Video | “A living testimony of one’s love for nature, culture, tradition, history and posterity”: The Ever Living Museum at Mawshabuit (Shillong) – Meghalaya

Watch the interview with museum Founder-Director Bah Kyntiewbor War on YouTube >>

The Ever Living Museum at Mawshbuit, located a stone’s throw away from Shillong, Meghalaya, is well known for its collection of the region’s natural and cultural heritage including crafts and fossils dating back decades and some, even centuries ago.

But how many amongst us would know about the person behind this magnificent Museum that perfectly epitomizes and illustrates what a person’s dedication, devotion and love for one’s own culture, traditions, history, posterity and nature can do.

Bah Kyntiewbor War, owner, curator and story-teller of the Ever Living Museum is the perfect representation of raw passion, persistence and perseverance when it comes to “preserving our past (traditions, culture, history) in order to safeguard our future (generations) to come”.

More than the Museum, the man himself has much more stories and wealth of wisdom to share that will surely enrich your journey to the past.

Join us in celebrating the man, the legend, the iconic figure who’s playing a huge role in guarding our heritage and preserving our histories thereby bridging our connections to our origins

Source: “Kyntiewbor War I Ever Living Museum I Be Inspired”, The Roots Shillong (YouTube)
Date Visited: 28 November 2021

The museum, owned and operated by retired Meghalaya government engineer Kyntiewbor War, was unveiled on April 5.

It has three components — the main museum, stone museum and a garden of wild orchids, wild flowers and wild fruits.

As one enters the 50,000 square foot compound where the museums are located, one feels at peace with nature in all its manifestation.

Amid the greenery, which has become rare in the contemporary era, War’s affection for the distant past, where history could be discovered in varied hues, stands indisputable.

The main museum, which is made of concrete, houses “weapons”, both ancient and contemporary, used by the tribes of Meghalaya.

One can also find ancient smoking pipes of the Garo tribe and the nearly extinct smoking pipes of the Khasi and Jaintia tribes. […]

Apart from attracting tourists, he also wants the museums to serve as a learning centre for posterity where generations would reconnect themselves with their roots, which are firmly ingrained in their history, culture and tradition.

Source: “Testimony to history” by Andrew W. Lyngdoh, The Telegraph, Calcutta, 9 April 2015
Date Visited: Mon Oct 19 2015 12:28:43 GMT+0200 (CEST)

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Read the full report with photographs on BBC FUTURE PLANET | ARCHITECTURE >>

Double Decker Living root bridges of Nongriat village in East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya
Photo © PJeganathan 2014
view the full resolution image on (8.2 MB)
North East India has never been an isolated backwater even during prehistoric times | Book review by Dhrijyoti Kalita on | Find a library copy via >>

For centuries, indigenous groups in north-east India have crafted intricate bridges from living fig trees. Now this ancient skill is making its way to European cities. […]

Tyrna lies just above the plains of Bangladesh in the north-eastern Indian state of Meghalaya, which hosts hundreds of these bridges. For centuries, they have helped the indigenous Khasi and Jaintia communities to cross swelling rivers in monsoons. “Our ancestors were so clever,” says Syiemlieh, “When they couldn’t cross rivers, they made Jingkieng Jri – the living root bridges.”

Meghalaya hosts some of the wettest locations on Earth. […]

When it rains heavily, small cement bridges wash away and steel bridges tend to rust, but living root bridges withstand the rains,” says [local resident Shailinda] Syiemlieh. […]

Although still in its infancy outside Meghalaya, Watson hopes that architecture inspired by the living root bridges could come to play a fundamental role in cities – bringing with it benefits for urban air, soil and wildlife. “Living infrastructure can support incredible biodiversity and species, not just humans,” Watson* says. “We need that biodiversity to survive.”

* Julia Watson, architect and assistant professor at Columbia University, whose work revolves around nature-based technologies of indigenous knowledge

Source: “The ingenious living bridges of India” by Zinara Rathnayake (BBC, 18th November 2021)
Date Visited: 28 November 2021

“The uniqueness of northeast states of India lies in their cultures” | Learn more >>

In Marginalised but not Defeated, Tarun Kanti Bose (a seasoned public interest journalist) “talks about the Khasis, Nagas, Karbis, Garos, Rabhas, Misings, Daflas, Bodos, Akas and others in the North-east. […] The mainstream development paradigm is being questioned and new rainbows of collective, community reassertions are happening across the tribal belt in India. More so, in most cases, led by brave, empowered and resilient women.” | Learn more: >>

Tips: for more information, type “Garo craft”, “Jaintia culture”, “Khasi music” “Meghalaya tribal identity“, “Shillong indigenous culture”, “museum seven sister states” or similar search terms into the search window below

Learn more about India’s eight North Eastern states: The “Seven Sister States” & Sikkim

  1. Arunachal Pradesh
  2. Assam
  3. Manipur
  4. Meghalaya
  5. Mizoram
  6. Nagaland
  7. Tripura
  8. Sikkim
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Explore India’s tribal cultural heritage with the help of another interactive map >>