangsatabam , keep watch for the Pureiromba . You the Langmaithem , attend to the service of Tenlongba . You the Ngarangyanpam , attend to the service of Thongak . You the Nakalbam , take care of Chingkol-Ningthou . You the Khuraijam , guard the Chingbal Leima . You the Meiyengbam , take care of the Yaoreibi . You the Leishangthem , be sentinel to the Koubarel . You the Ningthoujam , protect the Numitleima . You the Pukkalabam , preserve the Koubru . You the Chenglei-Laishangbam , take care of the Marjing . You the Moirangthem , preserve the Moirang Phaktom Ariba . You the Kangpucham , sanctify the Hongnemyoi Khunjao . You the Chingkhalbam , glorify the Chinga . Youthe Longjam Pheiroijam , uphold the Langjing . You the Tekcham , watch the Langol . You the Nongmaithem , glorify the Langmaicheeng (Nongmaijing). You the Ningthoujam , preserve the Chinga Leima . You the Heithou Khongtekcham , be sentinel to Langching Hiyangthou Leima . You the Thaopicham , perpetuate the Yumjao Lairemma .
III. SURNAME-WISE OBLIGATION OF THE 'MAIBAS'
Now the duties of the Maibas are proclaimed. You the Asheibam , attend to the cleansing of the monarch. You the Arambam , take care of the bath. You the Toibicham , play the Taraochi (Meitei musical instrument). You the Arupam (Arubam), maintain the cleanliness and purity. You the Aheibam , make the Pukhamnati (plate with decorated rim). You the Loukham , draw the Meiba (Meetei device to produce fire). You the Maibathiyam , throw the Shingkhai (Meetei prognostication device), get into the trance of dream (Meetei way of telling the premonition after a voluntary trance into the dream stage). You the Meihoubam , ignite thefire. You the Meiphuwam , blow in the fire. You the Tokpam , dig in the soil. You the Tokpuram (Tokpram), Thangsabam , pile up the earth.
You the Naoroibam , take the baby in your custody. You the Ngathem , call for the Ngami (beckoning the fishes). You the Shingkhangpam , fetch the dry wood fuels. You the Haomukpam , make the phak (mattress for sitting). You the Khoirisungbam , weave the Khoiriphi (Meitei clothe). You the Khoiriyanpam , sever the umbilical cord. You the Lairencham , wash the black clothes. You the Thoupicham , manage the plantain leaves. You the Leishaonbam , make the boats. You the Yelwam , take in the hen.
You the Nganukappam , look after the Nganu (duck). You the Khuyolthem , carry back the hameng (goats). You the Okrambam , take back the Ok (pig). You the Waleppam (Wareppam),adore the bamboo. You the Maibam , invoke the Chupshaba (invocation by the priest praying for the cessation of recurrent deaths of members of the same family due to a single disease). You the Ngangom , throw the Konyai (gold and silver device used by the priest along with mantra) . You the Yenkokpam , descend the yerum (egg)to the earth (a device for forecast). You the Khumukcham , take the tiger. You the Khaidem , supervise the body under cremation.
You the Amakcham , take hold of the bow and the arrow. You the Mangshatabam , supervise the grave. You the Wanglenbam , beat the drum. You the Kabrambam , manage the Leishoupung (mount of aerated soil). You the Kontenakathang priest, prepare the Chup for the deity. You the Shoukrakpam , make the chaphuwalong (pot). You the Ngaseppam , slice the fishes. You the Thingnongchaorong , priest (the last or third priest), worship the Lainingthouhanba .
IV. DUTY OF THE TAMPAK MAIBA (PEOPLESPRIEST)
You venerate the Mongbahanba . You the Khabalangthangchakaba Wamaiba , idolize the Naohal Ahalba (sylvan deity). You the Jagoiwa priest,deify the Koubarel . You the Langmei priest (Luwang Maiba), worship the Chakhaba . You the Thongnangkaipiya priest, deify the Muwaningthou . You the Khayoipariyang priest, worship the Marjing . You the Loiyamsanggai priest, glorify the Koubru . You the Asheibam , chant Sanalamok (hymn fordeities). You the Ashem Ngakhakhoi , chant the Yakeieshei (Yakairol). You the Paobam , listen to the message of god at Paodahidel . You the Laishram , pay service to the Santhong . You the Lantham , sing the Lalpha song (song regarding the victory in the war). Youthe Kharaijam , look after the Kharaithong (gate). You the Akhongbam , beat the Khong (musical instrument, used in the Chakpa sylvanfestival). You the Mutum , idolize the Lalhampung (Lalambung). You the Thingnam , deify the Ukrong . You the Shingkham , sing the Langmairol . You the Thongam , sing the Ahonglon (songfor the god Sanamahi ). You the Shoraisham , sing the Khoichulamok lamkok (song in the sylvan festival). You the Chandam , sing the Khongchinglon (for the festival of Moirang Thangjing). You the Thiyam , adore the boat. You the Apucham, payhomage to Pukshri (a paddy-eating worm in the field). You the Nongpokpam , invoke the rain god. You the Waikhom , gather the husk. You the Akoijam sing the hymn of Mikol (a song that harmonize the soul and spirit). You the Salam , idolize the Langmaiching (Nongmaijing mountain), and act the role of Tangkhul Sharam Pakhangba (i.e. Nongpokningthou king of the east). You the Hidam , make the Sanaliphak (royal mattress).
