Who says “Khoibus are not Maring”?


by Khrilkhaa Lhouwa Maring
We are giving below some of the truths and facts about our community – “MARING” where we come accross some instances recently threatening the rich culture and traditions of the Maring by some frustrated elements in our society.

Before going through the entire episodes let us know and understand the cultural costumes, attires, sarongs of the Maring. Some of them are given below for your ready reference.

The above shown pictures are some of the Cultural costumes, attires, Sarongs of the Maring ….
The accounts of Uipo as per the “Khoibu (Uipo) tribe, a profile” is handed down from generation to generation orally. So we cannot rely cent per cent on it. Because there is a great room where interested persons can destroy the true sense of the accounts. They called themselves (and Maring as a whole) as Uipo. They are called by others as Khoibu, in the same way where Dudu Maring Village is known as Lamlong by others.

The Beginning:
The history about the origin of the Marings is written by well-known people. The place of settlements (in Maring dialect), some of them are mentioned below:
Wanshangramrei youbini
Kulvi Songsong hungthrungme,
Mongrengphai, Wasaphai,
Makkoubung, Pulbung,
Kanglabung, Tengkonbung,
Langkoubung, Mangthelbung ……….
As per the ‘profile’ the origin of the Khoibu traced back upto Mongrengphai. These interested Khoibus doesn’t want to go beyond Mongrengphai, because beyond Mongrengphai lies Kulvi Songsong, the place of origin of the Marings.

The Khoibu profile mentioned that they made their first settlement at Mongrengphai after coming out of the cave. This is totally wrong. They are distorting the history. The harder gate of the cave was opened by the buffalo. This seems to be misunderstood. Mithun looks like a Buffalo in the eyes of this frustrated Khoibus. The Mithun, as per the profile, was purchased from a Chothe Village, which is again distorting the history. The Mithun was actually taken from the place called CHOTE. (Here chothe village did not come to the picture).

The Settlement:
As per the profile, they travelled towards Mongrengphai. But from where. It would be from Kulvi Songsong only. So the origin of the Marings.

Ancient Civilisation:
Marings after coming out of the cave first settled at Kulvi Songsong. From there they spread their settlements towards many places. Some of these places were Mongrengphai, Wasaphai, Thipamna, Songkan, Khamphat, Kameng, Lata, Taap, Lichik, Mangsa etc. These places of settlements are also found in the profiles of these interested Khoibus. Could they settle in the same village as different tribes? Or did they settle in a shift like first trip, second trip etc.

The Downfall:
The Maring people (please remember not the khoibus) were known as the protector of the then kingdom of Manipur on the eastern frontier.

Forefathers of the Marings used to proclaim themselves, as victorious shout of the heroe(s):
Tik Nahade, nahade, Maring Meiringbade,
Nongpok thong-ngaakpade ……….
This can be translated as: Mighty one the patriot, Maring Meiringba
Man of the East, the keeper of the Eastern Frontier,
These interested Khoibus mentioned in their profile that many of them were killed, captured during Awa (Burma) war. If they were alive their numbers would be in thousands and more. This seems to be very sarcastic. They are just imagining that they would be much more than the population of the entire Manipur. They are trying to bring the Maring community into their fold by proclaiming the entire cultural itenaries of the Maring as theirs.

So, many a time the Maring people suffered most during wars with Awa (Burma). As per the profile, many of the people from Khoibu have fled to Machi, Kharou, Lamlong, Khunbi Maring villages during the Awa war. The present people of Charang and Tontang clans of these villages are believed to be Khoibu descendants. It may be noted here that the Charang and Tontang clans of these villages have similar culture, customs, languages and traditions with the Charang and Tontang clans of other Maring villages. So can we say that the Charang and Tontang clans of Khoibu are different from those of the Marings?

