The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript - Nzemi folk tales collected by Ursula Graham Bower, 1940-1944

caption: 'Asa and Munsarung' - myth
caption: 'Asa and Trruwong' - myth
medium: notes
person: Namkiabuing/ of ImpoiSangchikamba/ of Asalu
date: 20.9.1944
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
date: 1940-1944
person: Centre for South Asian Studies, Cambridge
refnum: box II file 2
text: (Another version, from Namkiabuing of Impoi.)
text: Trruwong's house was surrounded by eight alternate belts of land and water which whirled round and round so that no one could come at the house. Nearby there lived an old woman, and Asa went and lived there. One day he changed himself into a termite, and by floating across the water on leaves and bits of chaff he managed to arrive at Trruwong's house, but Trruwong was so strong and mighty that Asa could do nothing and had to return. Again he tried, this time turning himself into a fly and buzzing across the zones of land and water, but once more Trruwong was in his full strength and Asa could do nothing against him. At last he asked the old woman: "Grandmother, how can I fight Trruwong? I have been to his house many times and in many different forms, and every time he is too strong for me to attack. Tell me how to overcome him."
text: The old woman told him: "In the early morning he is a little boy, but as the day advances he grows older and at noon he is a full-grown man. Still he grows older till he is an aged man; and at midnight he is a little wailing baby, and so sleeps. If you go then you will overcome him, but first you must do smith's work."
text: Asa understood what she meant and made four nails, and taking them with him, went to Trruwong's house in the middle of the night. Trruwong had become a baby and lay sleeping. Asa seized him and nailed his right hand and foot to one post and the other hand and foot to another post and left him there spread-eagled; and so he is to this day, they say, neither dead nor alive.
text: SKETCH