The elegant ethnic handlooms of Arunachal Pradesh are world renowned for its striking designs and using indigenous organic materials for weaving various indigenous apparels’ for different occasions. The another astounding feature of the ancient art existence is because the tribal’s still prefer to wear ethnic dresses in this contemporary world of fashions. Amazingly, each sub tribe of the state which accounts to more than hundred, have their own matchless and intriguing patterns of designs.
Since the exodus era handloom has been an integral part of the tribal culture of the state which is apparent in the dressing styles. Majority of women tribal populace are engaged in weaving. The weaving method is still the old fashioned one, the apparatus is a simple reed loom and the actual weaving is performed with a semi-curved bamboo tube. Every house hold in the villages has their own indigenous weaving set. The handloom products include skirts, shirts, cotton shawls, jackets, side bags and curtains.
Myriad of tribes are expert weavers namely the Tangsas, the Adi’s, the Apatani's, the Nyishi’s, the Monpa’s etc. The male and female of this fraternity still prefer to wear the indigenously made cloths. Due to the wide adaptation of the traditional cloths, weaving can be treated as another essential household industry producing indigenous products. To explore the traditional art and craft of Arunchal Pradesh all you need to do is book Flights to India!
Amazingly, in this contemporary time there are tribes like Tangsas, Adis, Monpas, Apatanis etc who besides cotton and wool, still prefers the bark fibers extracted from trees, goat’s hair, and human hair for weaving. The weaving products are ceremonial costumes like coats, shawls, embroidered cotton cloth, handbag, skirts and lungis (loin cloths), sashes, carpets etc.
The tribal women weavers have venerable intelligence of intricate colour amalgamation. The most commonly colours preferred by the weavers are black, yellow, dark blue, emerald, and scarlet, merging them creates kaleidoscope of mesmerizing colours.
Likewise, the dyes section discovers the copious usage of natural dyes extracted from different trees, barks, seeds etc. but now due to time factor some of the tribes have began using the synthetic dyes, which is not a very encouraging sign for the future of indigenous dyes.
The illustrious artistic and geometrical patterns of designs in various traditional wears are the creation of the Singpho tribe. Alike them the Tangsas acclaimed applauds by preparing spun-dyed fabrics producing handbags, skirts, lungis (loin cloths). The women of both the aforementioned tribes are famed for their proficiency in creative colour combination for weaving traditional apparel’s. The basic contours of designs of all the weaving tribes are almost identical.
The recognized Adi women weavers command innovation to generate enticing articles by using goat’s hair, cotton and wool. The Nishi women are not regarded as expert weavers but they are best producers of woven cotton. With time, the Mishmi women have mastered the art of weaving by fabricating human hair, plant fiber, cotton and wool into elegant ethnic wears. The Monpa weavers are inspired by the Tibetan and Bhutanese, which are apparent in their traditional attires. Their products like Shawls, Carpets, sashes colourful coats etc. are famous across the globe. The Sherdukpen weaver uses the cotton and plant extracts shunning the wool. Among all the above mentioned tribes of the state, conventionally, the Apatanis are the most advanced weavers, famous for their complex traditional designs and sophisticated indigenous products.
Alike handloom’s, since the dawn of tribal civilization, the various tribes of Arunachal Pradesh are using the indigenously produced handicraft in their household and day to day life. The regular usage of the handicraft as domestic utility materials has elevated the demand of such products to a new high in the domestic as well as international arena and due to its environment friendly properties the product has gained worldwide popularity. The most significant materials used to prepare the handicraft are bamboo and cane. Other craft which are famous in the state are woodcarving, carpentry, ivory craft, metal craft, pottery, paper making and black smithy.
On the basis of various methods of practice for producing diverse artifact, the state can be divided into three sections which will differentiate the handicrafts of the various tribes. The Buddhist tribe can be counted on the first section. The people of this section craft elegant masks for their pantomimes and masked dances. They also make exquisite painted wooden vessels and silver articles. Carpet with exotic designs of dragons, geometric and floral patterns is the specialty of this sector. The second section includes the central part existing from East Kameng in the West to Lohit in the East. The throng of this zone is expert in cane and bamboo craft. The majority of this section uses domestic materials made of bamboo and cane like hats, baskets, cane belts, bamboo mugs etc. And the third section comprises the Eastern Part and is famous for wood carvings. To explore the traditional art and craft of Arunchal Pradesh all you need to do is book Flights to India!
BAMBOO & CANE CRAFT
The secluded terra firma of Arunachal Pradesh is covered by tropical rain forest where the nature has bestowed copiously the bamboos and canes. The abundant availability of these natural resources has made the populace of this region to be dependent on it from constructing bamboo thatched home to drinking tea in a cup made of bamboo. The entire ancient and modern civilization of the state has depended on these two products of nature. Everywhere the significant usage of bamboos and cane for construction materials, hunting gears, decoration object, domestic usage, agriculture purposes etc can be witnessed. Bamboo and cane has become an integral part of the tribal tradition and culture. In this fast age of technology and green house emissions, perhaps Arunachal Pradesh is the only state where the bio-degradable materials are still used in day to day life. The Tangsas, the Wanchos, the Noctes, the Apatanis, the Adis, the Nyishis, the Hill Miris, the Sherdukpen, the Mishmis and the Monpas are the popular tribes who have mastered the art of making delicate and elegant bamboo and cane articles.
Apart from other handicraft, the Wanchos and the Noctes, inhabitant of Tirap Districts are the pioneer and the finest woodcarving tribe of the state. There are three different categories of woodcarving practiced by the Wancho Tribes, the first one is related to headhunting, second is associated to decorate the men’s common abode and the last one is connected to the funerary depiction of disparate animals. Along with the Noctes and Wanchos, the Khamtis are also famous for their stunning wooden sculpture of Lord Buddha. To explore the traditional art and craft of Arunchal Pradesh all you need to do is book Flights to India!
IVORY & METAL CRAFT
The legend says that the many tribes of the state are also expert in crafting with brass, bone, ivory, silver and gold. Traditionally, the Monpas and the Sherdukpens are known as the silversmiths. Apart from them, the Nyishis and Sulungs are specialist in brass smithy producing delicate ornaments, kitchen utensils, sacred bells and smoking pipes. Likewise, the Khamtis were proficient crafting in gold, iron and ivory.
It is believed that the unavailability of iron as a raw material, the scenario of black smithy was completely contrasting from those of bamboos and canes, even than some of the tribes are known to be skilled blacksmiths. The Singpho are famous for their designer daos, the Noctes, the Wancho and the Tangsas for their forges and daos. Besides them, the Adi are known to produce various weapon and implements from iron. The Mishmis are famous for their arrowheads and knives.