The hilly state Meghalaya, situated on North eastern segment of India, is looked for after among sightseers. It has some incredibly lovely untamed life zones, long limestone gives in and tempting natural life. Be that as it may, the tribes dwelling here are no less intriguing for guests. The three noteworthy tribes-Khasi, Garo and Jaintia have their one of a kind customs, culture and standards that they hone regardless of attack of innovation. The Jaintias live in the east piece of Meghalaya and they are identified with Mon-Khmer talking race with an Austrio-Asiatic inception. They are likewise called Pnars. There are many sub tribes who have a place with the Jaintia tribe, for example, Bhoi , War and Khynriam.
There is open deliberation with respect to the starting point of Jaintia tribe among students of history and anthropologists. The most punctual references to this tribe are found in engravings in structures and coins of the Ahom Dynasty. They are to some degree like the Khasis since their vernaculars are close indistinguishable and look shrewd they are very little extraordinary as well. They however believed in steadfastness to Monarchs not at all like the Khasis. The Jaintias clashed with the British and they were the first among Meghalaya tribes to do as such. The battle with British at long last prompted to crumple of the Jaintia kingdom in 1835.
The Jaintia Tribe has a rich cultural heritage. The richness and diversity of their culture gets reflected in their crafts, music and dance. They have a matrilineal family structure where the family’s youngest daughter inherits the property. She also has the obligation to look after parents in old age. However, with time this social pattern is changing.
The tribe is famous for skill in wood-carving, weaving and bamboo craft. They also make exquisite jewelry and carpets. The tribes wear hand woven traditional dress during festivals. They also wear crowns in important festivals. Both women and men wear bracelets and other ornaments in festive days.
Their music is characterized by usage of a host of instruments such as bom, duitara and bhuri. They also celebrate two major dance festivals- Laho and Behdienkhlam. The music and songs are focused on various forms of nature. They mostly use Pnar language though English is used for written and official communications.
Major festivals of Jaintia Tribe
1) Behdienkhlam Festival
The Behdienkhlam Festival is regarded as the most imperative celebration of the Jaintia Tribe. This is likewise one vivid religious celebration. It is set apart by various ceremonies performed by the tribe. It happens post the reap season, generally in July or August. Prior to the headliner can start, a couple of religious services are finished. A conciliatory occasion called ‘Knia Khang’ is played out a month prior to this occasion with a mean to head out indecencies. Individuals enjoy hitting the dance floor with rhythms subsequent to social affair trees that are accepted to head out indecencies. While ladies don’t move, they offer conciliatory nourishment to the spirits of family progenitors. The custom of offering sustenance to perished progenitor is called Ka Siang ka Pha. It is a 3 day celebration. Individuals in every region enhance a tower like structure. These structures are later conveyed to Aitnar for inundation in a lake. A soccer sort diversion named datlawakor is had as influence of the celebration. This celebration is performed when rest of the nation observes Rath yatra.
2) Laho dance festival
The Laho dance festival is meant mostly for entertainment. Both women and men take part in it. The dance is accompanied by a cheerleader. They all wear colorful costumes. Two young men dance on sides of a woman with everyone holding hands. It is also called Chipiah dance.
3) Chad Sukra
The annual sowing festival of the Jaintia tribes is called Chad Sukra. It is celebrated at April or May every year. It is performed to pray to the god for a good harvest. In recent years, the celebrations also include theatre plays.
4) Religious life of Jaintia tribe
The Jaintias clung to a tribal religion named Niamtre however the royals and elites grasped Hinduism. In any case, most of the tribe trusts the religion is not established by man and inherent. The tribal religion includes creature penances, factions of clerics and family rulers. Nonetheless, after the British manage in India, a greater part of Jaintia sub tribes have changed over to Christianity.