Swati Bawari | swati.b87@hotmail.com

Oral Traditions of Textiles in Assam: Tai Phake, Tai Khamyang

Guide Aarti Srivastava
Sponsor Outreach Programmes
Keywords clothing pattern;colour symbology;narratives;textile culture

This project concentrates on documenting the textile traditions of different tribes residing in the five districts of Upper Assam. The cultural attributes and clothing pattern for each tribe residing in Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Sibsagar, Lakhimpur, and Dhemaji districts is different from the other.

In this project, the traditional textile culture of the tribes of these five districts has been covered. In the first phase, the tribes covered are the Deori, Mishing, Singpho, Tai Khamti, Tai Khamyang, and Tai Phake, who were found in different villages and areas of the state. The second phase of the project comprises the documentation of the oral narratives in relation to the textile traditions of the Tai community; namely, Tai Phake and Tai Khamyang, such that the value and relation of textiles in their lives could be well understood.

After doing research on all the tribes and their cultures, the information gained was narrowed down to select the specific area of study. Narratives in the form of folk stories, songs, lullabies, cradle songs, myths, and beliefs are one of the oldest media to pass on the knowledge and cultural heritage from one generation to another. Thus, the research and documentation on these oral narratives unfolds different reasons and justifications about the origin, use of different raw materials, the colour symbology, the motifs and the final product with different inferences and understanding about the same.

The research and study of oral traditions existing within communities gave an insight into the various aspects that might have lead to the initiation of the community. The exposure and understanding helped come across a lot of new possibilities.
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