Folklore From North-East India ~ A Mishmi Tribe Tale On How We Learned To Weave

Mishmis celebrating in their traditional weave.

The Mishmis are a tribe who inhabit the northeastern regions of South Tibet. In India, they reside in the Lohit and Dibang districts of Arunachal Pradesh. They have a long history and were one of the first tribes to migrate into the lands of Pemako; where they fiercely ruled and were often a trouble for the Buddhist pilgrims.

Here is a little tale from their tribe about the origin of the art of weaving ~

The first to weave was a girl named Hambrumai. She had learned the art from God Matai. She would sit by the river and learn her designs from the nature that surrounded her – by watching the waves and ripples that appeared in the river, and by copying the branches of trees, plants and flowers. But one day, Hairum, the porcupine, saw her cloth. Tempted by a richness he’d never seen before, he came to steal it from her cave. The entrance was too small for him and as he tried to push his way in, Hambrumai got crushed with giant sized rocks. Her loom broke into pieces and the river carried them to the plains, where people found it and learnt to weave. The designs turned into butterflies and the patterns she made can still be seen on their wings.

Mishmis celebrating in their traditional weave.

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