During the 19th century, the American Baptist Mission Society started to work in North East India where they also started to establish mission stations most likely at the Nowgong and Goalpara districts of Assam. Yet, years of hard work and persistent effort conceded very little results. Nonetheless, the coming of Christianity by Omed and Ramke is one of the biggest achievements and remarkable for the Garo people of Garo Hills. E.G. Phillips once said that no historical account of the beginning of Christianity in this Garo field would be complete without a special reference to these first two converts Omed W. Momin and Ramke W. Momin. Because of their hard work and passionate labor, the First Church on Garo Soil was established on April 14, 1867, by Dr. Miles Bronson, where Omed W. Momin installed and ordained as the first Pastor of the Church; that is in Rajasimla.
The Garos Before Christianity
The Garos, like most of the hill tribes of North-East, have been subject to great upheaval since the last 2-3 centuries, particularly since the intrusion of colonial rule in the region. William Carey wrote about the Garos that their speech is a forceful jingle, sounding at times like the sharp clink of metal on stone. With the physical status, the Garos did not want to live under someone who did not belong to the same tribe. They also did not want to give taxes to zamindars from the plain areas. On certain occasions when they were forced to give their taxes by the collectors, they could not keep quiet among themselves; rather they murdered those people and cut off their heads, and took away their hamlets. In the year 1852, Lord Dalhousie said:
“…But these furious people those who do not obey, not useful at all, even not heeded completely will bring a great tragic and dreadful doom. Though we may send the strong soldiers to control them, our work and struggle will go in vain. Even though we try to control from North-East hillsides, it becomes useless… therefore; I myself suggest that we should completely remove them from any angle. Until and unless we caught and tortured these crazy killers will continue and will dominant over all…”1
Having these suggestions in mind, it became quite satisfactory because the British government accepted this, and later on, it decided to organize a serious strike against the aforesaid issues by the Garos whereas this strike gave them heavy burdens in their day to day life. They were stopped from their evil habits, practices and made promises not to do such evil things against the government.
Earliest Attempt to Christianize the Garos
Professor Lindrid D. Shira said about David Scott:
“The Garo people could not forget David Scott, who was a British Commissioner to the whole North-Eastern Frontier of India for which he contributed a lot of good things. Though he could not do much to Garos in terms of the Christian religion, with much struggle he invited some of the American missionaries to work with their full commitment.”2
In the year 1816, David Scott came in contact with the Garos when he was deputed to deal with the troubles on the Garo frontiers. He displayed diplomacy of the highest order in dealing with this fierce tribe and soon it won him their stubborn hearts. He was convinced that war and bloodshed would never bring lasting peace and benefit to the Garos and save the spiritual force of Christian faith channeled through the medium of missionary schools. He was also one of the convictions that neither captain nor civilian was as necessary as the missionary to tame this fierce tribe, and with that clear convicted acting and his guiding principle, he attempted to Christianize the Garos. To this end, David Scott worked hard to secure missionary personnel to open schools among the Garos. He prepared to contribute his personal money for this cause, as it is evident in his letter to Mr. M.B. Bailey, Secretary to the government:
“I am satisfied that nothing permanently good can be obtained by other means. I would greatly prefer two or more Moravian missionaries who, along with religion would teach the useful arts. If the Government would insure them subsistence only, I would be willing to take on myself the expense.”3
This short appeal to the Secretary of the Government was truly appreciated and with this central aspect in mind, the American Mission Board undertook to discover the two missionaries. But unfortunately, in some ways, these things did not work out as they waited because listed missionaries could not turn to fulfill as the Board expected. On the other hand, Captain (later General) Francis Jenkins, Commissioner and an Agent to the Governor-General of Bengal in Assam who shared his interest and views for the Garos established a school at Goalpara district in 1847. Similar to David Scott, his aim was also to train Garo young people in school and to send them back to civilize their people.
Birthplace and Early Days of Omed and Ramke
Omed W. Momin was born in 1832 at a tiny hamlet of Watrepara4 situated atop a hill overlooking Rajasimla village. This hamlet was inhabited by blood-thirsty savage Garos even before 1812.5 From his young days, Omed was ‘the natural leader, impetuous and forceful.’ Though he was born in the wild, he developed an interest in reading and writing as he visited the nearby market where he found a government interpreter speaking fluent Bengali.6 Omed, being the older of the two and by virtue of his status as the uncle, was always ever caring and loving towards his nephew Ramke. He made it a point to share with Ramke whatever knowledge or skill he had acquired.
