Meitei people

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Meitei, Meetei
Total population
2.5 million (.)
Regions with significant populations
Manipur, Assam, Tripura, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nagaland and Mizoram
Hinduism, Sanamahism
Related ethnic groups
Nagas, Tangkhul, Kuki, Tai Ahom, Burmese, Bishnupriya Manipuri,Tripuri, Shan, Tai, Karen

The Meitei (also Meetei, Meithei, Manipuri) people are the majority ethnic group of Manipur[1], a northeastern state of India[1]. Meitei is an endonym or autonym while Manipuri is an exonym. A significant population of the Meitei also are settled in domestic neighboring states such as Assam[2] and Tripura, they have also settled in Bangladesh[3] and Myanmar.[4]

The Meitei people are made up of seven major clans known as Salai Taret,[5] their written history has been documented to 1445 BC.[6]


The Meitei people speak Meiteilon, a Tibeto-Burman language. It's also known as Manipuri Language. Here, Meiteilon is an endonym and Manipuri Language is an exonym. Meiteilon is one of the officially recognized languages of India which got included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India in 1992[7].

Historically, Meiteilon is written in Meitei Mayek[8] until it was replaced forcefully by Bengali Script in the early 18th century[9] ,however the revivalism of the Meitei Mayek started in 20th century and slowly it's taking back it's place from the Bengali Script.

Kinship system[edit]



Pre-colonial period[edit]

Before the arrival of European (mostly British) colonialism in South Asia, there had been many tribal wars in Nagaland and Manipur, persecution and raids from Burma by Burmies malitas on Naga tribes, Meitei people and others in India's northeast.[10][1]

Colonial period[edit]

Since Indian independence[edit]

The Meitei ethnic group,[11] represents about 53% of the population of India's Manipur state.







Mostly meiteis belong to Vaishnav sect of Hinduism, they worship Lord Krishna.






See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Prabaskar, Arunima. "Shiv Sena plans to rename Nagaland to Naganchi". 
  2. ^ "Meitei Diaspora In Assam". 
  3. ^ Project, Joshua. "Manipuri, Meitei in Bangladesh". 
  4. ^ Project, Joshua. "Manipuri, Ponna in Myanmar (Burma)". 
  5. ^ "Origin of the Meiteis Part 2". E-Pao. Dr J Rimai. 
  6. ^ "A Brief History of the Meiteis of Manipur". The Manipur Page. P. Lalit. 
  7. ^ "Eight Schedule of the Constitution of India" (PDF). 
  8. ^ "History of Meetei Mayek". 
  9. ^ "Manipuri language and alphabets". 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Khomdan Singh Lisam, Encyclopaedia Of Manipur, ISBN 978-8178358642, pp. 322–347

Further reading[edit]

  • Kshetrimayum, Otojit. (2014). Ritual, politics and power in north east India: Contexualising the Lai Haraoba of Manipur. New Delhi: Ruby Press & Co.
  • Singh, Saikhom Gopal. (2014). The Meeteis of Manipur: A study in human geography. New Delhi: Ruby Press & Co.
  • Singh, Saikhom Gopal. (2014). Population geography of Manipur. New Delhi: Ruby Press & Co.