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  • Writer's pictureSpeak Your Roots

U Thawlang



Pateng la pateng, ka jaitbynriew ka tip ban burom la U Thawlang uba wan pynroi ïa ka jait ka khong. U shynrang uba leit shongkha nyngkong ha ka jait ki khot ïa u, U Thawlang.


Kumba paw na ki long jait manjait, ki thawlang ki long ki briew kiba tip bha ïa la ka dustur, shibun ki la long lypa ki kynja kñi ha ka kur bad ka ïing, ki ri la ka burom bad ki burom ïa ka jait ka khong jong kiwei ruh khamtam lei lei ïa ka kur ka jait jong ka tnga bad ki khun.


Ha ka kolshor ki Khasi, u Thawlang u ïoh ka jaka bakyrpang…..Ki don bun ki jingleh niam-kur ha kiba ki khunkha ki dei ban pyndep na ka bynta ka meikha, namar ba ki dap rynïeng da ka jingsngewnguh ba ka la ai ha ka kur jong ki ïa u Thawlang.


U P. R. T. Gurdon ruh kumba u lyngngoh ban lap ïa ka jingburom kyrpang jong ki Khasi ïa u Thawlang, u ong: "Notwithstanding the strong influence of the matriarchate, we find that U Thawlang, the first father and the husband of Ka lawbei is also revered. To him on occasions of domestic trouble a cock is sacrificed, and a Jymphong, or sleeveless coat is offered. This puja is called "Ka Tap Thawlang"."


Ka jingbatai u Gurdon ka pynphalang sa kawei pat ka liang, jong ki paid Khasi, ka pyni ba ki ngeit ba u Thawlang u lah ban ïarap ïa ki na ki jingeh. Ka jingduwai ba u ïoh lum na ki Khasi ka ong: "Oh. father, Thawlang, who has enabled me to be born, who hast given me my stature and my life, I have wronged thee, oh father, be not offended for I have given thee a pledge and a sign, (a red and white sleeveless coat). Do not deliver me into the power of illness, I have offered thee propitiatory cock that thou mayest carry me in thine arms, and that I may be aware of thee, my father Thawlang."


U Thawlang u don ka hok ban ri ban sumar namar u la pynkha bad u la buh ïa u sohpet u ksai…Naduh nangne na pyrthei la pynbynta lypa ïa ka bhah jong u kpa bad jong u kñi-rangbah-kur. U kpa u long u nongpynkha u nongbuh ia u sohpet u ksai jong ki khun kynthei khun shynrang. U kpa u long u nongkamai nongkajih ban ym don ka thngan ka shah jingit, ban ym don ka lymboit lymbiang jong ka tnga bad ki khun.


Na kine ngi sngewthuh ba u kpa u la don lypa ka deiti longkñi ha ïing kur la jong bad u la don bynta ruh ha la ka jong ka nongtymmen. Kumta ha ka kur u long uba tip ïa ka ïap ka im bad ha ïing khun, uba lah uba ïai.

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Generation after generation, the Khasis know how to revere their "Thawlang" who has come to grow and multiply the clan. The man who is the first to marry into a clan is called "U Thawlang".


As is shown and understood in the working of clans, "U Thawlang" is a person who knows and understands his culture and custom well, many of them are already maternal uncles in their families and clans. "U Thawlang" preserves his honour and dignity and respects the clans of others especially the clan of his wife and children.


In Khasi culture, "U Thawlang" has a special position... There are many rituals pertaining to the clans which the children of "U Thawlang" have to fulfil towards their paternal grandmother, because they are grateful to her for giving their clan "U Thawlang".


P.R.T. Gurdon expresses his surprise on finding that the Khasis have a special reverence for "U Thawlang" and says: "Notwithstanding the strong influence of the matriarchate, we find that U Thawlang, the first father and the husband of Ka Ïawbei is also revered. To him on occasions of domestic trouble a cock is sacrificed, and a Jymphong, or sleeveless coat is offered. This puja is called "Ka Tap Thawlang"."


Gurdon's analysis illuminates another important aspect of Khasi life and that is, the belief that U Thawlang can help in times of trouble. The prayer that Gurdon was able to collect goes as follows: "Oh, father, Thawlang, who has enabled me to be born, who hast given me my stature and my life, have wronged thee, oh father, be not offended for I have given thee a pledge and a sign, (a red and white sleeveless coat). Do not deliver me into the power of illness, I have offered thee propitiatory cock that thou mayest carry me in thine arms, and that I may be aware of thee, my father Thawlang."


"U Thawlang" has the right to take care of his family because he has helped the clan grow and symbolically placed the navel and the thread. From this earthly world, there is a division of rights and duties of the father and the maternal uncle. The father facilitates the growth of the clan and he has symbolically placed the navel and the thread of his female and male children. The father is the breadwinner of the family, protecting them from hunger, looking after the well-being of his wife and children.


Thus, we understand that the father in a Khasi family is already bestowed with the rights and duties of a maternal uncle and he also has his share of inheritance. In his own clan, the father takes care of affairs of life and death, while in his family he is their strong and reliable support.



Ka long kaba sngewtynnat shikatdei ban pule shaphang "U Thawlang" bad ban tip ïa ka jingkordor jong u kpa ha ka longïing longsem Khasi 👫🧑‍🤝‍🧑❤️ Wow! It's been great reading about "U Thawlang" and learning about the value of a father in a Khasi family 👫🧑‍🤝‍🧑❤️ 🟡 Source: Dr. Sr. Philomena Kharakor 🟡 Adapted and collated by @speakyourroots 🟡 English translation by @speakyourroots

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