MANIPURI PONY (Syllabus: GS Paper 1– Art & Culture)

News-CRUX-10     20th May 2024        

Context: The Government of Manipur has recently joined hands with various organisations and associations to save the Manipuri Pony or Meitei Sagol.

Manipuri Pony

  • About: The Manipuri Pony Meitei Sagol, is a traditional Indian breed of small horse or pony from Assam and Manipur in north-eastern India. It appears both in the history and the mythology of Manipur, and was used for warfare and polo. 

o It is one of five recognised equine breeds of India, and has a powerful cultural significance for Manipuri society.

o It is featured in mythological stories, and is celebrated in oral tradition, ballads, and rituals. Historically an important part of Manipuri armies, it is used only for cavalry, rituals, and sport, not for working as a draught animal

  • Efforts for its conservation: The Marjing Polo Complex has been developed as a way to conserve the Manipur Pony.

o The state government has released Manipur Pony Conservation and Development Policy 2016.

Manipuri Pony and Modern Polo

  • Modern polo is said to have originated from Sagol Kangjei, a sport indigenous to Manipur, in which players ride horses, specifically the Manipur Ponies, which are referenced in records dating back to the 14th century.
  • The British learned of polo during the nineteenth century while watching it played on Manipuri ponies in India. 

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