Ramke W. Momin was born in 1838 after five or six years of Omed (his uncle) at the same place. Ramke, a boy of 11 or 12 years old, was for a time prevented by his step-father, who wanted his help on the jhum cultivation more than his education. While a boy, he believed in the demons and was diligent in always trying to overcome them, often trapping wild birds to sacrifice to them.7 Ramke, even before he knew Christ as his Savior, was very religious and tried his best to live true to his indigenous faith.8
Their Educational Background
Hoping to gain some influence and control over the tribe, the Government had, in 1847, started a school at Goalpara for Garo boys. Providence was leading them, though they may have suspected little how.9 One day in 1847, the news was aired at the Rangjuli market by beating the drums that the Government wanted Garo boys for a school at Goalpara and would feed, clothe, teach them, and turn them out as great men. This news spread to the neighboring hills even to where Omed and Ramke lived.10 Along with a bunch of young Garos, Omed and Ramke also enrolled themselves for formal school education at Goalpara. After a while it was thought advisable to enlarge their ideas by taking them in a steamer at Government expense, to visit Gauhati. A regiment of Sepoy was stationed there and proved a great attraction to the Garo boys. At first, Jongrin and Ronja were enlisted, and Omed was asked to join in, but he refused. But before Omed could complete his schooling; he was forcefully enlisted as a policeman and stayed behind at Gauhati; however, Ramke went back to school to continue his studies at Goalpara.11
Their Conversion and Baptism
The years 1847-1867 were the period of active preparation for the introduction of the Church in Garo Hills. In this period of time, though they worked to their best ability of things, both of them were not satisfied with Garo’s doctrine of rebirth after death. Since childhood, Omed and Ramke were bitter about this doctrine and began to look for other religions which would promise them eternal joy.12
In 1857, Omed as sepoy assigned was to guard a mission house at Gauhati which was to be occupied temporarily by a British officer. While guarding the bungalow, under British discipline, he was such a thoroughly honest and sincere sepoy that he even resisted the temptation to take some old tracks scattered on the floor. One day when the sweeper had swept some of them outside, he hurriedly picked up one of them and slipped it under his shirt. It was a Bengali tract entitled Apatti Nashak13 and Omed read it that night without sleeping and with intense curiosity. At last, he found what he had long been looking for.14 He kept this thought to himself, however until he chanced to meet a Bengali Christian named Samuel Loveday who was engaged in contracting work in Gauhati. This was in 1859 that Loveday persuaded Omed to go see the pastor attend Church services and continued his talks with Kandura Smith but did not seek baptism─mainly because, like many hill-men, he was reluctant to give up drinking rice beer.15
On the other hand, after joining the Goalpara School, Ramke began to study the Hindu Sastras (bibles) and consulted the Sadhus sitting under the big trees at Goalpara. Ramke was so convinced by the exposition of the Sastras by the sadhus that he became a practicing Hindu for about 8 or 9 years. On Sadhu’s instruction, he started and ended the day by saying, “Ram” and by respecting the Brahmins and giving alms liberally to them out of his paltry stipend. He was even convinced that ‘Ram’ would be a panacea to all ills and misfortunes in life until it was shattered by a Christian tract, Apatti Nashak distributed at Goalpara by a band of itinerant Baptist Missionaries named Rev. Ruprecht Bion and Ram Jivan from Dacca in the winter of 1856.
This tract left him again in a state of utter despair and hopelessness. However, his appointment as a teacher of the Primary school at Rangjuli diverted his mind where he taught for about eleven months. He returned to Goalpara after that on the advice of a Brahmin and continued his studies there for some time. A while ago, Omed wrote a letter to Ramke, about his newfound interest in Jesus Christ. With an overjoyed and as soon as the school was closed for vacation, Ramke was he immediately proceeded to Gauhati where he enrolled himself in Normal School and studied for a year.16 There, Omed shared about his little discovery of the mysterious tract. In fact, both the uncle and nephew were seekers of the eternal truth and by nature, both were very spiritual and often exchanged their views about spirituality. Soon a vivid discussion ensued between them as to which religion they should embrace whether Hinduism or Islam or Christianity. Omed, being the older of the two, opined:
The animistic belief of our Garo people is indeed detestable. Hindus practice the caste system. If we become Hindus, we will have to stay away from our relatives. Besides, even Ramayana does not teach anything about the salvation of the soul. In the Koran of the Muslims, indeed there is a promise of God to make the followers of Islam a great nation; but not much importance is given to the soul of human beings. Therefore, after examining what is written in the booklet (tract) and after weighing all the pros and cons, it seemed to me that Christianity is the best and the truest of all religions. (Jaseng D. Marak, comp., History of Rajasimla Baptist Church in Garo Hills, p2-3.)
