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People of Meghalaya

People who reside in the Garo Hills are known as the Garos.

Besides the Garo hills, there are Garo settlements in the plains of Assam and Bangladesh. The Garos call themselves Achik-mande. In the Garo language Achik means Hills and mande, Man. So, Achik-mande means the Hills people.

The traditional Garo female dress is a piece of cloth around the waist and a blouse or vest. The men usually wear, in addition to cloth, a turban. Males and females both wear bangles and earrings. The chief meals of the Garos consist of rice with onions, capsicum and salt thrice a day. Practically all types of animal foods are taken. The liquor is not distilled, but prepared by brewing food grains.

The society is matrilineal like the Khasis and the Jaintias. Till death, the new-born baby belongs to the mother's family, irrespective of sex, even after\r\nmarriage. Marriage within the clan is completely prohibited and severely punishablefor both the Khasis and the Garos. Till now, the institution of Bachelors Dormitories which is gradually disappearing amongst the tribes of North Eastern Region, are found in the Garo villages. In such dormitories young people stay and live together till they are married. They receive various training in the dormitories like protection of crops, construction of roads, organising festivals, sports and ceremonies.

The Khasis and Garos are now mostly Christians. But before that, they used to pray natural objects.