Handicrafts

Daily Running Basketry

We all know how craft plays an important role in everyday life of Northeastern people. One of the great examples is the basketry of Nagaland. The tribes of Nagaland are known for their magnificent skills in the craft of basketry.  And these traditional basketries were never oriented to the market and hence were considered as inherent part of everyday life. 

When we visited Tening HQ, a village in Peren district of Nagaland, we could witness the existence of Basketry as a very important part of their daily lives. In Tening the users of these basketry are mostly women from the Zeliang tribe. The Naga basket is carried at the back of the body, where the person’s head holds the belt cum handle of the basket for proper grip. The women seem as if they are wearing a hairband on their heads.  While these baskets are used in agricultural purposes, the locals consider these baskets as their “Daily Running”. 

Now that we are using the phrase “Daily Running”, here’s Purbashree (NEHHDC) bringing you some glimpses of how the women of Tening Village use the basketry in their daily life:

To carry clothes:

This woman uses the basket to carry her clothes for washing. Usually in urban areas, people carry clothes in carry bags made out of plastic and paper. Whereas the Naga people seem to use their bamboo crafts even to carry clothes and garments. 

Picture by : Luicy Bora (NEHHDC)
Picture by : Luicy Bora (NEHHDC)

To carry utensils: 

This little girl carries utensils from her shop to her kitchen. She says that this basket makes it easier for her to carry utensils at once. Tening is a village where people needs to mobilize their utensils to carry drinking water and to wash their utensils in the small streams. 

Picture by : Luicy Bora (NEHHDC)
Picture by : Luicy Bora (NEHHDC)

To carry logs and bamboos:

The people of Tening still cooks their food on ground oven, which makes dry logs and bamboos a salient part of their daily life. There is nothing better than these basketry for the Naga women to carry their logs and bamboos to their homes. 

Picture by : Luicy Bora (NEHHDC)
Picture by : Luicy Bora (NEHHDC)

Baskets are the predominant accessory for the women of Nagaland. It’s an accessory which is inescapable and mandatory for them, just as a leather bag is a compulsion for the urban women.

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