Rongmeikai and Langbung: A Manipuri Folktale

James Oinam *

Resurrection of Asangphi - An illustration
Resurrection of Asangphi
from the comic book 'Illustrated Folktales of Manipur', authored by Ksh. Subadani and drawn by Samson S. Meitei

Long time ago, there lived seven brothers who belonged to Rongmei clan. The youngest brother was called Rongmeikai.

One day when they went to their field to work, they found two large snakes. They were husband and wife.

The brothers surrounded the snakes and succeeded in killing the female snake but the male snake escaped.

The elder brothers asked the youngest, Rongmeikai, to take the dead snake to the watch-house they built near the field and cook it while they worked.

Rongmeikai took the snake to the watch-house, and chopped the snake into seven pieces, one for each of them.

Then in order to cook the snake, he went to fetch some water.

Meanwhile the male snake had followed him to the place.

On returning, from a distance, Rongmeikai saw the male snake had brought some bark of the tree called Langchi in his mouth.

From a safe hiding place Rongmeikai saw the male snake chew pieces of the bark and put them over the body parts of the dead female snake.

To his utter amazement, the pieces started joining and the female snake came back to life! Then the two left the place together. Rongmeikai was too dazed to do anything.

After some time the brothers returned from their hard day's work. They were tired and hungry.

When Rongmeikai told them what happened, they beat him up, breaking his legs, because they thought Rongmeikai was lying.

Unable to walk, Rongmeikai pleaded to leave him near the Langchi tree. They put him near the tree and left for their home.

Rongmeikai took as much bark from the tree as he could and wrapped them in his cloth.

Then he applied some to his injured legs. His legs became alright.

'There is no point in going back home,' Rongmeikai thought. So he left his village to seek his own fortune.

On the way, he found a dead dog by the roadside. Rongmeikai wanted to test his magic potion.

So he sprinkled some Langchi bark over the carcass. The dog springed to life again and started following Rongmeikai.

Rongmeikai decided keep him as his pet and named him 'Langbung'. When it became dark, he asked an old woman he met on the way to give him shelter in her house for the night.

The woman was much obliged as she lived alone. In the middle of the night, they were woken by sound of wails from the neighbourhood.

A young girl had died suddenly even though she was not too sick.

Rongmeikai asked the woman to enquire to the parents that if he revived their daughter what would they give him in return.

The woman came back and told him that they were ready to give their daughter in marriage and property as reward.

Rongmeikai took some Langchi with him and asked all of them to leave him alone with the girl inside the house for some time.

While alone with her, he applied the potion on the girl. The girl sneezed and was resurrected from death as if she had woken up from a slumber.

The happy parents got them married and gave them a house to live.

The fame of Rongmeikai spread wide as a magic healer. He revived all the injured and dead brought to him.

He kept the Langchi barks locked secretly in a trunk. No one, including his wife Asangphi, knew about it.

One day when he had gone to his field with his dog Langbung, the curious wife opened the trunk and found the barks.

'These are all so damp,' said she and put them outside to dry in the sun.

The sun and the moon gods took this opportunity and took away the barks to the sky, while the wife watched helplessly.

On returning, the wife told him the terrible news.

Rongmeikai decided to build a ladder to the heaven to take back the magic barks.

For this, he asked for help from all the animals. But he did not invite the weevils.

They felt dishonoured and decided to teach Rongmeikai a lesson.

Rongmeikai asked Langbung to climb first while he fetched his arms to fight the sun and the moon gods.

Meanwhile the weevils damaged the legs of the ladder. Langbung climbed to the heaven, but when it was the turn for Rongmeikai, the ladder started shaking and Rongmeikai fell down.

In this way, Rongmeikai could no longer revive the dead.

Langbung never forgot the injustice meted out to his master and kept chasing the sun and the moon gods.

Whenever there was an eclipse, people believed Langbung had swallowed them.

It is said, the Kabui would shout, 'Shi, Langbung tao-tao.'

And the Meeteis would shout, 'Tharo-tharo.'
(They mean 'drop-drop' and 'Put it down, put it down'.)

Source: English translation of the story 'Rongmeikai Amashung Langbung'
from the comic book 'Illustrated Folktales of Manipur',
authored by Ksh. Subadani and
drawn by Samson S. Meitei,
published by Lingthoingambi Publications, Imphal
in December 2010.

