5/20/2011 to 5/23/2011 | India , Mizoram

Touring the East: Mizoram’s Land of Folklore

From Champhai I traveled to Biate where I would meet up with Himpuii.  Though she grew up in Aizawl, Biate was the village where her family originally came from.  Currently a good friend of hers was serving as the pastor in the local church.  She used my visit as a pretext to return and we stayed at Pastor Remmawia’s residence in Biate.  From there Remmawia, Himpuii and I made a short tour of the surrounding area of southeast Champhai District.  As one of the first regions inhabited by the Mizos as they migrated into what is today Mizoram, the area is full of sites associated with Mizo folklore.  Our first stop was Dungtlang, the Mizo “Verona,” stetting for the Mizo version of Romeo and Juliet.  There is a cliff above the village known as Lianchhiari’s Cliff  (Lunglen Kham).  It was here where the daughter of a chief sat and composed poems about her commoner lover.  He was forced to move to a village across the valley, after Lianchhiari’s father, the chief, forbid the marriage.  From this rocky ledge high above the valley, she would look down at him in his new village pining over what might have been.  Though in this version the end is not a climatic and tragic double suicide, but rather a more practical resolution where each ends up marrying a more “suitable” spouse.


We stayed over night at the PWD inspection bungalow in the picturesque village of Farkawn a short distance from the Burmese border.  Around Farkawn are several sites associated with the early Mizos, including some simple rock carvings, and a series of cliffs where the local villagers would hide from attackers.  Near Farkawn, the village of Vaphai is home to Tan Mountain.  The 1927 m Tan Mountain (though I think I’d call it a hill) is regarded as the principal home of the lasis (pronounced like the Indian yogurt drink), which are per-Christian fairies or spirits believed in by the Mizos.  We climbed to the top of it, and though there were good views over the Mizo hills to Burma, I didn’t see any of the famously seductive lasis.

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