The majority of the people living in the Cherrapunjee are the members of the Khasi tribes. Their history can be traced back to the early 16th century. Till the 18th century they were ruled by the chiefs also known as 'Syiems of Khyriem'. It was in the 19th century when these hills were annexed by the British troops.
One of the main characteristics of the native society of the people of this region is that it is the matrilineal society. Here, the daughters receive the property. The husband of the youngest daughter goes on to stay with his in laws. The children use the surname of their mother. In the Khasi tribe society, the lineage and inheritance is traced through the daughters of the family.