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IMPHAL, MARCH 29, 2009: To promote musical instruments used by the tribals in Manipur a seminar on Indigenous Tribal Folk Musical Instruments of Manipur was held at the State Guest House in Imphal this morning.

The seminar was organised by Tribal Museum and Research Centre, Imphal and sponsored by ministry of culture, government of India. Various resource persons highlighted the instruments used by different tribes in the state.

Kholi Mao who highlighted the Mao musical instruments maintained that among the Mao tribe music plays a very unique role in their daily life and every other field of work. Music accompanies the people whether young or old and is sung or played before and after a particular work. Even while cooking this unique blend of music and their busy hands keeps the tempo and their life appears to be never tired of forging ahead, he explained.

The rhythmic songs are sung in groups to encourage those involved in jhumming, gathering of wood, planting of paddy seedlings etc. One of the special attributes of these songs is that it gives company to those working alone in a far away place making them enjoy the work in which they are engaged, he said. Some of the musical instruments which are widely used are Sokei Khebu, Makhi Khebu, Soki Moki, Khetsu and Kaka-Lobvu, according to the expert.

Reuben Mashangva who highlighted the musical instruments and folk songs of the Tangkhuls said that the traditional Tangkhuls had songs and music for almost all occasions. Festivals were celebrated with songs and in fact no celebration could be complete without songs.

The melodies of the Tangkhul folk songs and music are predominantly of the pantothenic scales, and styles of singing are varied, he said adding that some are sung with subtle slurring and such songs are very hard for learners new to them.

K Lanlilung highlighted the traditional musical instruments of the Zeliangrong asserted that the Zeliangrong is the combination of the prefix of the cognate tribes namely Zemei, Liangmei, Rongmei and Puimei.

He also said that the Zeliangrong have very rich quality of music and dance. They use different kinds of music performance of cultural dances, merry making etc. and various musical instruments are used during dance, song, yelling of Hoi and many other ceremonies, he observed. These musical devices are made from metal, wood and leather together, horn of mithun for blowing, scale of coconut, bamboo etc., he said

The seminar was also attended by Dr. Lai Imo who highlighted the indigenous musical instruments of Chothe tribe, Achou Kom for musical instruments of Kom tribe, Manipur and Daliensung for musical instruments of Hmar.

Source: The Imphal Free Press

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