Handicrafts of Meghalaya
Integral to the craft culture of Meghalaya is its weaving tradition which is beautifully showcased in various mediums such as bamboo, cane, cotton, wool and silk. Primarily done by the women folk for household needs, these delightful objects such as baskets, fabric, clothes and blankets, can be bought at Meghalaya state emporia outlets. Other specialties are its stone carvings and pottery work.
Bamboo & Cane Work:-
Objects made from 'Tlieng', a popular variety of cane, are much sought after as it is durable and has an excellent finish. Sleeping mats, baskets, rain shields 'moorahs', lamps, side tables, sofa sets, trays, winnowing fans, containers and dried flower arrangements are made with different varieties of Bamboo and cane. Fishing traps are also made from bamboo sticks. The excellent cane bridges traversing fast flowing stream reflect the native craftsman's skills. Pineapple fiber is used to make fishing nets, bags and purses in the east Khasi Hill villages of Tynrong.
Clothes for the family, blankets and floor coverings for the house and decorative accessories such as hand bags and wall hangings, waist coats and belts are woven from home- spun cloth across the state in the little villages that dot the hills and valleys. Bedcovers and other house linen items, of fine quality are the expertise of craftsmen from the Garo Hills. Brilliant hues and pretty motifs are used to embellish even the most utilitarian items. You can also pick up some excellent cotton and wool rugs in brilliant hues and fine motifs. Woolen shawls and blankets from the East Khasi and Jaintia Hills are very popular. In Lamatong and Soniden in Ribhoil district, they still use vegetable dyes for their yarns. In western Meghalaya, from the Garo Hills comes the colourful 'dakmanada'. Soniden is an important silk weaving centre. 'Endi' silk, brought from Garo to Palasbari, is reputed for its durability and fine quality. The East Garo Hills, Jaintia Hills and Ribhol are known for their 'khadi' material. Fine appliqué work and embroideries are done in Shillong, Tura and Ribhol.
Items both decorative and utilitarian are created from wood with an eye for detail. The subjects are inspired by the bounty of nature and from everyday life. The Garo Hills have a fine tradition for wood carving. Decorative items from the East Khasi Hills are popular souvenir items and are available in the bazaars of Shillong, Meghalaya.