Artifacts of Museums of Meghalaya
Museums of Meghalaya display the daily use objects of the Garos and Khasis tribes, like baskets and tobacco boxes. They also put on display jewelries, masks, totems and other objects of importance to these tribes. The delicately woven garments and shawls are some of the other attractions. Two of the museums of Meghalaya having ethnic interest are the Meghalaya Tribal Research Institute and the State Museum of Meghalaya.
Meghalaya Tribal Research Institute
Meghalaya Tribal Research Institute possesses a large number of indigenous items used by various tribes. The objects on display in this museum which attracts tourists from India and other parts of the world are a range of textiles of diverse colours. The chief textile products exhibited in this museum include a large variety of shawls and garments used by the local people. There are several images prepared with the help of wood or animal bones, totems and masks. The Tribal Research Institute is located at Mawlai and the place is often visited by people from different parts of the country and also from outside.
State Museum of Meghalaya
State Museum of Meghalaya is another important museum in Meghalaya, established in the year 1975. This museum is regarded as the storehouse of great cultural heritage of India. Some of the major activities of this museum include exhibition, publication, acquisition, conservation and education. Presently, the name of this museum is Williamson Sangma Museum. The items on display in this museum are a variety of daily use objects of a race or a clan, musical instruments, handicrafts, art pieces, objects used in rituals, industry memoirs, weapons used during important wars, jewelleries and traditional costumes. This museum still continues to collect rare articles, models and antiques, which are of enormous cultural or historical value. This museum contains some galleries which display a number of archaic articles like specimens of a large number of Indian art and crafts and common traditional tools, depicting the affluent cultural ancestry of India. Models of the pillars made by Ashoka in particular attract tourists from India as well as other parts of the world. Another striking item of this museum is the dinosaur replica.
Meghalaya Butterfly Museum
Meghalaya Butterfly Museum is located about 1 kilometer from Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya. This museum contains a wide range of butterflies generally belonging to the north-eastern parts of India, i.e. Meghalaya. Butterfly museum was founded with the aim of conserving several rare species of attractive and multi colored butterflies. Apart from the collection of various species of butterflies, a large number of beetles can also be seen in this museum which belongs to India and also different parts of the world. The administration of this museum has undertaken a project related to the commercial use of different species of butterflies. This project has ensured conservation of the different species of butterflies, since use of butterflies for commercial purpose requires a large scale breeding process. About 1600 forms of butterflies are exhibited in this museum.
Meghalaya Botanical Garden and Museum
Another major museum of Meghalaya is Meghalaya Botanical Garden and Museum. It is situated at a distance of about 2 kilometers from Shillong. The site of the museum is secluded and it is situated exactly below the Ward's Lake. This lake is located at a distance of about 1 kilometer from the Lady Hydari Park. This museum is constructed similar to that of a Japanese garden. A collection of different species of plant kingdom is housed in the Botanical Garden and Museum of Meghalaya. Among the large variety of plants available in this museum, most of them belong to Meghalaya. Several orchids on display in this museum are very rarely available in Meghalaya. One of the most valuable wealth of this museum is a range of pines called Pinus khasiana, initially belonging to this region.
Arunachal Pradesh Museum
Arunachal Pradesh Museum is another museum on the list of significant museums of Meghalaya. Situated at a distance of about 3.5 kilometers from Shillong, it puts on display some of the delicate Arunachal Pradesh items.
Some of the other museums in Meghalaya are the Bishnu Museum and Zonal Anthropological Museum in Shillong.