Women of Shillong | Police Bazaar

Photos from Iewduh and Police Bazaar…taken in January.

street fashion shillong india

street fashion shillong india

street fashion shillong india

street fashion shillong india

Kong(Khasi for sister) is a respectful term, and can be used for any woman irrespective of her age.
Although Mary, my host in Shillong, painted this picture(of a Kong) in my head, and I think the two ladies below get closest to that.

street fashion shillong india

kong khasi woman street fashion

This lady is also my host’s domestic help. She walks everyday from Polo Hills to Risa Colony and back. That’s roughly about…7kms. a day? She is in her 70s.

kong khasi woman street fashion

“Old-fashioned dresses worn by Khasi ladies of farming families comprise – the ka jympien, a body cloth wrapped round and fastened at the loins with a cloth belt that ends at the knees or just below it. Over this next-to-the-skin undercloth they wear the ka jainsem, sometimes made of muga silk, which hangs loosely from the shoulders down to the ankles and is not caught in at the waist. It has a built-in pocket for small personal articles and is kept in position by knotting at both shoulders.”

However, what most of the women are wearing here is a Jain-kyrshah – a checkered cotton cloth knotted over one shoulder; sort of an improvised apron.

khasi women

khasi women street fashion shillong

khasi women street fashion shillong

street fashion shillong india

Even in heaven people eat Kwai – a popular saying in Khasi. Kwai is paan made of betel leaf, areca nut, and lime. Everybody in Shillong eats it. It’s a part of their culture, and is addictive(in a good way I suppose). It’s available pretty much on every street, and in winters, you eat it with ginger; it makes you feel warm.

A Kwai addict is easy to identify – red lips!

street fashion shillong india

Kwai eating lady on the left.

khasi women

khasi women

“If she is young, she will be buxom and comely, with powerful calves that are admired as beauty.” Couldn’t have been more honest with the description.

street style shillong india

street fashion shillong india

street fashion shillong india

Below: a woman selling Khui(Khasi slang for cigarettes) and Kwai..in Police Bazaar.

street style shillong india

street style shillong india

street style shillong india

street fashion shillong india

street fashion shillong india

street fashion shillong india

street fashion shillong india

street style shillong india

street fashion shillong india

street fashion shillong india

street fashion shillong india

street fashion shillong india

street fashion shillong india

street fashion shillong india

street fashion shillong india

street fashion shillong india

“When it gets bitterly cold in the hills, Khasi women wear long feet less stockings; in cases of the poorer families, ribbons or cloth wound around the legs like putties or gaiters.”

street style shillong india

street fashion shillong india

street fashion shillong

street fashion shillong india

street fashion shillong india

street fashion shillong india

street fashion shillong india

street fashion shillong india

street fashion shillong india

street fashion shillong

street fashion shillong

street style shillong india

Text in quotes + the scans are from the book Dwellers of the High Hills – The Khasis of Meghalaya.

street fashion shillong

street fashion shillong

street fashion shillong

street fashion shillong

I am also considering blogging about houses of Shillong and the way the city looked in January. The houses here look so pretty and different.

shillong house

shillong street

shillong city

shillong city

shillong city

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30 Responses to “Women of Shillong | Police Bazaar”

  1. hiddenbutton Says:

    what beautiful faces!

  2. Classy&Fabulous Says:

    Definitely do a post on the houses. You take such brilliant pictures. I didnt know much abt the north east, really want to visit tho…but for the time being i am learning about that part of india thru you!

  3. mostlymonochrome Says:

    Interesting variety of women.

  4. Curry Spice Says:

    I love this post. I love the range in the traditional skirt.. Do digress. I want to see the houses. Love love love it.

  5. L1L2 Says:

    and you said you weren’t taking enough pictures:) what a collection! good to see mercy (in her blue helmet) and saralee:) they are rockstars!

  6. Sen Says:

    nice post

  7. simple girl Says:

    awesome pictures.. the women there are soooooo beautiful.. waiting for your post on houses..🙂

  8. Kevvy Harris Syiemlieh Says:

    Love ur Blog!!! I have a couple of frends picture u have here and they are sooooo surprised they didnt even have a clue, but they are really proud now thanks to you coz in a way they get to represent the Beauty of Khasi women thru your Blog….. this blog is becoming really famous in the khasi community🙂 Great pictures and looking forward to more blogs on the houses from you:)

    • Manou Says:

      I expected some people to be not too happy about their photos up(because I encountered a few women who didn’t want to be photographed..would cover their faces up or look away)..but I’m glad your friends are okay with them.

  9. Rathiulung Elias Khangchien Says:

    very cool! keep up the good work.

  10. Xando B Rapsang Says:

    Nice:)

  11. Sartorial Diary Says:

    i’m loving the colour pallete on the older women!
    i love how they’ve layered different prints and textures!

    http://thesartorialdiary.blogspot.com/

  12. Mitali Baruah Says:

    Amazing amazing photos. Love it!

  13. Chrissy Says:

    Ive been a lurker..but had to come out for this one..love it!

  14. bandana basumatary Says:

    beautiful pictures,lived in shillong for seven years,still miss it a lot, it is unlike other hill stations in India,very very unique.the style of shillong women is beyond any fashion trends.its charming in its own way……hope to see some more wonderful pictures

  15. Danielle Says:

    I know too many people in here. Good work.

  16. Saundarya Srinivasan Says:

    i love the third picture from the top and the one with the bright orange skirt.. please do a feature on houses and bags too!!

  17. thatskindy Says:

    Great post.I live in shillong.Your pics made me homesick!

  18. KC Says:

    good job man. love your blog and love your pictures!

  19. Milsha Basaiawmoit Says:

    I am very proud shillong women are very pretty and cute

  20. Ferozeoanis Rapsang Says:

    Nice to see our own culture, ‘long live the khasi people long live shillong’.

  21. Edmund Says:

    wwwoooooooooo……………i love this post !!!!!!!!!

  22. sagar kumar Says:

    very nice post

  23. T.kharbyngngar Says:

    kya baat kyabaaat kyabaaaaaaaaat !

  24. Billy Lyngdoh Says:

    In these pictures, some of them are of Khasis and some are not. Khasi women are beautiful and decent and girls especially know how to dress and be attractive.

  25. jonali sharma Says:

    beautiful woman , beautiful shillong.

  26. Ben Says:

    We are khasi n its gud to see our state progressing wth da morden world so we should nt be ashame to enclose our culture,custom ot itz beauty cus we are wat we are……so we should stay any more in dark coner n we should cum forward for da brighter future of our state………thnx to u all guyz of ur gud effortz….keep it up

  27. Simha Says:

    really really beautiful. and the woman look so exotic. and so stylish. they know how to look good and keep themselves looking good. this is a good example to rest of india

  28. Smitha Says:

    Great pictures and wonderful work. So much insight into the daily lives of beautiful and warm Shillong . Your records leave one with a sense of history and style of the warm and lovely women of Shilliong. Will come back for more.

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