Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Nagaland State endeavours to protect traditional designs

Staff Reporter

Against the backdrop of misrepresentation and incorrect usage of traditional Naga designs, Nagaland government has taken measures to preserve, protect and promote by way of documenting Naga traditional attire designs and motifs.
National Handloom & handicrafts Development Corporation (NHHDC) Ltd Dimapur, managing director, Zakabo V Rotokha said this while addressing a gathering as guest of honour at the 8th National Handloom Day celebration held at Weavers Service Centre (WSC), Toluvi Village, Sunday.
Rotokha said the state government has formed a state-level committee comprising of technical experts and researchers with a primary objective to document tribal traditional attires, motifs, designs and ornaments so as to prevent misuse and misinterpretation of traditional cultural expressions.
He pointed out that loin loom or back strap loom was known to be one of the oldest methods used in weaving of cloth by the tribes of Nagaland.
Rotokha said the motifs woven into the “Naga cloth” are derived from rituals, beliefs, and tribal identity and that each tribe uses different colours and motifs which establish a distinct identity for them.
Expressing concern over mass production of Naga traditional attires and motifs, Rotokha said such mass production without understanding the actual cultural expression was detrimental for the Naga weaving community and Nagas at large.
Citing the example of Chakhesang shawls which has been Geographical Indication (GI) tagged, Rotokha said the shawls of the remaining Naga tribes would also be GI tagged so as to prevent misuse or misinterpretation of the cultural significance.
Chief guest, additional deputy commissioner (ADC) Dimapur, Mhalo Humtsoe said weaving has been a part of Naga tradition and culture and an integral part of Naga identity.
Stressing on the need to promote and market handloom products, Humtsoe said handloom weavers were mostly concentrated in rural areas of the country thereby deprived of resources to compete with multi-million dollar companies.
Pointing out that handloom was the primary source of livelihood for weavers across the country, Humtsoe said weavers in Nagaland, who are mostly women, are financially empowered through weaving.
Highlights of the event included distribution of samarth training certificates to the trainees, distribution of pehchan cards to the handloom weavers, and distribution of yean passbook. Participants were also addressed by resource persons from health sector, bank, NHDC and LIC.

ADC, Dimapur, Mhalo Humtsoe addressing the gathering during the 8th National Handloom Day programme. (NP)

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