Book Review : The Blaft Book of Mizo Myths by Cherri Lalnunziri Chhangte
22nd February, 2017
A collection of Mizo myths with supernatural beings, talking animals and spiritual elements translated by Cherrie Lalnunziri Chhangate.
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.
Do you enjoy folktales? Which region’s folk lore are your favourites?