A new twist to Khasi origin
Guwahati, May 22: The conventional view about the origin of the Khasi people of the Meghalaya that they are a people of Austric Origin speaking a Mon-Khmer/Mon-Annam linked language, who migrated long back in history from some areas of South-east Asia, may not be fully true.
A book named 'Ecassais -The Khasi Saga' written and published by one Dr Satyakam Phukan, a surgeon from Guwahati suggests that this is only partially true. The book point towards a diverse origin of the Khasis, keeping the older, Austric notion very much alive as the primary stratum.
It propounds the theory of a smaller, but very influential contribution in the formation of the Khasi community from a group of people migrating from the West towards South-East Asia.
These people who intermixed with pre-inhabiting Austric people were possibly of Caucasoid or even Kethic in affiliation. The nomenclature 'Khasi' itself according to this research work has probably come from these people. Hence they are labelled by the author 'the Khasi element'.
It is not known properly where exactly these people started their itinerary. They probably bifurcated into two or more groups and moved in different directions. But, wherever, they arrived they carried with them the whole ideas of a megalithic culture and maybe the concept of matriliny.
There is striking similarity of the megalithic monuments and structures notably the monoliths of Khasi hills and those located in western Europe chiefly Britain, Ireland and France. This co-incidence is cited there as possibly being the work of two groups of people sharing a common root, which could be Keltic, he said.
The Surgeon is on expert of ethno-lingustic root.
About the practice of matrilony, could be found amongst one of the original inhabitants of the British Isles, later concentrated mainly in the region of Scotland. Matriliny is the common practices the Khasis from the remote past to this modern times.
Mention is made about the presence of a Keltic Breton tribe named Cassi in Roman age Britain, Scotland is called Ecosse pronounced Ay-KUHSS by the French a part Keltic originated people.
A large number of Linguistic similarities evidenced by like sounding words of Khasi and European languages namely the English, Keltic languages, Swedish, old Norse, German. Greek and Latin are presented in the book.
The author expresses the view that is is probably via the northern slopes of Himalayas in southern-most Tibet that these people, who gave the 'Khasi element' to the Khasis, travelled eastwards in their migration.
The argument is presented that a particular word Lum Mangkashang meaning the Himalayas occurs in the Khasi vocabulary, just because some ancestors of the Khasi people were familiar by coming along these mountains in the remote past.