Memorial Stones

An extract from The Khasis, P R T Gurdon, 1st pub. by Govn. of Eastern Bengal and Assam (1907).

Probably one of the first objects which strikes the eye of a visitor to the Khasi Hills is the very large number of monoliths, table-stones, and cromlechs that are to be met with almost everywhere in that country.

Yule, Dalton, and other writers have incidentally referred to them, but, as far as is known at present, no attempt has been made to explain in any detail what is the peculiar significance of these objects to the Khasis.

These stones are rightly styled memorial stones; kynmaw, literally, “to mark with a stone,” is the word in the Khasi language for “to remember” The memorial stone, in the ordinary sense of the word, is a memorial to the dead; but we have such names of places in these hills as Maomluh, the salt stone (the eating of salt off the blade of a sword being one of the Khasi forms of oath), Maosmai, the oath stone, Maophlang, the grassy stone, and others.

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