Manipur, one of the eight states of the northeast India known as eight sisters, literally means the ‘jeweled land’. This is a city gifted with nature and its magnificence. Surrounded by lush greenery all around, Manipur boasts of pictorial landscape with cloudy hills, green valleys and beautiful lakes. In addition, Manipur is also known for its rich traditions and cultural heritage, its art forms, and handlooms and handicrafts.
The crafts of Manipur showcase the creativity of its people. Manipur produces a wide range of handicrafts and handloom items. Papier mache, decorative ivory, collectible dolls, bamboo and cane work are some of the many crafts of this state. In fact, the state is counted as one of the largest producer of bamboo crafts in India. Wood Carving, textile weaving, stone carving, block printing and hand-embroidery are other handicrafts of Manipur.
Different categories of Manipur handicrafts
Cane and bamboo crafts
Cane and Bamboo Crafts of Manipur are widespread due to the wide availability of the raw material. Moreover, the constant demand of this craft in the international market is another reason for the same. There is large number of artisans associated with creating bamboo craft. Products such as sofa sets, stools, mats, basketry, tray, chairs, tables, flower vases, ashtrays and many other decorative and utility articles are made out of this craft.
Kauna is a kind of reed that mostly grows in wetlands and marshes. In Manipur, this is used for making mats, and cushions. Numerous craftsmen in Manipur are engaged in this particular craft. Kauna Crafts creates products that are used for domestic use and export market. Countries like UK, Netherlands, Germany, France, UAE and Switzerland are major markets of this Kauna craft. Latin American Countries also shows great demand for this craft.
Pottery is an acclaimed craft of Manipur being produced by coiled technique. Potteries in Manipur are of different type and style portraying their socio-cultural significance. This is an old craft. The craftsmen make the pots by hands and color them in different bright colors.
Textile Weaving is an art practiced by the women in Manipur. Also known as Laichamphi, this is an important craft of the state.
Wood Carving is an art in Manipur developed out of necessity. People of Manipur utilized wood to create different items of their daily need out of this craft such as wooden tray, spoon, drum and so on.
Block Printing is a specific Handicraft in Manipur. This craft makes hand block printed towels, dresses used in religious ceremonies, and many other things.
The market for the crafts of Manipur is limited, however there is great potential for these crafts to make their impact in the domestic and international market. There are very limited manufacturers and exporters for Manipuri crafts. Ahenba Products manufactures bamboo handicraft items, mats, stools, flower vase etc in Manipur. The location of the store is Wangkhei Koijam Leikai, Imphal, Manipur. On the other hand, Rural Industriallzation Centre is an organization that works on exporting Handloom and Handicrafts Products in Manipur. It is located in Sega Road, Khwairakpam Leikai, Imphal, Manipur
Manufacturers of Manipur handicrafts
Ahenba Products manufactures bamboo handicraft items, mats, stools, flower vase etc.
Exporters or export industry of Manipur handicrafts
Rural Industriallzation Centre exports Handloom and Handicrafts Products