The Lois consider themselves as the oldest
means 'slaves or dependent'. These small tribals inhabit the valley of Manipur.
They are called Singmei, Undro and Chairel. All of them speak different dialects
but with a considerable mixture of Manipuri words.
Lois are of Mongoloid stock but feature-wise, with sharp
features, resemble the Aryans. Their noses in both sexes are very sharp. The
cheek bones, eyes sockets and thickness of lips show progression towards
sharpness. It may be possible that their group was originally either of
Mongoloid or of Aryan stock, but it got the chance of mixing and produced a
group with mixed characters in their body features.
Lois were not considered as Manipuris and so could not adopt
Hinduism and benefit from its religious and cultural impact. The Lois must be
practicing a religion close to the Aryans or the old Shiva cult of Hindus. The
religion of Lois resembles animism. The Lois sacrifice pigs and goats to their
animistic deities. They respect fire.
The Lois are expert at agriculture and hold monopoly in the
silk, iron smelting and other craft work. Now they have been given scheduled
caste status and the state government is taking interest in their uplift. There is no caste system in Manipur but Lois are the victim of
political dis-recognition from the past. They are not given recognition so as to
avoid their political rising but they are not treated like scheduled castes. The Lois are not much involved in social activities and
political affairs. Their cultural life is similar to that of the Meities. They
celebrate Lai-Haraoba according to their own customs which only differ in minor
details. In dress and food habit there is practically no difference with that of