| Monoliths at Nartiang |
Shillong, Oct. 15: Hundreds of people are expected to attend the two-day Monolith Festival from October 25, which will display and celebrate the often forgotten richness of Khasi culture at Heritage Village, Mawphlang, about 20km from here.
The festival is being organised by the Khasi Heritage Conservation Forum, in partnership with The Telegraph and t2, among others.
The village, facing Law Kyntang or Sacred Grove, is located on a five-acre area. The landmark project, conceived by the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, is an initiative to protect, preserve and conserve the traditional heritage and social customs of the ethnic communities of the Khasi hills.
An amphitheatre, which can accommodate nearly 1,500 people, has been constructed at the village for the festival.
Inhabitants from at least 10 Himas or Khasi states will be putting up at the village, where they will display their lifestyle, tradition and culture for people to discover the profundity and diversity of the Khasi culture.
T. Chyne, the forum chairman, while highlighting different aspects of the festival, said the two-day event will bring to life the varied culture and tradition prevailing within the Khasi clans.
The festival seeks to offer a complete Khasi village environment for visitors. Apart from displaying the various facets of the shifting fortunes of the Khasi community through the cultural medium, the festival will also host traditional craftsmen who will demonstrate their art as well as put their creations up for sale.
At the same time, the festival will introduce the multifarious functions of bamboo to the visitors, which has charted the course of destiny of the Khasis to this day.
An ethnic dress display, which will attempt to promote indigenous wear and local designers with an indigenous outlook, will also be part of the itinerary.
Indigenous wine will be one of the attractions where the communities will showcase the brewing of local alcohol.
Traditional brew made from rice is a ubiquitous feature in any local festival. Besides, fruit wines will also be on display.
Visitors will be further enticed by the richness of indigenous food items, apart from the enchanting music to be accompanied by local musical instruments.
The other highlights include a display of Khasi folklore and literature, traditional healing, indigenous games and archery.
Forum member-secretary Allan West, while appealing to the public to come to the festival in their traditional attire, said that tents have been erected near the sacred grove for those who wish to stay. This package will be available on a first-come-first-served basis.
The venue has been declared a no-plastic zone where food will be served in leaves.
“At the festival, visitors will see several facets of Khasi culture, which they have never seen before. On the evening of October 26, people in traditional attire can come and take part in the dance festival as the concept behind the event is to conserve our heritage,” West said.