Tui-Changshu; a water operated pounding lever

Among the Kuki tribe, water operated husking lever is called Tui-Changshu or Tui-shum. In the past decades husking lever of this kind were extensively used by the tribal villages in many of the hill districts of Manipur.
This unique form of husking lever is still found operated in Haipi village. The village is situated in the foothill of the Sadar Hills about 6 Kms west from Kangpokpi Sub-Division in Senapati District of Manipur. The most fascinating aspect of the village is that almost every household possesses Tui-Changsu as one of their important household. Water from the fast flowing streams of the hills are diverted to the center of the village and manage to pass every settlement areas for the used of this kind of lever by every household and further allows the water pass their paddy field for irrigation through a small canal.


Tui Shum is about 12 feet long heavey wooden lever dug out at one end like a laddle/spoon. The laddle or spoon shaped structure serves the purpose for receiving water to tread up and down. The other end has a pestle. On the bank of stream, this wooden lever is mounted on an iron axle supported by two upright post about 1 to 2 ft above the ground to sustain the level of balance required for the structure. Installing the lever, a small shed is constructed in a way that the spoon shaped portion of the lever is extended horizontally from the rear wall and left to a level where this spoon shaped structure could receive the fall of water from above and simultaneously can drop it down to a pit with considerable depth lying downside. A mortar with a cavity engraved in a block of stone is embeded on the floor inside the shed to an exact distance where jerk of the pestle attached with the lever could be harnessed. From a certain height of about 3-4 ft. the water of running stream is allowed to fall on the dug out spoon shaped structure of the lever. When it receives full volume of water, it immediately falls down and drops the water into the pit and again raises quickly in an upward action through a weight loaded at the front end of lever. This continuous process of treading the lever up and down by the flow of water enables it to function as a unique husking implement. 
In the morning hours before the family members leave their home for agricultural works, they put some desired quantity of paddy into the cavity of mortar and left for pounding till they return. In the evening, it is removed and winnowed to store for their day-to-day consumption. 
Tui-Shum becomes one of the items of pride possession among every household in the village. Tui-shum displays not only their ability the practical use of a sustainable technology but also cherish to live in harmony with nature. It was in the year 2007 that, the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (the National Museum of Mankind), Bhopal conducted a week long field work in the Haipi village and collected this unique pounding lever from a resident of the village Sri. Tongleng Kipgen. A team of three members headed by Sri. Tonglen were invited to the museum in March 2008 for the installation of Tui-Shum as one of the important exhibit representing the State Manipur in the Traditional Technology Park- an open air exhibition in the National Museum premises.

Water operated Pounding levers in some other countries

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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