When Kandura Smith examined Omed and Ramke and was convinced of their sincerity, he told them that he would recommend their baptism to Dr. Miles Bronson when he next visited Gauhati. Eventually, for the first time, the baptism was conducted on February 8, 1863, in the Brahmaputra River at Sukheswar Ghat, Gauhati. Few of those witnessing the ceremony on the river bank that day could have anticipated the service these first two Garo Christians would soon render to the cause of Christ.17 That afternoon, for the first time, erstwhile savage Garos sat down at the table of the Lord, and in holy fellowship with Him and with those who had pointed them to Him as the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world, they partook of the emblems of His broken body and poured-out blood.18
The Advent of Christianity into Garo Hills
Having accepted Christianity as their new religion, they wanted to take it to their fellow Garos into the wild hills19 because they were proved to be extraordinary soul-winners among the Garos. True to this conviction, Omed W. Momin and his nephew Ramke W. Momin approached Dr. Miles Bronson if any missionary would be available to the Garos to spread the gospel. But there was none, while his nephew agreed to accompany him, but neither Omed’s wife Epiri20 nor Ramke’s wife Suban21 approved of their baptism or agreeing to become Christians. However, Omed was offered to go to Nowgong for special training but he refused with a plea that he was too old to learn more.22
Dr. Miles Bronson and Kandura Smith did not approve of this idea because both of them were completely new and untrained for the major evangelistic thrust in the wild areas. They, therefore, persuaded the new converts to remain at Gauhati for sometimes longer to be nurtured by the Christian community there, but they were adamant. Nonetheless, Dr. Miles Bronson accepted their request and promised to pay little amounts of salary, and sent them to spread the gospel to their own people in Garo Hills. So both of them resigned from their respective posts on March 1864 and with their wives and children, they left Gauhati on May 10, 1864, and were kept under the immediate supervision of Captain Morton, the Deputy Commissioner of Goalpara.23 From Goalpara they went to Damra where they halted for a night and made open preaching at the weekly market24 and thus, Omed W. Momin and Ramke W. Momin became the first missionaries to their own people.
Landed at Watrepara with a new Gospel
After a brief stop-over at Damra, Omed and Ramke set out for their home village Watrepara. The villagers were suspicious when they learned of their mission but since the spirits of the villagers did not avenge them of their blasphemy, they were permitted to stay in the village. They felt like men in an enemies’ country, though it was their own. The news of their coming had outstripped them, and a strong feeling of resentment was already aroused. Even their relatives were half afraid and not a little reluctant to give them shelter and food. But the time had come to test their courage, and they did not flinch. For a couple of days, they were going house to house and preparing the way, and then, having prayed much for guidance invited the whole village to come and hear the gospel.25
The crowd assembled at the Nokpante26 and made a circle on the open space in front. The chiefs sat down in the place of honor, and other leaders on either side. Their swords were stuck into the ground before them, for the gathering had all the formalities of a council, and representatives from other villages were present. All squatted on the ground, their black eyes shining under bent brows, fixed on Omed as he rose to speak. It was a moment to try the nerve of the bravest, but the speaker knew the way to their hearts and said:
The Garos believe in demons, but there are no demons. At any rate, there are no demons that have the power to hurt us. We have sinned against God. What shall we do? But there is One who has done everything for us. And He sent Him to save us. He willingly offered himself a sacrifice for our sins, and all who trust Him are forgiven. He rose again after death and is now alive in the presence of God. We, your brothers, who believe it, have great joy in our hearts. And this joy is for all the Garos if they give up the worship of demons and turn to God. Therefore, we have brought you the message.27
When he had finished there was instant clamor and a burst of pent-up indignation and exclamation!
