DIMAPUR, JANUARY 23: With an aim to create awareness and give importance to local traditional weaving methods and practices, the Phek district administration and DLCW-Mahila Shakti Kendra (BBBP) organised an awareness program-cum-exhibition on traditional weaving techniques at Leshemi village in Phek district on January 23 as part of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao week.
According to press release on Saturday, discussion was also held with the village women on new design techniques and ways to open up to new markets across India.
N Bhavani Sri, SDO (C) and Nodal Officer BBBP, Phek, speaking on the occasion viewed that stinging nettle fabric would have an excellent market, if the supply chain can be properly streamlined. He also encouraged the women to come up with more modern designs.
While appreciating the Leshemi women society for their recent efforts in connecting with right designers and brands, she stressed on the importance of preserving local methods and practices.
Observing that the process of making thebvo meneh mekhela involves various steps right from collection of raw material to drying, dyeing, weaving etc, she said it was achievable only because of the unity and strong community mobilisation among the villagers.
Wetsho Lasushe, EAC of Phek, said weaving should not be considered only as part of culture but also as a profession. He suggested that innovative ideas should get reflected in the designing of the products and thereby making it marketable.
Neipetso Lomi, in the introductory speech, said that the stinging nettle (Thebvo in Kuzhale) practice was passed down by forefathers and was believed that Thebvo production originated from Leshemi in Chakhesang area.
Leshemi village holds and preserves the tradition and culture of Thebvo production till today. In order to preserve this culture, the village has created a brand by the name Leshemi Origins, he informed.
He said the fibre-to-fabric journey is completely local and self-sustaining, the entire community is involved in the creation process as stinging-nettle strips are thigh-reeled and converted to yarn, then beaten, bleached, softened, dyed, and strip-woven on back-strap looms, also known as loin looms.
Explaining the process, the villagers mentioned that the harvesting of stinging nettles begins from early part of November till January when nettle leaves wither which makes the bark strong and firm. After this, the production of Thebvo goes through different processes.
(Page News Service)