The Formation Of The Earth
Source: Folk-tales Of The Khasis
When the earth was created, it was one great plain, full of vast
forests and smooth rivers. Then it happened that the mother of the
three goddesses, Ka Ding, Ka Um, and Ka Sngi, died while wandering
abroad one day on the earth. These goddesses are Fire, Water, and
the Sun. It became necessary for the daughters to discover some means
whereby their mother's body could be put away out of their sight and
not be left exposed on the face of the earth.
According to the decree, it was decided that Ka Sngi, being the
youngest, should perform the rites of destroying the body; so Ka Sngi
went out in all her strength, and put forth great heat till the rivers
were dried up and all the leaves of the forest and the grass withered,
but the body of the mother was not consumed. So Ka Sngi returned
to her sisters and said, "I have exhausted all my powers, but our
mother's body still lies on the face of the earth in our sight."
After this the next sister, Ka Um, undertook to perform the rites, and
she went forth with a great company of clouds, and poured incessant
rain upon the earth till the rivers and pools were all flooded, but
her mother's body was not destroyed. So Ka Um also returned to her
sisters and said, "I have exhausted all my powers, but the body of
our mother still lies on the face of the earth in our sight."
Thus it remained for the elder sister, Ka Ding, to undertake to do
the necessary rites, and she spread forth great flames which swept
over the forests and caused the earth to burn and to crumble till the
vast plain lost its contour and the body of the mother was consumed.
Ever since then the earth has remained as the fire left it, full of
mountains and valleys and gorges. It became a much more beautiful
place, and in time mankind came here from heaven to dwell.
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