Senmit Yengba ‘Fortune telling ritual’ Bundle filenames • Media files: NupAmaibi_Ameilon_01012017_ritual_session1_639-3.MP4 NupAmaibi_Ameilon_01012017_INF_CONS_Bobby_639-3.MP4 • Elan file: NupAmaibi_SengmitYengba.eaf • Pdf file: NupAmaibi_Ameilon_01012017_ritual_session1_639-3.pdf Basic metadata Date of recording: 1st January, 2017 Location: Chingmeirong (Bobby’s temple), Imphal Participants: Ima Bobby, Meiphak Others present: Karen, Dilip Description: Senmit Yengba (sen-mit yengba ‘coin-eye see’) is a divinatory ritual commonly employed by Amaibi to rid the client of some kind of illness derived from a curse, or where there is a belief that the behaviours of the person are underlaid by the possession of the client by evil spirits. In this recording, Meiphak (one of Ima Bobby’s disciples) plays the part of the client for the purposes of the video recording. Essential to the ritual is the use of the leaf of the plant, called toon, and the manipulation of several old coins retained by the priestess as magical tools. The coins are not modern Indian currency, but from the period of British colonialism. The banana leaf la is sacred in the Sanamahi tradition and it plays a major part as a magical tool in this ritual. The coins are used to perform divination and the priestess reads the way the coins fall on the banana leaf in order to give appropriate advice to the client. The importance of directional which correspond to supernatural forces is very evident in this ritual. In the Sanamahi tradition, both the cardinal directions and the ‘semi-cardinals’ (e.g., ‘Northeast’, etc) are of vital symbolic importance. After making various predictions and attributing causes to the client’s ailments, advice is given to the client.
Asia, India, Manipur
Ima Bobby (consultant), Meiphak (musician), Dilip (unspecified)
Amailon (content language), English (working language), Meitei (working language)
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