K. Mangi Singh



Shri Khangembam Mangi Singh was born in 1926 at Lamshang in Manipur. He was trained in the Phamshak style of Pena performance — where the artist, seated, plays the instrument as he renders devotional songs — under Kh. Tomei, Phamdom Sanajao, and Guru Yumnam Kanhai. He learnt Lai Haraoba performance from Guru Laishram Mohon and Kolom Amu, and also trained in rendering the Moirang Parva — epics of Moirang — and the courtyard drama Thok Leela. His training in these arts was conducted in accordance with the Oja-khanba system, Manipur’s version of the guru- shishya parampara. Shri Mangi Singh joined the Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy of Imphal as a Guru in 1975. There he is credited with introducing the Phamjei style in Pena performance — a variant of the Phamshak mode with accom- panying artists performing with the main musician. He has participated in various seminars and workshops centred around the traditional arts, both at home and abroad. He has also performed extensively within and outside Manipur. A documentary film on Shri Mangi Singh is currently being made by Manipur University and Laihui, an institution dedicated to preserving Pena music. Doordarshan Kendra, Imphal, has documented his Phamshak and Cholom performances with Pena, the latter being a variant where the musician performs dancing. For his service to the traditional arts of Manipur, Shri Mangi Singh has been honoured by the Manipur State Kala Academy. Shri Khangembam Mangi Singh receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to the traditional music of Manipur.