You the Khamnam , offer the Khamnungcheiyom (an offering at theroyal grave). You the Amaipi , offer the Leiraiyu (offering to the local deity). You the Nongton Amaibi , dip the Laija Phuhing (offer of Khayomlapkpa by the use of unburnt earthen pot). Throw the Khalei Louka (the first sowing of seeds in the field), and act the part of Tangkhul Nurabee (on the last day of Meitei sylvan festival, a Tangkhul lady digs in the paddy field with her seven maids; the Meetei Lambu sits on judgement. The two Tangkhul youths realised that the field belongs to both. The maiden and the youths knew each other). You the Phura Amaibi , get in the trance of Phura Laiyum and listen to the Mang (Meetei way of receiving oracle through the Maibis, white robed).
V. PANA (TERRITORIAL) CLASSIFICATION
Now the territorial delimitation is proclaimed :
Laipham pana : These eight—Pukhranba, Shanglen Lakpa, Imangloi Hanjaba, Lamleirakpa, Leichon Lakpa, Khun-Tonghalba, Konsha Halba, Hajaba Halba—are in this Pana.
Ahallup Pana: These eight—Khwairakpa, Hiyangloi Hanjaba, Phamthakcha, Yentren Hanba, Okram Halba, Iratlangba, Sinai Halba, Phisa Halba— are in the Ahalup Pana.
Khabam Pana: These eight—Wangkheirakpa, Nongthonba, Shanglenlakpa, Imingloi Hanjaba, Umu Khulakpa, Keikran Halba, Khut Heiba, Hanjaba, Thangsa Halba—are inthe Khabam Pana.
Naharup Pana: These eight—Yaiskullakpa, Aheiba Hanjaba, Huiroi Hanjaba, Chongkhalba Hanjaba, Naikhurakpa, Huitrol Halba, Laiphakpa, Nakpalakpa—are in the Naharup Pana.
These dignitaries are known as Poireithou (belonging to the country), Khulphangthou (belonging to the village), Tayamthou (not being the crown servant), Naiphangthou (being the crown servant).
Know all the people — the thirty-two Hidangpham (post) namely, Pukhran Hidang, Nongthol Hidang, Khwai Hidang, Wangkhei Hidang, Yaishkhul Hidang be known as Luplakpham. Know all the people — Lainingthou Mungyamba had elevated the post of Tenshu Halba, Thangshu Halba, Shilsu Halba above the Khullakphams .
VI. STATE DUTY OF THE CROWN
Listen to the duty and conduct of the crown. The crown shall very seldom render public audience. Very seldom, shall he deliver the address. Address shall be made after a careful thought. The high state dignitaries (64 in all) shall in standing ovation and with folded hands, receive the address from the crown. Should the address begood and proper, it is acclaimed. Should the address be prejudicial, the high state dignitaries do modestly beseech the king (in due indication of the disapproval). The 'beseech' shall be made taken recourse to very seldom. The king shall make the address only once or twice in a month.
Know all the people — the high state dignitaries shall have rare access to the king, unless summoned by the king. When the king moves out for the play of Kangjei (indigenous Meeteihockey) or any other purpose in the morrow, the high state dignitaries, the Ningthemnupi (the first queen) in the palace shall communicate the information in the office of Lakton (room just adjacent to the royal personal room) to the PheidaShanggaiselba ( Pheida has direct access to the harem, being a neuter in gender; Pheida also means executioner). The Yairekshang shall make orders to the Shangpalba (officer in charge of the respective department) stating that 'your respective services shall not fail'.
Regal Life
The conduct that ought to be honoured while the king, the queen and the issues of the king remain together is proclaimed. At night the king will be in the company of the queen in the residence. In the day, theking will be in the company of his other wives than the queen. When these conducts are dishonoured, the Lakhonghanjabi , the Hirushang hanjab , the Leikhomshanghanjabi , the Yendrelhanbi , the Keikralhanbi , the Phirunghanbi , the Phourunghanbi , the Ngarunghanbi , the Thumjaorungbee — these nine sit on the judgement. If there is any mistake in the conduct, fine is imposed. The king has to comply with the conduct. This regal conduct shall not fail and shall not be violated.
