Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/159

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the Home of the Dead in Indonesia. 149

Caves. — Associated with interment are certain origin myths which state that the first men came out of the earth by means of a cave. Some of the Old Kuki clans of Manipur claim that their ancestors came out of the underground world by means of a cave, while, as has been seen, other of these clans claim origin from the ground. The Lamgang say that on the Kangmang hill far away to the south, there is a cave, and their ancestors, a man and a woman, came out of it. The Chawte told Colonel Shakespear the tale of the peopling of the world out of a hole in the ground, adding the graphic touch that an inquisitive monkey lifted up a stone which lay on the opening, and thus allowed their ancestors to escape.*'^^ The Patalima of Seran also have a tradition that their ancestors came out of a cave.*^ Several peoples in Indo- nesia practise cave disposal, and the possibility arises that this method of disposal and interment may be related, both being means whereby the dead are introduced into the underground world. The Kabui Naga believe that the dead go into the underground world ^"^ : one mode of disposing of the dead among them is that in which an excavation in the side of a hill is made in which the body is placed.^^ In this case it is not easy to say whether the place of disposal is a grave or is intended to represent a cave. It may well be a case of transition from one to the other. The case of the Bunjogee and Pankho suggests a relation between cave origin and the underground land of the dead, and therefore, possibly, also with interment. They claim that their ancestors came out of a cave, and say that " The cave whence man first emerged is in the Lhoosai country close to Vanhuilen : it can be seen to

••^J. Shakespear, o/>. ciL, p. 151. ^^Riedel, op. cit., pp. 89, 90.

  • ^R. Brown, "Annual Report of the Munnipore Political Agency, 1868-9,"

Sel. Kec. Govt. India, Foreign Dept., 1870, p. 107.

■•^M'Culloch, "Account of the Valley of Munnipore," Ibid., xxvii., 1859, p. 52.