Culture of Meghalaya
The Meghalaya plateau is inhabited by three dominant tribes. These are:
1. The Garos in the western section of the plateau
2. The Khasis in the central section of the plateau
3. The Jaintia in the eastern section of the plateau
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.
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.
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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