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Nyishi myths on the creation of universe
Nyishi myths on the creation of universe
Nyishi myths on the creation of universe
Nyishi myths on the creation of universe
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Nyishi myths on the creation of universe


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  • 1. MYTHS OF THE NYISHIS ON THE CREATION AND EVOLUTION OF UNIVERSE According to Nyishi mythology, before the creation or evolution of universe,there was emptiness and nothing was existed. This particular phase was calledMiim-Mama. After the phase of Miim-Mama there were two concurrent phases whichwere called as Kullu and Kurium. Among the Nyishis, there are three different hypotheses/stories of the creatoror the supreme power that creates the entire universe and its components isconcerned. In other words, there are three schools of thought relating to the originand evolution of the universe (Changte-Dote/Nya ballah barnam) including the humanrace. One school of thought is, that believe in Jingbu-Pabu Abu as a creator, thesecond one is, that who name the creator as Kullu-Kurium, while, the third one is,that believe that the creation was through Poyub and Nyayub. First two are almostidentical as their difference is just only in the name creator but the third one is littlebit different even in the context of evolution process. However, all the three acceptthe belief that a miraculous spirit called Chene Rulum-Dola was used to create theuniverse and its components. Among the Nyishis, Jingbu-Pabu Abu as a creator ismuch admired. Out of oblivion/nothingness in the beginning, the universe was created in afraudulent or messy shape. This artistic process of universe is explained in thefollowing phrases as: Sachang Ngarngum Tapam Rulum, Nyudo Ngarngum Tapam Rele, Rulum Rele Pepa, Ho…Riumrium Riamriam Pepa… [The whole universe was in fragile state and was seems like a snow-cappedobjects. And there was a droplet of water everywhere as if it was floating on aleaves]. 4
  • 2. In such circumstances, Jingbu-Pabu Abu summoned his supremacy throughdiverse mystical means to create and evolve the present-day universe. It isnoteworthy here that the Nyishis always been attached the creator as a male figure,which can be easily or clearly realise from the very suffix word Abu (father). Initially,the Lawngkh Chene Dola and Jingkio-Urh Chene Dola were called upon to furnish atangible or substantial figure to the universe. The Kawmkh Chene Dola was engagedto create Sachang (earth), whereas through Kamchang Chene Dola the living beingsincluding the man and animals were created. Invoking with the power of Dote CheneDola, the heaven was created. The Ish (water) was created with the help of KelaHariak Chene Dola. Biyang Chene Dola was invoked to create Donyi (sun), while PaaChene Dola was engaged for the creation of Polu/Polo (moon). After the creation ofmajor components of the universe, Jingbu Abu (creator) was dejected to witness thatwhatsoever he had created were in a state of complete disorder. Consequently, atlast he invoked the powers of Ngumngo Abu to categorically separate the universeinto two parts i.e. Changte (earth) and Dote (heaven). In course of evolution process,the Sachang/Changte (earth) was prepared suitable for accommodating the entireliving beings including physical features like streams, rivers, valleys, gorges, hills,mountains and plains. On the other hand, the natural objects together with thecelestial bodies like sun, moon, planets, stars etc. were set in the Dote (heaven). Withthis, the evolution or creation process of the universe completed and Jingbu Abudisappeared from the scene. In the above mentioned process of evolution of universe we have witnessedthe coming of Sachang (earth) and Nyudo (heaven/sky), but later on another worldcalled Uyub Nyoku (world/land of spirits) evolved. As a result, the Nyishis believedthat the whole universe is divided into three worlds/parts i.e. Sachang (earth), Nyudo(heaven/sky) and Uyub Nyoku (netherworld/world of souls & spirits). Sachang is adwelling place for living creatures including men, animals and plants; Nyudo is theabode of Gods and Goddesses and other celestial bodies; while the Uyub Nyoku isbelieved to be a place of souls and spirits which may be simply understand as aplace meant for the life after death. The Nyishis has also a belief that there is animaginary world called Tallang Nyoku, which is believed to be lies between Sachang(earth) and Nyudo (heaven). This imaginary world, which the Nyishis treat as hell, is 4
  • 3. usually believed to be a dwelling place for the persons who die of unnatural deathlike accident, murder, suicide, etc. In the above paras of the creation or evolution of universe of the Nyishis, wehave seen that the power of Kamchang Chene Dola was invoked to create all livingbeings including the human being. In this process Loma Chene Dola was employed tocreate Nyiku Tani, the first man on earth. With the creation of first man, a chain ofdescendants like Nyima Tani, Nyiya Tani, Nyidar Tani, Nyikum Tani etc. were born onthe earth. According to Nyishi mythology, the Tanis prior to Atu Nyiya Tani werepartly human and partly spirit and were live together with all other living creatureson the earth. In fact, the Tanis (men) were endowed with extraordinary power toreign over the earth. The other creatures including the Uyubs felt jealous of thepower and authority enjoyed by the Tanis and hence, there was continuous intrigueand hostility between them. At last, Tani was almost defeated by the Uyubs throughdeceitful and treacherous manner. At one moment, Tani decided to demolished andfinish the entire earth, but, at this juncture, Tu Tugung consoled him not to feeldisheartened and advised him to go to Ayu Donyi, who will indubitably help himout of the trouble. Thus, he went there and subsequently entered into wedlock withJangte Ne, a daughter of Ayu Donyi. Atu Nyiya Tani was believed to be born out ofthis marriage. The Nyishis believe that it was from Atu Nyiya Tani, the concrete human racebegan to flourish on the earth. It is very interesting to note that, with the completionof the creation or evolution process, the supreme power or creator had virtuallydisappeared but the creator had vested his powers in different ways and means forthe wellbeing of whole human race. Tu Tugung was one of them who played aconciliator role to resolve the dispute between Tani and the world of Uyubs (spirits).Many of the belief systems, faiths and practices of the Nyishis are evolved out of thestruggle between Tanis and Uyubs and ultimately the concept of religion emergedout of their struggle. 4
  • 4. REFERENCES: 1. Bora, D.K. (1995); Myths and Tales of the Nishings of Arunachal Pradesh, Directorate of Research, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar. 2. Bora, D.K. (2000); Traditional Nishing Religion and the Change, in M.C. Behera (Ed.), Tribal Religion: Change and Continuity, Commonwealth Publishers, New Delhi. 3. Choudhury, S.D. (1981/2008); Gazetteer of India: Arunachal Pradesh (Subansiri District), Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh/Himalayan Publishers, Itanagar. 4. Choya, T. (2009); English-Nyishi Dictionary, Living Word Communicators, Shillong. 4. Nyokum Souvenir (2009); Central Nyokum Committee, Itanagar, A.P. 5. Rikam, N.T. (2005); Emerging Religious Identities of Arunachal Pradesh: A Study of Nyishi Tribe, Mittal Publications, New Delhi. 6. Showren, T. (2007); The Nyishi of Arunachal Pradesh: Brief Ethnographic Outline, Published by All Nyishi Students’ Union (ANSU), Talang-Hira Memorial Complex, Itanagar. 7. Showren, T. (2009). The NYISHI of Arunachal Pradesh: An Ethnohistorical Study, Regency Publications, New Delhi. 8. Tara, T. T. (2006). Nyishi Ancestors, Bhabani Offset & Imaging Systems Pvt. Ltd., Guwahati. 9. Tara, T.T. (2008); Nyishi World (2nd Edition), D.B. Printers, Banderdewa. 4