New Delhi: Under the soft autumn sun, a line of handicraft and handloom stalls at the sprawling lawns of IGNCA emanated a burst of colours adding zing to a background exploding with music, dance and countless Buddhist prayer flags. The products on sale in those stalls ranged from flower vase, sandals, table lamps, floral bags, traditional clothes and jewellery, decorative flowers and a whole lot of household items woven and carved out of perishable and wildly growing plants like water hyacinth, cane, wood and bamboo.
The third installment of the North East Festival brought 60 artisans and small textile entrepreneurs to the capital from all the eight states of the region who have displayed the nuisances of their craftsmanship through various items. The menacing water weed- water hyacinth has been transformed into different kinds of bags ranging from totes, clutch, purse with innovative and alluring and up on the shelves for sale in a stall from Assam.
An idol of Ganesha carved out of bamboo stem has been brought by an artisan from Tripura. A natural textile entrepreneur from Manipur has cane basket and bins, kauna grass productions and an illustrative collection of mats, runners and durries made of cane to offer. A woman entrepreneur from Meghalaya is selling pure Lankadong turmeric, a high quality turmeric which is exported globally.
Nagaland weavers and artisans brought the handicrafts of the 16 different Naga tribes each which together compose the state. "Each tribe has their own unique design and pattern in their clothes and jewellery, all of which are on display. We have also done some fusion of traditional designs on kurtas and ties. There are also table mats made of bamboo with traditional designs on them", a stall owner said.
There are stalls from Nagaland that are also selling bouquets of vibrant flowers made of sola wood. The all-organic flowers_made from the soft wood are handmade and available in different designs and radiant colours making for elegant home decor items. An exhaustive assemblage of handloom items from all the states of the North East are on display at the fest. Apart from traditional wears, there are stoles, jackets, scarves, kurta with indigenous designs which makes for a formal wear.
"We are selling stoles and scarves of different indigenous fabric like Eri silk which have been coloured in natural dye," said a hawker from Assam. "The attempt of the Northeast festival is to communicate with the people of Delhi so we're calling Delhi people to see the different facets of the Northeast. We're trying to attract tourists back to the Northeast," organiser-in-chief of North East Festival, Shyamkanu Mahanta said.