* James Oinam wrote this article for
The writer can be contacted at jamesoinam(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on February 02, 2018.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • Mukna - Indigenous Games : Gallery
  • Internet shutdown- only solution for govt ?
  • Keisham Priyokumar's short stories? #2
  • Revive Tabanglong Village
  • Without a Womb :: Poem
  • RPL trainees of Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh
  • CAB award goes to CM ?
  • Demand release of Student Leader
  • Veewom's arrest: mockery of rule of law
  • Arduino & Raspberry-Pi workshop at ADBU
  • Lui-ngai-ni @Senapati #1: Gallery
  • Republic Day - Tableaux : Gallery
  • Marriage : Zeliangrongs & Tais #1
  • My Story :: Poem
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Quest for Federalism in Myanmar : Paper
  • Gatekeeper's management mantra
  • From Democracy to Dictatorial govt
  • Fresh twist to Citizenship Bill
  • Dzukou Valley, Senapati : Gallery
  • Chiraikangja, Apaibi :: eMing
  • Demand for ILP :: Articles/Photos...
  • Rules of the Road at Silicon Valley
  • What is a school meant for ?
  • Why meiteis should not be ST #3
  • Release Thokchom Veewom - II
  • Release Thokchom Veewom - I
  • Face scrubs to avoid dirt & dullness
  • SM4E Awards 2019 : Nomination open
  • After effect of CAB collapse
  • Need to look beyond CAB
  • Panel seeks support to save NH
  • Amuktang-Ga Haikho #2 : eRang
  • Exam Centre allocation for HSLC 2019
  • 3rd World Bamboo Workshop #2 : Gallery
  • Cry of a Dying River - 65 :: Poem
  • DIPR facts on Census confuse Pangals
  • Manipur Tourism: Global Mice Congress
  • Coping up with examination stresses
  • On Govt inability to present CAB
  • Breather for the North East
  • Henjunaha #2 :: Funga Wari
  • Sangai Chef: Season 1 : Gallery
  • CAB: Imphal I/W [12 Feb] #2: Gallery
  • Lui-Ngai-Ni -Naga Seed Sowing Fest
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Different opinions on CAB 2016
  • Change of B Voc Examination Schedule
  • Nagaland MP will vote against CAB
  • Overshadowing issues by CAB
  • RS adjourned till February 13
  • CAB: Imphal I/W [12 Feb] #1: Gallery
  • CAB: Blockade [7 Feb] #2: Gallery
  • Keisham Priyokumar's short stories? #1
  • Just a beautiful lie :: Poem
  • World Wetlands Day 2019
  • Protests against Union HRD Ministry
  • 'PDA trying to confuse Naga people'
  • The 'ban' of Internet
  • Setting date with February 12, 2019
  • NSCN (I-M) elects new leaders
  • Scientific Knowledge in Manuscript
  • Poppy destruction @CCpur : Gallery
  • Kishorechand Wangkhem's case
  • 70th Indian Republic Day #3 : Gallery
  • Hinduism and Indianess
  • CAB: Maharaj & Xenophobia :: WJ
  • Deciphering a laboratory test report
  • Stop discrimination against women
  • The falls of protracted leader
  • More than hinting CAB will be tabled
  • CAB: Khwairamband [10 Feb] #1: Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai @Majorkhul #2 : Gallery
  • Human trafficking at Moreh
  • Why meiteis should not be ST #2
  • The Dark Light :: Poem
  • Exclusion of Pvt Teachers from HSLC
  • Pan Meetei met Ex Dy CM
  • NSS special camp 2019 concluded
  • NE to Bangkok flight from March
  • CAB: Khwairamband [9 Feb] : Gallery
  • Thamoise Foidattuna :: e-pao Radio
  • CAB Meira Rally #4 [30 Jan] : Gallery
  • Prof T Kameshwar: Reminiscence
  • Bamboo Cooking Competition: Final Day
  • Tips for healthier skin this winter
  • Sincerity matters
  • Awaiting final pact with NSCN (IM)
  • CAB: Blockade [7 Feb] #1: Gallery
  • 3rd World Bamboo Workshop #1 : Gallery
  • The panic radiated at War-Torn PAD
  • NE- Socio-Economic Development: Book
  • CAB- Consequences in Manipur
  • [ST] Demand for Constitutional Safeguard
  • 'ArP to observe Black Day during PM visit'
  • CAB date with RS on Feb 12 ?
  • Check Post (ICP) @ Moreh : Gallery
  • Tribes India [Exhibition] #2 : Gallery
  • Citizenship Bill, 2016: What to do now #4
  • It's a privilege to be a Rongmei
  • A Saviour Of My Own :: Poem
  • North East Startup Summit 2019
  • Budget : Full, half or quarter ?
  • BJP shows no concern for NE states
  • Mission schools under threat again
