"The Abode of the Clouds"
Meghalaya is home to a diverse mix of people, from those whose ancestors met Western missionaries 200 years ago to others who have lived all of their life high in the hills where even clothing is not considered necessary.
Foreign missionaries first came to mountainous Meghalaya in the 1800s. Today more than half the population consider themselves Christians, but the faith of many is a mixture of customs from both Christian traditions and their own ancestral rituals. Other small tribes have never heard the Gospel.
Meghalaya is extensively rural and 85 percent tribal, yet there is a fairly high literacy rate—meaning the people are able to read Christian literature. The society in Meghalaya is unique in that it is matriarchal. The family wealth and property are passed down to the women. The main occupation is agriculture, and many crops grow there in what is one of the world’s wettest regions.
|At A Glance: Meghalaya
||8,800 sq. mi.
|193 People groups
- 70% Christian, mostly nominal
- 13% Hindu
- 4% Muslim
- 12% Animist/Other
|37% are illiterate
|19% are below the poverty line