Lai Haraoba

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Lai Haraoba (2006)


The great pre-Hindu Manipuri festival called Lai Haraoba is believed to be a re-enactment of the merry making of the Manipuri gods and goddesses. This festival is celebrated annually at different places of the state in honours of the Umanglai (ancestor deities in the woods) and the key performers of this festival are the Amaiba (Priest), Amaibi (priestess), Pena (an anciant spike fiddle instrument) players and local inhabitants. Apart from divination by the Amaibi which involves foretelling of fortune or otherwise of individuals and the locally in her state of trance, the main focus of this festival is on the enactments by the performers of the scenes relating to primitive concept of Manipuri cosmology – the creation of earth, emergence of life forms, human beings family, society and other paraphernalia that we experience in human society.

Sequences:
1. Invocation of divine soul from water.
2. Offering of dance, Pena music and fruits and flower to please the deities.
3. Hoi Laoba as a form of calling all the gods and goddess.
4. The emergence of the young deity Khoriphaba and his display of masculine strength and hunt for a spouse.
5. Creation of various life forms including human being and the emergence of society.
6. Building of house and weaving of cloth.
7. Birth of feeling and emotion, love and hatred.
8. Appreciation of beauty and truth, and with the realization of the significance of life, a peaceful world – a divine world – has emerged.

Directed by M. Mangangsana
Performers: 33
Duration: 1hr 40 min