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    I was told this story by my father and it contains a good moral. It is a tragic love story. There was a handsome young man once in Chunglimti, where we Aos originated. He was very talented and he could sing and dance very well and he was so handsome that all the women of the village fell in love with him. One of his admirers was a rich lady who had seen him and fallen in love with him once at a festival when he had been dancing in his traditional warrior costume. She approached him, and at that very moment he also fell in love with her at first sight, and their relationship began to grow.

    The couple were so much in love that they never stopped to think of their family backgrounds. They didn’t even wonder about such things, they were only thinking of each other and how to keep the relationship going. One day however they were strolling together and talking of their families when he enquired of her clan name: We Aos have several clans, such as Jamir, Lamtor and so on. She told him that she was a Lamtor, and it turns out that he was from the same Lamtor clan. From our forefather’s day we have had a law which forbids any two people from the same clan from marriage. It was very unfortunate, as they were already deeply in love when they came to discover that they were from the same clan. There is a saying that when a boy and a girl from the same clan fall in love, it will be very hard for them to separate. These days we are often faced with people from the same clan falling in love and living together as a family, but in the village this has always been unacceptable and those that do it are rejected by their families. This story tells of the origin of this rule.

    The lovers could not end their relationship, it was too late for that. Soon everyone came to know of their love and the fact that they were from the same clan. The village council discussed it and decided that something had to be done, the situation could not continue. The lovers realized what was going on and they had to meet in secret. The villagers gave them an ultimatum to break the relationship or to face capital punishment. A few days later and they observed that that the lovers were still together so they decided to inflict capital punishment on the offenders. They decided that death would be the only thing that would deter others from following their example in the future.

    The villagers stoned the couple to death and buried them together in a single grave. From that very place a plant grew from the ground. It was a vine of the type that climbs up from the right to the left when it grows, but this particular one grew in the opposite way, climbing up from the left side. It is considered an ill omen by us, indicating that something is wrong. We call that plant “machizü” and it still exists. That plant is a reminder to us not to fall in love with someone from the same clan. The plant shows us that it is a wrong thing to do. This is what our forefathers have taught us, that before you fall in love, you must find out which clan the girl is from.

    As narrated and translated by : Mr. Temjen Lemtur

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