Accepted paper:

Ethnoarchaeological perspective of pottery-making tradition in North East India: affinities with East and South East Asia


Garima Thakuria (University of Delhi)

Paper short abstract:

This paper is an attempt to bring forth ethnoarchaeological parallels in the pottery making tradition of Northeast India and East and South East Asia.

Paper long abstract:

Northeast India, considered as terra incognita with an ethnic mosaic of numerous tribal groups, is located strategically at the junction of South Asia, East Asia and South East Asian countries. Pottery making tradition of this region has been traced back to the Neolithic period in Northeast India as attested in stratified context at Daojali Hading in North Cachar hills of Assam. Numerous techniques including paddle and anvil, coil building and mat impressed were used to prepare earthenware which continued through the later periods as well until today, as can be observed among many present day potter communities. Neolithic pottery explored and excavated in this region of India bear resemblances to those of the Eastern and South East Asian countries. Cord- marked pottery has been a characteristic feature of the Northeast Indian Neolithic culture and has widely been found from East Asia and South East Asia. Ambari ware was abundant in the Brahmaputra valley of Assam since the middle of 1st millennium AD. Through this paper an attempt will be made to bring out the ethnoarchaeological parallel of North East Indian pottery with that of East Asian and South East Asian earthenware. In doing so, the techniques used in manufacturing earthenware (from collection of raw material to the final product) by the Hira potter community of Assam, the Andro community of Manipur and the Jomon and Raku potters will be taken into consideration for understanding the continuity in manufacture, the functional aspects of the earthenwares and commercial purposes throughout the ages.

panel P10
On the prehistoric cultural relations of Southeast Asia with Northeast India