Logo of West Jaintia Hills District, Government of Meghalaya

Government Of Meghalaya
West Jaintia Hills Districts

Thaiwan Arts and Cultural Organization...Jaintia Museum

Mr. Kamai WarMr. Kamai War is a multifaceted personality. In his limited capacity Mr. Kamai War has struggled hard with a single minded devotion and unparalleled energy to preserve and revive the customs and traditions of the Jaintia Society. He takes keen interest in preserving musical instruments, farming tools, costumes, utensils and other related items used by the Jaintia people in the olden days and even to this date. Mr. Kamai War is also a Radio and Doordarshan artist and a film maker too. He has scripted many plays and dramas as well as acted in them which included taking up female roles on the demand of the scripts. The play "Ka Syiem Latympang" was written by Mr. Kamai War in the year 1984. Short plays and songs too have been scripted by Mr. Kamai War one of which is "U Riat Iamser" produced in the year 1994. The drama "Yoo-Moo" written for Nehru Yuva Kendra, Jowai won him the First Prize. He actively participates in many cultural activities, programs as well as competitions. In his very own residential place Chutwakhu, Jowai town, Mr. Kamai War opened a Museum to preserve and conserve the rich traditional arts and cultural heritage of the Jaintias. He also founded the Thaiwan Arts and Cultural Organization that organizes activities ranging from folk songs to traditional dances and short plays of the Jaintia Community.

The Government of Meghalaya on the Meghalaya Day 2007 conferred on Mr. Kamai War the Award of "U Tirot Sing Award For Arts And Literature For The Year 2007" in recognition for his valuable service to the State of Meghalaya on the whole in Arts and Literature that is worthy of high distinction. Mr. Kamai War also actively participates in the "Discover Jaintia Festival" every year ever since its inception.

