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Age Level of Participation and Performance among Thang-Ta Players of Imphal, Manipur

Author : Lourembam Ibetombi Devi 1 Dr. Laishram Thambal Singh 2

Date of Publication :21st July 2021

Abstract: Manipur is a tiny state in India situated in the North-Eastern part of India bordering Myanmar. It was an independent country prior to the Anglo Manipur war in 1891. It was nicknamed as “valley of Manipur”, "Jewel on the Earth" and "Flower on lofty heights" by many authors due to its extreme beauty and isolated location. It is one of the oldest civilizations in this part of the world and has been constantly at war with many of its neighbours. So, the skills of swordsmanship and use of spear were of highest order. Though the origin of Thang (Sword) and Ta (Spear) is merged with mythology, scientific investigations have given evidence of a very early use of iron in Manipur. Sheikh (2017) examined the iron slags available in Kakching (Manipur) through TL technique and it was found that they are more than 1600±80 years old and it was evidence of a very early use of iron, perhaps the oldest use of iron in these parts of the world. As such it was quite natural that the Manipuris had a highly developed skill of Thang- Ta and also it had a close link with the culture and the dances of Manipur (Rishikesh, 2008). Indu Devi (2016) observed that the Manipuri Dances both folk and classical had its origin in Thang-Ta. The cultural links, war practices and war games gave rise to many martial arts and indigenous games and it is regarded as one of the reasons for Manipur for being so rich in games and sports often taunted as powerhouse of sports.

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