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, etc. 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 making is a craft widely practised 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.
Dafla women are skilled in this craft. The legend is that Abo Takam was the first Dafla potter and from him the art passed on to the women. The process involves pounding a specific kind of earth called dekam on a big stone with a wooden hammer. When it turns into powder, water is mixed and it is hammered till it gains the required softness. Clay lumps are taken home, there she takes a lump and shapes it with her finger into a crude pot with a shallow opening at the top and rim round it. When several such crude pots have been shaped they are kept in the top-most tray over the hearth to dry. Next day they are ready for the final processing. This is done by pushing a stone deeper and deeper through the hollow of the mouth to get the right bulge of the sides, which are beaten on the outer side with a kamgi to flatten them thin. The kamgi is a bamboo stick with a lineal design on it. It leaves the marks of the design on the body of the pot. Finished pots are not subjected to any polishing or burnishing. They are carefully kept in the shade while drying. When completely dry, they are put in a fire out-side the house. There are no kilns or pot-ovens, though a ditch, if available, makes it convenient to put burning firewood over the pots. Pottery is exclusively limited to cooking utensils.
Palibos are fond of smoking therefore make smoking pipes from wood and bamboo roots, but they also procure metallic pipes through barter trade from their neighbours the Bokars, the Ramos and the Membas.
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 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 is a tradition with some of the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. The Monpas, Khamtis, Wanchos, Phom, Konyak tribes occupy significant place in this art. Wanchowoodcarvers have 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 dance 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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