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Apatani Tribal Lady

Folklore From North-East India ~ An Apatani Tale On How The World Was Created

The Apatani Tribe who reside in the state of Arunachal Pradesh are full of wonder – in their cultures, in their customs, in their way of life, and in their folklore.

Here’s a tale that deals with the creation of the world and has its origins in the Riu Subansiri area of Arunachal Pradesh ~

Before everything else, Kujum-Chantu, the earth, was just like a human – she had arms, legs, a head and a giant fat belly where human-beings originally resided. One faithful day, Kujum-Chantu realized that if she ever got up and tried to walk, whole of mankind would fall off and die. This prompted her, on her own will, to kill herself. Her head became the snow-clad mountains, and the bones on her back turned into small hills. Her neck became the north country of the fearless Tagins, and her chest – the valley where the Apatani lived. Her buttocks turned into the plains of Assam – for just as there is much fat in the buttocks, Assam sits in fat rich soil. Her mystery eyes became the Sun and Moon, and from her mouth, was born Kujum-Popi, who sent the Sun and Moon to shine in the sky.

An Apatani Elder


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