A glimpse of the collections of various interests in Ma Kamai War's Museum

Kchu Khyndaw Heh Kchu Khyndaw Heh (Kchu Lyrnai): This is an earthen pot used for cooking rice as well as for storing water for drinking purpose or even for bathing purpose
Kchu Khyndaw Khian Kchu Khyndaw Khian (Kchu Lyrnai): This earthen pot is used to store fat and fermented fish ( tungtap) covered with a lid to prevent the aroma from spreading out and to save the items stored from dust as well.
Kchu Khyndaw Heh Kchu Khyndaw Heh (Kchu Lyrnai): This earthen pot is used for cooking rice cake ( kpu langdong). The lid is designed with a small aperture to allow the steam to escape while water is being boiled inside the pot : the method used to cook the rice cakes.
Wien Sdieh Tpu Wien Sdieh Tpu: this earthen pot is shaped like a frying pan. The Rice pulp ( rice powder and water) is poured into the pot then covered with the lid. To hasten the cooking process a small amount of water is sprinkled over the lid. This is used therefore to cook the Tpu Sien ( a delicacy of this region).
Tipot Khyndew Heh Tipot Khyndew Heh: these are big earthen teapots (tipots) used for storing the prepared tea for serving purpose or simply for storing water.
Tipot Khyndew Khian Tipot Khyndew Khian: These are small earthen teapots (tipots) used for storing the prepared tea for serving purpose or simply for storing water.
Katli Khyndew Katli Khyndew: these are earthen kettles (katli) used for boiling water or tea as required.
Katli Nar and Moo Khuri Katli Nar and Moo Khuri: These are metallic kettles (katli nar) used for boiling water or tea as required. Also shown in the photograph is the metallic stand (moo khuri) used for holding the pots and kettles over the fireplace.
Maloi Maloi: these are earthen containers used to store food items and others.
Mok Um Mok Um: These earthen mugs are used for drinking water
Thlong Pathi Thlong Pathi: This is a pounding kitchen item used in most households even this present time. The pounding rod is used to pound on the contained food items on the container. This is made of some metal combinations. Also available are the same models made of wood.
Pliang, Luta, Siang, Dabor. Moc, Kyllung Pliang, Luta, Siang, Dabor. Moc, Kyllung: These are household items used for various occasions. Pliang are plates, Luta are shaped containers, Siang is the big spoons used during cooking and also for serving, DABOR are containers, MOC again is a container, Kyllung is again a smaller container.
Plates, serving spoons, cooking spoons, earthen containers, etc. Also seen in this picture are Plates (Pliang) made of wood, of Tamba metal, of Clay as well. Others are Serving spoons and cooking spoons, earthen containers, Tamba containers (Luta), Coins, Jewellery and flint stone fire lighters (Moo Chamok).
Tyngka Poisa Tyngka Poisa: seen here are the coins ( poisa) of various eras used by the people of Jaintia Hills during the past.
Sah Kti Sah Kti: These are finger rings worn by the people of Jaintia Hills. The shapes and designs vary with time
Khadu Kynthai, Deng Shkor Khadu Kynthai, Deng Shkor: These are Bangles (Khadu Kynthai) & Earrings ( Deng Shkor) made of either gold or silver worn by the ladies befitting any festivity in the family or any religious occasions.
Sharak Sharak: These are handmade lanterns (sharak) used for lighting up the kitchen or the entire house or even a shop in the market. These come handy even to this present day. This is also the light provider for most remote areas of the district of Jaintia Hills.
Pyrla Pyrla (Tarajur) : this is used for weighing goods sold by the local people at the market yards. This is the local Balance Weighing Scale.
Chang Heh Chang Heh: is a container made of bamboo/ cane. There are also smaller such containers used by the locals in Jaintia Hills.
Sata Knup Sata Knup: these are cap like objects. They help to protect and cover the body from the harsh Sun and rain.
Tdong Duma & Chunam Tdong Duma and Chunam: The Tdong Duma is crafted from bamboo and is used as a storage for Duma ( dried Tobacco Leaves). The CHUNAM is made of Peetal ( a common metal) and has two chambers. The Top and the Lower chambers can hold Lime( Shun) and Duma( dried tobacco leaves). These items are the lifeline of most of the local people.
Moo Chamok Ding Moo Chamok Ding: This is used to light up a fire. Seen here is a Wooden handle with a strip of metal aligned to its one side. The flint stones are held on the other hand and brushed against the metal strip on the Wooden handle. This lights up some sparks and helps to ignite the fire on the dry grass. This ia a very ancient way of lighting a fire.
Wait Ki Stieh Wait Ki Stieh (swords & shields) Khnam Ki Ryntieh( arrows & bow), Cher Ki Som( type of long arrows and javelins): These are the various equipments used by the warriors of the past of Jaintia Hills during their war paths. These items were also used for self defence by the comman people and also in various cultural activities such as local sports and games.
Khoh Bah Bru Khoh Bah Bru: This is a big cane / bamboo made basket used to carry people old or sick. It is also used as a luxurious mode of transport of the rich and well to do in the past. Also seen are smaller baskets (Khoh Khian) used for carrying loads of various kinds. Ksing Kynrieng: is a musical drum used for producing the required drumbeats. Bows and arrows are also seen here. Dieng-duh ( Walking stick); crafted from wood / cane / bamboo used for support by sick and old people. Also seen are swords (Wait).
Thong Siat Kular Thong Siat Kular: This is a hand crafted target used by the locals during a game of TIR where the bow and arrow is used by the locals to shoot out at the target shown in this picture.
Ramynthien Ramynthien: is the first evolved musical instrument of the Jaintia people. This uses a single String with Nine Santaris to produce the required effects. This instrument is crafted from a wood type called Dien Iamkhon. The two drum like structures at the edges (Sko) helps to echo back and forth the sound produced on playing this instrument.
Sitar Sitar: is a crafted from a single wood variety that does not disintegrate with age. It uses Four Strings with Eighteen Santaris to produce the required effects.
Duitara Duitara: is a crafted from a single wood variety that does not disintegrate with age. It uses Two or Four Strings to produce the required effects.
Lakyndong Lakyndong: This object is used to scare away elephants and other wild animals from the paddy fields and habitations of the locals during the past. However nowadays it is being used as a musical instrument as well. It is crafted from the wood called Larnein. The sound is produced by beating with a pair of sticks on the object hung as shown in the picture.
Ki Thad ki Nep Ki Thad ki Nep: This is a huge collection of various types of clothing used by both Men and Women of this district. They include dresses worn during festivity as well as in their day to day life.
Other commodities Also shown here is an even bigger collection of other commodities used even till today by the Jaintia People. It also includes the Cap designs worn by the Great Freedom Fighter U Kiang Nangbah.
A view of the stage shows and performances given by the Thaiwan Arts and Cultural Organization in and around the state of Meghalaya
            Music Competition  Stage shows  Taiwan Art and cultural Organisation, Jowai
Kamai War and Party performed at the Choral Festival at Soso Tham Auditorium, Shillong