Early Meitei History: Religion, Society and the Manipur Puyas is a concerted attempt towards presenting an objective reconstruction of the religion and society in early Meitei history. Studies undertaken so far have been inadequate in terms of handling the mass of manuscripts called Puyas which are the only major written source for the study. Notwithstanding the existence of reliable historical material alongside mythical narrative, the problem has been the treatment of the Puyas by majority of the scholars as authentic historical records per se. This book offers a fresh approach to the treatment of the subject. It integrates critical study of the Puyas, experiences of the living tradition archaeological evidence and secondary data sources to comprehend the subject from a wider perspective.
The study focuses on ancestor worship; a critical study of which is crucial for understanding other aspects of Manipur history. The traditional religion passed through a long process of evolution and survived even after Vaisnavism was declared the state religion of Manipur in the eighteenth century A.D.
The book will serve its purpose if it contributes towards a meaningful interpretation of the history of the Meiteis. The work is also aimed at stimulating discourses on issues such as identity, ethnicity and nationality affecting contemporary Manipur society. This study will provide a more perceptive understanding of the past, which is essential in order to understand the present and subsequent periods of Meitei history.