Etiological myths are explanatory tales about why things are in the world. For instance, one finds stories that explain why sky is blue? Why sun is so hot? Why men die? etc. etc. This curious tale from Battara tribe in Chetliguda district of Orissa explains how women got to have breasts.

Pengu Poroja with his wife, son and daughter-in-law lived in Ranalguda district of Odisha. One day Pengu fell ill and a shaman was called in to find a cure. The shaman prescribed a big feast to appease the gods. Pengu’s daughter-in-law set out to cook the feast. She borrowed a huge cauldron from the neighbours and while carrying it home, she accidentally knocked off handles. Fearing she would be scolded for damaging the ceremonial pot, she hid the handles in her blouse and tied a cloth piece over it preventing them from falling out.

Once the feast got over, she tried to dispose off the handles but she realised that her skin had grown over them and the handles had got attached to her body.


Story collected by : Vidya Kamat
Text source: Tribal Myths of Orissa by Verrier Elvin
Location: Odisha

Image Source: wikipedia