Stories where in the beginning only women lived on earth without companionship of men is found across ancient mythologies. In this women- centric realm, men not only lose their position of power but are relegated to the position of slaves or victims of magic by which they service women in all kinds of jobs. Examples such as Amazonian women in Homer’s Illiad were sought and found somewhere near Lycia. Diodorus mentions that the Amazons travelled from the Libya under Queen Myrina. People living under the rule of women suggest that in ancient cultures, matriarchal systems were the first social order of world. Arab geographers describe a great town in an island in the western ocean, which was free of men. Also similar ideas can be found in ancient Chinese, and Polynesian mythologies.
In Indian mythology we find a similar concept first mentioned in Mahabharata, in the context of fifth adventure of the Horse sacrifice or Ashvamedha. It is said that the horse entered a country inhabited only by women ruled by a queen Paramita.
Some of the tribal regions in India still carry such tales suggesting the land of women as a magical land full of mysteries and secrets held by powerful women who turned men into cats, goats or bullock using their magic spells. According to a local belief, these women also brewed some of the best rice beers men could ever drink. Baiga tribals of North Eastern region believed that women wore men’s clothes and terrorised the nearby villages. For Angami Nagas this land lies somewhere on the Eastern direction or region. According to Jhoria tribals the absence of men is the result of a curse.
Here is one curious tale from Moklum tribe* of North Eastern region** of India.
At first earth was populated entirely by women. One day a woman went fishing. While fishing she caught a human eye. She put it in her basket and went home. When the woman opened the basket after reaching home, the eye had turned into a handsome young man. She gathered all the other women to show them this strange being. As they crowded around the man, he panicked and began to run. As he tried to escape he chopped down plantain trees to block the women from following him. The women kept chasing him but were slowed down as they tripped over the plantain trees. One of the women who was stronger than rest, managed to catch hold of the man. When she caught him she liked him very much and made him her husband. It is from this couple all the people in the world were born.
*Moklum tribe is found on the border of Nagaland as well as Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya
** North East region comprises of Seven Sister States (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura), and the Himalayan state of Sikkim.
Story Collected By : Vidya Kamat
Text source: Myths of North- East frontier of India by Verrier Elwin
Location- Nagaland/Arunachal Pradesh (North East Region)
Image Source- Wikiwand
Image is only for illustration purpose and does not represent Moklum tribe