Spears of Manipur

A spear is a pole type weapon consisting of a long shaft with a sharply pointed end. It is believed that spears are one of the earliest weapons devised by man during the Bronze Age. It is a low cost primitive weapon or a tool used for hunting and against enemies during the war. The shaft is also used to kill animals and for ones protection. Spear is made of many different materials but the most commonly used material in Manipur is bamboo. Spears are categorized as thrown or thrust weapons and appear in a variety of forms around the world. The common layout of a spear consists of a metal spearhead followed by a wooden or a bamboo base/ shaft. Spear is an environment friendly weapon as it does not release any kinds of pollutants while it is in operation or use. It is an easy to use weapon as compared to today?s latest technical weapons. The training also does not demand long term commitments. Spear usually measures between 2.44 and 2.74m (8-9ft) long holding a sharp tipped shaft. It is used till date in many countries by tribal and village folk for hunting.

Manipur is one of the north-eastern states of India bounded on the east by Burma. Spears are most commonly used weapon mainly made out of bamboo bearing a sharp metal pointed tip which may be poisoned at times. The spear holds the same worldwide historic value here in Manipur and at times is used in dance rituals which are to be performed on certain special occasions. It is very interesting to learn that one of the most common forms of spear dance can be glimpsed in the traditional ritual dance of martial arts performed by King Bhagyachandra who ruled the kingdom during (1759-1798). Spears are also considered to have divine origin with many a symbolic significance. The scholars say that spear is not an ordinary object, it is energized and infused with a vital divine force and should not be desecrated.