Ima Keithel Manipur

This marketplace is probably the oldest standing marketplace within the entire north eastern states of India. Ima keithel also known as Nupi Keithel translates to “woman’s market” that is run quite obviously by women. The women’s market was established in the 16th century and started with around 5000-6000 women vendors selling their wares in the market. They sold a large variety for products such as fruits, vegetables, toys, fish, spices, utensils, textiles. Even today the there are about 4000 women vendors selling their goods within the market. No man is allowed to set up stalls in the premises. With this beautifully constructed matriarchal system, the market is beautifully organized and one can hear giggles, laughter, haggling, gossip sharing and an overwhelming sense of matriarchy prevailing over the market. It is a beautiful sight after having lived in a man’s world for so long, to be able to witness this blissful companionship within women.