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Gakripu : A Naga Folk Tale Translated from "Manipuri Fungga Wari"

James Oinam *

 An illustration for the book 'Gakripu'
An illustration for 'Gakripu'



Book Title: Manipuri Fungga Wari
Compiled and Edited by: I.R. Babu Singh
Publisher: Sahitya Academy
Printer: Jaishree Press, Calcutta
Year: 2005

Once upon a time, there lived a strong man called Gakripu. He was a skilled person. Swindling people of their properties was his habit.

One day he went on a journey for trading carrying only one hundred rupees with him. He thought of trading with this money and test his luck.

He went through dense and dark forest carrying the money. On the way he met with a bear who tried to capture him.

While wrestling with the bear to get away, all his money fell from his pocket and got scattered on the ground. At that time another man came that way riding a horse where they were wrestling.

On seeing the man on the horse, Gakripu told him that the bear excreted the coins when he pressed the bearís stomach. If he also wrestled with the bear, the bear will certainly excrete coins, Gakripu told the man.

The man believing Gakripu got off his horse and jumped at the bear and started wrestling. Gakripu did not missed the opportunity. He collected the money scattered from his pocket. Then he untied the manís horse and galloped away on it.

Gakripu who was happy with his accomplishment found a river on his way. Near the bank of the river were an old woman and her beautiful daughter. They were unable to cross the river and were looking for help. Gakripu felt pity for the old woman and also he wanted to have the beautiful girl. He went near them and told them that he can help them cross the river.

After much discussion the mother and daughter agreed to take help from Gakripu.

Gakripu said that including him only two persons can ride the horse at a time and cross the river. Hence, first one of them should ride the horse with him to cross the river and then the other left behind can ride to cross the river when he comes back.

The woman put her daughter on the horse and asked Gakripu to transport her across the river first and then come back for her.

Gakripu crossed the river with the beautiful girl, but instead of coming back for the old woman he galloped away with the girl and left the woman stranded near the river.

(The story is titled "Gakripu" or "Mache" by Angami tribe, "Eki" by Sema tribe, "Che" by Rengma tribe, and "Aphuho" by Lotha tribe.)

Translatorís note: Angami, Sema, Rengma, and Lotha tribes belong to Naga as per the internet.


* James Oinam wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at jamesoinam(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on May 02, 2023 .



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