Arts and Crafts


  • Bamboo and Cane Products

    Many tribesmen make their own hats, which are often extremely decorative, adorned with the beaks and feathers of birds or with tufts of hair dyed red. They also make varieties of baskets, bags and other containers. There is a wide range of cane belts, woven and plain, tribals have even elaborately woven brassieres of cane and fiber. Cane and bamboo are strictly men's craft and the most commonly made objects are baskets for storing and carrying paddy, fuel and water, vessels for preparing local liquor, rice plates, bows and arrows, headgear, mats, shoulder bags, and ornaments and necklaces made of fine strips of bamboo and grass are also popular. The Nocte and the Wancho tribes mostly use dyed cane strips for their headgear, waistband, headband, armlet, etc.

  • Ornaments

    Ornament making is a craft widely practiced in Arunachal Pradesh. The tribes of this region use various natural sources and products to design jewelry-for both genders. They make use of materials like bamboo, feathers, glass beads, wild seeds etc. Silver and brass are popular and used more than other metals by the tribes. Even though all the tribes make use of almost the same materials, there are variations which symbolize the tribe and differentiate its people

  • Textiles

    The colours and designs are symbolic and vary according to the different tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. The use of certain kinds of clothes and ornaments is associated with the social position and achievements of the family in war and hospitality. The designs of the fabrics have some influence of motifs from neighbouring areas. The patterns and motifs are geometrical and quite complex with their own symbolic meanings.

  • Weapons

    Weapons are an integral part of the tribal life since times immemorial. Although certain weapons have become obsolete and replaced by modern weapons yet traditional weapons have a place of their own. Weapons are used in war and day to day tasks. All such weapons are produced locally. The most important weapon of Akas is bow and arrow, known by the names of tkeri and moo respectively, and used extensively in the chase. Weapons may vary in size according to the user`s requirement. The bigger ones used in hunting are fitted with tips of iron and smeared with aconite poison. The bows are usually hung over the shoulders while the arrows are carried in a case of bamboo called Thouvou.

  • Wood carving

    Wood carving is a tradition with some of the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. The Monpas, Khamtis, Wanchos, Phom, Konyak tribes occupy a significant place in this art. Wancho woodcarvers have a deep sense of proportion, despite their pre-occupation with the head. The Monpa wood carvers make beautiful cups, dishes, fruit bowls and carve magnificent masks for ceremonial dances and pantomimes. The Sherdukpen, Khampa and Monpa make masks which appear almost like real faces, while others represent birds and animals and some represent apes and men with twisted mouths. The masks are made of a single block of wood hollowed inside; holes are usually but not always, made for eyes and mouths; most masks are painted. Masks are used only by men and boys.


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