Shri Emerson Thangkhiew was born in 1929 at Mawmih village in Meghalaya. He belongs to the Thangkhiew clan of the Khasi tribe, known for its traditional music and dance related to festivals and rituals. He has inherited the dance and music of his people from elders in the community and is especially proficient in playing the traditional drums and Tangmuri. Shri Emerson has excelled as a performer of traditional Khasi dance. He has also trained a number of artists of the region, making a significant contribution towards the promotion and preservation of Khasi heritage in the performing arts. At present, he is serving as Basan or elder of the com- munity, handling administrative affairs relating to music and dance at Hima Shillong. Shri Emerson Thangkiew receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribu- tion in the field of Khasi dance and music.