The legend of a strong and powerful Koireng man

Pr Kungsong Wanbe *

Koren (Koireng) :: An Ethnic Doll display at Mutua Museum Cultural Heritage Complex, Andro
Koren (Koireng) :: An Ethnic Doll display at Mutua Museum Cultural Heritage Complex, Andro

Nisotenga Yamlut was a strong man of Koireng tribe. For the readers' information, Yamlut is the name, Nisotenga means eastern. So, Nisotenga Yamlut means that Yamlut was living in the east.

Everyone talked about his strength and therefore, he became very popular. He survived with his wife and daughter.

One day, in his absence his daughter danced with the evil spirit. After the dance, the spirit told the daughter not to respond to her father when he called.

Within a short time, her father and mother returned from the field and as usual, the father called her but there was no response. Repeatedly, he called her but it was in vain.

Then the father with surprise asked his daughter what made her keep silence and of whom she was scared when her father could win all the creatures; and there was nobody stronger than he was.

Then the daughter answered that it was the spirit. As soon as the daughter spoke out, she disappeared.

The father got very angry so he went in search of the spirit. When he was walking on the way, he saw a man burning a pig by lifting with his second finger only.

Seeing it Yamlut asked him how strong was he that he could lift and burn the pig with one finger only. The man answered that his strength was nothing compared to a man called Yamlut who was stronger than him.

Then Yamlut said he was that person. The man then asked permission to follow Yamlut. He was permitted to go along with him and they started their journey together. After a short time, they saw a man killing a reindeer by squeezing the neck.

Yamlut asked how strong are you, killing a deer with hands only? The man answered that his strength was nothing compared to Yamlut. Then Yamlut said that he was the man.

Hearing this he also followed Yamlut. Again on the way they met a man putting a banyan trunk in his ear.

Then Yamlut asked him again, how strong he was? The man answered that his strength was nothing compared to Yamlut. Then Yamlut said that he is the man. The man also followed Yamlut after knowing that he was the one of whom he was talking about.

Now all the four were looking for the spirit. Four of them were so much hungry on the way, therefore Yamlut sent three of them to go for hunting while he would wait for them.

Three of them went and brought reindeer. There was nothing with them to start the fire. From a distance, they saw a hut.

So, Yamlut sent one of them to go and bring fire. The man entered the hut and saw a woman weaving. He then asked for the fire.

The woman told him to take changchep and put it in the pot to take fire. In Koireng changchep is also called cheiche for holding hot things/fire.

When he put the hot charcoal inside the pot he died inside the pot and became very tiny.

On the other side, as the man did not return Yamlut sent another man. The same thing happened to that man too.

Then Yamlut sent the last man to find out what was happening to them. But, the last man also did not return. At last, Yamlut got so furious.

He went to the hut and saw an old woman weaving. He understood that she was not an ordinary woman but a witch.

So, he entered the hut and with a sharp voice asked for the fire. The woman pointed to the fire and told him to take. Yamlut then pulled out a thatch from the roof and burn to take the fire.

At the same time the woman was about to take the chanchep for him to take the fire and put it inside the pot. Yamlut got hold of it. Then the woman took hold of his turban.

They started fighting and at last, he (Yamlut) won. He then asked the woman for his men. The woman pointed to the pot.

When Yamlut looked inside the pot, he found his men lying dead. He took them out from the pot and they came back to life. They took the fire, went, roasted the reindeer, and ate.

Four of them started getting ready to attack the Omlai, the husband of the weaving woman. They piled up by a cane ropes and waited Omlai on his way.

One day they got the Omlai and tied him with cane rope. As soon as they finished tying, Omlai easily broke all the rope.

Omlai then told them that if they really want to tie him they should tie him with a rope made from pheipak and Thimrang plant. These two Pheipak and Thimrang are a kind of rope plants in Koireng.

They did as he told them and caught the Omlai. Then Yamlut asked for his daughter.

Omlai told them that she was kept under his pillow and therefore to go and asked from his wife. They left Omlai tied with pheipak and thimrang, went, and asked for Yamlut's daughter from his (Omlai) wife saying that if she does not give his daughter, her husband will not be released.

The wife took out from the pillow and gave back his daughter. She was found skinny and dead.

The wife of Omlai gave a bone to Yamlut and instructed to go and perform some kind of mantra/charm in order to bring her back to life.

They took the bone and on the way Yamlut threw away the bone saying there were many bones better than this. Reaching home, they killed a mithun and a bone was taken out from it to perform mantra but it did not work.

They tried with reindeer bone and with many other animal bones but were all in vain. So they went back again to the place where they threw away the bone given by the wife of Omlai and perform mantra.

The daughter was brought back to life and she became more beautiful than before.

This is the story of a strong Koireng man known by all the people and scared of his strength.

* Pr Kungsong Wanbe wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is former secretary, Koren (Koireng) Historical Research Committee, Manipur
This article was webcasted on February 20 , 2018.

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