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Traditional Textiles of Manipur

Mutua Bahadur (Author)
Synopsis Manipur is an extraordinary place, full of charm, beauty and creativity. Each sphere of Manipuri life reflects a rare sense of aesthetics, be it bamboo baskets, wood or metal utensils, textiles—woven or embroidered, music, dance, and the many annual rituals, which stud the valley. What is more, each aspect is inter-related, indeed, interwoven with the other. Manipuri music and dance, the Thang-ta and Lai Haraoba, Rasa and Sankirtan alike are an integral whole combining sound, speech, movement, line and colour. The textiles used and the costumes worn on each of these occasions, as also in daily life are indigenous, carefully spun, woven and embroidered by deft hands and fingers of Manipuri women. Each part has a significance at the level of function and symbol. Shri Mutua Bahadur in his characteristic painstaking and diligent manner has concentrated on the textiles of Manipur. It was a pleasure to read the Monograph which is full of insights, a large body of material and details of Skills and technique. Pertinently, he begins with the history and myths of the Meiteis, the worship of the Lainingthou and Lairemma and the accompanying presentation of the Umanglai Haraoba where the songs and movement describe the cultivation of land and sowing of cotton seeds, plucking the cotton, ginning, carding, spinning, weaving and cutting of clothes etc. The enactment is an essential part of the Lai Haraoba in contemporary performances. This primeval myth and historical record, all point at the antiquity of the textile tradition in this region and its central place in the culture. The Women's market in Imphal despite its many ups & downs is a direct continuity of this strong and unbroken tradition. Mutua Bahadur describes in detail the costumes, explains their significance. He elucidates the context in which each costume in worn. This Chapter will be most educative and informative for all those interested in the rituals and performing arts of Manipur. The Chapters which follow on materials, vegetable, dye, tools, implements, technique, are an eye-opener on the vast number of organic materials used and the complex yet simple array of tools, implements and techniques.
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About the author

Mutua Bahadur

Shri Mutua Bahadur Artist, Author, Social Worker and Cultural Activist all rolled into one, is the founder of Mutua Museum, Cultural Heritage Complex, Andro, Purul living Museum. He is a pioneering figure in the field of traditional art and cultural.

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Bibliographic information

Title Traditional Textiles of Manipur
Author Mutua Bahadur
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.1997
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Mutua Museum
Language: English
length 151p. Appendix; Index.