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In the backdrop of the State Handloom Expo in Mokokchung, Maonginla, President of the Jangpetkong Tetsur Telongjem Mokokchung Unit, said that although both the central and state governments are doing all they can to improve the livelihood of artisans and craftsmen, it is the public that fails to understand the value of such initiatives.

handloom expo
The State Handloom Expo (SHE) was inaugurated by A Temjem Jamir, Director of Industries and Commerce, Nagaland, Kohima. The expo, which commenced on February 2, will run until February 15, 2024.

“I have observed that when it comes to melas, fun fairs, etc., people have no problem with spending their money, but when it comes to handloom and indigenous items, people are not interested,” she said.

According to the president, another factor that one should consider is to have a variety of items in their stall and not just have a monotonous variety like the rest of the stalls.

When asked whether she thinks the buyers are not turning up because traditional attires are deemed to be “too costly” or because traditional attires are unfortunately only worn occasionally in today’s age, the president stated, “That is the general concept of many people, but I want people to understand that there is value in our traditional attire.”

“The traditional attires of other states are very expensive. Comparing the prices with other states, ours are actually very cheap. It is not to say we have to compete with them,” she said, expressing her opinion that ‘styled mekhala’ should be less costly than traditional attire.

“I want people to understand that our traditional attires are not cheap products. This has been preserved by our forefathers for years. I strongly believe that it should even be worth more than gold and silver. Whoever adorns the traditional attire, they are worthy men and women.”

According to her, the adaptation of foreign culture has impacted the value of traditional attire, but she expressed hope in the recent introduction of cultures and traditions in schools, colleges, DC office, and other establishments.

Also Read: Low buyer turnout but participants laud ongoing expo in Mokokchung

She also hailed the Angami brothers and sisters, stating, “Look at our Angami brothers and sisters and how they beautifully adorn their traditional attire with pride while carrying a Naga basket. That’s value,” she stated.

Completely disagreeing with the notion that “traditional attires are too costly,” she added that the concept was something that can be removed only when one understands the worth of the attire.

Mokokchung Times

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