The most primitive and the oldest
of arts in
Manipur, is the engravings on rocks at Tharon, Khonpuru and Salunghat. In one engraving there is a depiction
of two Kabui houses drawn on a line which carries 13 heads of buffalo, another
line parallel to this shows 30 heads of buffalo, in between the two lines is the
mithun figure drawn. The drawing in engravings are simple but meaningful. It is
difficult to translate the expression but is sure that the artist has described
the topography, inhabitation and the fauna.
In another engraving a single line of 33
Anthromorphs can be seen. Each
figure is shown with round head on a vertical dot which is followed by a
biconcave geometric figure to form the body. The legs are shown by making a semi
circular dot at the other end of the figure. The bugle is distinctively drawn
above the row.
In the third engraving inside an irregular circle, there are figures of a man,
woman and child with an animal probably a pig. There the artist may be depicting
the family unit. The animal depiction may be that the pig is an essential animal
which is a part and parcel of the family unit. Some engravings have been found at Khonpum situated at the left bank of Irang
river. The gun, spear-head, pointed-spear and swords engraved must be the
weapons in use in the Kabui village. There are figures of horses and drawings of
straight lines. These lines are the beginning of education. There is also a
design of female genital organ. This must be because of the Tantric influence.
The art was available in the pre-historic as well historic times.