Art and Craft in DimapurDimapur in Nagaland is a place where you can enjoy traditional art and craft at its best. Dimapur literally means 'city by the great river' - 'di' means water and 'ma' means city. This city is situated near Dhansiri river. Bamboo grows in abundance here and so artisans have learned to make different artifacts from bamboo which are decorative as well as useful.
Heritage Villages near DimapurChuchuyimlang village near Dimapur is the highest village in the region. You can also visit nearby village Mopungchuket from here which is inhabited by Ao tribe. It is indeed interesting to see the traditional morung here. The District Art and Culture Museum has a collection of beautiful hand woven shawls. Kisama village too is nearby.
In Dimapur, 'Country Craft' is a famous boutique handicrafts shop. The largest number of hand loom weavers are in Dimapur. Naga shawls are exported to various foreign countries. The Government too has set up the North East Zone Cultural Centre which is a museum that preserves artifacts of Dimapur and Nagaland state apart from organizing cultural festivals also. During April, the nearby Dzukou valley is covered by a carpet of flowers!
You must know that you will require an Inner Line Permit for entering Nagaland which is also easy to get. Another thing you must be careful about is that sun sets early in the North-East and you must get back to your hotel in time. Driving in mountainous region too requires lot of caution.
Diezephe Crafts village near Dimapur
Well, if you are really fond of art, you will surely take out time and visit Diezephe Crafts village outside Dimapur. You will find bamboo and cane items, wooden toys and other exquisite wood work here. The village has been formed by Nagaland Hand loom and Handicrafts Development Corporation Limited to uplift economic condition of local craftsmen and weavers.
Craft and development Society Diezephe Village
Intangki road, B.P.O. Singrijan Dhansriphar Block,
Phone (Chairman): 09436405861, 09612152212
Timings: 8.00 A.M. to 5.00 P.M.
Here, weavers and craftsmen can be seen making wood carvings, bamboo baskets, traditional ornaments, mud pots for storing water, bamboo and cane work. The village artisans have got immense guidance from Nagaland Handloom and Handicrafts Development Corporation Limited. They even draw pictures of birds and animals on the walls of their houses. Metal work is another industry which is also coming up at a fast rate in Dimapur.
Weaving Industry in DimapurThe weaving industry is very significant and contributes to the economy of Dimapur. Weaving is primarily done by female folk here who are adept at designing beautiful patterns on cloth pieces. You must see the 'Angami Naga Shawls' to believe how attractive they look! They are popularly called as 'Sami Lami Phee' shawls.
In olden days, there was an ancient social custom that the woman whose husband had gone out for hunting was not allowed to weave. However, such customs have been waved and women weave freely and earn income for their families.
Reasons for flourishing Weaving Industry in Dimapur
- Weavers have learned weaving from their forefathers!
- State Government has taken steps to improve small and medium scale cottage industry.
- Modern machines available.
- Weavers produce superior quality products that are exported in foreign market.
- Government has established many professional training institutes in Dimapur district and Mokokchung.
- Female folks take up weaving and weave unique pieces of clothes with exquisite embroidery.
- Weaving has contributed in earning of revenue and economic development of Dimapur.
Wood Carving in DimapurTribe such as Phom, Wanchos, Konyaks have mastered the art of wood carving. They stand as a proof of the unique cultural heritage of this place. These wooden carved figures and artifacts are used for decorative purposes. Artisans in Konyak have been inspired by figures at Khajurao and make figures of human beings.
Bamboo Work in DimapurBasketry involves making baskets using cane and bamboo which are found easily here. Aboriginal tribes are very adept at making such baskets and if the legend is to be believed, this art has been inherited by them from the magician Changkichanglangba on the sixth day of his death. Baskets are available for diverse purposes and in varied shapes and sizes. Angami tribe makes baskets which are cylindrical in shape while Ao tribe makes baskets of conical shape. The baskets are utilized for keeping vegetables, crops and clothes etc.
Bamboos are also used to make tribal costume accessories like combs, leggings (or phipha) worn by Angami and Ao Naga men, weapons (such as Chang Naga-Bow), domestic products (saucers, spoons, hay fork, mugs), musical instruments (flute, mouth organ, cup violen), ceremonial headgear (hat), fish traps and fish baskets, mats woven from bamboo splits. etc. Splits are made from outer layer of bamboo as the inner layer is soft and fibrous. Mats are used for drying grain, as partition, wall hanging, table mats, window and door screen etc.
Traditional Ornaments made in DimapurBoth men and women wear ornaments, more so during festivals. Metal bell necklace, multi-strand jewellery, Naga necklace and hook of the necklace is made from coin or bead. Beads used may be semi-precious or ivory, boar's teeth etc.
Paintings from DimapurArtisans in Dimapur are very skilled in cloth painting This is a highly skilled art form and mostly Ao, Rengma and Lotha tribes practice this art. Patterns differ according to the tribe which has painted. For instance, the Ao tribe paint the warrior shawl in white which is to be worn only by warrior who has performed some feat in a war. Animal figures, human heads, dao spear are also painted using natural colours. Bamboo sticks make for brushes and sap of the tree mixed with ash of the leaves of bamboo/tangko make the black colour. Experienced artisans even work and make really intricate paintings.
Pottery Made in DimapurPottery here is not made by revolving the wheel like in other parts of India! It is made with the help of hands only. Also, pottery has functional value and more importance is given to utility than aesthetics. You must be knowing that Tseminyu and Ungma villages of Nagaland are quite popular for their pottery!Pottery is made only by women. Men do not indulge in making earthenware in this region.
Metal Work in DimapurMetal work includes making of weapons, chisels, ornaments, dao weapon and spears. Tourists simply love these crude looking ornaments and take them as mementos. Rengma tribe is considered the best blacksmiths. Dao (multipurpose weapon for cutting trees and chopping meat) and spear are used for hunting and also for war. They decorate the spear with goat's hair.
Artisans and various people belonging to various tribes in Dimapur are no doubt, really skilled and work hard. They have also continued their age old traditions while absorbing new and modern trends. The art and craft of Dimapur shows how talented, hardworking and creative the craftsmen are in Dimapur!