The Museum

A committee was constituted to decide on the concept, design and putting up of the display inside the museum. The members of the committee are from varied work disciplines who are renowned in their respective fields. The total number of committees was 12 with one observer from the Sasakawa Peace Foundation. The committee was again divided into three sub-committees to decide on the three main thematic sections that would be part of the museum.

The display of the museum is divided into three main sections:

  1. War
  2. Post War
  3. Life and Culture
 

SECTION – WAR

War was fought on the soil of Manipur where Manipur was not a participant of the war. The civilians were affected as they have to escape from the battle fields. Civilians had to escape and in local context it was called as “Lan-Chenba”. People had to escape on bullock carts and by foot to other remote locations. This will be portrayed in the Museum.

The days during the war were difficult, there were air bombings, there were no lights and the terrain and the roads were not at all good. There were big drains/ streams and it there were no proper bridges to cross the rivulet/ streams. People had to cross on temporary bridges made of Bamboo.

A visitor visiting the museum would be feeling that environment. As the visitor enters the museum, he would be introduced with the Genesis of the Museum with the Welcome to Imphal Peace Museum.

The visitor will see a traditional wall made of mud and straw with a traditional old door that would be approached through a stairs with a ramp on the left side so that people with limited ability can access the museum.

The visitor will enter through traditional door. He will then be passing through a immersive arena where he would cross the bamboo bridge and would see the bushes, trees, bamboos on both sides with soldiers lying injured on one side. The place would be dark and sounds of water streams with insects making small minute sounds. There would be burnt firewoods on the sides. The main background would that be of a battel field. The bridge will be raised around 2 feet and visitors would have a feel of actually crossing the bridge on foot. The visitor would see in front people leaving and escaping the battle zone on carts and on foot. He is also immersed in such kind of an environment.

The visitor would cross the bridge and exit this section.

As he exits this section he will see a cut out section of people escaping on bullock carts and women with small kids on back which is actually the enactment of people escaping the battle zone and air raids.

 The wall would be a full art work depicting the escape of the people. During the war times, people use to dig up trenches in L shaped or U shaped where they would jumped whenever there are air raids. These images will be depicted on the face of the wall.

This section will be used to display the facts and figures of the Battle of Imphal. The wall that would on the left of the visitor would be used to display the important dates.

The information would be a simple timeline depicting the important dates and the event that happened on during that time.

The materials that would be used is Wooden frame with plywood veneer and melamine finish with acrylic text.

On the other side of the display wall, information of the Battle of Imphal would be displayed by laying out a large map displaying the various important battle sites, airports, movements etc.

The next sub section would be the display of civilian casualties who lost their lives in the Battle of War. It would display the name, age at which they died, address and day of death. The names would be engraved on wooden blocks of 6 x 6 inches that would be displayed as a columnar structure put up in the centre of the display area.

The wall display a life size model of One Japanese army and one allied army as displayed in the above picture.

Along with the portrait various regiments of that took part in the Battle is also displayed.

A part of the section would be used to display some relics related to the various battles. The display would be put up on the floor enclosed by sand backs. Some of the relics that would be put up includes the following.

  • Steel Helmet
  • Coins
  • Ammunitions
  • Aircraft engine
  • Water Canteen
  • Cookeries
  • Medicine Bottles
  • War time currency
  • Bullet Hole poles
  • Lantern
  • Riffles
  • Gas as mask
  • War time newspaper
  • Narration from Living War veterans.

SECTION POST WAR

This section look into the idea of healing and peace. The war is now over, and it is the resilience of the human spirit coming to the fore to pick up from whatever is left to start all over again. This section therefore portrays this journey of reconstructing a future from a ruined past. The idea is to emphasis on the idea that peace acquires a much deeper meaning because of the possibility of war, just as the idea of Heaven makes sense because of the idea of Hell’s horror. Mankind too would not have been longing for immortality and permanence had life not been transient and impermanent. This section shows the celebration of the beauty of peace upon the knowledge of the calamity that its absence can mean.

