A Visual Delight of a New Destination

Acknowledgement: Thank you Julie Kagti for the collection of images


"Once a year, go someplace you have never been before" - Dalai Lama


Have you traveled in North East India? I have not. The simple mention of the names of the states are foreign to me.... Assam, Manipur, Mizoram to mention a few. I have had a yearning to visit Nagaland. The name alone conjures up images of unchartered and unexplored tribal villages where the people still live deeply ensconsed in their ancient culture.


So with the assistances of Julie Kagti a local North East India specialist who is well versed and experienced in especially the textile weaving craft of the North East we have created a wonderful Textile Tour of Manipur and Assam. Here is a detailed itinerary.


But for now, let us feast our eyes on these two areas of North East India.


MANIPUR - A Weaving Culture


It is believed that


"Man observed the spiders weaving their webs on the shrubs and bushes

and he responded to this challenge"


The art of weaving has developed more in Manipur as compared to any other part of India and the weaving is entirely the work of women, it forms part of their domestic duties. Hence the handloom industry is practically run by women not only from the idea of economic necessity but also from the sense of social custom.


In a corner of her home, with a smile on her face, she weaves the bright colours
A weaver at her loom
Setting up her loom to do her weaving for the day
As the weaving progresses the intricate patterns and colours come to life


MANIPUR - Floating Islands (Phumdis)


Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in North East India and is famous for the Phumdis floating on it. The Local fisher folk live on these floating islands and their livelihood is dependent on the lake.


A Meitei on Loktak Lake submerging his fishing net
Floating Islands of Loktak Lake, Manipur

MANIPUR - Food, Dance and Festivals


Food



The cuisine of Manipur uses the native spices which gives an edge to the brilliant food culture of the area, it is as diverse as the state itself.


The daily home-cooked meals include rice and side dishes of vegetables or meat.


A typical Manipur Thali is a must for any traveller to enjoy.








Dance


The dances of Manipur are often so mesmerizing that the viewers are left stunned by its beauty, grace and coordination. The dance form is focused on the graceful movement of the entire body.

The distinct dance form of the state is the Manipuri dance or Jagoi which is recognized as one of India’s major classical dance forms. This dance depicts the love story of Lord Krishna and his lover Radha during the festival of Raas Leela.

An interesting process to watch is the draping of an elaborate costume comprising a stiff barrel-shaped skirt and a translucent veil. The classical dance of the area is Manipuri Dance and these barrel-shaped skirts are worn during the performance.


Festivals


Throughout India, cultures have their unique forms of boat racing.

Manipur celebrates its version in the Langbal month of their calendar annually.

In Manipur all religious communities celebrate festivals together in harmony with great pomp and joy.

Lively boat races take place in the Bijoy Govinda Canal are a spectacle to behold.

ASSAM - A Handloom Culture


The women of Assam weave fairy tales in their looms, it is not just a source of livelihood but also a living cultural tradition and identity strongly worn by the women. In earlier times, the skill to weave was the primary qualification of a young girl for her eligibility for marriage. This perhaps explains why Assam has the largest concentration of handlooms and weavers in India.


Assam has a vibrant handloom culture consisting of a rich repertoire of refined silks and colourful tribal weaves. A significant proportion of weavers continue to weave clothes for themselves and their families within the confines of domestic spaces.


A typical handloom setup in a village in Assam
Spinning her yarn outside her house

In this visual you can see the one end of this loom type is secured around the waist of the weaver and the other end is attached around a fixed thing like door, stake, or tree. Pressure applied can be customized by just bending back.


ASSAM - A Tea Culture


A typical tea tasting session

Assam black tea has a hearty, bold flavor that is drinkable on its own but also stands up well to milk and sugar. Because of its strong and rich flavor, Assam is often used in breakfast tea blends popular with the British and other cultures around the world.



ASSAM - Village Life




ASSAM - A river flows through it


The Brahmaputra River flows through Assam. It is believed to take a cruise on this mighty river is a once in a lifetime experience.

Brahmaputra river has been a witness to the glorious history and culture of Assam for centuries

If the images intrigued you; if you love textiles; if you enjoy exploring new cultures; if you enjoy wildlife.. then please look at our itinerary for the group tour to the North East of India

https://www.curiousjourneys.co.za/textile-tour-of-manipur-and-assam


Please share this blog with your friends, let us get the word out about this relatively unchartered and mysterious destination.


For any queries, please contact me personally:

mich@curiousjourneys.co.za

www.curiousjourneys.co.za















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Mich Immelman

I am a specialist tour operator with Curious Journeys. We operate from South Africa. With the assistance of my partners in India and South East Asia, I offer fully inclusive group tours, private tours, and tailor-made services

My specialist destinations are: India, Nepal, Vietnam, and Myanmar

Whether it is a first visit to a region or a return visit to explore the area in greater depth, I will put together the perfect tour for the traveller

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