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Arts in Meghalaya

Arts in Meghalaya

So much to explore!

A true testimony to the artistic skill of the craftsmen, Meghalaya prides itself in having a very rich history and culture when it comes to local crafts. These items are high on every traveller’s wishlist and range from wood carvings, bamboo work, canework, basket, bamboo fishing nets, cane containers, jewellery, tray fans, among others. The Khasi tribe in particular have a knack for creating cane mats, baskets and stools. Another profession that has successfully stood the test of time is hand weaving, that has been passed from one generation to the next. Here are some of the main aspects of local arts in the state.

Cane and bamboo work: Since cane and bamboo are easily available in the state, people have used it to create a wide variety of products including decorative items. In fact, here you can find numerous types of baskets and mats, that are great for gifting and adding a unique element to your home decor as well. Pokerwork is a unique craft that is indigenous to this state, where designs are created by burning designs into the bamboo with a red hot pointed rod. Another item that is popular is Tlieng, which is a special kind of cane mat that is popular for its long lasting service.

Weaving: An ancient craft for the tribals of the state, a majority of the weaving in this state is practised by women. The patterns in the cloth are created by combining different coloured threads in the warp and weft. While Garos generally weave shirts, bedsheets and bedcovers, creation of silk is another important element here as well. Endi silk, is unique silk that is produced in this state and has a very fine structure and Sonidan is an important center for the same. Another type of women clothing is called Dakmanda and has a lot of colours with beautiful prints of butterflies and flowers.  

Jewellery: Kynjri Ksiar', 'Paila’ and ‘Rigitok’ are some of the important jewellery crafts of the state and is renowned globally. Check out Kynjri Ksiar, which is made of 24 carat gold and Paila, a string of thick red coral beads are usually worn by the Khasis and the Jaintias tribes. Rigitok which is a thin fluted stems of glass strung by fine thread is generally worn by Garo ladies.

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