The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

miscellaneous papers, notebooks and letters on Nagas by Ursula Graham Bower, 1937-1947

caption: 'The Owl and the Barking Deer' - myth
medium: notes
person: Namkia
ethnicgroup: Zemi
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
date: 1937-1946
person: private collection
text: When the chief God of all was creating all the animals and people he decreed that dreams should come true and whoever had a bad dream should die, and whoever had a good dream should get good.
text: That night the barking deer dreamed that a man stabbed him with a spear. The next day the deer was walking through the jungle crying out and weeping and the owl saw and asked what was the matter.
text: "God has decreed that whoever has good dreams will get good and whoever gets bad dreams will die," said the deer. "And last night I dreamed a man stabbed me with a spear."
text: The owl flew off to the God's house and perched on a beam close to where the God's eight daughters were pounding dhan, and there he sat day and night and never moved or spoke. At last the daughters asked the God: "Father, who is this who sits up there and never says anything?"
text: The God came out and asked the owl what he wanted.
text: "I come to salaam you," said the owl. "You decreed that whoever should have a bad dream should die, and whoever had a good dream should get good, and I dreamt last night I married one of your daughters."
text: The God said: "I will give a new order, and dreams will not come true." So the owl flew back to the barking deer and told him.
text: (N.I.)