Weaving is carried out throughout the North East with traditional techniques. It is unique so far as the method of ginning, spinning and weaving is concerned. The hill tribes use small ‘loin loom’ for weaving. Some tribes of Brahmaputra Valley such as the Dimasa Kachari, Bodo Kachari and Mishings use a kind of ‘fly-shuttle loom’. The Nocte, Nyishi and Khasi have lost the art of weaving. They depend either upon the neighbouring tribes or the market of the plains.
Various Textiles of North East India
Weaving is the exclusive monopoly of the womenfolk among all the tribes of the region. The tribal weavers prepare varieties of textiles. Some of them are extremely colourful. The textile products such as loincloth, shawl, skirt, sash, jacket, bag and rug are typical of the region. For example, the shawls and loincloths of the Nagas, skirts of the Mizos, Garos, Mishmis and Adis have distinctive features of their own.
In Meghalaya, the Khasi and Jaintia have certain original designs in handloom fabric, but unfortunately they are on the decline.
In Assam, the Bodos are experts in rearing indigenous variety of cocoon. It is used for manufacturing Assam silk and ‘Eri’ cloth. They also use floral designs.
The Manipuris are also well known for their art of weaving, using traditional techniques. The Manipuri women are familiar with the process of dyeing. They use plants and some varieties of clay.
In Arunachal Pradesh, weaving is relatively less developed. The textile pattern found in Arunachal Pradesh is of geometric pattern with zigzag lines and angular designs. Contrast and combination of colours are quite popular.
The Nagas are famous for their shawls. In some tribes like the Ao Naga, three pieces are woven separately and stitched together. The central part is more decorated than the other two. Naga shawls range from a very simple white cloth to elaborately designed warrior’s or rich person's shawls. Each Naga tribe has its own shawl with its own design.
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