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Famous India > Tribes > Khasis
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Khasis - The Hynniew trep Tribe

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Hynniew Trep , that is how they like to be called - The Khasis Tribe of Meghalaya, a state in the North Eastern Part of India. The Khasis inhabit the Khasi Hills proper, and the Syntengs, or Pnars, the Jaintia Hills.These people whose literal meaning is " Seven Huts " in Khasi Language, cover about 50 percent of the population of Meghalaya. Khasis are the descendants of Mon-Khmer speakers who migrated probably from Yunnan to Meghalaya. They live in the Jaintia Hills in the state of Meghalaya. West Bengal, Mizoram, Maharashtra, Tripura, TamilNadu, Arunachal Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The sub - divisions of Khasis i.e. the Wars, Khynriams, Pnars and Bhois are not only the territorial groups but each of them acquired different socio-cultural traits. What sets the Khasis Apart from other tribes is that in Khasis the descendents are recognised from Mother and not from Father (Matrilineal Society). As per the Khasi Law and tradition the mother inherits the children and property and not the father. In addition to this a Khasi Women is at liberty to take divorce from her husband as per her will. The Khasis have well defined homelands.

The Modern and the Traditional Khasis :
Young Khasi Women in Traditional Dress
Khasi Girls

Khasis have adapted to the changing times to a certain extent. They give equal importance to education as can be seen in the form of these school going khasi girls.

Women Wearing Bamboo Hats
Khasi Knups - Bamboo Hats

The traditional bamboo hats worn by Khasi Men and Women while farming. The bright colors of the bamboo hats match with the lush greenery of the farms giving them the beauty of a bug rather than a hat.

Khasi Boy
The Culture Of Khasis

Khasis are the descendants of Mon-Khmer speakers who migrated probably from Yunnan to Meghalaya, and thus they are of East Asian origin. Khasis are a mix of Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Hindu castes. Most of the Khasis follow the Presbyterian religion, Anglican, Catholic, or Ka Niam Tynrai - the original Khasi Culture. They are similar in appearance to their northern Mon-Khmer relatives, most notably the Palaung and Wa.

Khasis have different prayers and functions as per the clan they follow. In most of the festivals Khasi Men wear the traditional Khasi dress called Jymphong ( long dress which is sleevless and has thongs in the front. The women however have a colorful dress with several plates of clothing, golden crown with spikes and feathers on it.

Khasis practice shifting cultivation which they call JHUM for their survival. The Kacharis have a peasent based economy. The trend have occupational diversificaiton has also emerged among the Khasis.

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