Manipur is a state embedded in deepest tradition of art and craft going back to a hoary antiquity.
Pottery in Manipur is closely related with social, cultural and religious life.
The art of pottery making in Manipur is practiced by women
without using wheel in a similar fashion as in the
other northeastern states.
Longpi Pottery or Stone pottery is a traditional craft from Manipur.
This pottery derives its name from the village Longpi in Manipur, India.
My friend Chan introduced me to Longpi Pottery.
The utensils used to be the main cooking utensil among the Tangkhuls
before the advent of aluminum pots.
The material used in Longpi is made from a mixture
of Black serpentite stone and weathered rock which are mixed in a three to one ratio.
The strength is provided by the Serpentine rock and the weathered rock acts as a binding agent.
The paste formed from these is then rolled by hand into desired shapes.
The structures of saucer cups, kettle, frying pan, fruit bowls, cooking pot etc
are put in a kiln and set on fire for around five to nine hours till it reaches 900 C.
After which it is polished with
local leaves called pasania pachiphylla (scientific name)
which provides the luster to its surface.
Besides its medicinal values it holds an elite status in Manipur
and is used during major occasions like marriage and Luira festival.
With a black background and few motifs, this art form expunges
the “great divide” of practicality and ethnicity.
An absolute must for eco – friendly enthusiasts!
You can watch a old video made on Manipuri Potters: