Explore rich handicrafts at Northeast crafts festival in City

The rich handicrafts of the seven northeastern states are on display at the Northeast Crafts Festival in the city.

The festival, sponsored by the Ministry of Development, the Northeastern Region, Government of India and organised by the Northeastern Handicrafts and Handlooms Development Corporation Limited is on at Hotel Woodlands till February 14.

It has brought together seven sister states’ handicrafts ranging from broom to classic cane and bamboo sofa sets, grass mats, basketry to textiles under a single roof.

Pretty grass boxes, baskets, bins, mattresses, bags made of bamboo and cane displayed in the festival define the region’s sustainable lifestyle. Fruit baskets, trays, lamp shades, wall hangings and vases from Assam, Nagaland and Manipur are also on display. Sofa sets, each with a distinct design, add colour to the expo. The cane and bamboo products by the artisans from northeastern states speak of fashion with dexterity.

Flowers made of soft wood, sweet corn leaf, natural dry flowers and palm leaves are the other attractions at the fair.

Sehumi, an artist from Nagaland, told Deccan Herald that she is making flowers using naturally available products like leaves and seeds for the last five years. “I use natural colours for giving a bright colour to the flowers,” she added.

Cane and bamboo crafts, handloom weaving, artistic textile weaving, wood carving, embroidery, jewellery, brass, and bell metal, basketry are some of the time-honoured traditional crafts of the northeastern region. The hand woven fabrics with rich and symbolic ornamentation of Assam, the eye-catching tribal ornaments made from cane, bamboo, glass beads and silver have added colour to the exhibition. Dolls made of straw, cushions and mattress of Manipur, Endi silk weaving and pineapple fibre articles of Meghalaya, and bamboo artistic cap of Mizoram catch the attention of the visitors.

Handicrafts Promotion Officer Jacob D’Souza said the objective of the exhibition is to promote sale of handicrafts, enhance awareness on handicrafts.

“It will also introduce craftsmen to the market and help in the launch of new products and designs. It will also help in overcoming the problem of middlemen in handicraft sector.The handicrafts and handloom sector in the northeast has been providing employment to 38 lakh people belonging to SC/ST and other weaker sections,” he added.

He said the main constraints in production and marketing of products are inadequate availability of raw materials, high price of cane and high cost of transportation.

More than 60 craftspersons and weavers are participating in the festival with their artistic creations, he stated. Odisha’s Patachitras, related to mythology and folklore, are also on display. Mayor Jacintha Vijay Alfred inaugurated the festival on Thursday.

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