Introduction / History
The Koireng are a Scheduled tribe in the state of Manipur in India. They used to be called Kolren or Koren. The Kol part of Kolren means east and Ren means men. They are known as men from the east. The Meities (a tribe living near them) gave the name Koireng to them. They live in the foothills around the Imphal Valley. They are in places such as the Senapati region, Thanglong village, Tarung, Sadu Koireng and Kamu Koireng. The language they speak is from Sino-Tibetan.
They came from Burma and migrated to Manipur, it is said probably in the first century AD. It is also said that they were involved in many wars when going to live in their various places. In Manipur in ancient times, they were classed as one of the most powerful tribes. They are Mongoloid in looks. They are small and have straight black hair and brown skin. They do folk songs which are historical.
They have religious rites. The old people have tended to be pagans while many of the younger ones follow Christianity. With the paganism, the Koireng worship Pathian. They have customs to do with childbirth, child naming and marriage for example. They celebrate festivals. They work mainly in agriculture and many agricultural festivals are celebrated usually combined with music also.
The Koireng speak Koren, Manipuri and English. Hunting for sport happens away from the seasons in the villages of Thanglong, Sadu and Utonglok.
Some of the Koireng are Hindus and some are Christians. Marriage is by arranged marriage and elopement. Rice is their main food and they like vegetables more than fish and meat. The women do weaving in their homes. They bury their dead.
Maybe there are born again Christians among them who could give the gospel message to other Koirengs.
Tribes and Castes of Manipur by Sipra Sen, 1992
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