Identity Misunderstood:
The Marings from Phunal are called Phunal Maring. Likewise the Marings from Khoibu are definitely called Khoibu Maring. The oldest known village is Khoibu khullen rather Khoibu village (meaning principal Khoibu village). From this Khoibu village it spread over to the present villages. Before these present villages were formed, could they try to claim as a separate tribe by standing only from the principal Khoibu village? ONE VILLAGE ONE TRIBE! Impossible. So, the identity of our community was never misunderstood. Phunals are also Maring, Khoibus are also Maring, Narums are also Maring, Lamlongs are also Maring and so on.

Can you name any village called Tangkhul village, Rongmei village, Mao village, Thangal village, Anal village, Chothe village etc. You cannot. But Marings have a village called Khoibu. Khoibu Maring is called so not because of close proximity between them with other Maring villages. Once again it is repeatedly said that Khoibu is the name of a Maring Village. The Marings are spread over Chandel, Senapati, Ukhrul and Imphal East districts of Manipur. So, the geographical position does matter the languages of these villages. Mention may be made here that the language of Kasom khullen village from Tangkhul tribe is different from that of Toloi village of the same Tangkhul tribe. So, the difference of language can be noticed from one village to another village, whether it is from Khoibu, Machi, Phunal Maring, Langol Maring etc. We can also verify from the comparison of two profiles published by Uipo (Khoibu) Maruo Assembly. One was published as a booklet and another we can find from the websitewww.chandel.nic.in/Khoibu_tribe.htm (The two profiles are attached herewith for your reference. Visit for profile1 and forProfile2). We can see from the profiles where the counting of numbers of the Marings is written.

To get clear picture, let us see the following:
Profile published in Booklet (Page 8) . As per profile from the website
English Khoibu Maring Maring Khoibu
One Khad Khat Khattam Khat
Two Khani Khani Nittam Khani
Three Khayum Khyum Khyumtam Khayum
Four Phali Phali Lhitam Phali
Five Phangaa Phanga Phangatam Phangaa
Six Tharug Tharuk Thruktam Tharug
Seven Ini Eni Enitam Ini
Eight Tachad Tachot Chottam Tachad
Nine Taku Tako Takotam Taku
Ten chib Chip Chiptam Chip
From the above table, the profile clearly shows that the counting of numbers among the Marings is different from one village to another village. So the difference of language among the Maring villages is not a big surprise matter for the Maring. If the identity of a community is based on the languages, then the Marings would have produced so many tribes. This would be applicable to the other tribes also.
Since the forefathers did not know the roman scripts, they wouldn’t be dictating that for one it should be written khat or khad, for six it should be written tharuk or tharug, for seven Eni or Ini, for eight tachot or tachod, for ten chip or chib. Because both the words are pronounced similar to them. Even the profile writer had written either of the two words given above (please compare counting of numbers of the two profiles). So, who is actually trying to make the difference? The interested Khoibu profile writers only. RIGHT?

We give below some of the words from two Maring villages where we can see the differences:
English Waithou Phunal Maring Sambum Phunal Maring
One hatdik Khat, Two Khintam Khani, Three Shumtam Khyum, Four Litam Phali, Five Maatam Phanga, Six Thruktam Tharuk, Seven Nitam Eni, Eight Chottam Tachot, Nine Kotam Tako, Ten chiptam Chip

Let us see some more words below:
Waithou Phunal Maring Sambum Phunal Maring, Su Msu, Shui Phyui, Lai Plai, Sou Phyou, Nei Phnei, Lui Nalui, Mu Kamu, lah kalah, Mi Thimi, Khadaak daak, Nabil Khnabil, Thrul Phrul, Trung Krung, lung Thalung, khap Makhap, Rangcha Yrengcha, Ruithat Ruiphret, Sangna Singkna, Na-sa Kana-Kasa, Thrum Khrum, Mitdou Mitdeo, and the lists continue so on. So, which village is having more differences among these villages. Is it the Khoibu village or Waithou Phunal village. Only the reasonable person can tell us the true picture. Can we say Phunal Marings are different tribe. Definitely Not.But khoibus are still claiming as different tribe based on the languages. This is nothing but to fool the people of Manipur in particular and India in general. Why are you creating menaces and cold war among ourselves.

