Thursday, February 23, 2012


P2110013.jpgAfter a week in Shillong with some friends, I arrived in Jowai. This is a busy town that serves as the gateway from the Jaintia Hills district to the rest of India. There's a lot of coal mined in the area and all the big multicolored Tata trucks ply their slow way along the windy one-lane roads through the town. I spent one night with my friend Henry in Nongbah village, which is where Kiang Nongbah, the famous freedom fighter of the Pnar, hails from. I stayed in Henry's wife's house, which is just up the hill from the house where Kiang Nongbah lived, which is now home to the village headman. Henry told me that all of Kiang's family was hunted by the British, so that to this day no one knows who his descendants are.


The next morning I returned to Jowai where some other friends helped me find a room near the Presbyterian Mission Hospital. I've enjoyed staying there for the past week or so, though the room is rather bare. At a local woodworking shop I ordered a small dresser, and another friend may be able to build me a rack for hanging clothes. My time has been spent working on a phonology paper and building a dictionary for Jowai-Pnar and getting example sentences. I'm hoping to begin recording traditional stories in the next week or two.

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