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Vasai Zimik Ringkhanring has been collecting artefacts including relics of Second World War from past 20 years

Manipuri Woman Collects Relics, Artefacts for Cultural Heritage Preservation

In an effort to preserve cultural heritage of Tangkhul Community, a woman from Ukhrul district has been collecting relics, artefacts which are more than 100 years old.

Realising the significance of historical objects in understanding and promoting diversity of human history and culture of one particular community, Vasai Zimik Ringkhanring has been collecting artefacts including relics of Second World War from past 20 years.

Vasai affectionately known as Akhan from Sirarakhong under Ukhrul district which is around 80 kilometres from Imphal have passionately collected about 1000 relics of various items. Nevertheless she still continue her work of artefact collection to date with the vision to develop a living museum. But her weak financial condition has become one of the challenging factor in realising her dream.

“My father was our village chief and mother was renown weaver of Tangkhul community. So my family possessed all the objects which Tangkhul family have been using from pre-Christian era. I feel all those items are valuable asset as coming generation would hardly know and seen,” Akhan, Tangkhul by origin stated the purpose of her endeavour of collecting relics.

Akhan said that she started collection of relics from family heirloom and traditional clothes made from local cotton yarns and dyed with natural colours extracted from native plants. However her quest on artefacts collection increase in due of course of time. As such anything she find interesting and of historical significance is being collected.

“I have collected antique tools, jewellery, architectural remnants, wartime relics, bamboo baskets, spinning wheel, giant wooden mortar, wooden sleeping beds, door, window, jewellery, earthen pot, musical instruments etc,” she informed while  stating that it would be a grateful if people donate any unused old objects to her.

Akhan who is a cultivator by profession usually gives return either monetary or equivalent items to the people whom she gets artefacts. By doing so, she had been investing good amount of money from past 20 years. However she couldn’t  get benefit out of it except preserving her age old heritage.

To let the people know her endeavour, she sometimes showcase her collected items during district level festivals. She was amazed and fascinated with the response of her local community during such festival.

As her collection is growing to the tune of around 1000, she is finding difficulties in maintaining those objected. She just kept the items in available spaces of her house. This has resulted to start decaying the items.

Akhan who has been sincerely dedicating her life for preservation and promotion of rich Tangkhul community heritage expected some government support.

“I wish government extended some financial support in construction of houses where all my collected items can keep safely,” she expressed.

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