Captain Williamson Sangma State Museum

Capain Williamson Sangma State Museum is in Shillong is run and managed by the Art and Culture Department of the Meghalaya. The museum gives an insight into the tribal history, life, culture and traditions of the region.  Ethnic, handicrafts, animals and plants as well as archaeological objects are on display. It showcases ethnic tribal culture and tradition and provides a good resource on all aspects on Meghalaya and its history.

The museum is located in the State Central Library Complex where headstones of great flag-wavers of the state have also been made to honor them, beside the statue of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Smt. Indira Gandhi. The museum has two main galleries - the Khasi and Jaintia Gallery and the Garo Gallery
Museum in Shillong


The Khasi and Jaintias Gallery

Elephant model

The local name of the elephant model is Durbula Hatti.It was collected in 1983 by Shri S.H Syiemlieh in the Khasi hills. A brief description of the wooden elephant is one of the finest examples of wooden carving of the khasi, design out of a single piece of wood. The characteristic of the model is that its tail has been carried out even without molding out the lower part. The position and base is such that the creature looks like it’s moving with its tusk in front of its head with is two tusks on its side. Its body color is noted by the original color of the wood. The smaller one on the picture is also a wooden carving, grey in color. It can be purchased.

Wooden Pig Manger

The local name for it is Trep Sniang, collected in 1984 by Sri T.K Damei in the Jaintia Hills. It is 14 inches in length and 4 inches in breadth with a rectangular shape. It is a piece of wood that has been carved to give its shape. It comprises a body and handle, the upper part of the brick has been dug out to make a depression,and the depth of that depressed area is 3 inches.This whole projection has been carved from a single piece. This model can also be purchased.

Dress

Muga Cloth : The Local name for it is Muga Synteng.It was collected in 1976 and belongs to the Jaintia people. It is a "Muga cloth", with original muga color.

Local Dress:

  1. The local name for it is Thohsaru. It was collected in1976 and belongs to the Jaintia people. It is 60 inch in Breadth 40 and ½ inch in length. It is cotton material.   
  2. The local name for it is Sohriees Shylla. It was collected in 1976 and belongs to the War Jaintia people.
  3. A yellow and red thread (cotton) handloom cloth.
  4. The Local name for it Puhsara Jainsem.  It was collected by Sr. W. Mukhim in 1984 and belongs to the Jaintia people. : It is a dark brown piece of full length cloth.

Shawl: The local name for it is Jain-kup/ryndia kup. It was collected in 1976 and belongs to the Khasi people. It is made out of wool and silk, and worn by the Khasi women.

Silk Shawl: The local name for it is Ryndiah lieh. . It was collected in 1976 and use by the Khasi- jaintia people. The shawl is used by the males during the winter months.

Jacket for men: There are three jackets, namely known by local name as Jymphong Shad, Khyrwang Tyrso Khyriem, and Jymphong Spur Mawhati. All of them were collected in 1976 and belongs to the Khasi people. All of them can be purchased.

Ornamentsoranment

They are all known by their local names like Saikhyllong (a necklace), Mahu (armlet). Both were collected in 1976. Also, Khadu (bangle), it was collected by Mr. Hon. Samaing. Sai Khyllong (Silver chain), both collected in 1981, lyngkyrneng ksiar (gold earing), collected by Hori Samaiong in 1982, paila ksiar (gold necklace) collected in 1984. All of these ornaments can be purchased.

Basketry

There are many baskets in use for different purposes and are known by their local name: Changal far (basket), Mura (mora), U chang (basket),ka trop (clothes basket), Tlieng (cane mat), collected in 1984. Jar Khwea dacha or tynsong (fishing fence net),collected in 1981. All these items can be purchased.

Weaponary 

There are many weapons displayed in this museum, known by their local name: Ka tup (canon), wait lyngkut (curved doa), dakkar kohwah (hunting knife), ka ryntieh  (bow), u khnam (arrow), ka waitlam (sword), stieh (shield), all collected in 1976;  Ka Tiar Riam Mrad (A composite tool both for hunting and gathering), U sum ba dung dohkha ha wah (Fishing spear), Ka Suloi (gun), collected in 1981;  U Sum (spear), U Khnam Bah (Arrow for shooting elephant), all collected  in 1984. All of these items can be purchased.

Utensil

There are a lot of utensil items displayed in this museum, locally called: U khiew Rynong (brass bowl), Dabi Chuni (Betalnut & Tobacco lime container), U khra shet kiad khasi (vessel of distillation), collected in 1976; Tyndong Shun (lime container with chain), collected in 1979; U Shang – Kwai (Dish for serving betel leaf), U Khiew Rynong (Brass container), Ka Pliang (dish), Ka Mok Tong-um / Ka maloi  ( utensil for fetching water) , Khra Buh-um  (utensil for storing water) ,collected in 1981; Synduk khaw (barrel for keeping rice), U thlong (wooden vessel for grinding chutni), Siang tie (spoon), Biate (wooden tray), collected in 1984. All of these items can be purchased.