What, you a Garo, born of a Garo mother, do you presume to know more than the whole Garo tribe, and to teach us, your elder relatives? How did you dare you to come here, slighting the demons, and trying to deceive us by pretending that they have no power to hurt or to kill? Beware lest some sudden calamity come upon you! We are not such fools! Who cares for your religion, and who will accept it?28
But Omed was not a soldier for nothing. And there were some, when the clamor had subsided, and the crowd mockingly dispersed, who drew near in the gathering darkness for further talk. They thought much in their minds, and were pleased, saying, ‘The word is truly good’. Thus, their mission began and had they done nothing else they would not have proved themselves worthy of a place among the heroes of the faith. Within a few days, Ramke returned to Damra, taking his youngest brother and two other boys with him as a nucleus for his school.
Obstacles and Challenges by Omed’s Family
Omed and his wife Epiri stay back at Watrepara to labor for his people and tirelessly spread out the gospel for several months. But Omed and his household’s life was not easy because the villagers did not like their teachings and new religion. He was blamed for any misfortune that happened in the surrounding area of the village. Different diseases and calamities like cholera, dysentery, drought, and storms brought miseries to the inhabitants which were considered to be the results of the demon’s displeasure at the new religion introduced by Omed. Within two or three days, some people died because of epidemic cholera and even one of his children died. With this critical situation, he was also threatened with death.
Later on, the villagers considered the loss of lives as a judgment on the village for harboring their presence, and on them for their disbelief. Bitterly enraged with them for bringing down the curse of the spirits, the villagers drove them out of the village. Omed’s life was now at stake and was compelled to leave the village.29 For three weeks, Omed and his family slept beneath the big tree at the foot of Koasi hill and settled down at Rajasimla. Omed made a small hut of bamboo and grass, clearing a place for it in the jungle on the banks of the stream. It was a poor hut at the foot of the Rajasimla pass where his family stayed alone.30 Those days the low-lying areas around Rajasimla were filled with reeds and tall grasses frequented by wild beasts such as bears, wild boars, deer, and stags. Because of this, the area was considered hostile and inhabitable. At night the big cats (tigers) came near Omed’s hut31 and swung around the big tree.
One night, Omed and his family were praying and worshiping God by burning the lantern in their hut, then suddenly six murderous32 Garo people came to Rajasimla with the purpose of wiping out the whole family. But on encountering the glowing of a lantern, they were vexed, baffled, and went back without carrying out their murderous plan.
One of the most tragic incidents happened when Omed and his few friends went up to Koasi33 hill in which puppies and poultry have been taken up to be sacrificed. They scornfully ascended through the steps and started to kick aside all the empty baskets, seized the stones, and broke up. They also slashed the trees that overshadowed them and cut a bundle of bamboos as trophies from the grove. Sometimes later, the Garos came out of their villages like hornets with an angry buzz and ready to strike. In one of the market’s days, while Omed and others were marketing at Rangjuli, suddenly some of the wilder blood, maddened at the sight of them, made a furious attack. Meanwhile, a head constable of Rangjuli police had sent a report to Captain Morton through Ramke. Immediately, captain Morton took instant action by putting 50 men of the frontier police at the Rangjuli market. By looking at the frontier police, the savage people acknowledged loyalty to British Government and knew that the captain kept his word. Moreover, the policemen remained at Rangjuli until the danger was past. As the few days passed by, out of sudden there was an abundance of rain and gave surprise of these turns, the current thoughts of the people. Later on, the ideas of raids were abandoned and the fearful minds of Omed and his people at Rajasimla were also safe.34
It was in the year of 1866, Rangku35 was there with Dr. Miles Bronson because he was baptized by Dr. Miles Bronson on April 8, 1866, at Nowgong and he became the third convert among the Garos. That time, Ramke wrote a letter to Dr. Miles Bronson which had just reached him from Rajasimla, that the Garos had decided to exterminate the Christian families. Rangku tells how Dr. Bronson, after getting Ramke’s letter, came to him with tears rolling down his cheeks, saying, “You must go and help them.” Rangku remarked, “Suppose they kill me?” Dr. Bronson replied, “You go on, the Lord will take care of you.” Dr. Bronson wished him, “God will be with you. Perhaps the trouble has blown over. Anyhow go and be brave.” All night he searched for a boat. In two and a half days, Rangku arrived at Goalpara. Leaving his luggage there and walking on, he reached Rajasimla at sunset. Omed and Ramke were glad to see him and to receive his help in this time of greatest danger.36
Omed and his fellow beings have escaped with great tension, knew that now their lives were in jeopardy. As they went back to Rajasimla, they set a watch both day and night. Fires were lighted all around the small circle of huts and they could not sleep for three days. Omed too, perhaps extremely regretted that he had done and put other’s lives at great risk. In spite of those furious situations, no harm befell on Omed and his family members and others. Nearby a monument,37 it has been built to indicate the place where the wild beasts used to prowl and swing around at night. This place was also used as a foot pass by the people from the surrounding villages in the hills for their weekly market activities at Rangjuli.
