GUWAHATI: In a spirited showcase of Assam’s vibrant handloom traditions, the picturesque Chandrasing Rongpi Village, Kohora, Karbi Anglong, came alive on Wednesday. The event was a much-anticipated Karbi Handloom Exhibition, in which a whopping 49 Karbi weavers unveiled close to 300 handloom masterpieces.
Aimed to cast a spotlight on the traditional handloom creations from Kohora and Diring river basins and to bolster the potential of these local artisans, the delicate art of Eri silk weaving and the intricacies involved in its production were also showcased by artisans from Diphu.
Organized by Aaranyak, a biodiversity conservation organisation, in partnership with community-based enterprise Pirbi, Chandrasing Rongpi Memorial High School, local communities, and Orient, Guwahati, the exhibition was more than just a display; it was a statement of cultural pride.
Sashikala Hansepi, a revered entrepreneur and Karbi songstress, inaugurated the event. Elucidated the interwoven relationship between the Karbis, their environment, and their crafts, she said, “The Karbi community has a rich handloom and textile tradition. Every occasion calls for a different set of attire, starting with different age groups, gender and social customs and status in a Karbi society, and these are identified through different motifs and textiles design.”
Echoing her sentiments, Dilip Kathar from the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council offered insights into the cultural significance of the varied motifs in Karbi handloom and recounted age-old weaving folklore.
The event wasn’t just a celebration but also an evaluation as prominent designers such as Maitryee Das and Mausami Sharma, along with A K Das from IIT Guwahati, provided constructive feedback, pointing towards the untapped potential of Karbi textiles in regional and global markets.
Capturing the very essence of the Karbi community, their weaving traditions stand as a testament to their profound cultural heritage. The women, proudly carrying forward this legacy, weave not just for themselves but also for their families.