Sinlung /
11 September 2014

First Khasi And Mishmi Books For Children

By Kanika Sharma

Make most of two unique re-tellings of folktales from the North-East — the first children’s books in the languages of Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya

Chennai-based children’s publishing house Tulika Books has introduced two picture books on International Literacy Day (September 8) — Race of the Rivers and Hambreelmai’s Loom. Khasi writer Esther Syiem has retold the folktale of Ka lew and Ka Ngot, two friends who love to play on the hilltops of Meghalaya. Syiem, an English literature lecturer and author is known for her study of folk literature.

Hambreelmai’s LoomHambreelmai’s Loom, retold by Mamang Dai, pictures by Kalyani Ganpathy, Tulika Books, Rs 150. Available at leading bookstores. 

Hambreelmai’s Loom, on the other hand, has been narrated by Mamang Dai echoing the beautiful sounds of the Mishmi language from Arunachal Pradesh. The story’s protagonist is Hambreelmai who is the first weaver taught by the goddess Matai. Mamang Dai is a Padma Shri poet and novelist, who is currently a part of the Arunachal Pradesh Service Commission.

Race of the Rivers
Race of the Rivers, retold by Esther Syiem, pictures by Benedict Hynniewta, Tulika Books, Rs 150. Available at leading bookstores. 

Both books have been meticulously illustrated by Benedict Hynniewta (for Race of the Rivers) and Kalyani Ganapathy (for Hambreelmai’s Loom).

As is Tulika Books’ norm, the two picture books have been published in nine languages. However, given the special status of these two books, they are also being published in their local languages making them the first Khasi book for children and first Mishmi book ever. Explore the incredulity of the North-East exposing your child to enigmatic tales for life by grabbing these books now.


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