In toto of the said profile, the Marings too bear the same characteristic such as:
– Head hunting,
– Dormitory which is termed as “Rakhang” (“Yakhang” in Khoibu as per the profile),
– Socio-political in village level,
– A large quadrangular shield used in war,
– Settlement in high lands,
– A crude form of agriculture,
– Common land ownership,
– Every Maring village has a defined territory governed by the village chief, assisted by the village council consisted of different clans.

As per the profile, the village / place of settlement does not mention the name “Maringlane”. Is it because of the name Maring?
Language: The forefathers of Marings, whether it be from Machi, Khoibu or Phunal Maring, used the following words:
Maring Khoibu, Cherni Cherniy, Seelni Shielniy, Saani Shaniy, Thangwanram Thangwuanram, Napuiya Napui, Napawa Napaa, Yul Yon (Yawn in another profile), Kani Kaniy, Nuwi Nu, Pawa Pa, Lukhup Lukhub, Thraloulai Thraloulaiy, Karung Karong, Samkin Shamkin, Karkhup Karkhawb (from karkhop), Darban Daarbaan, Lhouyang Thlouyaang, Lhousa Thloukashaa, Laarung Laarung, Chalaa Chaalaa, Khuingallu Khoyngaanlu (from Khoinganlu)
We all know that you are trying to make out as much differences as possible, either by putting some letters etc. so that it looks like a “different”.

We can know more from the two profiles, some of which are given below:
Phunal Maring Khoibu Maring Contemporary Khoibu Maring, Moshil Moshel Mosyel/Muosiel, Angshil Angshel Angsyel, Tungshil Tungshel Tungsyel, Mothil Mothel Mothyel, Todun Todon Todawn, Kodun Kodon Kodawn, Angdun Angdon Angdawn.

As per the profile, the writer has used some of the language of the DEAD in order to show to the innocent people that Marings and Khoibus are different at least in dialect. Some of these words are lumni, tunni, nachum, samkil, lik, khuphi, hemucha, nungmit (slang language), awa etc.

As per the profile, Mothil is a full-fledged name for Maring and Mothyel (formerly Mothel) is just a nickname to Khoibu. But one will find the official names of the yester-years of the interested Khoibus as Mothel Khaling Maring, Moshel Tontang Maring, Angshel Saka Maring, Tungshel Saka Maring etc., which they now claimed as nickname system!
As per the profile, Khoibus have seven clans namely Charang, Dangsha, Tontang, Saka, Khaling, Ronglo (Rawngluo – contemporary Ronglo) and Hongsha. Whereas Marings have clubbed together into four clans viz Makung and the first three clans mentioned above i.e.. Charang, Dangsha and Tontang. The rests Saka & Ronglo come under Tontang clan, Khaling comes under Charang clan and Hongsha comes under Makung clan. They are therefore, cannot be called parallel clans. Do we find any such similarities among different tribes? No. So, can we claim these people as different tribes? [Please note that Maringa & Maring, Tontanga & Tontang, Dangshawa & Dangsha, Charanga & Charang, Makunga & Makung, Uipowa/Uipoa & Uipo refers the same thing only in Maring. Only the profile is showing it as different and some as parallel clans just to lead the readers into nowhere but complete darkness].

As per the profile, the Dangsha clan is now extinct! Are you going to be a mere spectator when one of the clans is extinct? Can’t we find out whether the other clan “Makung” (which is one of the clans of Maring) was also got extinct among the interested Khoibus? Needs to get research. Does the name of the clans are 90% same due to their immediate neighborhood /habitation as per the profile? Or can’t we say these clans are same because they have the same origin. Only the good scholars / thinkers can know the true color of this.

