A Study of Demonic Women and the Politics of Transgression in Garo, Mizo, Lepcha Folklores and Songs

The paper attempts to understand the reconfiguring of mainstream gender specificities in tribal songs, myths and folklores of the hills of the Northeast. We intend to understand figure of the demonic/liberated/ women artists in folklores and songs of tribal communities of the hills. We begin with Mizo women poets Hmuaki, Lianchhiadri, Saikuti, sang memorable folk songs and were required to be silenced since there was a fear that their poetic abilities would surpass the men of the community. The next section will deal with Chhurbura, the greatest male figure in Mizo folklore who doubles as a male nurse besides being a traveler and person of immense wisdom. The gender boundaries grip around these forms of oral narrative in strange and complicated ways. While understanding the politics of Northeast and the effect of imperialism on indigenous language we would move onto discuss Garo Literature and configuration of the woman in their songs and myths. While there is an intense feminization of nature and land according to their myths the creator Tatara Rabuga wanted the earth to be born of a woman, Nostu Nopantu. However, poison also within the same cultural imagination is a woman Kontilognma Amebima and Chengmebima whose body is the repository of poison. So the same female body which nurtures, heals and rejuvenates is instantly demonized and rendered fearful. The paper negotiates with these imaginings which masculinizes females and feminizes males. In the Lepcha folklores which the paper intend to deal with only peripherally owing to the short time scope demonizes by recording a female Yeti who is very brutal and ugly. Thus, the paper finally attempts to understand and question the nature of the audience and their receptions of such aberrant femininity and through it understands the complex hierarchies existing in within the ethnic tribal communities.