  • CAB : Blockade @Tiddim [6 Feb] : Gallery
  • Dolaithabi Barrage: Concealing Facts
  • 70th Indian Republic Day #2 : Gallery
  • Marketing Associates @ PiCiDi Systems
  • CAB, Political Parties and Manipur
  • The Novels Of BM Maisnamba #2
  • Employment in non-Govt sectors in Manipur
  • The board exam festival
  • NE voice on CAB: no worry for the BJP
  • Alienating natives & embracing foreigners
  • Henjunaha #1 :: Funga Wari
  • CAB Gen Strike #2 [31 Jan] : Gallery
  • Movement against Citizenship Bill in NE
  • Bamboo Cooking Competition: Day 1 Report
  • A girl with a Bicycle :: Poem
  • Mithun (Sandang) Mela at Machi
  • Disrespect to mother earth
  • Significance of MANPAC
  • Konthoujam Maikel (Painter) :: Profile
  • CAB Meira Rally #3 [30 Jan] : Gallery
  • Business as usual will fail on cancer control
  • Citizenship Bill: Thinking with ethics
  • STDCM reasserts Demand for ST
  • NE Pol parties met Union Home Minister
  • Free Heart Screening at Jiribam & Silchar
  • The ultimate showdown
  • Nepal to SE Asia: Trafficking via Moreh
  • Symbolism in the Tribal Art #2
  • Aribam Syam return Padmashree to Govt
  • Literature review
  • CAB : An Adhesive for Integrity of Manipur
  • Cry of a Dying River - 64 :: Poem
  • Impact of AI and Robotics on Society
  • New MSAD Executive term 2019
  • Rejoinder from Shurhozelie Liezietsu -Feb 3
  • Festival to promote NE trade, tourism
  • Onetwo Okram : Singer- Profile :: eRang
  • CAB : Film Forum Protest : Gallery
  • Cultural: Republic Day #1: Gallery
  • Why Manipuri people oppose CAB? #2
  • Antibiotic Consumption by farm animals
  • The Beauty of the Sunset :: Poem
  • Coordinator of Social Media for Congress
  • Rejoinder to NDPP [Feb 2]
  • Non presentation of CAB at RS is an insult
  • Noting anti-CAB stand of NPP, NPF
  • CAB Gen Strike #1 [31 Jan] : Gallery
  • Match: 4th Women's Polo #3: Gallery
  • Citizenship Bill, 2016: What to do now #3
  • Truth of Manipur is inherent in nature
  • Chola Pass & Chola Range in Sikkim
  • JRF required at IBSD, Imphal
  • NPF disclosure on Citizenship Bill
  • Viral audio which confuse people
  • CAB indication from President
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #3 : Gallery
  • February Calendar for Year 2019 :: Tools
  • CAB Meira Rally #2 [30 Jan] : Gallery
  • The Novels Of BM Maisnamba #1
  • Screen time, effect on speech & language
  • Trainees Certificate of Lunglei, Mizoram
  • ST: Unfounded fear psychosis being spread
  • Join the people, brother/sisters of state BJP
  • CAB : The rallying point for NE
  • CAB Meira Rally #1 [30 Jan] : Gallery
  • CAB Protest #1 [29 Jan] : Gallery
  • NE Railway's Work & fate of Villages
  • Fellowship Meet of Maring Naga
  • Legal Awareness for Women leaders
  • Flowers for beauty
  • Opposing ST demand of STDCM
  • Gaan-Ngai @Namthanlong : Gallery
  • Why Manipuri people oppose CAB? #1
  • Citizenship Bill, 2016: What to do now #2
  • Oinam Shilla : Society Development Award
  • MIK (Manipuri in Kolkata) : Gallery
  • Match: 4th Women's Polo #2: Gallery
  • Why shouldn't Meitei be included in ST
  • Combing Operation @Hatta : Gallery
  • Laishram Bombayla : Padma Shri Award
  • Maisnam Renuka (Painter) : Profile
  • Thank You Note: Khumukcham Sanjita
  • Gaan-Ngai - festival of Kabui #2
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #2 : Gallery
  • Rongmei and Kabui are one
  • Rani Khidir : Kalaritu (Laiyekpa) : Profile
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Match: 4th Women's Polo #1: Gallery
  • Ranjit Ningthouja : Profile of a playwright
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #1 : Gallery
  • Dr Thokchom Asha: Teacher Award
  • Purnima Ngangom (Printmaker) :: Profile
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • New Year picnic at Sekmai #2: Gallery
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2019 : Download
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2018 #6: Gallery
  • Irengbam Bedamani - Actress :: eRang
  • List of Restricted Holidays for 2019
  • List of Public Holidays for 2019
  • List of General Holidays for 2019
  • Fabrics of Bangladeshi Manipuri: Download
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic