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Translation of Monoliths by AH Lyngdoh(Partial)

Translation of Monoliths by AH Lyngdoh(Partial)

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Published by Roger Manners
Translation of a previously uploaded document on the monoliths of meghalaya.
Translation of a previously uploaded document on the monoliths of meghalaya.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Roger Manners on Jul 24, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Mawbynna of Meghalaya ************************** The Mawbynna (monoliths) are large slabs of rock that have are imbedded or seja

nt in an designated area along with lyngknot-maw (rock-stools), they are there t o bear witness, to notify or remind of any rituals performed towards dead clan m embers, mothers or kings, as a sign of respect towards them or other relatives o r to commemorate an incident or event. Mawbynna are placed here & there in chapt ers where there are never less than three maw-thung (imbedded rock) or mawpynien g (sejant rock) which are mawshynrang (male rock) along with a lyngknot-maw whi ch is a mawkynthei (female rock). The mawshynrang are put up as a boundary stand ing next to each other, the tallest one being in the center and the shorter ones descending alternately on each side of it; and the mawkynthei is placed at the foot of the tallest mawshynrang. Each mawshynrang is made from a solid piece of rock that has been dressed minima lly, it's height can range from 2 pruh (18 inches) to 18 pruh, width from 1 pruh to 3 pruh and the thickness from 1 handspan to 2 pruh, the base is always bigg er the tip. The head of the center mawshynrang is sometimes decorated with ornam ental carvings or a sphere that make it look like a crown. Each mawkynthei is a solid piece of flat rock that is shaped with four sides or as an ellipse, it's l ength can range from 2 to 19 pruh, width from 1 to 9 pruh and it's thickness fro m the width of four fingers to about a handspan: these are placed on top of thre e or four rock-pillars that are between 1 & 2 pruh in height from ground level. Mawbynna are put up at places where religious rituals are performed, beside path s that lead to cremation areas or places of gathering, beside roads or on top of hills. Mawbynna fall into two categories: Those that are erected during funeral rituals where the body is cremated or the bones collected are mawbynna-niam (religion) or mawniam. Those that are erected during ceremonies involving the naming of cla ns or coronation/death of kings fall the under the category of mawbynna-nam (nam e) or mawnam.The maw-kñi (maternal uncle) is the monolith that stands in the cente r that represents the spirit of the maternal uncle of the clan or the spirit of the maternal uncle of the family, the rocks that stand on either side are called maw-pyrsa (nephew) and they represent the younger maternal uncles of the clan o r family. The mawkynthei without doubt is called the mawkiaw (mother-in-law), it stands to represent the root primitive ancestresses of the clan, the grand prim itive ancestresses of the clan or the primitive ancestresses of a part of the cl an. This is why during the jingkñia-aibam (feeding of the dead ceremonies), sacrif ical meat pieces are placed on the mawkynthei which stands for the root of the c lan or the family. Mawniam are smaller and shorter than mawnam, there are four t ypes of these that we can find today; they are mawkjat (foot), mawlynti (path), mawklim (adultery) and the mawniam of mawumkoi or mawtyrut.

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