Paos Jagoi

In Manipur a fascinating dance called Paos Jagoi is performed. It is associated with an equally fascinating Meitei (Manipuri language and its old culture) myth which is as follows : God Atinga Shidaba had three sons; Amiba, Ashiba, and Achiba. He asked his sons to create the Universe. When Amiba began the creation, Ashiba destroyed it, not once but thrice. God Shidaba thought that unless he creates someone who can help Amiba, the creation of the Universe will never be complete. Therefore, he created Nogthangleima, a beautiful girl from his eyes and advised her to help Amiba. When Ashiba, who is also known as Pakhangba, saw the beautiful girl, he changed his destructive attitude and wanted to marry Nongthanleima. She spurned the advances of Ashiba and cooperated with Amiba to complete the creation of the Universe. God Shidaba was very pleased to see the beautiful Universe and granted a boon to both of them to be born as lovers generation after generation. Amiba was born as Ningthou and Nongthangleima as Panthoibi. As ordained by God Shidaba, she came searching for Ningthou. When the two met they remebered the sweet days they had while creating the Universe. They were so overjoyed to be once again together that they started dancing which was called Paos Jagoi. The dance is performed to perpetuate the love of Ningthou and Panthoibi.

While dancing the male and the female dancers exchange loving words through singing. The dancers wear gorgeous costumes which are prescribed for the dance. The accompanying music is provided by Pung the drum with two faces; Pena, a simple bowed string instrument, Banshi, bamboo flute; Senbung, a large gong; and Taal, the cymbals.