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Around the Hearth

Around the Hearth

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.

Buying Options
Paperback / Hardback
Ebooks

Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih

Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih, born in Sohra, India, writes poetry, drama and fiction in Khasi and English. His latest works include the epic-length novel Funeral Nights, The Yearning of Seeds: Poems, Time’s Barter: Haiku and Senryu and Around the Hearth: Khasi Legends. He has published poems and stories in Planet: The Welsh Internationalist, Wasafiri, the New Welsh Review, PEN International, the Literary Review, the Oxford Anthology of Writings from Northeast India and more. His awards include the Northeast Poetry Award (2004), the Veer Shankar Shah-Raghunath Shah National Award (2008), a Tagore Fellowship (2018), The Bangalore Review June Jazz Award (2021) and the Sparrow Literary Award (2022). He teaches literature at Northeastern Hill University, Shillong.

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