By Hoji Suting
SHILLONG | June 22, 2019:
Every year on June 22, Meghalaya observes and commemorates the Thomas Jones Day — a tribute to the Welsh Christian missionary — Rev Thomas Jones, ‘arguably’ known as the Founding Father of Khasi alphabets and literature.
Hundred and seventy eight years ago, one of the major tribes of Meghalaya – the Khasis were without a written script, without a lingual identity and without a literary history. However, all of that changed with the arrival of Reverend Thomas Jones.
At his tombstone in the Scottish cemetery in Kolkata are inscribed the words “The founding father of the Khasi alphabets and literature”. In 1842, he published the primer which was entitled ‘Ca Citab Nyngcong Ban Hicai Poole Ci Citin Cassi’.
Now based on the new findings, we will focus on the early migration, the history of the tribe as explained by historians from across the world. In this article, we will break these findings into parts:
PART – I
NEW FINDINGS ON THE KHASIS
According to the new findings, it was revealed that the Khasis or Cassi were one of the tribes who fought Emperor Julius Caesar of the Roman Empire when he first invaded Britain in 55 BC and 54 BC.
William Camden, (1551 – 1623), who was an English historian best known as author of Britannia, wrote at length on the Cassi’s conquest in Britain nations.
“But whence these people had the name of Cassii, I have not discover’d; unless it was from their war-like Valour. For Servius Honoratus informs us, that the stoutest and most vigorous Soldiers were by the ancient Gauls (who spoke the same language with the Britains) call’d Gessi,” wrote Camden.
KHASIS: THE ANCIENT PHOENICIANS?
The ancient Phoenicians who traded all across Europe by ship were Khasis. Lieutenant Colonel Laurence Austine Waddell clearly mentions in his books that “‘Kassi or Cassi’ was used by the first Phoenician Dynasty 3000 BC”. Waddell was a British explorer, Professor of Tibetan, Professor of Chemistry and Pathology. Waddell studied Sumerian and Sanskrit too; He was a Professor of Tibetan at the University College of London (1906–1908). He became a fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute and produced many brilliant books and papers. According to Waddell, the “unknown” script on the Newton Stone in Scotland is Hitto-Phoenician. His translation is as follows: “This Sun-Cross was raised to Bil (or Bel, the God of Sun-Fire) by the Kassi (or Cassi-bel) of Kast of the Siluyr (sub-clan) of the “Khilani” (or Hittite-palace-dwellers), the Phoenician (named) Ikar of Cilicia, the Prwt (or Prat, that is ‘Barat’ or ‘Brihat’ or Brit-on)”. By the way, the Khasi word for God is ‘Blei’ similar to the ‘Bel’ mentioned by Waddell and in ancient Welsh, it is ‘Beli’; ‘Brihat’ in Khasi means Agricultural Market’. Waddell’s critics (most of whom were arm chair critics who never travelled anywhere) tried to rubbish his writings but now DNA has proved him right and they wrong, almost 100 years later. He was a British and Scottish genius.
KHASIS: FIRST SETTLERS OF IRELAND?
The Khasi living today in the beautiful Khasi Hills at the foothills of the Himalayas, were the first settlers of Ireland some thousands and thousands of year ago. They came in many waves. Just as they did thousands of years ago, they still follow the matrilineal system of inheritance, wear distinct tartan shawls, have priestly druids known as Lyngdohs’, still maintain over 100 Sacred Groves/Forests, build monoliths, Stone Circles, dolmens, cromlechs, megaliths and Living Root Tree Bridges. “‘Black Irish’ is often a description of people of Irish origin who had dark features, black hair, dark complexion and eyes.”
DNA testing of remains of ancient Irish people suggests that some of the earliest human arrivals on the island originally came from much further afield…….One of the oldest texts composed in Ireland is the Leabhar Gabahla (in Khasi ‘Leh Bha Kat Ba Lah’ meaning Do as much Good as you can). It tells a semi-mythical history of the waves of people who settled in Ireland in earliest times. It says the first settlers to arrive in Ireland were a small dark people called the Fir Bolg.
KHASIS: EARLY SMITHS TO WORK WITH IRON
You cannot build ships without iron. So knowledge of iron smelting is important. Below is the link to an article which came out in 2013 entitled “Iron used in Khasi hills 2000 years ago- Evidence of ancient smelting ‘technology’ found in Meghalaya” where two Polish scientists find that the Khasis knew the art of iron smelting at least 2000 years ago. Pawel Prokop, a geo-environmental researcher with the Polish Academy of Sciences and his colleague, Ireneusz Suliga, have reported their findings in the journal, Current Science. https://www.telegraphindia.com/1130326/jsp/frontpage/story_16715810.jsp
THE GREATEST HISTORY BOOK EVER WRITTEN IS THE ONE HIDDEN IN OUR DNA
The Khasis or Cassi arrived in many waves more than 30000 years ago in the British Isles and Europe.
“The greatest history book ever written is the one hidden in our DNA” — Dr. Spencer Wells, Director, Genographic Project, National Geographic Society. What many do not know even among the Khasi people is that DNA has now uncovered that the Khasis and the Mundas left Africa for India around 60000-70000 years ago to escape severe drought and famine. Kindly read the article ‘How Did The Khasis Of Meghalaya Come From Africa’ by Dr. I. Mohendra Singh, who is based in the UK. Also please read the extremely erudite article ‘The Origin and Ancient Migrations of the Khasi People: Genetics Tells the Story’ by Dr Glenn C Kharkongor , Chancellor of Martin Luther Christian University, (MLCU) which confirms the ancient prehistory of the Khasis.
Now combining the subjects of Genetics, Anthropology, Archaeology, Linguistics, Ancient History, Toponymy (Toponymy or Toponomastics, the study of place names, is one of the principal branches of Onomastics), Culture, ancient Khasi oral history, legends and myths (most of it kept secret and handed down among just a selected few, most of whom have died), Geography etc, we now know for sure that the Khasis were the first civilization of the world and that they set up the Kingdoms of Sumeria, Egypt, Phoenicia, Mesopotamia and many others across the world.
In PART -II of this article, I will focus on the astounding Origin and 60000-70000 years mind blowing history of the mysterious, ancient Khasi people, a tribe living at the foothills of the Himalayas.
We have much much more to tell. In honour of Thomas Jones, let this article spark intense interest among students, researchers, scientists and professors to study and reveal the untold prehistory, oral stories, myths and legends of the Khasis.
(Bah Hoji Suting is a Former PA to Late B.B. Lyngdoh, former Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Former OSD of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
(DISCLAIMER: The opinion expressed in the article are the writer’s own and Shillong News may not subscribe to the same views.)