Art and Craft in TinsukiaIf you want to know about traditional practices of a place, just follow its art and craft. This is true, as crafts of any place become a mirror to the life and customs of a region. You trip to Tinsukia in Assam will be a journey into traditional craftsmanship by artisans and a trip to the diversity that is available in the form of local arts and craft. Do collect some of these items as a remembrance of your trip to this beautiful place.
From silk products to bamboo and cane products, from traditional masks and paintings to handicrafts, Tinsukia is one place which will amaze you with the diversity of its craft items. Though the artefacts are simple and made of locally available materials, they do impress you with the dexterity and expertise with which they have been given shape.
The amalgamation of various tribes and culture is evident from these craft items. The Assam Art and Craft society established in 1971 is also contributing its bit towards encouraging the crafts men.
Hand loom in Tinsukia
Assam is famous for its hand loom and Tinsukia is where you will get authentic hand loom items at proper rates. The rich texture, design and weaving will impress you. Mekhela-chador is a sari worn by ladies here. Towels ('gamosa') is also weaved here - a useful item indeed!
- Mekhela chador is worn by women belonging to all age groups except women. It comprises of two pieces of cloth which are draped around the body. Mekhela is draped from the waist downwards. It is folded into pleats and tucked in at the waist. Chador is the top portion of this dress and is tucked in triangular folds. A blouse or even a 'riha' is worn by women along with mekhela chador. The mekhela chador looks elegant with ornamental designs woven over it. Weave pattern called 'pari' is also stitched along the sides of the chador or on the bottom of mekhela. Mekhela chadors are weaved using cotton, pat silk and muga. Sometimes, synthetic material is also blended with cotton and pat silk to churn out low-budget product affordable by all.
- Gamosa is used by farmers as waist cloth (tongali) or a loincloth (suriya). In ancient times, it was thrown over the shoulder in the past to signify social status. Gamosa is actually used by all irrespective of which culture or caste he hails from. Gamosa border with a traditional handwoven motif called gosa. Traditional designs used on gamosa include designs such as Assamese-lion, dragon, flying-lion etc.
- You must be conversant with high quality Assamese silk known as 'pat' and 'muga'. In villages around Tinsukia, there is a loom in every household for weaving cotton and silk clothes (pat, muga silk). Assamese silk refers to golden Muga, white Pat and warm Eri silk. Most of the silk industry in Assam is centred in Sualkuchi. Muga silk comes from silk worms Antheraea assamensis. This type of silk is glossy with a fine texture and can be dyed like any other silk. Pat silk is produced by Bombyx textor silkworms which feed on mulberry leaves. This type of silk is white/off white in colour. Eri silk is made by Samia cynthia ricini which feed on leaves of Castor oil plant. This silk is soft and warm and is used for making quilts and shawls!
Cane and Bamboo Craft in Tinsukia
There are vast expanses of bamboo and cane grown on the hilly regions and forests in Tinsukia. Craftsmen make different items from bamboo such as sofa, tables, lampshades, spoon etc. Bamboo items comprise of utility items and household items such as baskets, hats, sieve, mats, stools etc. Cane and bamboo are also used for making fishing accessories, furniture, musical instruments etc.
A group of people known as 'khonikors' carry out the task of making wood craft items. The nearby forests are a good source of raw material for this work.
Metal Crafts in TinsukiaThis is a famous product in Tinsukia and is seen in each and every household. Craftsmen mostly design brass and bell metal utensils. Brass and Bell metal products include spoons, water pots, cymbals, bowls, dishes and spoons.
Jewellery Items in Tinsukia
You will be pleased to find really exquisite designs on jewellery here! Women residing in Tinsukia wear these jewellery items during religious festivals or cultural events. Jewellery is especially made on a large scale in Jorhat (Assam).
Jewellery available here is made out from gold, silver, bamboo and cane. The jewellery items consist of lovely lockets such as jon-biri, dhol-biri etc. There is a large variety for you to choose from --- bracelets (also known as gaam-kharu), necklaces (known as gala-pata) and earrings!
Masks or Mukhas and Paintings in TinsukiaMasks are worn during theatre and bhaonas - cultural events and have been part of their culture for a long time. Masks are used in folk theatre and are made up of bamboo, wood, terracotta and wood.
The Assamese paintings can inspire you with their lovely depiction of Assamese culture.
Toys and Terracotta Items in TinsukiaTerracotta items look immensely beautiful. Pottery includes household items and toys for children.
Terracotta items available include terracotta figures of toys and vases which look beautiful with mythological characters and figures of Gods and Goddesses.
Xorais in Tinsukia
Well, if you visited some of your friends in Tinsukia, you must have noticed the Xorais too! These are traditional trays (with or without a cover and a stand) meant for offering tamul-pan (betel nuts or betel leaves) to guests, as a sign of welcome and thanks. They are also used during prayer for keeping offerings in front of God. During Bihu dance, they add up as decorative symbols. And yes, they make for beautiful gifts too! Xorai and bota are symbolic items used for offering gifts to people you respect.
Your trip to Tinsukia will, no doubt, be an interesting one! You will have many tourist places to visit, exquisite craft items to buy and delectable Assamese cuisine to relish too!
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