Under the popular museum series ‘Exhibit of the Month’ of Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, a traditional object is displayed in the appearance for a whole month. The exhibit for the month of July, 2019 – “Khambana Kao Phaba” (A painting on canvas) from Manipur is on display in the indoor exhibition building – Veethi Sankul. The ‘exhibit of the month’ was inaugurated by Shri R.K. Chaturvedi, IAS (AS&FA, Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India).
Prof Sarit Kumar Chaudhuri (Director, IGRMS), and renowned people present on this occasion. This exhibit of the month has been curetted by Shri N. Sakamacha Singh (Museum Associate, IGRMS). Shri N. Sakamacha Singh briefed about Khambana Kao Phaba and told that, the epic of Moirang Kingdom is filled with the plots of romance, betrayal, political turmoil and a tragic end of the two lovers; the lore of which is sung in the famous Moirang Parva- an oral narrative.
The scene depicts the episode when the hero Khamba was drove into a dead-trap by the villain Kongyamba in the name of killing a giant bull. But this fatal plan of Kongyamba failed under the easeful act of Khamba who knew that the mighty bull was once the lord of his father’s herd. He tamed the bull by catching the horn and resting on the neck when he whispered the name of his father softly by showing a silken rope.
The bull could recall the name of his master and by witnessing the silken rope; he turned obedient and was easily tamed. Painted by the veteran artist (Late) M. Betombi Singh at the Palace (Sana Konung) when he was 93 years old, this unique piece of traditional art form of Manipur was registered into the permanent collection of the museum in the year 2001. After that, Shri Chaturvedi visited Veeth Sankul indoor exhibitions and library.