Pottery 

The potteries are exhibited in this museum, locally called: Wein, they are all earthen pots for frying rice pan cakes.

Cutting tools

There are quite a few collection of the cutting toolsdisplayed in this museum, locally called: Wait Bnoh (hooked doa),  Wait Kynda (warrior knife tari dab (knife), collected in 1976; Dong – Khylliat (bettle nut chopper) ,U Sdai (axe for cutting wood  by men and women), U Sdai/ Ka Wait  (Hoe for splitting bamboo ), collected in 1984. All of these tools can be purchased.

Musical Instrument

Several musical instruments of the Khasi and the Jaintias are displayed in this museum; they go by the local name: Marynthing and diutara (Local Musical Instrument), ksing (drum), tangmuri (flute), collected in 1976. All of the instruments can be purchased.

The Garos Gallery

Bamboo Hut model

The local name is Nokpante; it was collected in 1984 by Shri. B. Momin of Tura in the Garo Hils.  This is one of the finest examples of a bamboo hut, made of bamboo, cane, dry leaf of reed, and wood. It constitutes of a roof, windows, back door, wall, staircase etc. This tiny hut is a model of the Garo’s Bachelor restroom, erected on a wooden platform and supported by a number of woodenpoles aloft the ground. One of the staircases is decorated and the other is simple. The roof is layered with straw and dry reeds along with some bamboos. The front part isall open and the back is plaited wall of bamboos on all the three sides. A door is also there at the backside for going out. This model can be purchased.

Dress

Shawl:  The local name for it is Bara Marang; it was collected by Sri. C.B Sangma in 1983 .It is a broad piece of thick cotton cloth bluish in colour with yellow stripes.

Women’s dress:
  • The local name for it is Re King; it was collected by Sri. C.B Sangma in 1983. It is a broad red and blue stripe piece of heavy material.
  • The local name for it is Dakmanda, it was collected in 1976Girdle: The local name for it is Kotip; it was collected by Sri. C.B Sangma in 1983.

Cloth used for the dead
: The local name for it is Gana Marang; it was collected by Sri. C.B Sangma in 1983.

Waist cloth belt:
  • The local name for it is Sengki; it was collected by M\s Nongbri Enterprise in 1981.   It is mill-made product and it is cream in colour.
  • The local name for it is Phandra; it was collected in 1976.

Turban:

  • The local name for it is Nokma, collected in 1976. It is red in colour with golden bordering and frills below.
  • The local name for it is Kotip, collected in 1976. It is a cloth with red, black and cream stripes, with the tufts of red twisted threads at the lateral free margins.

Lion Cloth: The local name for it is Lengthi, collected in 1976. Its body is cream in colur with black, pink and cream stripes. All of them can be purchased

Ornaments

They are all known by their local names like Ringitok (beaded necklace), Ripok Do' Katchni (necklace), Seng – Ki (waist- girdle), and a lot more of different necklacewhich were collected in 1976; Khoval,  Lipoke de' Kotach (necklace), collected in 1977; Skoo kani Bara roding (head band), collected in 1981; Dome Kadap (head gear), collected in 1982. . All of these ornaments can be purchased.

Basketry

There are many baskets use for many and different purposes and are known by their local name: Kok or kera, Kera (Kok Megam) {basket}, kera sil (a metallic model of cane basket), Ruan (winnowing fan), all collected in 1976; Kera (basket),Paron (basket for storing fish), collected in 1981. All these items can be purchased.

Weaponry

There are many weapons displayed in this museum, known by their local name: Sephi (shield), collected in 1976; selu (spear), collected in 1981. All these items can be purchased. All these items can be purchased.

Utensil

There are a lot of utensil items displayed in this museum, locally namely: Gura or Dikka (earthen pot), collected in 1976; pongs in different designs and shapes(container, gourd), collected in 1982. All these items can be purchased.

Pottery

The potteries that are exhibited in this museum are locally name: Grengdik (pot for keeping bones), collected in 1976; Mimang koksi (earthen pitcher), collected by M/s. Nongbri Enterprise in 1981; Medik (potteries 5 and 12 in number), collected by Sri. B. Momin in 1984. All these items can be purchased.

Cutting tools

Gitchi (hoe for sowing seed); it was collected by Sri. T.K. Damei in1984. This tool can be purchased.

Musical instruments

Rang (gong), Chupcheng (cymbal), dam (drum), collected in 1976; Bangsi (flute), Rang A’ chick (rong),  it was collected by Sri. G.K. Sangma in 1981. All these instruments can be purchased.

Contact Details:

Address:  State Central Library,
IGP Point, Shillong, Meghalaya, 793001
Phone no: 91-364-2222731


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