Musical Instruments: The Heritage of the Kom Tribe of Manipur

In the Kom culture, a variety of musical instruments serve as vehicles for communication. These instruments include the vakhung/khuangche (a large slit wooden drum), the soom (metal gong), the rushem (bagpipe), and the sirangder (stringed instrument). The Kom of Manipur utilize musical instruments from all four Hornbostel-Sachs categories. Music is inseparable from life in this context; it’s a pervasive element in social activities, serving educational, ceremonial, storytelling, and political functions. It’s also a medium for expressing satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Music and its instruments are thus deeply woven into the fabric of Kom society, symbolizing a harmonious cultural unity.