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Try the Handicrafts!

Handicrafts of Northeast India

North-East has been a smorgasbord of various cultures, with its rich cultural heritage, Its people, make the region all the more exceptional. Handlooms and handicrafts form an integral part of the lifestyle of the indigenous people of this region. While most tribes and communities have their distinctive handicrafts, the materials used to make them are largely the same.

From Terracottas to wood carvings, from bamboo and crane products to mask making, from jewellery to Brass & Metalcrafts. North East India holds an invaluable traditional skill which attracts tourist from all over the world and tourist are bound to be awestruck by the diversity of arts and crafts of the region.

Assam and its Centuries Old Art & Craft

The finesse and exquisite workmanship of a wide variety of craft products of ancient Assam earned universal acclamation, as is evident from many literary and historical records. In all branches, craftsmanship like weaving and sericulture, or metal, ivory, wood, leather, clay, cane, bamboo works and the like, the reputation of Assamese artisans was equal to that of the craftsmen of other parts of contemporary India. The richness of the art and handicrafts of Assam beautifully reflects the bountifulness of its culture. Assam handicrafts played a major role in Assam Culture since some of are carried out for centuries. Here are Some of the Famous Handicrafts from the State of Assam.

 Metal Craft: Bel Metal and Brass Metal. These are the two types of metal crafts which are available in Assam. Hajo and Sarthebari villages of Assam have established their names in the world of metal craft. The utensils made from the Bel metal can be explained into different types.viz. “kanhi” (dish), “bati” (bowl),” ban bati” (bowl with stand), “ghoti” “Koloh”(water vessel),“bota” (used for offering prasad and betel nut), “sorai” (used for religious purpose and to offer gifts to respected person), “tema” (box to keep ornaments & betel nut). Apart from the utensils and utility items artisans of the cluster also produce musical instruments like Tals (Cymbals) and decorative items like the flower vase. Lamp stands, decorative clocks etc. Copper and brass cups of Goalpara district known as Kansas are products of Assam of great significance. There are more than 300 families directly involved in this craft.

Barpeta’s Fireworks Crafts: Late Lakshiram Pathak of Majorhati, was the founder of fireworks industry in Barpeta 100 years back was also patronized by Queen Victoria who awarded the industry with a Gold medal.

Bamboo, Cane, Sitalpati Craft: India is one of the richest countries in the bamboo population with about 75 genera and 136 species, out of the total 1250 species of bamboo grown in the world. The North Eastern region alone hosts about 90 species under 13 genera. Products from cane and bamboo are the popular art form in Assam which practised since time immemorial. Being rich in bamboo and cane reserves, Assam produces some very useful and daily used utilities like baskets, hats, sieve, mats, chairs, stools, music instruments, and other useful furnishings out of bamboo and cane. Definitely creating a great example in Eco-Tourism. Jaap(Headgear), which is a great symbol of Assam, a matter of great significance in Assamese culture, offered as a sign of respect in ceremonies etc is made from tightly woven bamboo and/or cane and tokou paat (Trachycarpus martianus).

 Pottery: Assam has a very good track record in the ancient ages for pottery. The Kumars and Hiras are the two famous communities of Assam who are perfect in the art of pottery. They make incense holder, clay pots and several other decorative articles. The famous locations are Asharikandi in Dhubri district, Hajo ( Chonmaguri) in Kamrup district, Majuli in Jorhat district, etc.

Wood Carving: Wood carving is found extensively in Sonitpur district. The artisans produce various type of wooden Rhino, Elephants, decorated pieces of wall hanging etc. Around 100 artisans now depend on woodcarving activities.

Masks: Masks or Mukha in Assamese plays an important role in the art and culture of Assamese. Majuli’s Famous Mukha Silpa or Mask making culture is a world-renowned article. Which is also featured in the British Museum. Cultural activities like dance involve the use of masks. The masks are made of wood, terracotta or metal.

Jewellery: Assam has a rich heritage in traditional jewellery. Assamese women proudly wear traditional jewellery on the occasions of Bihu-The State festival, marriages or casually. Some of the popular traditional Assamese jewellery include earrings with exquisite Lokaparo, Keru, Thuriya, Jangphai, Long Keru, Sona or Makori; an array of necklaces including Golpata, Satsori, Jon Biri, Bena, Gejera, Dhol biri, Doog doogi, Biri Moni, Mukuta Moni, Poalmoni, Silikha Moni and Magardana, and diversified rings including Senpata, Horinsakua, Jethinejia, bakharpata and others. Some designs are exclusively found in this region only. The traditional Assamese Jewellery is found in Barpeta ( 40 units), Jorhat ( 40 units) and Ranthali (450 units) in Nagaon district.





