Monday, February 16, 2009

Meghalaya Culture :: Regional Culture :: Indian Culture

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The Culture of Meghalaya
The Khasi, Garo and Jaintia are people with a rich cultural heritage. The important crafts of the Khasi and the Jaintia districts are artistic weaving, wood-carving and cane and bamboo work. Carpet and silk weaving and the making of musical instruments, jewelry and pineapple fibre articles are among its minor craft.

The popular handicrafts of the Garo hills district are artistic weaving, cane and bamboo work including poker work (in which designs are burnt into the bamboo with a red-hot pointed rod), wood carving, jewelry and making of clay toys and dolls and musical instruments.

Dances of Meghalaya

Shad Sukmynsiem (Dance of the Blissful Heart) 

This dance is popularly known as Shad Weiking and is so called after the name of the ground where the dance used to be held every year. Being a thanksgiving festival, Shad Suk Mynesiem is a symbolic offering of salutations to God, homage to their ancestors and proclamation of
unity of the Khasi people.  It is organized by the Seng Khasi (Khasi Religion). The dance lasts for three days. Only unmarried men and women are allowed to take part in the dance. The dancers dance rhythmically making regular movements and keeping time with the beat of the drum and pipe (Tanguari). Damsels (unmarried) dressed colourfully.

Shad Nongkrem 

Another folk dance of the Khasis, Shad Nongkrem is associated with Ka Pomblang Nongkrem. Like all other ceremonies of the Meghalayans, it is performed to propitiate the all powerful Goddess Ka Blei Synshar for a rich bounteous harvest and prosperity of the people (subject). There is no fixed date for this festival. It is generally celebrated in November of every year. 


Another dance among the Khasis is Doregata in which the women try to knock off the turbans of their male partners, using their heads. Another dance that the performer dangles a pomelo or any other fruit on a cord tied to his waist and then whirls it round and round after the initial impetus with a barely perceptible movement of his hips. Some experts can control two separate pomelos in this way. 

Do Dru-su’a

The Garos have traditional dance called Do Dru-su'a in which two women dance like doves pecking each other.


For entertainment, the Pnars have their Laho dance, in which members of both sex
participate in their festival finery. Usually two young men on either side of a girl, linked together in arms, dance in steps. While in place of pipe and drum there is a 'Cheer leader', usually a
man with the gift of impromptu recitation.

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