Shumang Leela

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A traditional style of theatre from Manipur has entertained and informed audiences for centuries.

About Shumang Leela:

  • The meaning of this theatre form is “courtyard performance”, which is performed in Manipur.
  • In this, the roles of women are all played by men, called Nupi Shabis.
  • In the case of women’s theatre groups, the roles of men Lai Haraoba, a ritual of the Meitei community of Manipur.
  • The plays provide a vehicle for educating the public about social, political, and economic issues.
  • Types - Shumang Leela is of two types
  • Nupa Shumang Leela - Performed only by men
  • Nupi Shumang Leela - Performed only by women are played by women.
  • The female roles are taken up by transgender actors.
  • The tradition is believed to be descended from News


Q1) What is Lai Haraoba ?

Lai Haraoba is a festival associated with the Meitei people celebrated to please the Umang Lai, the traditional deities of Sanamahism.

Source: In Frames | The art of gender-bending