The Legend of the Sun and the Moon

As we have seen earlier, Ka Sngi (the Sun) and U Bnai were eldest daughter and only son of Ka Ramew (the Earth) and U Basa. The Sun (Ka Sngi), who was older than her only brother, U Bnai had helped her parents tend him as a baby boy cradling him in her arms and carrying him at her back as the hills people around here carry babies tied with a piece of cloth around the neck with one end coming under an arm. As the years passed the Sun (Ka Sngi) grew into a dazzling beauty. Her brother however, grew into a wayward and lusty youth.

The Sun’s beauty obsessed the Moon, so that he yearned to love her not as a brother loves a sister but as a man loves a woman, flesh to flesh. One day the brother could not contain his amorous desire and advanced on his sister and expressed his body’s desire for her.

The Sun (Ka Sngi) was so enraged at the wickedness of his only brother, ran to the hearthstone, snatched up a handful of ashes, and flung it on his face. She has been on the run from her brother since then. The Moon (U Bnai) that used to shine as bright as the Sun (Ka Sngi), was now feeling ashamed and covered with ashes became a mere white glow.

The Sun (Ka Sngi), had since then, would live nowhere near the Moon (U Bnai). She spends her life running away from him, and he still spends his in haggard pursuit, climbing up the heavens to gaze longingly after his beautiful sister, and trying in vain to catch up with her.

Excerpt from the article “Notes on the Kasia Hills, and People” by Lt. Henry Yule, the Bengal Engineers (Sir Henry Yule, the Geographer): Published in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal Vol. XIV Part II – July to December, 1844

The astronomical notions are the rudest of the rude. The changes of the moon are thus accounted for. The moon (who is male, the sun female, as they were in England in Saxon times) every month falls in love with his wife’s mother, and she repelling his addresses, throws ashes in his face. For the stars generally, in days of old there was a great tree; up this tree climbed a great multitude, and when they were fairly among the branches, another multitude came and hewed the tree. Wherefore, (said the narrator) all the multitudes remained above, where they form a great bazaar, and are the stars we see. The group of the Pleiads is the only one they name, and it is called “the Henman.” Is it not called “the chickens” in Italy ?