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Changing Social Life of the Potters of Nongpok Sekmai in Manipur, India

Authors: Keisham Ingocha Singh, Mayanglambam Mani Babu, Lorho Mary Maheo


Background: The tradition of the development of pottery through the handling of clay is one of the earliest skills known to the Chakpas of Manipur. Nongpok Sekmai, a Chakpa village in Thoubal district of Manipur, India, is strictly associated with making pots of red ochre colour called uyan. In the past, pottery was in great demand, each family needed them in rituals, festive occasions and also for day to day use. The whole village was engaged in the occupation of pot making. However the tradition of pottery making is fast declining. People have switched over to other economic activities which can provide them a better socioeconomic life leaving behind the age-old tradition of pottery occupation. The present study was carried out to find out the social life of the potters of Nongpok Sekmai. Materials and Method: In-depth interviews, household survey and observation were conducted to collect information on the pottery trend in the village. Results: The total population of the surveyed village is 1194 persons out of which 582 are male and 612 are female, distributed through 252 households. At present 4.94 % of the total population are still engaged in this profession. The study recorded 19 occupations other than pottery among women indicating decline of the traditional occupation. Conclusion: The study has revealed the changing life of the potters due to technological development, globalization and social network.

Keywords: Chakpas, Nongpok Sekmai, pottery, uyan.

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