Keeping in mind these people, Omed invited the villagers to his small home for a little rest with a slice of betel nut and a puff of tobacco smoking, and it became a “House of Call”.
He then seized the opportunity to share the Gospel of Christ with the unsuspecting guests. Thus, slowly but steadily, Omed started to reap the first fruits of his labor. One by one the villagers started to believe in the ‘new-found faith’ of Omed. Likewise, Omed faced many crucial situations and trials while he was trying to tell the Good News to the people. The Garo people were ferocious and blood-thirsty dwellers and continued till Omed’s time, but the power of the Holy Spirit came down to him and reminded him to pray continuously. As the Holy Spirit led him to pray to overcome those terrible situations, he came forward to pray at the foot of a cotton tree where at present the cemented monument to remember had been set up. It was a short distance from his small hut and there Omed frequently knelt down on his knees and prayed three times in a day:
Afterward, this place where Omed usually prayed came to be popularly known as “Omed’s Place of Prayer”. With such a great visual sense in mind, Omed had suffered a lot but he sincerely labored and was faithful enough that his ministerial field became one of the procreative corners in Garo Hills and could extend God’s Kingdom.
Establishment of the First Garo Church at Rajasimla
Omed’s plan of the campaign proved slowly successful and within a year one by one, and seven of Omed’s people have cast their lot with him. They have quieted the worship of demons and learned the new religion. Though there were several ill-treatments and curious situations, the members at Rajasimla grew. In late 1866, Omed reported to Dr. Miles Bronson that some individuals came and met regularly for worship at Rajasimla and many of them wanted to receive baptism. It was clearly absurd for him to continue the direction of affairs at a distance of two hundred miles, and yet there was no one else. All he could do was to send home fresh appeals and bide his time. To add to his solicitude he had just received a letter signed by eight Garos representing different villages.39 The signed people wrote:
To a man of Dr. Bronson’s spirit, such a letter as this was like a spark of tinder. It set him aflame. Dr. Miles Bronson could not yield to miss an opportunity such as this and finally, he made an arrangement to visit Rajasimla. I would rather kindle up the fires of Christianity among those long-neglected tribes than occupy the most honorable position at home he added. The journey had been long and tedious but the experience at Rajasimla was exciting and inspiring. Going first to Goalpara, he started thence with two elephants, lent by Captain Campbell, on Friday, April 12, 1867. A long day journey in the heat and dust though, reached at Damra at five o’clock, there he chatted with Ramke, they talked and sang till bedtime, and the next morning set off early, arriving in the afternoon at Rajasimla.40 In the evening, he conducted a prayer service in the newly constructed Church building and asked 26 people by saying that becoming Christians might cost them ridicule, reproach, opposition, and even death. They replied though they expected those things, “Yes, we have thought this all over; we expect opposition; we have decided to become Christ’s disciples and be baptized.”
Sunday 14th: A Day of Days!
Early morning worship; also at ten o’clock; after which Dr. Bronson went down to the beautiful stream “Rongkil” dammed up for the purpose and there he baptized 26 Garos─men and women. A crowd of wild savage people stood on the bank, but all were quiet, respectful, and serious as though accustomed to the scene. Among them who gathered into the fold of Christ were the aged, middle-aged, and youth. Several of these were a few months ago angry opposes.
