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: beliefs with regard to animals - barking deer; Kamaileng - myth
medium: notes
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
date: 1937-1946
person: private collection
text: The barking deer's blood and bite are both said to be bad. To account for the latter the following is told:
text: Kamaileng had a sexual organ so long he could carry it over his shoulder. He went to the house of a certain woman and asked for her and when her children said she had gone to the fields, he said: "If she were here I would do this to her!", and embraced the pounding block so hard that he shattered it into fragments. Several times this happened and the children told their mother, and one day she hid behind the woodstack. The children told Kamaileng that she had gone to the fields, whereat he embraced the block as before. The woman sprang out at him and he fled. Eventually he climbed a tree, and the woman lay down underneath. The woman had two large teeth in her private parts, and with these she bit and ate the fruit he threw down for her, until he threw down one so bitter that her teeth broke. Seeing this, Kamaileng came down and had connection with her. The teeth were picked up by the barking deer, which fitted them to its own mouth; hence the "badness" of their bite.