Meitei Nupi – The Women Leading The Nation

Meitei Nupi - Leading the nation

Meitei Nupi means Meitei woman in English. The Meitei Nupi has been leading the North East and India in the field of sports with so many medals for the country. It’s been a privilege for us to have so many Meitei Nupis among us and for giving us so many happy moments in our lives.

Meitei Nupi – The Meitei Women leading the nation

It will not be enough to list the achievements of Meitei Nupi in this single post. We will concentrate on some major categories and major leaders ranging from Nupi Lal, Meira Paibis, Saikhom Mirabai, etc.

Meitei Nupi – The Ema Market

Most of you might already know the famous Ema market, literally translates to Mothers’ Market. It is the oldest and largest Market run only by women vendors. It is dominated by Meitei Nupi vendors since it is located in Imphal.

Nykaa Beauty [CPS] IN

It is more than 400 years old and the emergence and importance of Ima market run by Meitei Nupi in Manipur is very important to know. Manipur, then Kangleipak, had low population to fend off vast territory ranging from Cachar to Kabaw Valley to certain parts of China at one point. When men are engaged in war, Meitei Nupis are the one that kept the society intact and functioning.

Meitei Nupi ran the markets and to this day local small markets are mostly run by Meitei Nupis. This provided a strong presence in the society. Take a look at the Ema market run my Meitei Nupi below:

Meitei Nupi – Meira Paibis

The Meira Paibis are a group of a loosely organized group of Meitei Nupi that comes to action if there is any problem in Manipur. Every married Meitei Nupi is a Meira Paibi in some capacity.

Due to the current Manipur crisis, the Meira Paibis are being vilified, but the Meira Paibis and Meitei Nupi have been the backbone of the Manipur society for hundreds of years.

Meira Paibi -Meitei Nupi

Their fight against fake encounters and AFSPA, fight against drugs, and crimes against women are well recognized in the world.

When the state was in deep trouble with daily fake encounters. They picked up from home and found death was so common. The Meira Paibis led by Meitei Nupi fought hard peacefully. Alcohol abuse and drug abuse is also a serious problem and Meitei Nupis through Meira Paibis led a strong movement to curb these abuses.

The Nation rocked with shock when brave Meitei Nupi Meira Paibis protested in front of Kangla against the brutal rape and killing of Manorama by Assam Rifles.

Saikhom Mirabai Chanu – Olympic Silver Medalist

Saikhom Mirabai Chanu - A Meitei Nupi

Mirabai Chanu is also a Meitei Nupi with many medals for the country. She is an Olympic Silver medalist. Other than the Olympic medal, she has many more medals, including multiple Gold medals in world championships.

Nupi Lal (Women’s War)

The first Nupi Lal was against the British order to organize forced labor to send them to Kabaw Valley. The second one was also against British policy to export rice during 1939. When the famine was imminent, the women folk were agitated. A Nupi Lal complex is properly observed in Imphal.

The Meitei Women have been taking part in major societal changes and decision-making processes throughout the history of Manipur. The collective power they have is tremendous and they are well respected.

Any agency, or department criticizing the Meira Paibis or Meitei Chanus as a whole will not have a positive impact rather it will damage their image, not the Meira Paibis.

The legacy and image Meira Paibis has is rock solid and one should think twice before starting to criticise them.

Pukhrambam Sushila Chanu

She is an Indian hockey player. She is the former captain of the Indian hockey team. She led the Indian Junior national team to a Bronze medal in the Junior World Cup in 2013. You can read the full details of her by following the link here.

Nameirakpam Kunjarani Devi

Another weightlifter who inspired so many sportspersons in Manipur, Kunjarani is the Gold medalist of the Commonwealth Games. She inspired Saikhom Mirabai Chanu who later went a step further to win the Olympic Silver Medal. Apart from the commonwealth gold medal, she also won many other medals.

