Accepted paper:

Symbolism of Naga handloom

Author:

Anjali Kurane (Savitribai Phule Pune University (Formerly University of Pune))

Paper short abstract:

The aim of the study is to understand the symbolism on Naga handloom and its significance through understanding the way of textiles being made, the purposes of using , the varieties and names of the textile, the meanings of symbols, inter culture interpretation of symbols and changing patterns.

Paper long abstract:

The culture is a system of inherited conceptions expressed in symbolic forms by means of which people communicate, perpetuate, and develop their knowledge about and attitudes towards life (Clifford Geertz, 1973).The anthropological study of symbolism developed in the 1960s to investigate what symbols stand for and the processes by which meaning is attributed to them. Turner saw symbols and symbolic action as the important means by which societies maintained solidarity. The aim of the study is to understand the symbolism on Naga handloom and its significance through understanding the way of textiles being made, the purposes of using , the varieties and names of the textile, the meanings of symbols, inter culture interpretation of symbols and changing patterns. Five major tribes i.e., Angami, Ao, Lotha, Sema and Chakhesang have been studied. The area under study was in Kohima, Phek and Dimapur districts of Nagaland. The Nagaland handlooms are reputed for their production of colourful and high textured woven clothes. The motifs and designs differ according to the tribes preparing it. The symbols on the textiles are the animal figures, arms and armor, currency, human head, geometrical patterns, star, moon, sun, goat's hair, cowries, beads and colours. The rich tradition of textiles weaving incorporates a variety of patterns or motifs to show socio-cultural identity, social status, education, tribe and clan differences, tribal belonging, migration routes and wealth.

panel WMW05
Intangible cultural heritage, memory and self-hood (IUAES Commission on Intangible Cultural Heritage)