Khangembam Mangi Singh
Born(1927-11-08)8 November 1927
Lambal, Imphal, Manipur, India
Died15 June 2022(2022-06-15) (aged 94)
OccupationPena musician
Years active1938–2022
SpouseYengkhom Mema
ChildrenTwo children
ParentKhangembam Tomei
AwardsPadma Shri
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
Manipuri Sahitya Parishad Shanman
LEIKOL Basanta Bimala Award
Manipur State Kala Akademy Award
Manipuri Sahitya Parishad Sangeet Bhushan
Sana Leikham Pena Shanglakpa
WebsiteOfficial web site

The Pena or Tingteila is a bowed lute. It is the oldest instrument known to the Meiteis. It is used in folk music as well as an accompaniment to Manipuri dances.[1]

Khangembam Mangi Singh (8 November 1927 – 15 June 2022), popularly known as Guru Pena Mangi, was an Indian musician, known for his expertise on the Manipuri traditional musical instrument Pena.[2] The Government of India honored him in 2011, with the fourth highest civilian award of Padma Shri.[3]


"PENA" a musical instrument

Khangembam Mangi Singh was born on 8 November 1927[4] in a family with meagre financial resources in a small hamlet in the Manipuri capital Imphal west known as Lambal, in India to locally know Pena musician, Khangembam Tomei, as one of his eight children.[5] He started learning Pena at a young age from his father as well as musicians such as Moirangthem Modu of Lairenkabi, Phamdom Sanajao of Tera Urak, Thangjam Toyai, Tokpam Papu, Khumukcham Kanhai, Yumnam Kanhai and Thokchom Tolomu. His father left the family when the young Khangembam was only eleven[4][6] and he had no resources to pursue formal education. Instead Khangembam utilised his skills in Pena music for eking out a living for his family, and had an opportunity to perform in front of King Budhachandra, the King of Manipur.[5] He also worked as a bullock cart transporter apart from performing the Pena recitations.

In 1975, Mangi Singh joined Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy, then known as Dance College, as a Pena performer and worked there till his retirement in 1996 as the Guru of Lai Haraoba.[4] He hold the positions of Sana Leikham Pena Shanglakpa at the Manipur Pandit Loishang and Guru of Laihui where he taught Pena.[5][4][6]

Khangembam Mangi Singh was married to Yengkhom Mema and the couple has two children. The family lived at Lourung Purel Leikai in West Imphal.[5] He died on 15 June 2022, at the age of 94.[7]

Legacy and recognitions

Mangi Singh was the founder member of Laihui,[8] a centre for research on traditional and indigenous performing arts started in 1985.[5] He has performed in many places across the world such as Mexico, Washington, London, Berlin, France and Asian countries and has participated in traditional manipuri plays and festivals.[4][6] He has also presented papers and has held demonstrations on Lai haraoba and Pena at various seminars and workshops.[5]

Mangi Singh, the first Pena player to be honoured with the Padma Shri[4][6] which he received in 2011, has won many awards such as the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (2006), Manipuri Sahitya Parishad Shanman (2010), LEIKOL Basanta Bimala Award (2008), Manipur State Kala Akademy Award (2005), Manipuri Sahitya Parishad Sangeet Bhushan (2004) and Sana Leikham Pena Shanglakpa (2002) from the Manipur Pandit Loishang.[5]

See also


  1. ^ "Pena". Yahoo news. 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  2. ^ "Award citation". E Pao. 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  3. ^ "Padma Shri" (PDF). Padma Shri. 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Pena exponent Mangi Singh, Manipur's rising star". Sify. ANI. 5 March 2011. Archived from the original on 11 January 2015. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Jimmy Leivon (29 March 2014). "Imphal Free Press". News Report. Imphal Free Press. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d "Manipur Online". Manipur Online. 6 March 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  7. ^ "Eminent Pena Guru Khangembam Mangi condoled". The Sangai Express. 16 June 2022. Retrieved 11 October 2023.
  8. ^ "Laihui". Laihui. 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2014.