OLAC Record

Title:Malikha Lit
Contributor (compiler):Stephen Morey
Contributor (consultant):Junaram Sangbun Phukan
Medini Mohan
Contributor (researcher):Zeenat Tabassum
Contributor (translator):Chaichuen Khamdaengyodati
Description:The book entitled Ma Likha Lit, also called Ma Likha Phura, belongs to Medini Madhab Mohan, Parijat village, Sibsagar District, Assam. We first saw the book in November 2007, when Medini Mohan kindly allowed us to photograph it. At that time, the research team consisting of Dr. Stephen Morey, Chaichuen Khamdaengyodtai, Zeenat Tabassum, Karabi Mazumder and Palash Nath were all staying together in Parijat. Taking advantage of Medini’s presence and the expert knowledge of Chaichuen Khamdaengyodtai, we began the work of translating the manuscript. We were also much helped by the Ahom pandits, Chaw Junaram Sangbun Phukan and Chaw Tileswar Mohan. In October 2008, the translation was completely revised by Stephen Morey, Chaichuen Khamdaengyodtai, Zeenat Tabassum and Nabin Shyam. We are now confident that the translation presented here is correct; although alternative readings of some words and passages is possible. The version of Ma Likha Lit we have translated was copied by one Bhetaram Gogoi, whose son is named as Jonomi in the manuscript. The manuscript identifies him as a Mo Pong (Bailung), an Ahom priest. His home was at Halodhibari, now in Dibrugarh district. The book was copied in the Ahom year Rai Singa, which we believe corresponds to 1810 of the common era. The Ahom calendar has a sixty year cycle, so it is possible it was written down in 1750, but we think that the later date is more likely as the names of places and the persons who wrote it are given in Assamese. The scribe also says the book was completed on a Friday, and that it was written in the fourth month (around March). At times it may seem that events related in the story are out of order. For example page 17 finishes with the prince being installed into a new palace, and page 18 finds him alone in the dark forest. It may well be that at some time in the past the order of pages was re-arranged. In our translation, however, we have followed the order of the pages as they are numbered in the manuscript we were working from. In Ahom books, all pages are numbered with Ahom numerals on the back side of the page. The story of Ma Likha Lit The story of Ma Likha Lit, which means ‘horse child book’, is a story that has some parallels both with the story of Lord Ram, and also with some of the previous lives, Jataka, of the Lord Buddha. It also contains many cultural aspects of everyday life of the Ahom people. The story begins in a very rich country, where the king has many possessions and all the people are living happily. However the king has no son, and such a son is only born after the Ahom priest, Mo Sang Pha, consults the sacred books and gives a medicine in the form of a golden plum, for the queen to eat. A son is born, and at the same time, a magic horse is born from the afterbirth, a horse that can fly. When this son, the prince, grows up, he is betrothed to a lady, but he does not marry her, rather he elopes with a princess from the sky. They escape on the flying horse, but face many difficulties. The horse is caught by a giant and locked up; the prince and princess escape with the help of some river traders, but are separated after a storm. Eventually they find each other again and set up a house in the forest. When the king, the father of the prince, dies, the people of that country are without a king and they set out to search for the prince in the forest. The story ends with the people asking for the return of the prince.
Identifier (URI):https://hdl.handle.net/1839/00-0000-0000-000D-FAD7-0
Is Part Of:DoBeS archive : Tangsa, Tai, Singpho in North East India
Language:Tai Ahom
Language (ISO639):aho
Publisher:The Language Archive, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
Subject:Ahom language
Tai Ahom
Subject (ISO639):aho
Type (DCMI):StillImage


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OaiIdentifier:  oai:www.mpi.nl:tla_1839_00_0000_0000_000D_FAD7_0
DateStamp:  2021-12-13
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Citation: Junaram Sangbun Phukan (consultant); Stephen Morey (compiler); Chaichuen Khamdaengyodati (translator); Medini Mohan (consultant); Zeenat Tabassum (researcher). n.d. DoBeS archive : Tangsa, Tai, Singpho in North East India.
Terms: area_Asia country_IN dcmi_StillImage dcmi_Text iso639_aho

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Country: India
Area: Asia

Up-to-date as of: Tue Dec 14 9:27:10 EST 2021