Zomi Samson : Kapkhovung Samte
Last Updated on
Saturday, 06 March 2010 01:40
Saturday, 06 March 2010 01:38
Kapkhovung Samte, the Zo Superman was born in 1904 at Bualtal: Village, Chin Hills, Myanmar to Lamzathang Samte (father) and Khawlniang. He had three sisters and was the second child to his parents. In early age he was not healthy and was lean and thin. After six years of his birth in the year of Mautam (1910) his father expired. Due to the famine as a result of Mautam (after a gap of about 50 years bamboos in Zo country use to flower and bear fruits which have high potential to make the rats extra fertile. Once the rats consumed the seed, they become fat and grow very fast and within no time they multiply in numbers. Then they move in groups destroying all standing crops and plants wherever they go. They can finish the crops of an entire village in a single night. So whenever there is bamboo flowering there is famine among the Zo people. click here for more about Mautam) and the death of his father they have to move from their village in search of better pastures and settled down at Thawngkhup Veng, Lungthul Village in the southern Manipur bordering Mizoram and Myanmar with his mother and sisters.
Thus started a history that will never be forgotten in the Zo history in Lungthul (T) Village. Although very skinny at his early age he become healthy and his body developed so well within no time. He grew up to be a very tall well built young man and his mother got him married to Nemkholuan of Theigoutang village. The villager taunted his wife saying her husbands growth to be abnormal and ask her to mark and watch their words that he would also die abnormally (early). She believed them and left him.
After 15 years of settling down at Lungthul his mother also died. Then he no more charm to stay back at Lungthul and moved again to Singngat which is about 25 kms from Lungthul. There he fell for a beautiful girl by the name Letngai and married her. They have a daughter but soon died. After living for five years he moved down to Lingsiphai village near Lamka town where his beloved wife passed away.
Around this time the Japan: Galpi (Second World World) broke out and all villagers around their area fled their homes to escape from the war. He fled to his sister Vaihenching who is settling at Chongkhozou with her husband. The Japanese soldiers, when they see Kapkhovung, were surprised that a man could be that big and strong. They invited him to their camps, served good food and measure his statistics. (may be they have better records). The British government also ask him to join the 4th Assam Rifles and offered the post of direct Jamadar, but he declined the offer. They want to test his strength in a tug-of war with five soldiers against him; he was reluctant for the test, but the soldiers lost to him.
His vital statistics:
1.Height :7'1" (Measured by Rev. H. L. Sela, NEIG Mission and Pu Chinkham, Mission Compound)
5.Fingers :H. Tunzachin measured it to be exactly the size of his toes.
6.Chest :8 tuk(approx.60")Measured by Zamgin of Tuilaphai Village.
7.Measure of his stength:
a. He could hold tight a full size mithun by the horn. (Mithun is the biggest and most famous amimal of the Zo. It is bigger than a buffalo.)
b.150 Corn/Maize bunch (1 bunch made of 15 corns) is his normal carrying load.
c. He could carry a matured wild boar (6 tuk size) with wild creepers (rope) a distance of 8 miles and never utter a single word of tiredness.
d. He carried 1mound(40 kg)of salt while climbing the steep hills paths from Barak river bank to Parbung village with a single hand.(there is no motorable road and people have to cover the distance/slopes walking till today)
e. A big rock the size of a Zo Zubelpi (big long earthen wine pot use in big festivals like Tong,lawmzunek etc. served to villagers) he carried from Lanva river to Pearsonmun (around 2 kms) still can be verified at the Khawmual of Pearson village today.
f. The stone weighing about 2mounds and 10kgs he carried can be found about 2 furlong from Tuizang river (between Thanlon and Pherjawl).
g. He could comfortably carry an oak tree freshly cut into a log 12 meter long and 1.5' dia.
h. It is said that when he carried his sick wife to the Lamka hospital for treatment it looks like
a mother carrying her baby.
a. His normal diet is a basket (tukri) full each of yam and pumkin.
b. He could consume a rice of 4 khap pot (approximately 7 average Zo persons eating) at one meal.
His general appearance shows that he is humble and friendly. His height and body size is proportionate. His finger and toes are pointed and long. His chest is big and stomach small. Although not very handsome his appearance is good and manly. His face is long and skin yellow like the rest of the Zo stock of people. We regret that we cannot put his photo here to be seen by all. We are trying our best to get one.
Although Pu Kapkhovung Samte is that strong he never wanted to show off or publicise his strength.So his full stregth is not clearly known. He is humble and kindhearted.He never loss his temper,he said : "if I get angry whoever I come across whether man or beast will not survive" and always keep his cool.He love drinking rice beer but he is afraid he would become drunk and loss control; so he avoid drinking.He is a disciplined person. He believe in Zo sacrifices and whenever he got sick he would approach the village priest to perform sacrifices. He did not like himself (his strength) to praised by others. He is truthful and fulfil his commitments. He is sentimental and love music.
After he reached his sisters village Chongkhojou, he did not live long and died in August 1944 at the age of 44.Though he did not leave behind valuable properties and treasures during his short life; he is remembered for his strength in Manipur, Chin State and to the Britishers and the Japanese. It is ill luck for the Zo people that he had to die early.Had he live today with us... one can imagine.. what fame the Zo Superman would bring home for his people.
Source:25th SIAMSINPAWL MAGAZINE 1987