Crafts of Arunachal Pradesh


While the genesis of the development of the varied crafts of Arunachal Pradesh lays in the tribal urge to meet their daily requirements, these crafts have come as a godsend to them in modern times-as a source of valuable income. The traditional handicrafts of the state are much in demand within the country as well as abroad, where they have gained popularity. Of the handicrafts of Arunachal the most important is bamboo and cane craft followed by handloom weaving, woodcarving and carpentry, ivory and metal crafts, and pottery and blacksmithy. Arunachal Pradesh is famous for its cane and bamboo crafts practised throughout the state by its tribes at the household level. The heavy rainfall and temperate climate has assured an abundance of bamboo and cane in the region over the ages. It is not surprising then that the tribal population came to depend on these materials almost exclusively for constructing their dwellings, utensils, furniture, and even weapons such as bows and arrows, spears, armour, and implements like dibbles, hunting and fishing traps.

Apart from these traditional uses, bamboo and cane are crafted dexterously into colourful basket mats, cane belts, attractive smoking pipes, combs, and a variety of household tools and implements. The newcomer to this state will find the use of bamboo as water carriers, spoons, mugs, plates and jugs and trays made of this ‘wonder shoot’-a welcome transition from the mundane world of plastic and metal cutlery and crockery!


Yet another use the tribes put bamboo to is in making jewellery out of it. Tribal women wearing rings and headbands made of cane are a common sight in Arunachal Pradesh.

The Hill Miris, Adis, Monpas, Sherdukpens, Apatanis, Mishmis, Noctes, Wanchos Nishis and Tangas are especially dexterous in making fine, colourful and attractive cane and bamboo items. Of these, the Adis and Mishmis are considered good engineers-the former having once built a 500-feet-long suspension bridge over the Dibang River.

Handicrafts Trade
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