VII. ROYAL DECORUM (FOR THE NOBILITY) DOLLAI SAGOLTONGBA
Now this ordinance is proclaimed. Listen to the royal etiquette for the Phamthou Ningthou (Angam Athou). The Dolaitongba and the Sagoltongba halt at the main gate. The four Hajaris halt at Keithel Lanmithong. The Haopanba Puren halts at Chingmeirong, Chinga and Langjing, Khomidok at the bank of the river Iril. The Chothe Khullakpa halts at Moirangkhom. The Moirangningthou halts at Yaiskul Thong. Know all—nobody should transgress the respective sites for halting the horses and dolai .
VIII. RULES REGARDING COSTUMES
Now the etiquette for the shoes. For the Angoupalba (Angom Ningthou), his shoe will be green ; his mattress, red Phirangji . As regards garment, his dhoti (indigenous Meitei male costume) will have a blue outer lining;shirt will be white. His Innaphi (a clothe, one wears from shoulder to the waist above the dhoti ) will be white. His Shamjil will be white, embroidered in white(costume used in hunting tigers and Hiyang tannaba , the Meitei indigenous boat race). The Chongpe of the Tengna will be in the white. When the Angoupanba (AngomNingthou) steps into the palace, his personal guard will carry his seat on the head. He will carry Kwashen also (for keeping betel nuts), Khudong (smoking apparatus). When the Laakhong (the first common room for the royal bodyguards) is reached, the seat will be carried in between the arms by storing the Kwasen and Hidakphu in the Laaton . The shoes, the seat and the Kwasen will be carried as far as the courtyard of the royal residence.
The costumes of the Meidingu Apanba are — white Shamjil , white Khaddangchet , embroidered in the white printed with Phirangji and knitted with two Sanakhongol ; the shoes will be decorated with Sanakhongpols . The shirt will be Konkha , a velvet half shirt. The dhoti will be embroidered at outer lining; the folded Innaphi will be hung at the shoulder end. It may be wrapped around the waist too. The nine layered Shekpin (Chhatra) will be white. The colour of Chong and Pe are in red. The seat will be white coarse clothe.
Know all the prince and princess of the king, the high dignitaries of the State must not match in costumes, whatever the king wears, the way themoves, he drinks, laughs, enquires and deliver address, so on the so forth.
IX. RULES FOR REWARDS
Now a pronouncement is made. Should any subject, any village, the strong and the gallant score a success in a crucial battle in the presence of the king after a contest in the battle, the Meidingu Apanba (Meetei king) shall offer as reward, the Ningthouphimayek (special regal costume). The princess also will be given as reward, if one wins in as many as five battle. The reward will be Phiral Namma Thakta Namma Thoiba (a special flag). Should one triumph for the seventh time it will be Thangballoi (a special award). For onewho triumphs for the ninth time, the reward will be Meipumi . Know all Lupa Leikham , Sana Leikham (the highest reward) will be presented in recognition of the abilities in order; they normally should not be awarded.
Trophy for Catching the Tiger
Where ten persons catch the tiger, only three of them will be selected for the trophy: (1) To the first one will be rewarded, one Pari of paddy field, Thum Nama (equivalent to one hundred plates of common salt): (2) Phimakhai phi (cloth) ( Thum Nama ) will be given to the next: (3) The thirdone will be given a share in the Thum Nama and clothes. Know all.
X. ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Listen now — a promulgation is made.Listen to the edict of Leirel Meidingu Naophangba who took the command from Mangang Guru, Luwang Guru, Khuman Guru for the administration, administration of justice in the Poyrei Kanglei Meitei Sanaleibak . The Meitei Leima (queen) of Kanglei must not complain of weariness, while taking up the welfare measures for the country, the king, there should not bestringency on the wealth. There should not be occasion, where two rival propositions arise at the same time. The Meidingu Apanba (king) will not utter two irreconcilable statements. The outcome of making two conflicting statements is a national problem. Know all conflicting statement are unwarranted.
XI. CONSCIENCE KEEPER OF THE NATION
There is no tranquility in the country, unless the priest, the learned, the highdignitaries bring to the notice of the king, premonition of the good and evil, the prehensions which are noticed and seen by them. The life of the king and the queen are short in this situation. Regarding the punishments for the stealing of cattle, horse and servants, hack the leg of the thief. Sever the hand in case of Sagun Touba (theft by making hole in the house of the victim). Slash the lips of the liars. When anybody dishonours the sanctity of the harem, remove the eyes. If anybody commits wrong with the womenfolk closely related by blood, do the Nonglaoba (shouting the entire story of the wrong to reach the ears of the public).Exile the man who commits wrong to the monarch. Liquidate all those who are involved in the Ningthoushemba (dethroning the ruler). Marriage with women of common ancestry and of similar yek (clan) is unwarranted.
Source: From Original Text -Khullem Chandrasekhar,Fellow MSKA And English Version -Dr. Naorem Sanajaoba

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