Bugun, Stories of Origin

Origin Of Buguns

Written by Sang NorbuSarai

Multiple indigenous tribes dwell in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. There are about twenty-six major tribes and more than one hundred sub tribes mostly living in hilly terrains of Himalayan ranges. “Khowas” is one of them. “Khowas” are now better known as “Bugun.” The Bugun mythology on its origin reveals that their ancestors called “Achhin Phunphuluwa” and “Moi Nini” climbed down from Maphi / Ngili (Heaven) to the earth (Ngifau or Nginguin) through a golden ladder. To be more appropriate they came through the golden rays of the morning sun. It was Zamkham where they first appeared and landed on the earth and settled there. If we turn back the pages of history; the Buguns believed that all the living creatures on the earth are the offsprings of “Amua Nini & Amua Modong and Aphua Phunphuluwa” (Achhin Phunphululwa married two wives Nini and Modong). Bugun considered that the good things and living beings gave birth by Amua Nini and bad in poisonous living creatures by Amua Madong on the earth.

The Bugun history reflects that out of the number of brothers, six brothers left the “Zamkham” and migrated to a place called “SaPhok-Wathong”, Categorically, these six brothers are none other than the Ajan Guru, (Monpas), Shisung Rubai (Bugun / Khowa), Damai / Sajalong (Mijis), Katai-Wangthong (Nyishis), Ashmi-wua (Plains people) and Shashui-Shashan (Neither god nor human being as they were the protectors of five brothers from the devil and others). Later, in the Sa-Phok Wathong these brothers planned and took decision for the prosperity of their future and searched a suitable place for them. Hence they left this place and migrated to a place named “Chhiwiyok Wathong”. This place proved to be favourable and so they lived here together for years. Their population increased from this place, the three brothers – Ajan Guru (Monpas), Shisung Rubai (Bugun / Khowa) and Damai (Sajalong / Mijis) marched ahead leaving the two brothers Katai-Wathong (Nyishis) and Ashami-Wua (Plains people). Ajan guru (Monpas) then separated and moved ahead leaving Shisung Rubai and Miji / Damai. Ajan Guru came to live Niziyung Gabiyang (by Damai / Miji). Later on they moved towards the present place called Thembang. Shisung-rubai and Sajalong/Damai also came to a new place called “Kaloy Wathong.” During the changing period the Buguns (Khowa/Shisung Rubai) had lost a number of things like dignity, house dwelling system and rearing of animals. That is why name of the place Kalow means change and Wathong means area. After some years they again migrated to another place named Navi-yak. Unfortunately, Buguns did not find Navi-Yak suitable for their livelihood. Hence, after some years Shisung-Rubai (Buguns) separated from Damai/Sajalong (Mijis) and migrated to “Sakhong Rai” crossing through the hiss of Makhuwa and Shiphiyung Pham (Shiphian Hill).

Bugun tribe dance

Bugun Textiles

Bugun Tools and gears

Inside Bugun traditional house

Buguns have a traditional style of making handicrafts

Buguns wear various types of stone and beads ornaments

Tags: Geography

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