Indigenous Art and Craft of Arunachal Pradesh


Image – Indigenous

Arunachal Pradesh, “The Land of Dawnlit Mountains,” is a pristine state of India. The natural beauty, rich tradition, and artistic culture of Arunachal Pradesh are a plethora of wonders that attract tourists from various parts of the country and world. Art is one of the prime assets of any state, and Arunachal Pradesh does not fall short in highlighting its vibrant and varied art indigenous to the state. In this article, we present to you the authentic and dynamic art and craft of Arunachal Pradesh. These arts are of various forms and rich with artistic and artisans skills of the state’s locals. Read on to know more about the rich creative side of the state of natural wonders. 

Cane and Bamboo Craft of Arunachal Pradesh

Art and Craft of Arunachal Pradesh, Cane and Bamboo Art 
Image- shankar s./FLickr

Arunachal Pradesh is home to various tribal communities. Nature and natural products are at the centre of these tribal communities’ primitive way of life. Cane and Bamboo are prime raw materials that the locals and various tribes of Arunachal Pradesh use to make daily use products. The beauty and quality of the cane and bamboo art of the state are trendy and make these products a favorite amongst the locals and visitors of the state.  

Cane and Bamboo are in popular use for making various kinds of products. Some of the most artistic use of cane and bamboo results are baskets, bags, containers, hats, cane belts, bottles, etc. The different tribes have their styles of weaving the caps, and some tribes even have elaborate brassieres made with cane fiber. The minimal yet intricate artworks of the cane and bamboo products are worth the appreciation the artform receives.  

Wood Carving of Arunachal Pradesh

Art and Craft of Arunachal Pradesh, Wood Carving 
Image – Wikimedia

Arunachal Pradesh is a state that is abundant with natural beauty and natural products. Wood, like cane and Bamboo, is also readily available in the state. Arunachal Pradesh successfully maintains and promotes the art form of wood carving

Wood carving art is abundant and is in different styles in Arunachal Pradesh. Houses are mostly of wood, and the charm of the craftsmanship of wood carving adds beauty to such homes. Other products made with wood are tobacco pipes, bowls, spoons, drinking mugs, wooden masks, figures of dancers, religious images, and so on. The different tribal groups specialize in a particular style of wood carvings. Some groups demonstrate intricate works in designing the tobacco pipe bowl and making it in the shape of a human or animal head. Some groups use shapes and figures of warriors to carve out the drinking mugs and bowls. All the different detailing and art of wood carving is a legacy that is carrying forward from one generation to the next.  

Carpet Weaving of Arunachal Pradesh

Art and Craft of Arunachal Pradesh, Carpet Weaving
Image – Rita Willaert/Flickr

Carpet weaving is the specialty of the Monpas, a Buddhist community of Arunachal Pradesh. The girls of this community receive training in weaving from an early age. This is also a tradition that is continuing from one generation to another.

The primary weaving material is wool and cotton. The beauty of this art lies in the patterns and vibrant colors that the women highlight through their work. Designs of dragons, patterns of flowers, geometric shapes in bold colors result in beautiful carpets. These carpets represent a primitive art form that is an asset of the state. The beauty of these carpets grasps the attention of tourists. The visitors can indulge themselves by buying such distinctive art as the rugs come in various sizes.  

Thangka Painting of Arunachal Pradesh

Image – Tanya Schroeder/Flickr

Thangka is a painting on cloth that is particular to the Buddhist religion. These paintings have religious motifs and depict deities and themes of the pious act.  

Thangka is a Tibetan term and means recorded message. These paintings represent Buddhist philosophy and hold a lot of meaning. Thangka paintings of Arunachal Pradesh are famous in the Tawang, West Kameng, and Upper Siang districts. The thangka painting process involves a picture panel of paint which is put on a silk border or cover. The dyes of the painting are vibrant. Thangkas are exceptionally delicate, and because of their religious quality, need an appropriate preserving process. The Thangkas require a dry place devoid of moisture. They scroll the paintings to protect them. This leads to  another name for the Thangka paintings, scroll paintings. Thangkas are everyday products of decorative and religious meanings. Thangkas come in different sizes also. Tourists of Arunachal Pradesh can get their fair share of authentic thangka paintings and buy them as souvenirs. 

Ornaments of Art Arunachal Pradesh

Image – Felix Anthony

The artistic abundance of Arunachal Pradesh is prominent in its unique designs of pieces of jewelry. Nature plays a significant role as an inspiration for artwork in the state. Nature is a primary part of the tribals’ life, and it can be seen in their fashion also. 

Suggested Read – The Mesmerizing Traditional Dresses of Arunachal Pradesh!

Ornaments primitive to Arunachal Pradesh are made with various colours’ beads, brass, and silver. The indigenous take on ornaments of the state is the use of feathers of birds and wings of the green beetles. In tribal weddings, brides and grooms are seen sporting pieces of jewelry made with beads and have ornaments of feathers on their heads. Some tribal groups also use Bamboo to make bangles and earrings. When worn with the traditional dresses of Arunachal Pradesh, these distinctive ornaments complete the look of a native of the state. The beauty and quality of the ornaments are worth every penny.

Weaving Art of Arunachal Pradesh

Image – Gauraang Pradhan

Weaving is traditionally a women-centered artwork. Like the carpet weaving art form, weaving, in general is a prevalent occupation amongst the locals of Arunachal Pradesh. 

The weaving artform receives a lot of acknowledgments because of the detailed embroidery works the artists put together on a piece of fabric. The most common fabrics for weaving are cotton, wool, and silk. Jackets, blankets, and coats require a heavier fabric to beat the cold of the state. Yak’s hair is an alternative and primitive material that the women use for weaving warm clothes. The intricate patterns and vibrant colors of the end products become the key elements that help enlarge the state’s weaving industry. The elegant and artistic qualities of weaving  impress both the locals and visitors equally. 

Suggested Read – Amazing Places to Visit in Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh is a state that stands apart for its native beliefs and extraordinary natural splendor. The artforms that are born in this state have made a place for themselves in the national market. The authentic and aesthetic characteristics of these artworks are elements that enrich the cultural asset of the state. Arunachal Pradesh has dynamic paintings that serve the diverse tastes of its visitors. I hope you too find your pick of art and craft of Arunachal Pradesh on your visit that you can get as a souvenir. 

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