History & Culture

Ri Bhoi District came into existence and assumed the hierarchical status of the District on the 4th June 1992 by upgrading the former Civil Sub-Division. The District was carved out from the erstwhile East Khasi Hills District and lies between North Latitudes 25 15’ and 26 15’ and between East Longitudes 91 45’ and 92 15’. It geographically comprises parts of the Khasi kingdoms viz parts of Mylliem Syiemship, Khyrim Syiemship, Nongspung Syiemship, Nongkhlaw Syiemship, whole of Nongpoh Sirdarship (erstwhile Nongpoh Syiemship), Myrdon Sirdarship and the erstwhile Nongwah Syiemship. Presently, Nongwah Syiemship is one of the missing Khasi States that calls for restoration both administratively and territorially. Presently, the District is bounded on the North by the Kamrup, Morigoan and Nagoan Districts of Assam , on the East by the Karbi Anglong District of Assam, on the South by East Khasi Hills & West Khasi Hills Districts and on the West by the West Khasi District. Nongpoh is the District headquarter and as well as that of Nongpoh Sirdarship. Ri Bhoi District contains an area of 2448.00 Sq.KMS excluding the geographical areas under the erstwhile Nongwah Syiemship and other places which fall under the ‘Areas of Differences’ between Assam and Meghalaya.


The Bhois of Ri Bhoi District are the Sub – group of the main Khasi Tribe. The majority of the Bhois speak the Bhoi dialect, although they use the Khasi dialect as a major subject in their schools. In Ri Bhoi District, there are other groups of tribes viz, Garos, who speak the Tibeto – Burman groups of language, whereas the Karbis, Marngars, Mikirs, Bodos and Lalungs use Assamese as their Lingua Franca. Some speak and write Khasi too. The Bhois follow the matrilenial system. Children bear the title of the mother and she is the safe keeper of all properties owned by her parents.


Ka Shad Sajer : Ceremonial dance held annually at Nongbah (Raid Nongpoh) by Ka Seng Pynneh Riti Khat-ar Lyngdoh. Usually held in the last part of January. Neighbouring zillas also used to take part in this dance. Shad Sajer is more or less like a Festival of the Ri Bhoi District. Other dances includes Ka Shad Shohkba of Raid Nongkharai, Shad Shutwait and Shad Dongdong, Shad Malangho and Shad Kynjuh Kynthei of Raid Nonglyngdoh. Shad Puh Lyngkha of Raid Sohkhwai, Shad Shutwait and Kynjuh Kynthei of Raid Nongkhrah.    Ka Shad Krud Ksing : Merriment dance performed by Raid Thaiang of Ri Bhoi District. Merriment dances of Ri Bhoi District includes – Ka shad Lakympong, Lukhmi of Namsha, Thaiang, Nongtung and Tyrso. Shad Krudkba and Langhei of Marngar.