The Monpas | Art and Crafts | UPSC
KVIC Brings Alive 1000-yrs Old Monpa Handmade Paper Industry in Tawang to Revive the Heritage Art
WHY IN NEWS:
Hot from PIB !
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1 : Art and Crafts : Tribes
For PRELIMS go through the different art forms Monpas are specialised in . Take a note of the local names of these art and crafts.
For MAINS note down the rich socio-economic heritage of Monpas community.
THE MONPAS | ART AND CRAFTS
- The art of making Monpa handmade paper originated over 1000 years ago.
- The Monpas have a glorious heritage of arts and crafts.
- Their craftsmanship is manifested in various trades like weaving, bamboo works and paintings, paper making, incense making, pottery, etc.
- Monpa artisans are held in esteem and respected in their society as their services are inevitable in their socio-cultural life.
WOOD CRAFT MASK
- As the region is endowed with lush green forest, various kinds of wood is extracted to make various objects of their daily use as well as for other purposes.
- Their skill in woodwork is best expressed in wood carving.
- It is a specialized craft confined to menfolk only.
- Their low table called ‘Cho-tze’ is known for its artistic carved wood work.
Cho-tze | The Monpas | Art and Crafts
- It is open on the side fencing the person seated on it.
- The other sides are paneled with carved figures of dragon, bird or flower pattern painted in vivid colours.
- The Monpas also produce various utensils of daily use from wood.
- ‘Jandhong’ is a long cylindrical churn made of wood with brass around.It is used for churning butter tea.
- For churning milk, they have ‘Zob’ which resembles jangdhong in size but bigger in size.
- ‘Sheng Tsumrong’ is a wooden mortar in which cereals and other edibles are pounded with the help of a wooden pestle.
- The Monpas have been weaving cloth to meet their requirements since time immemorial.
- Girls are trained in the art of weaving from a very early age.
- The basic raw materials used by them in weaving are wool and cotton yarn
- They shear their sheep and do the washing, combing, spinning and weaving.
- Cotton yarn is imported from the plains of woolens which meet their essentials requirement of clothing.
- They also weave blankets, hoversacks, tents etc.,from yak hair. Of all the carpets deserves a special mention.
- Equally sophisticated and artistic is their textile bags which is made by combining five colours- red, yellow, white, black and green.
- Paper making is another art in which the Monpas excel.
- Probably they are the only tribe in Arunachal Pradesh who know the art of making paper.
- Their paper is made from the bark of a shrub called Dapne Botanical Papercia, locally called Shugu-Sheng.
- The Papers produced are monpas are said to be of very high standard in terms of quality. Monpas use it mainly for religious purposes.
- Many holy scriptures are written on ornate cardboard, consisting of several sheets of hand made papers pasted together, and varnished over with a black pigment, upon which the letters are written in silver or gold.
- The art of handmade paper is quite ancient and is one of the most developed crafts of the Monpas of Tawang District, being an integral part of their local customs and culture.
- In olden days, the local artisans used to travel to Tsona and Lhasa in Tibet to sell the handmade paper locally known as Mon-Shug.
- In fact, all the Buddhist religious texts, which came from Tibet, were written on this paper, as no handmade paper making industry existed in Tibet during that period.
- It is widely used in religious ceremonies throughout Buddhist belts and also for printing religious texts called “Pe-Cha“, flags called “Phann“, and as scrolls inside the prayer wheels (Mani) etc.
- The cost of Mon-Shug ranges from Rs. 50 to 60 per bundle depending upon the quality.
- A bundle of Mon-Shug consists of 10 sheets of paper and is locally known as “Chideb”.