As per the profile, Mr. Paris Tontang, son of Angphun Tontang of Waithou Phunal Village was married to Shangranmoy (Shangnu) Tontang, daughter of Tongin Tontang of New Checkon (Maringlane – which the profile is trying to omit). Mention may be made that almost 40% of the married couple among the Marings in every village are from the same clan only. Although the practice is strictly prohibited by imposing fine etc. but it does exist among the Maring community. So the case of Paris tontang and Shangranmoy Tontang cannot suffice to claim that they are allowed because of different tribes. Mention may be made here that the tontang, saka and ronglo subclans of Khoibus cannot marry among themselves.

Even Kansou, the sub-clan of Tontang wanted to claim that they are different from their parent clan Tontang because Red Marings consist of Kansou clan whereas the Black Marings consist of Tontang clan. The Red Marings are different from the Black Marings in respect of their dialects. Can we say that Red Marings are not Maring?
As per the profile, they converse in Meiteilon/Meeteilon as they do not know or speak each other’s dialect. This is because, the Marings do not have a common dialect. But if you speak slowly/steadily most of the languages can be understood. Moreover 100% of the yester-year Khoibus speak and understand the languages.

Questions to the reader:
There are some questions wanted to put before the readers. Before that let us carefully look at the traditional costumes of Maring tribe as given above.

The above shown pictures are some of the traditional costumes, cultural dance of the Marings. NO INDIVIDUAL OR GROUPS CAN CLAIM THAT THESE BELONG TO KHOIBU. The Marings cannot tolerate anything at the cost of their traditional costumes, culture and customs.Only the Marings know who these interested Khoibus are? These interested Khoibus can fool other tribes but not the Marings. These interested Khoibus are testing the patience of the Marings. We know some of the interested Khoibus are showing out the above costumes to the entire world through various Medias like Cable TV, ISTV, Doordarshan, Internet etc. that these are their costumes, and the innocent people are blindly believing them. Why the profile is published in one of the govt.

websiteswww.chandel.nic.in/Khoibu_tribe.html as the separate people (not tribe, but the link name refers it as tribe) living in chandel district. Why they are not put together along with the Marings. Are you having any interest in these issues? You too are testing the patience of the Marings.

This is our humble request to all the concern authorities not to use your August platforms for misusing the identity of the Maring community by these interested Khoibus. IT REALLY HURTS OUR SENTIMENTS. And you know the consequences too.

Since time immemorial, Marings are known by the people of Manipur including the Meitei Maharajas as the Nongpok thong-ngakpa (the Eastern Frontier Protector). Maringi yenba khonglakpagi wari, Maringna saba Shangbaidi nama hangde haineido, Maringi Phunga wari, Maring Maiba are some of the ancient sayings about the Marings. They are famous for their good handicrafts. Pretty amount of handicraft products are produced by the Marings. So, the traditional costumes, culture etc .are well known by the Manipur people. They have been living in a peaceful and undisturbed environment. But slowly, their identity is threatened by these interested Khoibus. The interested Khoibus start claiming the cultural dance of the Marings as theirs. The interested Khoibus start claiming the traditional costumes (dress/attire/sarongs etc) of the Marings as theirs and showing out to the innocent people as the cultural dress of the Khoibu. As per Dak Bangla Intelligence Scan report dated 2nd Feb 2005, “Khoibus are taking other opportunities and benefits from the Marings”. This is truly cited in the report. They are using the Maring Certificate and get government jobs and other grant-in-aids etc. But still they are saying they are not Marings!!. Unbeleivable.

On many occasions they represent themselves as a tribe different from the Marings by misusing the identity of the Marings. These created unwanted feelings of frustration, anger among the Marings. So on 4th November 2003 and 1st February 2005 there were clashes between these groups (rather groups among the Marings). But these interested Khoibus said that they don’t know the reason of these clashes, accusing before the world that they have been attacked. Actually these interested Khoibus are attacking, threatening and MISUSING the identity of the Marings. The people who voiced against these clashes pretending to be good Samaritans did not ever ask the cause of the clashes. No. They will say this is none of their business. So, is it the business of theirs helping the hands of those who are threatening the identity of the Marings? Stop your BAKWAAS. Good Samaritans Huh! Some of the other tribes of Chandel District are taking advantage of such events. They dont want us to be the largest tribe in Chandel District. This is one point to be remembered.

