Final Report of Minor Research Project

ENTITLED

RETENTION OF INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE SYSTEM IN TEXTILES IN NORTH EAST INDIA

Principal Investigator

Dr. Neera Barooah

Associate Professor

Department of Textiles & Apparel Designing

Sir VithaldasThackersey College of Home Science (Autonomous),

S.N.D.T Women’s University,

Juhu Tara Road, Santacruz (West),

Mumbai 400049.

Maharashtra

2015 - 2017

Submitted to

University Grants Commission (WRO)

Pune

ABSTRACT

STUDY ON RETENTION OF INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE SYSTEM IN TEXTILES IN NORTH EAST INDIA

Textiles can be considered as an emblem of identity in tribal societies; however, continuty of this traditional textile knowledge has become an issue for tribal textiles. Around the world, indigenous cultures are on the verge of disappearance from the forces of modernization and globalization. The indigenous textiles of North east India have not remained as an exception. Hence, this research was taken up with the objective to study the tribal textile tradition; to develop diversified products using tribal designs and understand their acceptance. Seven tribal communities, namely, Aka tribe of Arunachal Pradesh, Meiti community of Manipur, Karbi, Mishing, Singpho Tai-Phake and TIwa from Assam having strong textile tradition were considered for this study. The research methodology consisted of administration of interview schedule to collect pertinent data, documentation of tribal textile tradition, diversified product development using tribal designs. The study found that hand woven textiles still play a major role among the tribal people of North east India; however, it requires a more creative alternative to preserve and retain various textile manufacturing activities. The products developed during the study were appreciated by the consumers; they agreed that such measure of diversified product development is necessary to ensure sustainability. However, despite rich textile heritage and tradition, the textile tradition remains as fragile and vulnerable to changes in contemporary life. It was found that there is a need to further develop and flourish this declining tradition and strengthen the collective capacities with innovation and partial technology induction and instil the importance of rich textile heritage.