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Khasi Legends (Folktales of India)

Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih
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It is believed that the only way the Khasi people could learn of God’s word was by passing on the stories of their forefathers.

The alphabet of the great Khasi tribe of North-East India was born as late as in 1842, when Thomas Jones, a Welsh Presbyterian missionary, introduced the Roman script to form the essentials of the Khasi written word.

But long before the white man came, the Khasis knew agriculture, trade, commerce and industry. And they were also masters of story-telling.

Theirs was a society of great wisdom and civilized conduct at a time when brute force held sway. For theirs was a culture that worshipped God through respect for both man and nature. Perhaps that is why Khasi stories always begin with ‘When man and beasts and stones and trees spoke as one . . .’

How did the great story-telling tradition of the Khasis survive so long without a script? Putting together myths and legends-peopled by deities and poor folk, speaking trees and talking tigers, the sun and the moon and everything below-bilingual poet and writer Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih describes how fables of love and jealousy, hate and forgiveness, evil and redemption inform the philosophy, moral principles and daily activities of his community even today.

Imprint: India Penguin

Published: Jan/2007

ISBN: 9780143103011

Length : 168 Pages

MRP : ₹250.00

Around the Hearth

Khasi Legends (Folktales of India)

Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih

It is believed that the only way the Khasi people could learn of God’s word was by passing on the stories of their forefathers.

The alphabet of the great Khasi tribe of North-East India was born as late as in 1842, when Thomas Jones, a Welsh Presbyterian missionary, introduced the Roman script to form the essentials of the Khasi written word.

But long before the white man came, the Khasis knew agriculture, trade, commerce and industry. And they were also masters of story-telling.

Theirs was a society of great wisdom and civilized conduct at a time when brute force held sway. For theirs was a culture that worshipped God through respect for both man and nature. Perhaps that is why Khasi stories always begin with ‘When man and beasts and stones and trees spoke as one . . .’

How did the great story-telling tradition of the Khasis survive so long without a script? Putting together myths and legends-peopled by deities and poor folk, speaking trees and talking tigers, the sun and the moon and everything below-bilingual poet and writer Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih describes how fables of love and jealousy, hate and forgiveness, evil and redemption inform the philosophy, moral principles and daily activities of his community even today.

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Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih

Dr Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih, poet, writer, and translator, was born on 4 april 1964 in Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya. He belongs to the Khasi tribe and writes in both Khasi and English. His short stories have been published in leading journals inn India and translated into Hindi and Bengali. Nongkynrih works as Reader in the Department of English, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong. He edits the university newsletter, NEHU News, and the first poetry journal in Khasi, Rilum, besides beign the associate editor of the university's official journal, The NEHU Journal. He ws awarded a 'Fellowship for Outstanding Artists 2000' by the Government of India. He also received the first North-East Poetry Award in 2004 from the North-East India Poetry Council, Tripura.

He has a total of five publications in Khasi and three in English besides edited volumes and translation works of poetry and short stories in both Khasi and English.