How will the Rongmei people (for example) react, if the interested Khoibus claim/ showing out to the entire world that “Gang-ngai” is the cultural festival of the Khoibu? How will they react, if these interested Khoibus claim that the cultural attire, costumes worn by the Rongmei people belong to the interested Khoibus and start showing out to the entire world? Same situation is happening to the Marings.
Please be very cautious that these interested Khoibus are good enough in permutation combination and modifications. They can copy/imitate your culture and modify it and can claim as theirs. You won’t be knowing all these. But their immediate neighbor knows all these things. For example a person whose name is Mothil in Maring is known by name Mothel in Khoibu. Now they are changing to Mothyel.

Moshil in Maring to Moshel then Mosyel (Contemporary Khoibu name)
Angshil to Angshel then Angsyel
Mention may be made here that, (1) various bodies of the Maring community have condemned the recently held first ever so called Haichingbawng Festival of these interested Khoibus by using the traditional costumes of the Maring community. (The said festival never exists before. They have been campaigning to perform this festival well in advance).(2) Source: The Sangai Express Imphal, July 19 2009: Maring Marnorap, Imphal sought clarification and apology from the Tribal Students Union of DM College of Arts regarding an alleged wrong caption in one of the photographs of their calendar. Maring Marnorap in a press release said that the caption ‘Khoibu’ with the photograph of traditional dress of Maring tribe is an insult to the community.It further said that there is no scheduled tribe called Khoibu in Manipur, recognised by the Constitution of India. Khoibu is a name of a Maring village located in the east of Chandel district, the press release added. (3) The total populations of the Khoibus is mentioned as 4000 in their portal website www.khoibu.zoomshare.com and they have reduced to 3000 in their recently launched websitehttp://www.khoibu.com/ (portraying the photos of Late Koshang Khalling only). Can we believe these figures now? No.

These interested khoibus claimed that they are different from Maring in respect of dialect, culture and tradition. Then why they are using the cultural dress, costumes, sarongs etc of the Marings and showing out before the innocent people of Manipur in particular and India in general.Where’s your costumes, cultural dress and sarongs? Why dont you show out your different costumes, cultural dress to the people instead of claimimg those attires of the Marings as yours? You know you dont have. Then why you want to be different from the Marings?
Can anybody tell us what the exact traditional costumes of these interested Khoibus are? (Actually, they don’t have any traditional dress, culture etc. different from Maring). Can you compare and differentiate with that of the Marings? You won’t be able to compare, because you don’t have anything to compare. If you don’t have anything to compare, then is there any difference between these groups? NO. Now, can we say the Khoibus are different tribe (Forget about the dialect permutation combination)? If you don’t have time to get the details, just be satisfied that this blog is sufficient enough for you to know the true picture of the Marings and Khoibus rather the Marings from Khoibu village.

In this modern world, people are becoming so liberal and they have freedom to become anything but not at the cost of others. So, interested Khoibus should not claim themselves as a separate tribe at the cost of the identity of Marings. They should not take away the traditional costumes and other cultural items of the Maring people. If they want to leave, just leave the tradional costumes, culture, customs and lastly but not the least the IDENTITY of the MARING.

There are good numbers of well-to-do families among the Marings who do not care about these happenings. They know what is happening but they prefer to be a silent spectator. They are interested in doing things where they can get something for their stomach. They don’t think even a second for their own tribe. Some bloody Marings are selling their traditional ornaments, costumes to others. Befitted action should be taken against such unwanted elements in the society.
Wake up, wake up, my dear fellow Marings. Let us join hands together and finish these menaces once and for all.

The writer does not wish to hurt the feelings of the Khoibu Maring people who are with the Marings. Sorry.

To know more visit www.khoibus.blogspot.com or email me at lhouwamaring@gmail.com

Writer can be contacted at Maipou Village
Near Trinity High School
P.O.Pallel Chandel District
Email Id: lhouwamaring@gmail.com


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here