There were seven suns in the creation.
Therefore the globe was very hot.
One and all were upset because of the hotness of seven suns.
One day, the seven Munda brothers conversed,
“The earth is so hot for the seven suns. If we kill the sun, the earth will be calm.”
They shot arrows towards the suns and killed six.
The seventh sun bolted from the arrow of the seventh brother and concealed itself behind the hill.
The entire world was caught in the darkness of the nightfall. The animals and birds in the forest sat in a meeting and decided to get back the light. They explored for light. But where would they get the light without the sun? They were troubled.
The bunny rabbit snooped and heard the worries of the animals and birds.
He said, “There is a sun still thriving, hiding afraid of the human being.
If you call him, he may come back and appear.
Tiger, the king of the forest called the sun.
But the sun did not turn up.
Other birds and animals tried to get the sun by calling him.
But the Sun did not listen to them.
The rooster hesitatingly asked, “May I call once?”
The birds and animals giggled at the rooster.
Tiger, the king said, “Let him try once. Maybe, the sun will come in response to his call.”
Facing towards the hill that the sun had taken shelter behind, the rooster called the sun
Kok re Kak.
The sun seemed to peek out from the other side of the hill.
Encouraged, the rooster called again, Kok re Kok
This time the sun looked up a little more.
The rooster called a third time, Kok re Kok.
Now the whole sun arose out of the hill and looked at the sky.
The sky and earth were bursting with light.
The Munda brothers understood their mistake and started adoring the Sun.
(This is a Munda oral tale collected from the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha. The illustration that goes with the story is based on the Id Tal style of traditional painting practiced by the Saora tribe. The original story is told in Munda language. Dr Mahendra Kumar Mishra, a folklorist who has authored several books on the oral traditions of the tribes of Odisha has translated it into English.)
STORY COLLECTED BY: Mahendra Kumar Mishra
IMAGE CREDIT: Emam Gomanga, a teacher from the Saora tribe who paints in the Id tal style
Dr Mahendra Kumar Mishra is a noted Folklorist of India and is the author of Oral Epics of Kalahandi. He has set up Community Digital Archives in tribal areas in Odisha. He is the initiator of multicultural education in Odisha using folklore in primary schools. Dr Mishra is also the Chief Editor Lokaratna , an e-journal for Folklore Foundation, Bhubaneswar , Orissa in collaboration with the Dspace of Cambridge University, UK and National Folklore Support Center, Chennai. Dr Mishra is also the author of Folktale of Odisha published by the National Book Trust of India. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.