Handicrafts Of Assam- The Creativity At It’s Best
Assam- a state of greenery is a hub of so many natural resources that generates ample of scopes to create something amazing out of it. Whether it be the bamboo handicrafts of Assam, the bell metal, brass metal crafts, water hyacinth products, pottery making, wood crafting, areca nut leaf products, Assam handloom or Paat and Muga, Assam handicraft is one of the most diversified and unique arts in the world. The handicraft of a state symbolizes the cultural richness of the place, the traditional practises, skills of people and people’s devotion in preserving their culture. It also shows how wealthy the state is in terms of raw material availability. The handicraft of Assam is a good example of the said as the beautiful culture can be clearly viewed through the amazing creations of the perfectly skilled artisans in Assam.
Types of traditional Assam handicrafts
Bamboo craft: The hills and forests of Assam grow an abandon amount of bamboos every year. Assam along with the other parts of NE India grows about 90 species of bamboos. With the greater use of bamboos in Assam it has now been cultivated by farmers as well. A major part of these bamboos in the state are used in production of paper. The other part is used in construction and in making various crafts. Assam’s bamboo furniture, light, home decor items, and other utensils are in demand now. With the concept of eco friendly components, few recent projects have been taken to lower the use of plastic and altering with bamboo products. Bamboo straw, bamboo water bottles, bamboo cup etc. are some of the recently developed innovative products of bamboo.
Water hyacinth: Water hyacinth products are unique and have gained recent popularity. The water hyacinth is processed and the fibre is used to make different things. The beautifully created handbag, basket, carpet, mat etc. along with different decorative items are really nice and long lasting.
Bell metal: Bell metal industry of Sarthebari is one of the oldest industries in Assam. The bell metal products that include different utensils, musical instruments and tools are not only sold in Assam but also used in entire NE India. Now the market has been expanded to foreign countries as well and people are appreciating the finest work of the bell metal artisans of Assam.
Areca nut leaf: Assam’s climate is very much suitable for areca nut plantation. It grows in huge amount in Assam. The sheath attached to the areca nut leaf, which is locally known as Tamulor Dhokuwa is used for several purpose like making plates and bowls and other such items. This is a very innovative way to use the hard areca nut leaf in making usable things. In recent times, this has been proved as one of the most useful alternative to one time use plastic items such as disposable plastic glass, bowls, plates etc.
Handloom of Assam: Handloom of Assam has been gaining massive popularity in recent times. Muga mekhela chadar, Kesa Paat etc. have marked their existence in the global market including Bollywood. Assam silk, in the hands of expert Assamese weavers, turns into something magical. Not only the traditional dress of Assam but now-a-days many renowned designers are seen to use Assam silk and handloom materials in making fashion outfits.
Mask making in Majuli, Assam
What I believe is, without mentioning about the art of mask making, a blog on Assam’s handicraft can’t be completed. Mask making in Majuli, Assam is an unique art, extraordinary and a rare practise which is probably will be hard to find in the entire world. The masks are made locally by local artisans using bamboo, wood, clay and natural colors. These are mostly used in Bhaona (traditional play in religious place called Namghar) to showcase different characters. People wear it and perform the drama in Namghar.
Some recent handicrafts in Assam that are gaining popularity
Changes do come to society. New technologies, new skills and the globalized knowledge touches each civilized society at times and Assam is not an exception. Along with the traditional handicraft practises, many small to medium industries have been forming in Assam with new products and services, creating expanded market. Candle making, soap making, different products with coconut shell are in demand now. Crafts produces during waste management are also creating good example for the makers, sellers and the buyers.