The Legends of Pensam
'We are not here without a purpose,' the shaman explained. 'Our purpose is to fulfil our destiny...All life is light and shadow.' Like any other place on earth, the territory of the Adis in the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh is 'Pensam'-the 'in-between' place. Anything can happen here, and everything can be lived, and 'the narrow boat that we call life sails along somehow in calm or stormy weather'. A mysterious boy who fell from the sky is accepted as a son of the village and grows up to become a respected elder. A young woman wounded in love is healed by a marriage of which she expected little. A mother battles fate and the law for a son she has not seen since she lost him as an infant. A remote hamlet gets a road, but the new world that comes with it threatens upheaval. And as villages become small towns and towns approximate cities, the brave and patient few guard the old ways, negotiating change with memory and remembrance.
An intricate web of stories, images and the history of a tribe, The Legends of Pensam is a lyrical and moving tribute to the human spirit. With a poet's sense for incident and language, Mamang Dai paints a memorable portrait of a land that is at once particular and universal.
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the boy who fell from the sky
the silence of adela and kepi
pinyar the widow
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Arsi Arunachal Pradesh Assam bamboo beads began Bodak breath called carried clan Dabo daughter David dreams Duan Dumi Duyang earth everything eyes face felt fire forest friends girl green Gurdum happened happy heard heart Hello brother hills Hoxo Hoxo's father insect wings jackfruit Jules jungle Kalen Kamur knew land Larik laughed leaves Lekon light live longhouse looked Losi Lutor migluns Mona mother mountains moved Myanmar Nenem never night oranges Orka Pigo Pinyar rain Rakut Rakut's father red squirrel remembered rice beer river road sahib shaman shouted silent singing Sirsiri smiled Sogong someone sometimes spirits stared stones stood stories strange stream suddenly talk tell things thinking thought Togum told town travelled trees turned veranda village elder voice waiting walked wanted watched wild wind woman women words Yasam and Neyang young