Culture & Heritage


The common and regular festivals are those connected with agricultural operations. Greatest among Garo festivals is the ‘Wangala’, which is no more a celebration of thanks-giving after harvest in which Saljong, the god who provides mankind with Nature’s bounties and ensures their prosperity, is honoured. There is no fixed date for the celebration, this varies from village to village, but usually, the Wangala is celebrated in October/ November. The Nokma (the owner of A·kingland or Clan-land) of the village takes the responsibility to see that all arrangements are in order. A large quantity of food and rice-beer must be prepared well ahead. The climax of the celebrations is the colourful Wangala dance in which men and women take part in their best clothes. Lines are formed by males and females separately and to the rhythmic beat of drums and gongs and blowing of horns by the males, both groups shuffle forward in parallel lines.

Other dance forms are ‘Ajima roa’, ‘Mi Su⋅a’, ‘Chambil mpa’, ‘Do·kru-Sua’, ‘Kambe toa’, ‘Gaewang roa’, ‘Napsepgrika’ and many others.

Garo Architecture


Generally one finds the similar type of arts and architecture in the whole of Garo Hills. They normally use locally available building materials like timbers, bamboo, cane and thatch. Garo architecture can be classified into following categories:


The house where every A·chik household can stay together. This house is built in such a way that inside the house, there are provisions for sleeping, hearth, sanitary arrangements, kitchen, water storage, place for fermenting wine, place for use as cattle-shed or for stall-feeding the cow.

tree house


In the Garo habitation, the house where unmarried male youth or bachelors live is called Nokpante. The word Nokpante means the house of bachelors. Nokpantes are generally constructed in the front courtyard of the Nokma, the chief. The art of cultivation, various arts and cultures, and different games are also taught in the Nokpante to the young boys by the senior boys and elders.


In certain areas, in the rice field or orchards, small huts are constructed. They are called Jamsreng. Either the season’s fruits or grains are collected and stored in the Jamsreng or it can be used for sleeping.


The small house, a type of miniature house, built in the jhum fields is called Jamatal or ‘field house’. In certain places, where there is danger from wild animals, a small house with ladder is constructed on the treetop. This is called Borang or ‘house on the treetop’.


This is like a rest house. Usually built in front of the Nokma’s house.

Jam nok:

To store harvested grains like millet and paddy, the Garos used to built a granary or a store house at a distance of about 30-40 metres form the house.