The people of Manipur are artistic and creative in their thinking
and outlook. Every house possesses a loom, and Manipuris weave with
a passion and style, unrivalled by any other state. Manipuri bed
covers of Moirangfee and flower designs, silk and cotton sarees,
scarves, blankets and shawls, in distinctive shades and weaves,
make for an enchanting collection. A wide range of artistic handicrafts
from bamboo, papier mache, decorative ivory, dolls and jewellery
make for prized souvenirs. These exquisite handlooms and handicrafts
are sold at Khwairamband market, the largest exclusive women’s market
in the country.
Cane is the natural endowment of the forest resources in Manipur.
Due to Jhum (Shifting) cultivation rampantly practiced in the hill
areas, cane resources have been dwindling by way burning of the
forest areas Bamboo, another forest resource is abundantly grown
in Churachandpur, Jiribam, Tamenglong and Imphal districts of Manipur.
It may be mentioned here that Manipur is the largest producer bamboo
products after Tripura in the entire north east. Some of the bamboo
products are sofa sets, Murhas, mats, basketry, tray, chair, table,
flower vase, ashtray and other decorative and utility articles.
Wood Carving is also a craft popular in Manipur. Wood carving is
a child of necessity in Manipur. Due to absence of proper transport
and communication with other parts of India, craftsmen had to depend
on wood as material for making various articles of utility. The
main products are wooden tray, spoon and drum, etc. to name a few.
Kauna (Water Reed) Mat
Kauna is a type of reed usually grown in the wetlands and marshes.
There are two typical types of the Kauna available in Manipur. This
is often used for making mats, and cushion. Around 1,000 craftsperson
are engaged in the Imphal valley of Manipur in this particular craft.
This product is enjoying a very good demand in the local markets
Unique Handloom & Handicrafts
Manipuri enjoys a district place amongst the Handloom zones in India.
Handloom industry is the largest cottage industry in the State.
This industry has been flourishing since time immemorial. One
of the special features of the industry is that women are the only
weavers. According to the National handloom Census Reports 1988
there are about 2.71 lakh looms in Manipur.
Handloom and Handicraft goods are the important cottage and home
industries taken up by the people. Among the womenfolk, handloom
cloth weaving is the traditional occupation of the district. Their
productions of clothes are mainly household clothes for everyday
use and traditional ceremonial dress etc. They feel proud to wear
clothes which they themselves have made. In some place, such as
Wangkhei, Chingmeirong and Khurai areas where handloom weaver co-operative
societies are concentrated. Handloom products like, Wangkhei Phi,
Lashing Phi and Phanek and its different designs made by these weavers
are in great demand both in the home and outside markets as well.
This occupation provides employment to almost women in the district.
This can certainly be developed in the district by upgrading the
skills of artisans introducing of improved looms and provision of
cheap yarns. Cane and Bamboo works, Carpentry, Black smithy and
Jewellery etc. are the important household industries among the
male people in the district. The artisans in these trades are widely
spread over the district. This enables them to supplement their
meager income from agriculture.
Handloom & Handicrafts Emporia ( imphal
1) Manipur Handlooms & Handicrafts Development Corporation Ltd.
(A Government of Manipur Undertaking, Paona Bazar, Ph: 221495).
2) Hnadloom House, Manipur State Handloom Weavers Co-operative Society
Ltd., Paona bazar, Ph: 220340.
3) Kangla Emporium, Uripok, Ph: 222968.
4) Eastern Handlooms & Handicrafts, Paona Bazar.
5) Ima Market / Khwairamband Bazar.
Hand block printing is one of the most favourite art and craft in
Manipur. The warriors and village chiefs were presented with Khamen
Chatpa (handblock-printed towel) by the Maharajah as a token of
their courage and leadership. This type of dress is also used in
the religious ceremony. Printing on pillow-covers and bed-sheets
are now very common in Manipur.
Information on Traditional Crafts, arts, handicrafts of Manipur - India