Adobe of cloud, Meghalaya

Meghayala is known for its rich tradition of art and handicrafts and the people of Meghalaya have long perfected the art of weaving, be it cane or cloth. The most famous craftsmanship here is woodcarving and cane and bamboo work. From cane mats to winnowing fans, Umbrellas to stools and baskets Meghalaya hold much more for handicraft products. Some of the special mentions are –‘Tlieng’ -cane mat weaved by the Khasis tribe, ‘Meghum Khoks’- beautiful baskets from Garo tribe, bamboo fishing traps-From Jayantiya people.

Because of its appealing plus durability quotient, Handicrafts of Meghalaya attracts people from all around the corner. Visit this adobe of cloud and take back home some of these handicrafts and you will know it for yourself

Unique Handicrafts from Manipur

Since cane and bamboo are abundantly available basketry has been a popular occupation of the people of Manipur. Different shapes and sizes with different designs are manufactured for domestic and ritualistic.

Heijing Kharai, Phiruk & Lukmai are exclusively meant for ceremonies such as a wedding, birth and death. For domestic purposes baskets like Likhai, Sangbai, Chengbon, Meruk, Morah etc. are made.

Again, there is fishing equipment made of cane and bamboo. They are Longup, Tungbol etc. People of Maring tribe inhabiting the Chandel District are the main manufacturers of these types of a basket. Other tribes and the Meeteis also contribute a lot to the production of baskets.

Pottery culture is very old in Manipur. Most of the pots are handmade and are of different colours (red, dark red and black). Pottery flourishes in Andro, Sekmai, Chairen, Thongjao, Nungbi and parts of Senapati District. Chakpa women are good potters and they make different types of pots are made for ritualistic and ceremonial purposes.

 Land of festivals, Nagaland 

Nagaland is known for its rich tribal culture and its craftsmanship, known for its living examples of skilled labours and craftsman and their handiworks are famous worldwide. Nagas use indigenous and natural recyclable products to manufacture items which are also durable in nature. Some of the popular handicrafts from Nagaland are- Cane-Crafting, Wood Crafting. Drinking vessels from woodcraft and bamboo buskets of Nagaland can increase your home decor’s beauty to under level.

Mizoram-The Bamboo Queen of India

Going with the name Mizoram is known for its bamboo products, one can find the classical handicraft of Mizoram comprising of ‘Khumbeu Ceremonial Hat’ made of waterproof wild Hnahthial leaves including other handicrafts products as shawls, textiles, bags, utensils, flower vases and fine bamboo furniture.  Visit and experience the uniqueness of these handicraft items we are sure you will fall a prey to buying them once you see them. Some of the important handicrafts teams from Mizoram are- Empai & Flower vase, Mizo Thul & Khumbu, Bamboo Furniture, Hnangtah lai and Puanchei & Puandum.

Land of downlit mountains, Arunachal Pradesh 

The beautiful handicrafts from Arunachal Pradesh comprising a wide variety such as weaving, painting, pottery, smithy work, basketry and wood carving.They are beautifully crafted from one generation to the other from centuries to centuries.

Some of the prominent handicrafts from Arunachal Pradesh are –Cane & Bamboo such as Hats, baskets, cane vessels, cane belts – woven and plain, bamboo mugs with carvings work. Carpet Making of Monpa tribe, Wood Carving from Monpa and Khamtis are famous for their fluent and smooth work over beautiful cups, dishes and fruit bowls, magnificent ceremonial masks and beautiful religious images, figures of dancers, toys. Ornaments made from feathers of birds and wings of the green beetles are gaining tremendous popularity in recent years.

Land of Monasteries and Glaciers – Sikkim 

Sikkim is one of the favourite tourist destinations in India. The traditional handloom and handicrafts products of Sikkim are very popular among the tourist. But despite improvement in technology elsewhere, no noticeable change has been recorded in Sikkim. Mask making of Sikkim is an ancient craft in Sikkim. Wooden masks may depict serene, partly angry or anomaly expression. Bamboo and cane craft play a dominant role in the Handicrafts in North East India. Some of the Famous handicrafts products are-  Lepcha hats, fruit and vegetable baskets, mugs, flower vases, tea trays, carry bags, containers, baskets, dustbins, mats etc. Thanka painting from Sikkim plays an important role in their religious beliefs.