For King's Sake: Narratives as Designer Texts

Soumen Sen

Abstract


Soumen Sen traces the narrative history of the matrilineal Jaintia tribes of Meghalaya through the Ky Hynniew Trep or the Seven Huts with Seven Ancestral Mothers myth. These tribes derive their religion-the Ka Niam religion-from these myths. Sen demonstrates how the myth reinforces both the religious and secular principles of matrilineal descent. The myth ensures that the tribal Chief remains supreme. In this way, the tribe stays united and loyal to the Chief. The article establishes the argument that the mythical narratives are often designed for the specific purpose of establishing the existing power systems as pre-ordained truths.

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