Chingda Satpi Engellei

October 14th 2022
Northeast India
Archive of the future
Field recording
Wisdom Keepers

"In the hills, there blooms this beautiful flower called Engellei.** **It blooms as calm and peaceful as it can be with beauty and grace

However, the irony is, it is serenaded for it seldom reaches to a maiden’s possession, but instead wastes away to the mercy of the wind."
Chingda Satpi Engellei is a folk song from Manipur that is as old as time. Opinion around the original credit of who had written it and when it was first sung remains skeptical and unsure. It was passed down from generation to generation orally, and even to this day, folk singers from every corner of the state are fond of improvising their own creativity with it.
However, this recording is peculiarly interesting. It was recorded in Kwatha Village, a place that shines with serenity and nonchalance, at the border of Manipur and Myanmar. What makes this recording more precious and flawless is that the song is sung in a very unique, old way by 70 year old Api Khestrimayum Leibi.