Nameirakpam Kunjarani Devi - A Meitei Nupi Weightlifter

There are many other eminent personalities like Bembem, Bala, Ashalata and many others. Indian Women football is dominated by Manipur Nupis. This post will become too long to list all of them here.

We thank all the Meitei Nupis for preserving and carrying forward our society.

Sangai Festival, An effort to save the Sangai Deer


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      1. Ch. Semarani Devi

        It’s a great content . I feel the honour to be a Meitei nupi . It will be very useful to understand the Meitei nupi properly by others and it can also be a good reminder to our new generations .

      2. Birjit

        Soft like the petals of a flower, hard enough inside to safeguard her and her community’s identity and dignity,,,the Meitei Nupi symbolizes the Goddess of Peace entwined with bravery…Their progressive contribution in world knows no bounds..🙏

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      1. Yaikhom Babina Chanu

        Meitei nupi ,mother of Manipur well known for their strength how they protect the children of manipur. Nothing can describe their strength.

  1. Khumancha


    The State of Manipur has a unique pressure group of women only namely, the Meira Paibis. “Meira Paibis” is a local name which means women torch bearers. They are called so because they use meira(torch) in the night in lieu of lights or lamps. The institution of Meira Paibi was established in 1980.
    Manipur has been under conflict situations. The objective of the group is restoration of peace. They hope for a completely changed society where there should be social equality and social justice. They like to have a good and effective popular government that would maintain law and order and territorial integration.
    The Meira Paibis have spread far and wide. Every locality in Manipur has its own Meira Paibis’ Association. They are very much against the imposition of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 and state atrocities in Manipur. Sometimes there had been cases of inhumane torture by the security forces in the pretext of counter insurgency operation. If some innocent youths are arrested by the security forces in the name of counter insurgency without issuing arrest memo, the Meira Paibis challenges the security forces courageously. Since Manipur is a dry state where sale of liquor is prohibited, they help the authority in the implementation of policy. They are very much against social evil activities like adultery, forcible divorce, abduction, kidnapping , etc. Their movement is spontaneous. Any moment they can have a huge gathering within a short time by giving signals on electric or telephone posts. They are very active and brave.
    Really the Meira Paibis are very powerful. They can exercise influence and participate in the political decisions at the grass root level. It is an agency of democracy. Their mode of movements are organising big rallies and holding sit in protest and agitations. They played an active role against kidnapping of children by some outlawed groups in mid 2008. Again they played a great role in the movement of 2015 demanding introduction of Inner Line Permit System in Manipur under the guidance of JCILPS. Also, they played a great role to bring peace and harmony in State from Kuki Separatist movement.

  2. Laishram Bhabirani

    Meitei nupi is one of the mentally strong women.They were dedication n intelligence too. They knows when to speak n when to silent. When everything’s goes wrong they took care n play a vital role in changing the society. Meiteinupi #Meiteichanura proud to be meiteinupi.

  3. Johny

    “Meitei Nupi” plays a major role in Manipuri society.
    My mother itself is an example.
    You wrote a beautiful article including MEIRA PAIBI and other eminent Meitei Nupi sanaroi (women sportspersons) contribution to the nation.
    Thank you

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      1. Herojit Ningombam

        Thank You for such a valuable information. Let the world know more . India Can Not Be Stand Without Manipur In Many Fields. Proud of being a Meitei . Proud Of MEITEI NUPI . YAIPHARE YAIPHARE

  4. Panthoi

    Can’t describe the role & quality of meitei women in some word or in paragraph their role and quality are really vast and infinite .They are very unique,kind and brave .They wears bravery as their crown

  5. Susma

    Meitei Women have formidable courage. They can go lengths to feed their husbands and children. They have great business skills too. They are skilled in handloom and handicrafts. They are generally beautiful and have smooth and silky hair thanks to regular consumption of fish.

  6. Lucky pichimayum

    We are very much proud of our meitei nupi..there is no words to describe the bravery of our meitei nupi💪❤️ (nupi: women)

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