Bamboo is a raw material, an integral part of the North-East people. They are used for several purposes and is universal of all the bamboo crafts. They have been marginalized for decades in their own country. But what we need to know is North-East of India
is a motley patchwork quilt of inherited lifestyle and cluster of indigenous cultures.
Bamboo is one of the speedy-growing plants in the world and a vital part of making many articles. Bamboos are over 12000 species and are long woody grasses. Bamboo is a food crop, and different parts of it are edible too. An environment-friendly resource and if, used to its full potential, can attain maximum usage.
The bamboo craft tradition of the North-East has earned much popularity through the craftsmanship of the regional tribes.
Once a cheap raw material used for building houses to making utensils. More than 50% of bamboo species in India is found
North East or North Eastern Region (NER) of India comprises of eight states- Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura and are known as Seven Sisters of India. The region is composed of different tribes and tribal groups, each with its own distinct culture and features. One of the many excellent craftsmanships of the various North-Eastern tribes is expressed through their vigorous bamboo craft tradition.
They can turn a dull, stale piece of bamboo into an alluring artistic piece, and this clearly shows the skill of the artisans. Intricate myriad designs and structures are seen on their bamboo crafts. A variety of things such as houses, gates, storage bins, baskets for carrying and storage as well are also made. Tools for hunting, fishing, farming, and furniture, toys, combs, etc. are all crafted from bamboo, and that shows the importance of bamboo and its uses in their day to day life.
A large population is capable of this sophisticated craftsmanship. But, for many of them, this is not a bare way of income. There are limitations to the availability of resources.
Being the largest state in North-East, there are 26 major tribes and ten subtribes. 61% of the area is the forest, makes it loaded for the abundance of materials. The craft is different among each tribe, and the styles, patterns, and ornamentation of the products are highly diverse. They are known for their appealing artistic masterpieces, and most men are engaged in this practice. From smoking pipes to barrels, they make everything for their daily purposes. Basket weaved in here is different from one another Barsi is an open weaved, Rohtak, and Pathu are pouch baskets which shape in a rectangle.
Worlds two-third one-horned rhino’s lives in this world heritage site, The Kaziranga National Park, which is a pride of Assam. Majuli, located near the Brahmaputra river in Assam, is the largest pollution free river island in the world. Assam and has the
maximum resources as 51 species of bamboo grow in here.
Bamboo and cane craft is a household craft industry here, and no mechanical devices used. They have a wide range of purposes with bamboos. Are used for tent poles, umbrella handles, yokes, basket, hand fans, etc. Crane mats are also available in different shapes and sizes. The most attractive product of them is the Bamboo/Leaf Head-gear-Japi or Chhata. They are made of strips of bamboo and dried palm leaves, and are used as a conventional umbrella. Musical instruments are also made, with these bamboos.
Also known as Asia’s cleanest village. The state is well known for the well-mannered behavior of the citizens. Not only their houses but the roads and surroundings are also well maintained and clean. They are famous for their living root bridges, which are made by the Khasi and Jaintia people by the hand from the roots of the rubber fig tree, which lie aerial to the ground.
Bamboo grows faster than anywhere here, and different types of it are also available. Daily use products like baskets, stools, etc. are made along with bamboo houses. A particular kind of Khasi umbrella made by the Khasi tribal is one of the products they produce. They do both open and closed weaved baskets.
The near-extinct brow-antlered Deer and 17 other rare species find their home in Manipur. Manipur is the only place in the world that has a floating park, and it is a swamp park. Biomass vegetation found there, which makes it floating on the surface. Traditional bamboo crafts are highly influenced by their lifestyle.
Bamboo and can are a central feature in their traditional headgears. Men wear Headgears wove with cane splits. They use bamboo flowers for ornamentation and as accessories too.
They not only give importance to aesthetics but functionality too. These products are extra useful in terms of day to day life. Manipuri have unique styles of weaving, which they use in varieties of baskets. They are experts in making animal traps with bamboo. They also make wind musical instruments out of bamboo.
Which is the most literate state in India? Kerala, right?
Second most literate state? Yes! Mizoram.
Mizoram is the prime producer of Bamboo in India, which makes the raw available in abundance. Mizo people are mostly Christians. Usually, women are engaged in weaving and men in bamboo crafts. The main product made of bamboo and cane in Mizoram is baskets. They make different kinds of baskets- with lids to store grains, vegetables, etc.
They make particular baskets to keep ornaments too. Next, making furniture for bamboo and are exceptionally beautiful. Women wear headgears made of bamboo with parrot feathers in it and decorated by beetles. The hats they make out of bamboo and canes look-alike like those made of fine cotton fiber. The crafts made by them are unusually beautiful.
To not surprise English is the official language of Nagaland and like ways Mizoram, the people in Nagaland, are Christians. A tourist attraction in Nagaland is the hornbill festival offering tribute to its culture and heritage. Also, World War II was fought only in two states of India- Manipur, and Nagaland. They are very productive in making use of their availability of bamboo and is also said- Life in Nagaland begins on a bamboo cot and ends in the bamboo coffin. Their pride in flaunting the cane baskets is a real thing of beauty. Aside from baskets, which are common there, they prove their artistic skill in furniture out of bamboo as chairs, sofas, tables, etc.
A tradition in Nagaland in which, a special basket is given by a man to the woman he is to marry, as a symbol of promise and commitment. Crafted by the Angami people of Kohima district called Khophi. Excellent finishes make it unique and hold
a special place in Naga culture.
We all know NH44 or national Highway 44, right? The only highway through which Tripura connected to the rest parts of India. The 500-year-old Tripura Sundari temple is located here along with many other ancient structures. Their weaving design, pattern, and style make them unique from the rest of the states. They make all products out of bamboo, and bamboo matting is a flourishing industry. Agreeable quality mats produced.
Lampshades are made too by these bamboo mats. Their primary material for building houses is bamboo. Bamboos are interlaced to make fences that extended above human height, and different weaves such as plain, twill, etc. used. People in Tripura are fond of smoking, and hookah made of bamboo used to smoke.
Not one, not two but, 11 languages. Yes! Sikkim has eleven official languages, and that itself makes Sikkim unique from any other state. Also, Sikkim is India’s first organic state. 750,00 hectares of agricultural land dedicated to organic farming.
Also the second largest cardamom producing state in the world. Sikkim produces articles that used for day-to-day life use. Bamboo is grown abundantly in Sikkim but not everywhere. They found in specified areas only. Bamboo crafts taught to the young generations. Impressive and eye-catching products made which, consist of beer-mugs, piras, mugs, tumblers, etc.
Women do not make any bamboo craft as a notion among Bhutia-Lepha says that if any women get engaged in bamboo crafts, will not have any peace and prosperity in their life. Hence men make bamboo crafts.