(Last Updated on : 11/11/2014)
The northeastern state of India, Manipur is a storehouse of variety of crafts. Manipuris make their crafts with a lot of passion and style. Crafts of Manipur are a prized possession and have been widely acclaimed by connoisseurs of crafts from all over the world. The papier -mache, decorative items made out of ivory, dolls and jewelry are highly esteemed mementos.
Manipur is blessed with cane and bamboos
, which is used to make a wide range of utility and decorative items. Some of the bamboo and cane products are sofa sets, murhas, mats, basketry, tray, chair, table, flower vase, ashtray etc. The baskets of cane are very famous which have distinct motifs, patterns and intricate weaves. The Bamboo screen chiks have attained commercial proportions. The screens of Manipur consist of beautiful room dividers stage and mandap backdrops. They are delicately woven and crafted out of bamboo.
Manipur also has its own style of embroidery with practically no variety of stitches. This border is usually done on the women's lungi called the phanek
. It is made in dark matching shade with untwisted silk thread in red, plum or chocolate colour. It is so finely made that it looks as if it is a part of the weave. Another elegant design is the akoybi, which has one circle joining the other each being further broken in to patterns with a significant motif. The akoybi is dominated by two shades of red and looks as if one is the reflection of the other with a nuance of black and white. Hijay, which is another design, has all over patterns it is shown by a careful use of white and black to highlight the running line and the circular movements. A fine appliqué work is done of white on white especially on turbans. The abhala or the mirror work is done on the ras dance costume.
Manipur is also known for the bell metal especially the customary artifacts
by the cire perdue castings. It has its own varieties of metal ware. A large bowl with a broad rim around its neck and resting on a marvelous pedalsal is called Krishna kanti. The betal nut container with a lid is called senga. Simple patterns with dots, lines and circles that sometimes resemble fish scales are hammered to form attractive ornamentation both on the borders and on the surface. The nayatpi design is made on the mould itself, which is put on smaller items like cups and bowls. The Yamguleiba design is simply lines inscribed horizontally on water pots.
is a household craft in Manipur. Some of the famous woven designs of saris, chadors are Likli, also called the bottle design, lashing phee, a quilted material that serves as a warm cover in winter, morang phee a saree distinguished by its temple border and connected with the tragic love tale of Khamba -Thoibi, etc. Some of the saris resemble the Jamdaani or is a combination of woven and embroidered border.
Hand block printing
is a favorite art and craft in Manipur. Printings on pillow covers and bed sheets are very common in Manipur.