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Handicrafts

The most striking thing about Assam’s handicrafts is that neither the style nor method of production has changed for hundreds of years.

Most recognised for exemplary quality silks, cane and bamboo items, Assamese artisans also produce an array of cotton fabrics, bell-metal utensils, masks, toys, pottery, jewellery and paintings.

Jewellery

Dating back from ancient times Assam has built up a rich collection of traditional jewellery designs unique and exclusive to the state that hold a special place in the hearts of Assamese women and are worn during cultural and religious events. Jorhat, the 2nd biggest city in Assam located in the district of Jorhat is the main jewellery-making centre and thousands of natives and visitors flock there every day to browse in the numerous outlets. This district also has a number of small scale cottage industries where skilled jewellery-makers also work.

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Toys

Toys are a significant part of everyone’s history and they speak volumes about the cultures and lifestyles of different people. Every region of India has its own unique style of making toys, but they are all surpassed in Assam. The skilled craftsmen there use few tools and yet produce some of the best toy specimens in the country.

Assamese toys can be classified into three types according to the raw materials used to make them.

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Masks

Masks are one of the lynch-pins of Assamese culture and tradition. They are usually worn during theatre and bhaona, a traditional performance carrying religious messages that was created by 16th century Sankardeva, Assam’s most famous spiritual leader, and which revolves around tribal myths and folktales. Assam’s tribal people also often use masks in the dances they perform to celebrate their own particular myths and folklore.

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