"What you see is a glimpse of what I call ‘my little Manipur’ and no, these weren’t bought from a local craft fair, but carefully handpicked from my visit to the districts around Imphal.
I landed there with a bunch of students, to work with and for an NGO based out of a nearby village and that is where I unearthed these jewels of Manipur.
The Phanek (wrap around skirts) are from the Ima Market in Imphal, a market so famous, because it is run only by women. The market boasts of anything and everything from textiles to puja items, baskets, vegetables and fish and is a treat to the senses! You can see the ladies chewing the betel nuts, making a hearty conversation and attending to customers all at once.
The basket is made from Kouna, a rare kind of reed that grows only in Manipur and has a great admirer in me for the kind of workmanship that is possible with them. So I had to pick a few of them and yes, I take them proudly to every picnic I go to.
Given my obsession for tea, I could not stay away from the tea cups, when I spotted them in an emporium in Imphal, even more so because they boasted of being Lungpi pottery. Yet again, a craft and raw material specific to Manipur alone, these pounded black stone potteries are a family favourite.
The north-east of India has always had a special place in my heart. Having traveled to most of the states, I still long to go and explore more each time. The vibrancy, the simplicity and the rootedness always cast a spell on me and invite me back.
These artifacts are a reminder of the diversity that our country has to offer and they embody the place, its people and their stories."
Thanks a lot Tulip for this wonderful description about North-East. This is simply beautiful.