Khasis - The Hynniew trep Tribe
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 :
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.
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.
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.