Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Arts and Architecture

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.