Recently, Union Home Minister inaugurated a 122-foot-high Sagol Kangjei (Polo) Statue at the Ibudhou Marjing complex at Heingang in Imphal.

 

What is ‘Sagol Kangjei’?

  • Sagol Kangjei is the name of the game of polo played in Manipur.
  • Sagol means pony/horse, Kang means a ball or round object, and jei is a stick used for hitting.
  • In the state of Manipur, it has always been a game for the common man. It is played by seven players on each side and the players are mounted on ponies.
  • Manipuri polo symbolises the immense cultural heritage of the state, and great efforts have been put made to raise the standard of this popular game.
  • The prominent patrons of the game were King Kyamba and King Khagemba ( 1597-1672 A.D.), and King Chandra Kirti ( 1850 – 1886 A.D.). The latter, especially, is to be credited with popularising the sport in other parts of the world
  • There are no goalposts in this game. Goal lines determine the end of the two boundaries of the rectangular field. The ball ( hang drum ) is white. To score a goal the ball must cross the line.
  • The polo stick is made of cane or wood, and is called Kang – hu and has a head of hardwood and the ball is made of bamboo root.
  • The traditional attire consists of a chin – strap ( khadangchet ) and a turban, for protecting the head. Leg – guards ( khongyom ) are worn below the knee. Since no shoes are worn, the players use khumit – Khang. A leash of thick leather is held by the index finger of the left hand.
  • This is a seasonal game and is played in the Manipuri month of September/October and in   June/July.