The Post War section would display the resilience that was shown by the people of Manipur. The major events that happened after the world includes the following

  1. The Manipur Constituent assembly was formed after the British left Manipur
  2. Manipur became a part of India in1949
  3. Manipur was a Part C state
  4. Manipur became a Union territory in 1956
  5. Manipur became a full fledged state in 21st January 1972.
  6. Establishment of Dhanamanjuri College in in 1946 and establishment of the GP Womens College in 1949. Both are now the premier colleges and have been converted as a constituent college of the Dhanamanjuri University.
  7. The Ima keithel
  8. Photo of Then and Now.
    1. Battle fields
    2. Imphal now and then
    3. Khurai Bombing Mandap
  9. Resurgence in Sports
    1. Olympians
    2. Commonwealth
    3. Asian Games
  10. State Animal
  11. State Bird
  12. State Flower
  13. Starting of DDK Imphal in 1993
  14. National Games in Manipur
  15. Manipur University
  16. Regional Medical College
  17. Construction of the Cemetery
  18. The movement of Shumang Leela
  19. The All India Radio Started on 15th August 1963
  20. The emergence of Modern Songs and Roop Raag
  21. Photo gallery of first cabinet of Manipur
  22. Photo of King of Manipur at the time of merger with India and other key players in the politics of merger.
  23. The reconciliatory process, to be portrayed by a photo gallery of the list of chief ministers as well Chief Commissioners, Lt. Governors and Governors, as Manipur progressed from a Part-C state, Union Territory and then a full-fledged state of the Indian Union
  24. Acquiring of new skill sets
  25. Air stripes used during was times now either a civilian Airport.

Apart from this, a testimonial section is also put up at the central portion of this section.

Along with this a COMIC STRIP display on the two stories will also be a part of this section. Some touching stories of humanity and empathy coming out of the war told by survivors or else in war literature will be displayed in simple comic strip like illustrations easy to comprehend and visualise

  1. Moirangjao for instance told of a young besieged Japanese soldier quietly descending from the Nungshigum hill one night and asking for a meal. According to him, the handsome young man was given food by the villages though knowing this can invite severe penalty from the British authorities who were in control. The soldier then took permission to spread some straw on the floor of their stable and slept. Early in the morning, when the village awoke, he was gone. Moirangjao reminiscence with sadness the young man must probably have been killed in the April 13 battle.
  2. Then renowned writer, M.K. Binodini’s short story based on the experience of a real life person whose husband worked for the British to treat refugees from Burma but never were bitter against the Japanese will be another worth illustrating. She also recount from her own experience how women in the Moirang area, though on the side of the British, willingly helped reach rice to provision short Japanese troops hiding in the nearby hills. This too will make good illustrated story.

SECTION LIFE and CULTURE:

A Meitei Yumjao (a traditional house) at the entrance with Funga (traditional Fire Place), Mangol (the courtyard area), Chafutora( Sacred plantation at the centre of the courtyard) and Thongan/kondhong (Gate)

The house is built inside the main building by taking the proportionate dimensions as laid down in the Yumsharol (art of constructing House). The visitor will pass through the Yum and explore the remaining part of the Display. The house also display many artefacts such as fire place, rise storing utensils, old Lantern, old method of lighting, utensils for keeping the food etc.

This section uses the wall to display the information that we have.

Also, a very low volume traditional folk “Pena” will be played inside the house. This audio will not be heard from outside the house.

  1. Life Cycle of Manipuris indicating important rites-de-passages i.e., Pokpa (birth), Ipan Thaba (six day rituals), Cha-Umba (winning ceremony), Nahutpa (ear-piercing ceremony), Laiming Louba (baptism), Luhongba (marriage), Shiba (death) etc. to be represented by photographs, paintings, charts, tables and brief write-ups.
  1. Social and Cultural Life as depicted by available photographs, paintings and sketches focuses on-

 

  1. Social
  2. Cheiraoba ( Indigenious New Years Festival)
  3. Keithel (Market Scene)
  4. Chakcha heichanaba (Community Feasting)
  5. Likon shanaba (Indoor Cowrie Game)
  6. Lairik laishu tamba ( Educational scenes in School and Colleges)
  7. Cultural
  8. Sankirtana (Religious Rituals based on Bhagavat)
  9. Lai Haraoba (Indigenious Community Ritual of creation)
  10. Thabal Chongba (Community Folk Dance)
  11. Hiyang tanaba (Boat Race)
  12. Yaoshang ( Holi)
  13. Kang (Rath Yatra) etc.
  • Indigenous Sports
    1. Polo
    2. Kang
    3. Likon Sanaba
    4. Mukna
    5. Yubi Lakpi