Kongthong Village is a matriarchal village in a patriarchal society. Kantha is a small village of seven to eight hundred people surrounded by clouds and mountains, 54 km from Shillong and 56 km from Cherrapunji.
Although small, the village has become huge on the world’s map due to its primitive quality. Kuşköy in Turkey, Aas in France, Mazatecs in Mexico, Chinantecs, Pirahira in South America, Chepang in Nepal, and New Guinea in one place. All of them communicate in a voice like a bird’s call or a musical tone.
There is a strange tradition in Kanthang and some of the surrounding villages. In addition to the letter-based names to keep pace with the current era, they have some harmonious identities of short lengths. Every mother in this village makes different tunes for her children, and that tune is their identity.
The main livelihood of the small village of the Khasia community was the cultivation of broom trees, but the main livelihood was hunting. They used to communicate with each other by making sounds like birds’ call not to disturb the prey. Since then, the tune is their companion; music is their identity. Even in the age of the internet, that practice is still going on in Kanthong. Pregnant mothers, almost separate from the electric, internet, and outside world, sing tunes from the call of birds, the sound of fountains, etc., for their future child. After birth, that melody humme to his ears; from that melody comes the song, which is called Jingrwai label. The first letter of this song and its piece becomes the name of the child. To express their love, mothers call their children in tune, but when they get angry, they call them by the name of clothes. Moreover, their literal characters rarely use among themselves.
There is another tradition of the Khasia community, which is very much involved in the practice of melody and music. Every summer, on the pre-determined full moon night, unmarried men and women of the village light a fire and hold a song festival. The boy who sings the best song in that hall will get the right to marry the most beautiful girl in the village.