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Crafscape: Experiencing artisans at work

Artisans at working during the Craftscape exhibition at the ongoing Hornbill Festival in Kohima on December 2. (Morung Photo)

Morung Express News 
Kohima | December 2

At the Hornbill festival, the sale and display of Naga craft signatures and handmade distinctions under one roof is an important highlight. It speaks volume on tribal specialties by skilled artisans. 

At this year’s edition, visitors have the opportunity to meet artisans at work and get a real time experience of the works of the craftsman, the material they work with and to look at where the design meets the work. 

Craftscape- an exhibition in celebration of the timeless traditions that values the humanity of the handmade is brought together by Tribal Weave in collaboration with the Department of Tourism and Art and Culture, Nagaland. The portfolio is curated by Sentila T Yanger. 

Yanger informed that the artisans have come from various regions of the state and curated in a form where new artisans or different art forms are brought in. 

The artisans, with the use of rudimentary tools and bare hands, are engaged in woodcraft, metallurgy, beadwork, textile and pottery. 

Weavers from the Khiamniungan Naga of Pathso B village, Noklak district demonstrated the Naga textile grammer-cotton processing, spinning and weaving while chanting to a folk tune. Women artisans from Lüruri village, Phek district were engaged in pottery tradition of the Pochury Nagas. A Chang Naga artisan from Chentang, Tuensang district made bamboo mugs with poker work designs.

Other demonstrations included crafting of the mrabung (indigenous musical instrument) of the Zeliangs, the wind chime of Pochurys etc. 

The exhibition will also seek to highlight and create awareness on the fragile status of some of the vanishing craft traditions rapidly fading away for lack of patronage and facing threat from substitutes of cheaper alternatives in plastics and other man-made derivatives. 

A foreign tourist while expressing her amazement on the demonstration noted that the crafts were “skills and creativity combined.” The tourist noted that these rare endowments that the Naga people possess should be well documented and preserved.

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