The case of one of them affected Dr. Bronson very much by saying, “I am Christ’s disciple, but I cannot walk. How can I be baptized?” Then, Dr. Bronson told Omed to have and brought him to the water. This man41 when asked if he hoped for worldly gain, answered with spirit: “No; is it to fill our bellies that we become Christians? it is the salvation we want!” At another time he said: “My heart burns to go and tell my people on the mountains of this religion. Only let my foot get well and I shall go.” Thus, the total baptized on this first day was twenty-seven of whom thirteen were women. That very day, Dr. Miles Bronson ordained Omed W. Momin as Pastor by charging him to “range the hills, to preach, baptize, to do the work of a Christian pastor, and ‘to be faithful until death”. Thus, that day itself, with 27 members along with Omed W. Momin, Ramke W. Momin, and Rangku W. Momin, the First Garo Church was established at Rajasimla. Dr. Bronson then, in the presence of them all, ordained Omed W. Momin as Pastor by charging him to ‘range the hills, to preach, to baptize, to do the work of a Christian pastor, and ‘to be faithful until death.”
Monday 15th: April 1867
Dr. Miles Bronson was about to leave Rajasimla and to say goodbye to the people, they went into the chapel when Omed mentioned to him that ten more in the village were unwilling that I should leave without numbering them among Christ’s disciples. Dr. Bronson lost no time in conducting them to the stream once again and baptized them alternately with Rev. Omed W. Momin, one of whom was Suban/Suboni, Ramke’s wife. This showed the Garos that baptism by his hand or mine was the same, Dr. Bronson added. Rev. Omed W. Momin used the baptismal formula in Garo, and Dr. Bronson used it in Assamese. Thus, in one village there is a church of forty Garo Christians, including assistants. There, God put it into the hearts of Omed and Ramke to come and beg to be sent to teach their fellow countrymen. Dr. Bronson said:
I saw their earnestness. I saw God’s hand in it, and although I had no funds, I dared not say, No. I can only say, This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes!
(—Dr. Miles Bronson)
- Rehunath K. Momin, Rehunath K. Momin, “The Hut at the Foot of the Pass,” in History of Rajasimla Baptist Church, p5.
- Lindrind D. Shira, A·chik A·songona Nama Katta Sokbaani,” First Edition: Tura, n.p., 1991, p87.
- K.I. Aier, The Growth of Baptist Churches in Meghalaya (Gauhati: Christian Literature Center, 1978), p24.
- Watrepara was a village of Omed and Ramke which was six and a half kilometers far away from Rajasimla village. This small village was located at the side east-western part of the hill range.
- Jaseng D. Marak, comp., History of Rajasimla Baptist Church in Garo Hills, edited by Rev. Janang R. Sangma (Rajasimla: Souvenir Committee, 2012), p1.
- Medistar K. Momin, “The Contribution of Omed W. Momin,” The First Garo Convert in the Establishment of the Garo Baptist Church, p6.
- M. S. Sangma, History of American Baptist Mission in North-East India, p188-189.
- L. D. Shira, “God’s Plan of Salvation to the Garos,” in ABDK Quasqui Centenary Souvenir, 1875-2000. p14.
- E.G. Phillips, “Historical Sketch of the Garo Field,” in The Assam Mission of the American Baptist Missionary Union: Papers and Discussions of Jubilee Conference, December 18-19, 1886 (Calcutta: Assam Mission of the American Baptist Missionary Union, 1887), p54.
- “Beginnings of Christianity in the Garo Hills of Meghalaya,” in ABDK Quasqui Centenary Souvenir, p3.
- William Carey, The Garo Jungle Book, p56.
- Milton S. Sangma, “Advent of Christianity into Garo Hills,” in Rajasimla Quasqui Centenary Souvenir, 1867-1992, p3.
- “Apati Nashak” means ‘The Destroyer of Objections.’ It explained about the Christian faith and disposed of different objections to its acceptance.
- K.I. Aier, The Growth of Baptist Churches in Meghalaya, p27.
- F.S. Downs, The Mighty Works of God: A Brief History of the Council of Baptist Churches in North-East India: The Mission Period 1836-1950 (Gauhati: Christian Literature Centre, 1971), p48.
- Milton S. Sangma, “Advent of Christianity into Garo Hills”, p3.
- F.S. Downs, The Mighty Works of God, 50. This baptismal report was sent by Dr. Miles Bronson on February 13, 1863, from Gauhati to American Baptist Mission Board, and his report was published in the titled, in The Missionary Magazine, Vol. 43, August 1863, No. 8. p300-303.
