Winter season always brings with it a lot of reason to celebrate like Christmas and New Year, festivals like Pongal, Lohri, Sankranti etc. Apart from these, of course picnics, parties; get-togethers are a must in this season. With such a huge list of events on the cards, one has to think about what they would wear in such events, what will they gift their near and dear ones so that it brings a smile on their faces and if you decide to throw a party at your place, the first thing that comes to your mind is decoration. With so many options available at today’s date, one yet thinks of gifting something special or decorating in a way that is different from usual. So here is some details on the traditional ‘Naga shawls’ to make you understand how these may be used for fashion purpose, for gifting it to other people and to decorate your home.
As per its name, ‘Naga shawls’ originates from Nagaland, the North-eastern state of India, and its capital is Kohima. It is said that in the state, there resides sixteen different types of tribes, commonly known as Nagas are the most multi-talented people. They are able to make a lot of things starting from shawls till spears and each of them gets a reflection of their tradition and culture. One will absolutely not find any match to their handiworks and this is what that makes them special. Among all the talents of the Naga tribes, one of the most remarkable works is the shawl they weave. You’ll find that the Naga shawls have deepest black, vibrant red and blazing blue colours mostly and every shawl has a peculiar artwork of some symbols flowing in between.
History says that different patterns were made in the shawls and different names were given to the shawls. This was done because each of the tribes has tradition that differs from one another and every class of people in the tribal groups were allowed to wear only one type of shawls to mark their position in the society. For example, in the tribal group called Ao, ‘Tsungkotepsu’ is considered to be the warrior shawl and it could have been worn only by those who have been a part of war. In this way there are another fifteen tribes which too has different patterns made on their shawls weaved for different class and clan of people. Thus one will definitely get a lot of designs to choose from. The prices of these shawls are a bit costly because they are hand-woven by the people themselves and thus it includes a long process.
In Nagaland, it was once a tradition that every girl by the time which they reach the age of marriage, must know how to weave. So it could be well understood the importance of weaving in the lives of these people. The whole process of weaving a shawl is still age-old which starts from separating the cotton from its seeds, and then the cleaned cotton is flattened with a roller on a surface. Next comes the main part, the process of weaving which is done in a spindle made of only hard wood of the sago palm and can be operated by a single person. After the shawl is made, it is dyed, previously they used indigenous dyes but now chemical dyes are used.
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