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  • Writer's pictureSpeak Your Roots

Ki Phawar

"The Khasis have evolved and developed their own indigenous poetic creations called "Ki Phawar" which are often employed in story-telling. The Phawar are used in festivals, community work, and gatherings, hunting and fishing expeditions, games and archery. The presence of an audience in a Phawar recitation is imperative. It is a performance per se. The Phawar master is a performer, and hence, an actor, acutely conscious of the effect he has on the audience. He responds with enthusiasm to the reactions and applause of the audience, especially in contests. The performance is heavily dependent on the performer/ audience reaction, which provides scope for the development of the call-and-response or leader-choral antiphony. This is the most salient feature of the Phawar tradition. Needless to say, it is a dimension difficult to recreate in print."

- From Essays in Khasi Folkloristics (2016) by Dr. Desmond L. Kharmawphlang

Here are two popular Phawar:


Dohkha ha Nan Palok,

Dohkha ha Nan Palok.

Ki їa beij ia u shana

Kynmaw ho paralok

Wat їa biej ia ka tyngka.

Hoi kiw!

Hoi kiw!"


'Lang tylli lang teh

'Lang tylli lang teh

Ba la teh h'u mawbynna!

Nga phah kylli pham treh

Pha la duh ka deng khaila.

Hoi kiw

Hoi kiw!"

Ka jingshongshit haba sngap їa ki Phawar ka dei kaba sngewbang shisha!
The creation and the singing of "Ki Phawar" is a sure way to excite any crowd. We may take the liberty of describing them loosely as poetic chants, who sometimes contain humour and satire to name a few. 😄😄
If you know some Phawar, please do type them down in the comments section! Hoi kiw!

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