Mizoram : Land of traditional weaving / bamboo art.
Bamboo industry (Bamboo art)
There are at least 20 identifiable species of bamboo indigenous to mizoram. Some 30% of the state is covered with wild bamboo forests, many of which are largely unexploited. Mizoram harvests 40% of India’s 80 million-ton annual bamboo crop. The current state administration wishes to increase revenue streams from bamboo and aside from uses as a substitute for timber, there is research underway to utilise bamboo more widely such as using bamboo chippings for paper mills, bamboo charcoal for fuel, bamboo art, fertiliser and the manufacture of pressed wall panels.
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Mizo women use hand loom to make clothing and cloth handicrafts.The local products are even fused with other materials to give them a fashionable and stylish designs. Mizos are fond of colourful hand woven wrap-around skirt called puan chei, and a matching beautiful top called Kawr chei. A multi colour Mizo traditional bag called Khiang kawi, which is creatively knitted out of bright coloured wools, is a welcome possession. A typical Mizo blanket known as Pawnpui is also used.
Basket weaving is also common. Baskets known as Em, are used and Thlangra – a plate for cleaning rice etc. are made from bamboos. In fact, a typical Mizo house is crafted out of bamboos, dry grasses, mud and wood. A traditional Mizo village has been reconstructed at Reiek – a few kilometres away from Aizawl. Though modern houses made with bricks, concrete and tin sheets are now the norm.
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Art And Craft
Sheer abundance of beautiful handicrafts in Mizoram make it a big hit with tourists inclined towards shopping. The artists are highly skilled in transforming simple raw materials into attractive items. The craftsmen of this beautiful North East Indian state are expert in their traditional art of weaving. The weavers use bright colours and traditional designs and patterns on their looms and create wonderful fabrics. A wide variety of cane and bamboo handicrafts are also available in the markets of Mizoram. Simple yet mesmerizing such are the designs of cane and bamboo items. The beautiful handicrafts of Mizoram are also known for their durability.
The bazaars of Mizoram are lined with shops selling a wide variety of handicrafts such as baskets, utensils, hats, flower vases, furniture and other decorative items. There are several Government Emporia in the state where these items are available at reasonable prices. Most of the shopping centres are located in and around Aizawl, the capital city of Mizoram. Bara Bazaar is one of the famous markets located in the capital city of the state. Other known bazaars are the Ritz market, Burma Lane, Bazaar Bungkawn, Thakthing Bazaar, New Market and Solomon cave. Take back home some great handicrafts from Mizoram.
Handloom and handicrafts are the oldest industries of Mizoram. For the development of these industries in the state, Mizoram Handloom and Handicrafts Develoment Corporation Limited was established in the year 1988. In order to acquaint the local craftsmen with the new modern techniques and designs in the field of handicrafts Crafts Development Centres have been opened in the capital city of Mizoram.
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