Smit

Smit: 15 km southeast from Shillong is the cultural center and the headquarters of the Syiem (the tribal chief) of the Khyrim State of the Khasi tribe. At Smit stands the "Ingsad", the traditional royal residence of the Syiemsad, queen mother and high priestess of Hima Khyrim (Khyrim state). Unlike other hill states of NE India, Khasis had organized statehood several centuries before the British arrived. She is the custodian of the rites and rituals of the Khasi religion. The house of the Ingsad is built without nails. Every Syiem during his tenure builds a new house. The present house is around 80 years old.

The Nongkrem dance is performed at Smit in October / November after the rice is harvested. It is part of what is known as the Pomblang festival (Goat sacrifice ceremony) performed by the Syiem of Khyrim with the aid of his priests and ministers. A day being fixed the syiem sends a ring of cane (Kyrwoh) to the headman off every village of the state inviting them to Smit to attend the festival with their offerings consisting of food. The festival lasts for 5 days. For 3 days prayers are offered. Cocks and goats are sacrificed. All this takes place within the house of the Syiemsad. On the fourth day a dance is performed by virgin girls and men (married and bachelors) in front of the house. The girls are dressed in the finest silk clothes and wear a lot of gold and silver jewelry.