Festival gives befitting tribute to Barak river sources

IMPHAL, 12th Dec: Located at the foothills of Heudu hill in Senapati district, Liyai village has been giving life to Barak River, one of the most important rivers of the state, as its source of origin.
The 1st State level Barak Festival is being organised from December 12 to 14 to celebrate the bond among different communities settling along the river which is again reinforced by the river. The festival is to be celebrated under the theme ‘Sustaining peace and harmony’ at the mini stadium of Senapati district and at different locations.
Ahead of the festival, a curtain raiser event was held at Liyai village on Tuesday as a befitting tribute to the place which has been giving life to the river. ADC member of Liyai DCC Th Thaikho Peter, who inaugurated the event, spoke about the history and present state of the village.
According to Peter, Barak River sources its water from streams like Phohrei, Areirei, Tsiileorei, Beirei, Leurei and Veakaorei, which flow into Barak in the village. The Heudu hill is a safe haven for several endangered wildlife species and the villagers are the guardians of the hills and its resources making the hill range green whole year round. There are two broad boulders known as ‘Eachachu’, which the villagers regard as a site of historical importance. The boulders, originally in one-piece, was believed to have been brought there by a man of Paoteimei sub-clan called Ea, which he took from Barak River. The place where Ea placed the rock came to be known as Tsidu till now. The boulder broke into two, as per local belief.
Besides, there is another large boulder called ‘Thrubvii Vubvii’ with a sculpture of moon and stars. It is located near a paddy field path locally known as ‘Azhi-Azhao’.
Among the important features of the village, it has six natural ponds or water reservoirs, which the residents call as Khaodu (Tiger Pond), Peori (Elephant Pond), Likhao (Eagle Pond), Khakhao (Fish Pond), Vouzhai (Hornbill Pond) and Chu Dziikhao (Stone Pond). Of them, Khaodu, Peori, Likhao and Khakhao have their own partner ponds with which they are considered as couples by the local residents.
The village has also popular belief regarding the histories of those ponds.
Moreover, the village has two big banyan trees, which the residents believed to be guardian spirits of two major clans of the village – Raomai and Leemai clans.

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