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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.

Woodcraft

The woodwork industry in Assam was prolific in ancient times when the forests were abundant with rare and valuable woods like sandalwood, salmali, agaru and vata (banyan). It was traditionally carried out by a group of people namedkhonikors who hand carved wooden decorations in the palaces of the Ahom rulers. It is reported that their work was so highly regarded and popular with the royals that a separate village called Khonikargaon was built for them near Sibsagar in the district of the same name.

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Bell-Metal

Metal craft is the second largest and another of the oldest cottage industries in Assam. Famous all over India bell-metal utensils, made from a mixture of brass and iron, can be found in almost every Assamese household. In the days of the Ahom kings gold, silver and copper were used for royalty and there is a rich collection of these items on show in the State Museum at Guwahati.

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