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Glossary of Indian Music Manipuri Sankirtana (Part -24)

by Rinku Khumukcham
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By: Gurumayum Shivachandra Sharma
Cultural Activist

1. Dhop Pala: Dhop Pala is also a part of Manipuri Sankirtana with a combination of Padavali Gana and Yatra Gana with Manipuri Gana which was introduced in the early 19th century in Manipur. This tradition of Dhop Pala is also locally known as the Cheitanya Sampradaya Kirtana. This Kirtana Pala is still practice in some auspicious occasion at Shree Shree Govindajee Temple. From some records, this tradition was introduced during the reign of Sir Churachand Maharaja (). All the musical instruments of Sankirtana are also use in this Kirtana Pala.
2. Raseshwari Pala: Raseshwori Pala is also a part of Manipuri Sankirtana only performed by the female singers in some auspicious occasion of Hindu communities. The female members of Royal family and relatives are only allowed to join this Kirtana Pala. This Kirtana Pala is annually perform during the Jalakeli Leela, (Radha-Krishna playing water of Jamuna river with their beloved female friends). So, it is also musically known as the Jalakeli Kirtana. According to some records, this Kirtana Pala was introduced during the reign of Narasingh Maharaja (). In this traditions, Mandila or Manjira (Kartal of female singers) and Meitei or Meetei Pung (use in Nata Sankirtana) are used.
3. Manipuri Cymbals: Manipuri Cymbals is a group of an ideonophones or non percussive musical instrument (Ghana Vadya) use in Manipuri Sankirtana by every singers during the Sankirtana. There are five different Manipuri Cymbals use in Manipuri Sankirtana, namely, a) Ramtal (use in Manipuri Manoharshai Sankirtana, Holli Kirtana and Kotha Kirtana), b) Mangang (use in every dead procession ceremony of Manipuri Goudiya Vaisnava communities), c) Jhal (use in every Naam Sankirtana and Aartis), d) Kartal (use in Nata Sankirtana by male singers), and e) Mandila or Manjira (use in Nata Sankirtana by female singers)respectively.
4. Manipuri Pung: In Manipuri dialects, the word Pung has two meanings, firstly it indicates the time and secondly the small mount or hill. And, in the traditions of Manipuri Sankirtana, Pung is the membranophone or percussive musical (Avanaddha Vadya) which is use to represent a time in music made up of wooden cylinderic frame with leather in both opposite sides like that of small mount or hill. In Manipuri Sankirtana, there are four kinds of Pungs, namely, a) Manipuri Khol Pung (use in Manipuri Manoharshai Sankirtana), b) Meitei or Meetei Pung Achouba (used in Ariba Pala),c) Meitei or Meetei Pung (used in Nata Sankirtana), and d) Dholok Pung (in both Manipuri Manoharshai Sankirtana and Nata Sankirtana) respectively.
5. Moibung: Moibung is an aerophone or wind musical instrument (Sushira Vadya) made of a big white colour conch shell which is use in Manipuri Sankirtana. It is also known as Manipuri Conch or Manipuri Sankh. It is also played during various auspicious occasion of Hindu communities as a Mangol Dvani not only in the Sankirtana performance. The instrument player of this wind musical instrument is locally known as Moibung Khongba. He play two Moibung simultaneously by wearing Kokyet (a traditional white Turban of Manipur) as a traditions till now.
6. Mandop Mapu: In South India, the Mandop or Mandav is a temple porch as a platform set up for weddings and other religious occasions; and in Manipuri dialects, Mapu means the owner. So, the Mandop Mapu is the head or owner of a Sankirtana session who is presiding the Sankirtana as a supervisor. He is also believe as the Lord Shiva by some peoples. He will inaugurate and conclude the Sankirtana as his duty by declaring Hari Dvanior Joy Dvani in the beginning and Bijoy Dvaniat the last of the Sankirtana. Without him in a Sankirtana is believed to be incomplete session. He also wears Kokyet during the Sankirtana session.
7. Sankirtana Palas: Those performers who are participating in a Sankirtana session are collectively known as Sankirtana Palas. In the tradition of Manipuri Sankirtana, the head or main vocalist (Pala) is called the Eshei Hanba; second vocalist or opposing vocalist Pala is called the Duhar; assistant to main vocal Eshei Hanba is called the Khonbangba and the remaining singers are collectively known as the Palas. And, the main percussionist is locally known as the Pung Makok and his assistant is called the Pung Tung Inba. The numbers of Palas in a Sankirtana varies from time and places.
8. Duwadasa Prana: In the traditions of Manipuri Manoharshai Sankirtana, there is a mandatory structure to be follow in a complete Sankirtana session, that structure is musically known as the Duwadasa Prana or the Twelve Major Elements of the Manipuri Manoharshai Sankirtana. The Duwadasa Prana or the Twelve Major Elements of the Manipuri Manoharshai Sankirtana are namely, a) Hari Dvani or Joy Dvani, b) Mridanga Stuti, c) Gaan Raag, d) Manglacharan, e) Abahon, f) Avatar, g) Goura Rup, h) Gouranga Bhavi, i) Rasa Kirtana, j) Aarti, k) Prathana, and l) Bijoy respectively.
9. Hari Dvani or Joy Dvani: In the tradition of Manipuri Manoharshai Sankirtana, before a Sankirtana session, as an introductory announcement or declaration by Mandop Mapu (owner or head of the Sankirtana) to begin or start the performance is musically known as the Joy Dvani or Hari Dvani. In case of without Mandop Mapu, this announcement is also made by Eshei Hanba (main vocalist) or Pung Makok (main Mridanga Vadak or percussionist).During the last part of the announcement, the Moibung Khongba (Moibung player)will play the Moibung (Manipuri Conch or Manipuri Sankh) by fade in mode with the Mridanga Stuti (Khol Hatuti or Pung Raag) of Khol Pung.
10. Mridanga Stuti: In the tradition of Manipuri Manoharshai Sankirtana, after the announcement of the Hari Dvani or Joy Dvani, the Pung Yeiba (Mridanga Khol Vadak or percussionist) plays a Taal compositions in various tempos and rhythmic pattern, that rhythmic pattern is musically known as the Mridanga Stuti. It is also commonly known as the Khol Hatuti or Pung Raag. There are various Mridanga Stuti or Khol Hatuti or Pung Raag of Manipuri Khol Pung according to the time and situations. In this composition of Khol Pung, Ramtal will accompanied in various Tempos of Dhima (slow tempo), Madhya (normal tempo) and Drut (fast tempo) Layakaris respectively. In the beginning and last part of this Mridanga Stuti, Moibung (Manipuri Conch or Manipuri Sankh) will synchronized simultaneously.

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