Commenced in January 2007
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Revival and Protection of Traditional Jewellery Motifs of Assam (India), over Eri Silk by Innovative Techniques

Authors: Ratna Sharma, Kaveri Dutta

Abstract:

Assam (India), the gate way to the Northeast India is mainly known for its exquisite silks, the art and craft. The state has a rich collection of traditional jewellery which is unique and exclusive to the state. These jewelleries hold a special place in the heart of the Assamese women. Similarly handloom industry of Assam is basically silk oriented. Among the wild silk, Eri silk fabric has remained as “the poor man’s silk” but it is closely attached to the assamese society, dress for it's warm quality. In view of the changing market trends, fashion and consumer demands, Silk is emerging as a fashion fabric both in India and abroad. In case of Eri silk fabric it has limited use in clothing and accessories. Hence the restructured and redesigned traditional jewellery motifs of Assam (India) over Eri silk products will have greater potential in reviving the decline of art, generate revenue, self employment towards craftsmen and also recognition of the art. The information incorporated in the paper is primary and the data have been collected by purposive sampling method. This work of art was expressed on Eri silk fabric in the form of traditional hand embroidery as it is closely connected with the era of the individual in history of mankind and reflects the personal expression of an entity. For this study selected traditional motifs of Assamese ornaments was used. Some of the popular traditional Assamese jewellery include earrings with exquisite Lokaparo, Keru, Thuriya, Jangphai, etc. An array of necklaces including Golpata, Satsori, Jon biri, Bena, Gejera, Dhol biri, Doog doogi, Biri Moni, Mukuta Moni, Poalmoni, Silikha Moni and Magardana and diversified rings including Senpata, Horinsakua, Jethinejia, bakharpata and others. Selected two motifs each from necklace, earring and finger ring designs. Selected motifs were further developed into 3 categories- the border, the main motif and all over butta followed by placement of developed patterns on products. Products developed were stoles, scarf’s, purses, brooch pins, skirts for women and ties, handkerchief, jackets for men. The developed products were surveyed by selected respondents. From the present study it can be observed that the embellished traditional jewellery motifs resulted in fresh and colourful pattern on developed Eri silk products. Moreover the motifs which were gradually fading among the community itself showed a very good recognition towards art. The embroidered Eri silk fabric also created a huge change in a positive way among craftsman.

Keywords: Art and craft of Assam, eri silk, hand embroidery, traditional Assamese jewellery motifs

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