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Assam

Assam Art & Craft


The people of Assam have traditionally been craftsmen from time immemorial. Though Assam is mostly known for its exquisite silks and the bamboo and cane products, several other crafts are also made here.

Cane and Bamboo :
Cane and bamboo have remained inseparable parts of life in Assam. They happen to be the two most commonly-used items in daily life, ranging from household implements to construction of dwelling houses to weaving accessories to musical instruments.
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Handlooms :
Assam is the home of several types of silks, the most prominent and prestigious being muga, the golden silk exclusive only to this state. Muga apart, there is paat, as also eri, the latter being used in manufacture of warm clothes for winter.Of a naturally rich golden colour, muga is the finest of India's wild silks. It is produced only in Assam.
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Metal Crafts :
Bell-metal and brass have been the most commonly used metals for the Assamese artisan. Traditional utensils and fancy artiicles designed by these artisans are found in every Assamese household. The Xorai and bota have in use for centuries, to offer betel-nut and paan while welcoming distinguished guests.
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Woodcraft :
Assam has always remained one of the most forest-covered states of the country, and the variety of wood and timber available here have formed a part of the people's culture and ecomony. An Assamese can identify the timber by touching it even in darkness, and can produce a series of items from it.
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Masks :
With tribal art and folk elements form the base of Assamese culture, masks have found an important place in the cultural activities of the people. Masks have been widely used in folk theatres and bhaonas with the materials ranging from terracotta to pith to metal, bamboo and wood.
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Toys :
The toys of Assam have been broadly classified clay toys, pith, wooden and bamboo toys, and cloth and cloth-and-mud toys. While the human figure, especially dolls, brides and grooms, is the most common theme of all kinds of toys, a variety of animals forms have also dominated the clay-toys scene of Assam.
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Pottery :
Pottery is probably as old as human civilisation itself. In Assam, pottery can be traced back to many centuries.The Kumars and Hiras are two traditional potter communities of Assam and while the Kumars use the wheel to produce his pots, the Hiras are probably the only potters in the world who do not use the wheel at all.
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Jewellery :
Gold has always constituted the most-used metal for jewellery in Assam, while the use of silver and other metals too have been there for centuries. Gold was locally available, flowing down several Himalayan rivers, of which Subansiri is the most important.
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