Home to more than 200 unique tribes, the North East is one of the most diverse and vibrant areas of the country. It is not surprising then that the stalls from the North-Eastern states, exhibiting a wide range of products, form the pride of place in the Tribes Aadi Mahotsav currently underway at Dilli Haat.
The North-East tribes have a rich crafts tradition of their own, which reflect their innate natural simplicity, earthiness and identity. A glimpse of this rich tradition is on display here. Be it superior Bodo weaves made of cotton or eri; the famed silk textiles, the warm cups and woven shawls from Nagaland and Manipur; or in the beautiful bamboo work from Assam, in the form of baskets, cane chairs, and pen and lamp stands, or in the rich organic natural produce which act as excellent immunity boosters such as honey, spices, and herbs; everything can be found at this national festival.
The Bodo women weavers, considered among the finest weavers in the region, are known for their resplendent weaves; while earlier limited to running fabrics and dokhona, now their product range has expanded. You can get kurtas, dresses, or stoles, shawls, wrap-around skits, tops and kurtis and other accessories. Saris made of moga silk, mekhala chador, pretty embroidered blouses from Assam; knitted caps, booties for kids, and pouches from Sikkim and Manipur are also available for sale. The tribals of the North-East still produce weaves using the older back-strap loom and you can get pretty, handcrafted vibrant bags, pillow covers, pouches made in this way. The weaves have designs clearly inspired by nature and are classy, sustainable and comfortable. Another highlight is the pottery items made in the exceptional village of Longpi by the Thankul Naga tribes of Manipur. The stalls with the grey-black pots, kettles, mugs, bowls and trays stand out in the crowd. What is exceptional about these is that they aren’t made using the potter’s wheel; instead shaping is done with the hand using some moulds.
Visitors can also get high-quality organic food products such as rice varieties, such as Joha rice from Assam; the black rice from Manipur; pulses, spices such as large cardamom from Sikkim, cinnamon from Meghalaya, the famous Lakadong turmeric from Meghalaya and the well-known Naga chilis.
Besides all this, you can taste some authentic North-eastern cuisine as well at the Aadi Vyanjan.
A visit to the Aadi Mahotsav is a good way to experience the vibrant and unique culture of the North-Eastern tribal people.
The Aadi Mahotsav- A Celebration of the Spirit of Tribal Crafts, Culture and Commerce is on at Dilli Haat, INA, New Delhi till the 15th February, 2020 from 11 am to 9 pm.
The upcoming weekend of 6th and 7th February has some interesting events, with a fashion show being organised showcasing traditional handicraft artisan Ms. Ruma Devi and renowned designer Ms. Rina Dhaka’s creations.
The Aadi Mahotsav is an annual event that was started in 2017. The festival is an attempt to familiarise people with the rich and diverse craft, culture of tribal communities across the country, at one place. However, due to the pandemic, the 2020 edition of the festival could not be held.
The fortnight-long festival features the exhibition-cum-sale of tribal handicrafts, art, paintings, fabric, jewellery and much more through 200 stalls to showcase this. About 1000 tribal artisans and artists from across the country are participating in the festival.
Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) under the M/o Tribal Affairs, as the nodal agency working towards tribal empowerment, has been putting in place several initiatives that help in improving the income and livelihood of the tribal people, while preserving their way of life and tradition. The Aadi Mahotsav is one such initiative that helps enable the economic welfare of these communities and bring them closer towards mainstream development.
Visit Aadi Mahotsav and further the “Vocal for Local” movement! #BuyTribal
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