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New Folktales of Manipur

Author Name: James Oinam | Format: Paperback | Genre : Literature & Fiction | Other Details

This collection documents Meitei beliefs and some of the many oral versions of Manipuri folktales which the author heard as a child. Many folktales and beliefs have sacred and unutterable secrets in their wombs. The occult practices mentioned herein are based on personal conversations with native exorcists (known as maiba and maibe, male and female shamans).

No culture can be an island in itself. The author does not believe in a time-bound and immune culture that exists on its own. Cultures can interbreed and evolve with time. If science can benefit from collaboration, why not culture? As long as any single individual who considers himself or herself a Manipuri lives, what he or she does will continue to define what Manipuri culture is. By that right, the author picks up various threads gathered over his short life and weaves them into new clothes that will define his identity and hopefully the identity of his kindred spirits.

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James Oinam

James Oinam is a copy editor at Sage Publications India Pvt. Ltd., based in Delhi. He has more than ten years of experience in the publishing industry. This book is a compilation of short stories constructed from the oral folktales that he has heard, filling up the gaps in them for coherency, and introducing new plots. The author would like to observe here that due to interpersonal sensitivity, the tales told to children are often adapted versions. Hence, Manipuri folktales are often very different from the original stories. After noticing the contrasts between what he heard as a child and what he read later in life, and seeing that many cultural mores and beliefs are not properly documented, he has taken a small step in this direction. It is not the author’s intention to critique the discrepancy in the stories, but to rejoice in the diversity. The author has a keen interest in folktales around the world and the readers will find it reflected in this collection.

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