Book Review : The Blaft Book of Mizo Myths by Cherri Lalnunziri Chhangte

22nd February, 2017

The Blaft Book of Mizo Myths by Cherri Lalnunziri Chhangte

A collection of Mizo myths with supernatural beings, talking animals  and spiritual elements translated by Cherrie Lalnunziri Chhangate.

Review

Folk tales and folk lores always catch my attention. I think they have imagination at its best in a perfect mixture of beauty, cruelty, evil and the good. Some day I would love to read the folk tales of all the different states of India. After my trip to Meghalaya, I devoured the Khasi folktales of the state (which reminds me I should review them soon). So I was very excited to read this collection of myths from the neighbouring state of Mizoram. The book is an easy read and very entertaining.

This is a compilation of  six stories. The Story of Tumchhingi and Raldawna, is about how the most beautiful woman, Tumchhingi, in the village and her husband. The lady is tricked by an ugly goblin and ends up living in a gourd while the goblin lives with the husband pretending to be Tumchhingi. Ultimately the husband and wife find their happily ever after. The Story of Chawngtinleri, is the story of a hunter who wants to be the greatest and the queen of all animals who ultimately suffers from loneliness. In The Story of Tualvungi and Zawlpala we see why a third butterfly follows a pair of butterflies. My favourite folk tale is In the Beginning of the World, which remains true to the title. There are stories about how eclipses happen, why hens have their legs bent backwards, why animals speak a different language than humans and how different animals got their names. In The Story of Thawngmawii and Hrangchhuana young lovers are beheaded by the villagers because of the love affair. Their souls meet when Venus and Jupiter approach each other in a planetary conjunction.

The tales can be told to children with some omissions (such as Chawngtinleri twisting her eyeballs upwards so that she will not miss humans etc). I wished the book had more than six stories. I really hope there will be another compilation of Mizo myths. I would recommend the book if you are interested in folk tales and myths.

 

Title : The Blaft Book of Mizo Myths

Author : Cherrie Lalnunziri Chhangte

Publisher : Blaft

Published in : 2015

Rating : 4.5/5

Disclaimer : Much thanks to Blaft for a copy of the book. All opinions are my own.

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This Post Has 6 Comments
  1. Fascinating! It was/is very interesting for me to learn about the Mayan myths and especially “transmogrifos” – people that shift into animals and back – that have existed in Central America for centuries and are still believed in many parts.

    Gonna add this to the TBR

    1. This was very interesting too. The North eastern Indian folk tales have a different flavour. I need to read more folk tales from India. Mayan myths sound fascinating. Thank you. Your description reminds me of the new animation film, Moana. I will check them out. Hopefully I will find some book on Mayan tales.

  2. I feel very deficient in my folklore knowledge. I read many fairy tales as a child but for some reason wasn’t introduced to many folk tales. I hope to correct that by introducing some to my son – and I’ll learn them that way too!

  3. I love folk tales too! I loved the speculative fiction take on them by Zen Cho. The collection had a similar mixture of love, fear, and beauty but took them to the next level!

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