Subika Paintings of Manipur are facing the risk of extinction due to neglect.

About Subika Painting

It is a type of painting closely related to the cultural history of the Meitei community.

Surviving through six manuscripts:

  • Subika, 
  • Subika Achouba, 
  • Subika Laishaba, 
  • Subika Choudit, 
  • Subika Cheithil, and 
  • Thengrakhel Subika.

While the royal chronicle, Cheitharol Kumbaba, doesn’t mention a specific founder, there is a possibility that this artistic tradition predates the introduction of the writing tradition in the state.

Experts suggest the use of Subika paintings dates back to the 18th or 19th century.

Subika Laisaba

  • Subika Laisaba painting comprises cultural motifs derived from existing features and other influences shaped by their cultural perspectives.
  • Within the collection of six manuscripts, Subika Laishaba serves as a direct and authentic continuation of the Meitei cultural tradition portrayed through visual representations.
  • The illustrations in Subika Laishaba utilize a visual language having elements like lines, shapes, forms, colors, and patterns.
  • These images become important symbols for the Meitei community, creating a framework that expresses cultural meanings, significance, and values through visual effects.
  • The visual depictions in this manuscript are painted on handmade paper.
  • It’s noteworthy that the materials for these manuscripts are locally prepared, including handmade paper or tree bark.

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