Manipur's Shrimayum Gita-crafting silk cocoon into ornaments

| Updated: May 31, 2017 11:11 IST

Imphal (Manipur) [India], May 31 (ANI): Manipuri Handicrafts occupies a unique place among the various crafts of the country due to having its own aesthetic and artistic value created by the talented Artisans. Among the crafts, making ornaments out of silk cocoon has also been a unique and thriving craft in the state. Shrimayum Gita Devi of Khurai Thongam Leikai is an innovative craftsperson in Manipur who successfully takes up the craft of making varied designs of lady ornaments like erring, necklace, rings etc under the brand Leima Liklang Nayin. Initially, she started her business with mere investment of Rs. 3000/- and at present her business volume has reached Rs. 10 lakhs. And around 40 artisans are still working at her unit. And so far she has trained more than 80 trainees, specially womenfolks. In the historical period, the coahuiltecan tribe in Monterrey, Mexico made necklaces with cocoons. The tribe considered the ornaments made out of cocoons a luxury they could afford. Indigenous communities in Africa and South America too made anklets and necklaces from cocoon. In Manipur, sericulture practice using mulberry leaves had been a tradition since ages. Since early times, Manipuri women are known to have made ornaments and trinkets made from different forms of metals like bell metal, copper alloy and silver. Nayin, a type of earring used by the Manipuri women, was usually made of copper or gold. Based on the designs worn by the Manipuri women in early times, Gita attempted to experiment with Leimatil silk cocoon to make various ornaments. Shrimayum Devi learnt the craft of making silk cocoon based ornaments once she along with 20 sericulture workers from Manipur took part in a five days training programme at the Central Sericulture Research and Training Centre in Mysore in September 2007. The trainees were taught as to how to make cocoon based ornaments and garlands. After joining the training, she was highly motivated that she initiated her craft in making various ornaments out of cocoon. Gita is associated with the Non Government Organisation Sericulture Potlam which focuses specially on the promotion of both traditional and conventional sericulture practices and products. She bagged inspirational award in the competition held on October 17, 2013 for selection of outstanding craftsperson of Manipur in the handicraft section jewelry for the year 2013-2014 conducted by directorate of commerce and Industries, Government of Manipur. Recently, Manipur Government honoured her by conferring state craftsperson award in recognition of her work in the craft. (ANI)

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