- William Carey, The Garo Jungle Book, p80.
- Milton S. Sangma, History of American Baptist Mission in N.E., India, p188.
- Epiri was the wife of Omed W. Momin. Actually, she was not from the Garo tribe but from the Kachari tribe of Assam. She got married to Omed while he was in a sepoy at Gauhati. Later on, she became Garo and took the Garo clan’s title as ‘Epiri D. Marak.’
- Suboni B. Sangma was the wife of Ramke W. Momin from Amjonga. Her name was written as ‘Suban’ in William Carey’s Book title, The Garo Jungle Book, p71; A.G. Momin, “Omed the Saga of a Pioneer,” in Quasqui Centenary Souvenir, Rajasimla, p35; Interview with Rehunath K. Momin, Reverend of Rajasimla Baptist Church on May 13, 2013.
- A.G. Momin, “Omed the Saga of a Pioneer,” in Quasqui Centenary Souvenir, Rajasimla, p34.
- “Beginning of Christianity in the Garo Hills of Meghalaya”, in ABDK Quasqui Centenary Souvenir, p4.
- Milton S. Sangma, “Advent of Christianity into Garo Hills”, p5.
- William Carey, The Garo Jungle Book, p84-85.
- “Nokpante” means a bachelor-house that was built in the middle place of the village where young boys stay together. In this bachelor-house, youngsters slept, played, learned the indigenous arts and cultures together.
- William Carey, The Garo Jungle Book, p85-86.
- William Carey, The Garo Jungle Book, p86.
- “Beginnings of Christianity in the Garo hills of Meghalaya”, in ABDK Quasqui Centenary Souvenir, p5.
- William Carey, The Garo Jungle Book, p87.
- Omed’s hut first was made from bamboo and with grasses. At present, it was coated with cement. There, he called the people for a little rest with a slice of betel nut and a puff of tobacco smoking’.
- These six ‘murderous’ people came down to Rajasimla to wipe out Omed’s family. They were from Wa·trepara namely: Deasing, Achallang, Chella Asanpa, Bikgarangpa, Kallu, and Maru. During those days, they were furious and popularly well-known as ‘matgrik’ or warriors.
- “Koasi” hill was situated at the eastward of Rajasimla village. There was a litter of sacrificial rely on that lays all about–egg-shells, feathers, tufts of bamboo, blood and the worship of this demon dominates the country round. In this hill, there was no mere godling of the valley or sprite of wood and the stream, but the powerful devil whose voice is thunder, whose tread shakes the earth. At certain seasons there was a constant succession of pilgrims toiling up. The trees on the summit are sacred, and sacred stones lie at their roots, which have been watered with blood. See, William Carey, The Garo Jungle Book, p90.
- William Carey, The Garo Jungle Book, p91-92.
- See, E.G. Phillips, “Historical Sketch of the Garo Field”, in The Assam Mission of the American Baptist Missionary Union: Papers and Discussions of Jubilee Conference, December 18-29, 1886 (Calcutta: Assam Mission of the American Baptist Missionary Union, 1887), p56; Melkior Ch. Sangma, in Chimik, Volume 6, No.8. June 2013 (Tura: n.p., 2013), p11.
- William Carey, The Garo Jungle Book, p97-98.
- This monument’s name was written as “Matcha Duru Weram” or “The swinging grove of Tigers” which means big cats (tigers) were coming down at night and swing and prowl at the big tree at night. At present, it has been erected with cement.
- Interview with Livingstone M. Sangma, Deacon of Rajasimla Baptist Church, 9 May 2013.
- K.I. Aier, The Growth of Baptist Churches in Meghalaya, p32.
- William Carey, The Garo Jungle Book, p102.
- He was the right-hand man to Omed. About three months ago, he was unable to walk from a diseased foot. He had learned to read and write in the Government school at Goalpara and speaks Assamese well. He is a mountain Garo and one of the first to leave off the opposition and join Omed. His name was Ramsing Momin. See, “Letter from Dr. Miles Bronson”, in The Mission Magazine, Volume 47. No.11, 1867 (Boston: American Baptist Missionary Union, 1867), p446; William Carey, The Garo Jungle Book (New Delhi: Tura Book Room, 1993), p102; K.I. Aier, The Growth of Baptist Churches in Meghalaya (Gauhati: Christian Literature Centre, 1978), p33.