Myths of Thangal Origin from an Anthropological Perspective
Myths may be understood as a special kind of literature though not found in written form. Through myths, anthropologists make attempts to describe a world which members of a literate society can barely imagine. Mythical stories about origin of numerous ethnic and tribal communities have helped in tracing their route of migration and the long journey undertaken before arriving at their present places of settlement. This study intends to highlight the myths associated with the origin of the Thangal tribe of Manipur from an anthropological perspective and interpret the stories in the context of evolution, migration and relationship with other neighbouring groups. Fieldwork was conducted using an interview guide to collect primary data and published literatures were consulted for secondary data. The result show two popular versions of origin myths are found among the Thangal- first is origin from a cave at Makhel located in the Maram area and second is the belief that the Thangal, the Tangkhul and the Meitei are brothers who emerged out of a cave long ago. In conclusion, the origin myths of the Thangal may be confirmed and established through archaeological findings in the form of artefacts. Mention of erection of memorial stones in the second version is a good clue to start an archaeological survey of the sites which are believed to have been once occupied by the people.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1340336Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 842
 Joshua, J. Mark. (2009). “Mythology,” Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 4, 2015 from http://www.ancient.eu /mythology/.
 Elwin,V. (1954). Tribal myths of Orissa. Geoffry Cumberlege, Oxford University Press. London.
 Bidney, D. (1950). The concept of Myth and the problems of Psychocultural Evolution. American Anthropologist, Vol. LII, p.17.
 Jewell, R. (2002). Experiencing the Humanities. Retrieved April 8, 2015 from http://www.CollegeHumanities.org.
 Drummond, L. (1981). The serpent's children: semiotics of cultural genesis in Arawak and Trobriand myth. American Ethnologist, 8: 633– 660. doi: 10.1525/ae.1981.8.3.02a00130.
 Frazer, J. (1913). The Golden Bough. A Study of Magic and Religion. Macmillan and co., Limited, St. Martin‘s street, London (3rd ed.): pp.281- 282.
 Retrieved December 8, 2016 from http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/ bitstream/10603/61148/8/08_ chapter%203.pdf.
 Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India. (2015). State and district-wise Scheduled Tribes population for each caste separately, 2011 – Manipur, p. 2. Retrieved December 8, 2016 from http:// www.censusindia.gov.in/2011census/population_enumeration.aspx.
 Singh, M. M. (2008). Bio Anthropological Study Among the Koirao Tribe of Manipur (Unpublished Ph.D. thesis). Manipur University.
 Thangmi, C. A. (2006) The Thangalnaga tribe of North East India. New Delhi: Mittal Publications.
 Shah, L. & Singh, R.K.R. (1999). The Koirao (Thangal) tribe of Manipur A bio-anthropological study (unpublished Project report) Tribal Research Institute, Manipur.