Women have played an important role in the preservation and safeguarding of knowledge systems in different communities and tribes in Mizoram. Although their contributions are not given enough attention and recognition, there is no denying that women can be seen as keepers of knowledge. Here, I hope to highlight their contributions to society through their writings spread over many decades.
A well-known Mizo saying holds that, “The wisdom of a woman does not/cannot cross the community water hole” (“Hmeichhe finin tuikhur ral a kai lo”). Despite the fact that this is how Mizo society sees its women and their wisdom, readings and recordings from folktales show that women contributed to the knowledge system of the Mizos in numerous ways. They handed down stories from one generation to the next, and they were keepers of traditional knowledge on weaving, cooking, agriculture, harvesting and preserving. With the arrival of Christianity, women also played the role of the keepers of cultural knowledge. In order to trace these histories, I draw from Mizo folktales, Agape editions, and monographs written by J Shakespear and AG McCall.
In his introduction to his collection of Mizo folktales Mizo Songs and Folk Tales, Laltluangliana Khiangte mentions that many of the folktales included in the…