Folk Dances of Kom Tribes of Manipur

Kom tribe dances Manipur
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People of the Kom tribe from Manipur hold a belief that theirs ancestors emerged from a big cave called Kharpui. The ancestors of the tribe are ‘Pu Hring’ and ‘Pu Dam’ who kept long hairs and wore turbans. The word ‘KOM’ is derived from the word “LUKAKOM”, which means Turban people.

As per the legends of the Kom tribe, when the ancestors tried to step out of the cave, there stood a ferocious tiger. According to the folklores, the people planned a to kill the tiger and a tamer was employed for the purpose. The tamer wore a striped cloth to trick and kill the tiger.

The Kharpui celbrations mark the killing of the tiger and thus the folk traditions of the Kharpui Lam (Lam meaning dance) began. After the killing of the tiger, a a grand feast at village called Kholamdar, by singing a song of victory with dancing in joyous, which marks the beginning of the cultural songs and dances of the Kom tribe.

  • KHURPUI Lam – a display of masculinity and strong physique with rythmic movements
  • REIVING LAM – A dance performance by young boys and girls, during the season when “REIVANG” flower blooms
  • SALIN LAM – A dance displaying post-harvest celebration thanking the Gods for a bountiful year and production.
  • BUNTAK LAM – Dance performed during arrow shooting festivals called Derphun.
  • DAR LAM – A bell dance performed by young boys and girls.
  • WAIKEP LAM (WAR DANCE) – A dance form that trains warriors to remain alert and skilful before going to wage war.
  • WAIKHONG LAM – A musical drum dance as the people sit together around the fire in a court yard sing and dance together – a bonfire dance.
  • REILAM – Dance performed by young boy & girls during the spring season when the orchids are flowering. Boys and girls in groups go to hill side to collect different flowers for the celebration of Reilam.

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