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A tryst with the seven sisters

Seven states from the North-east showcase their art and culture at a festival in Delhi.

art and culture Updated: Apr 09, 2011 00:44 IST
Aakriti Sawhneya

It’s a celebration of the diverse culture of the Northeast, right here in the Capital. Art and handicraft from the seven states of this part of India come together in a festival presented by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA). The festival brings a selection of folk theatre performances, handicrafts shopping extravaganza, a textile exhibition and a food court.

“The performances will present forms, rituals and theatrical activities, giving a glimpse of the north-eastern people. Some of these forms are not even known or heard of inside their own communities. There are around more than 300 performers in the festival,” says Molly Kaushal of IGNCA. “We are providing them with a platform where they can showcase their talent and rich tradition to a larger audience.”

Titled, Indigenous Festival of North East India, the ongoing festival has put up a crafts bazaar, where craftsmen from Manipur, Tripura, Assam, Nagaland and Mizoram have put up their items. A major attraction at the bazaar is black pottery items from Manipur. Ranged between R100-2,500 they are available in many shapes and sizes. You can choose from tea mugs, kettles, trays and beautifully crafted hookahs. Explaining how these crockery items are made, one of the attendants at the stall says, “We use the powered form of serpentine stone and mix it with mud and water. Then this paste is shaped into crockery products. Afterwards, we dry it in the sun and then heat it in fire.”

At the crafts bazaar, the bamboo and cane products are a big hit too! You can choose from pen holders, candle stands to flower vases, all ranged between Rs 50-500.

The festival has also brought together a textiles exhibition — Digh-Bani — that gives you a peep into the weaving technology of the various tribes of Northeast. Its on till April 30.

Weaving tools, such as fly shuttle looms, spindles, spinning wheel, and motif samples from tribal and non-tribal traditions are exhibited here.

When you are done with your shopping and visiting the exhibition, you can settle down for some authentic food from the Northeast at thefood court.

Must check out
Organic jewellery
Available at the Assam stall is organic jewellery made out of Water Hyacinth (an aquatic weed) and rice. The rice ornaments are made by stitching and sticking each piece together. The items are priced between Rs 50-350

Metal products
Another fascinating thing at the Crafts Bazaar are the hand-made metal products from Nagaland. You can check out the sculptures and beautiful neck-pieces. Price Rs 500 onwards

Also showing
Radhar Man Bhanjan
A part of Navoday Opera, this one-hour production from Tripura comes within the genre of Lok Jatra and is based on the relationship between Radha and Krishna.
Date: April 9
Timings: 6.30 pm

Kao Phaba
Presented by Aryan Theatre from Manipur, this production depicts the struggle of two lovers. The group, formed in 1935, caters the audience with native values and traditions through their production. Date: April 10
Timings: 6.30 pm

What’s up?
When: On till April 10
Entry: Open to all
Venue: Indira Gandhi National Centre
for the Arts
Timings: 11 am to 8 pm
Nearest Metro station: Rajeev Chowk on the yellow line