In the heart of Longleng, atop a lofty mountain peak reaching approximately 2500 meters above sea level, lies Yingnyushang—an enchanting place that holds a significant position in the cultural and mystical tapestry of the Phom Nagas.


According to the Phom Naga’s ancestral history, Yingnyushang was once the dwelling place of their forebears, particularly at Yingnyu Village, known today as Yingnyushang. The story unfolds with a peaceful community until a wild beast, the Nyam (a Rhino), disrupts their tranquility by abducting a child each day.

In response to the menace, the villagers united and embarked on a quest to confront the spirit. They discovered and subdued the Nyam, cutting its tongue into pieces and distributing them among the houses. A widow, however, was excluded from this ritual, and in retaliation, another Nyam emerged, decimating the entire village. The remnants of the widow’s house are believed to linger at the mountain’s summit.

Despite the migration that followed, Yingnyushang retained its significance in the Phom Naga community. In ancient times, rituals were performed on the mountain to invoke rain. Villagers would kindle a fire, and as the smoke ascended, rain would follow—an act believed to hold true even today. Other practices included firing a gun into the sky or withholding meat from a mentally challenged person during lunch on the mountain, as they believed it would trigger rainfall.

The mystique of Yingnyushang extended to the belief that misplaced objects, such as a machete (Dao), would only be found upon returning to the mountain. Additionally, the peak was considered the meeting point for lycanthropic spirits, particularly the tiger spirit from the surrounding tribes.

In the context of modern times and changing climates, the impact of these stories may vary, yet they persist as a testament to the deep-rooted beliefs and traditions of the Phom Naga people.

A DIPR Feature by N Ayong Phom, IA Longleng

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