Shopping in Nagaland

Shopping in Nagaland is an interesting experience with the beautifully woven textiles and handcrafted items. Warm and colourful Naga shawls, hand woven shoulder bags, decorative spears, tablemats, woodcarvings and bamboo works make interesting souvenirs. In Kohima, the government handicraft outlet and the shops at the super market sell excellent shawls and other artefacts.

The Nagas have a rich tradition of art and craft anchored in their lifestyle that has always been in harmony with the surroundings they are living in. Skilled tribal craftsman and artisans have always been the strength of a tribal society that had, for many centuries, been self-dependent. They lent their skills to produce items of common utility, as well those with ritualistic and artistic value. Skilled craftsmen are employed to carve marvellous village gates, house posts and Morungs in Naga villages. Fine storage baskets, wicker drinking vessels and containers are woven by craftsmen whose skills had been inherited from generations of skilled craftsmen.

Basketry – Naga storage and carry baskets woven from fine strips of cane and bamboo are well known and sought after for their utility as well as aesthetic value. Headgears and mats are also woven from fine bamboo and cane strips.

Weaving – Naga women are excellent weavers and the colorful shawls, bags and jackets woven by them are genuinely popular. Each tribe uses unique colours and motifs, that are often based on tribal folklore. In addition, woven clothes were adorned with beads, cowrie shells and goats hair to denote the wealth and status of the weaver. Body cloth symbolizing Feast-giving and Head-taking added to the variety of clothes woven on the backstrap loom. The woven products of Nagaland have found its way into the National as well as International marker.

Woodcarving – Nagas are exceptional woodcarvers. Making use of simple rudimentary tools and implements such as the local dao, hand drill and chisel, skilled craftsmen produce great piece of art that local adorn village gates and house posts as well as objects of utility like the common wooden dish.

Pottery – Pottery was known to the early Nagas and was generally done by the womenfolk. The pots made were generally very simple and importance was given to its functional value rather than aesthetics. Tseminyu and Ungma village were well known for pottery by aluminum and steel vessels, which have long replaced the simple clay pots.

Metal work – Iron tin and brass were used to produce weapons as well items of utility and ornaments. The Konyak blacksmiths were famous for their works in the early days and their products were in great demand in the plains of Assam.

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