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Nagaland launches fashion brand Mongken

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Dimapur, January 29: In a first ever move towards patenting and documenting the traditional motifs of the Nagas, Nagaland Government has launched Mongken, a handholding initiative of the Department for Development of Underdeveloped Areas in partnership with TRIFED, Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
The brand was official launched at New Delhi on January 28 by Nagaland Minister for Forest, Environment & Climate Change, CM Chang in presence of Managing Director of TRIFED, Pravir Krishna, Minister for Higher & Technically and Tribal Affairs, Temjen Imna Along, Advisors Toshi Wungtung and Bongkhao Konyak and Rajya Sabha MP, KG Kenye at Holiday Inn, Aerocity, New Delhi.
Ambassador of South Korea Shin Bonkli, Brunei High Commissioner Dato Paduka Haji Sidek Ali and representatives from the ambassadors of Taiwan and Estonia also witnessed the grand launch.
Fashion designers Atsu Sekhose and Minister Chang also released the Mongken catalogue.
Giving the introductory remarks, joint director of DUDA Dr Anungla Imdong Phom said Mongken is to create economic opportunities for local designers and skilled artisans and craftsmen from Nagaland, with special focus on the underdeveloped regions of the State.
Apparel and garment sector is one of the key areas where the State can benefit immensely, she said, adding that the Naga shawls have great economic potential in the national and international arena because of its exotic patterns, motifs and colours.
The patterns and motifs reflected in the garments are replicated to retain and preserve the legacy of the traditional artisans and weavers from Nagaland, she said.
Fearing that with the advent of online marketing and digital information, there is a danger of copyright infringement of traditional designs, she said in order to facilitate and create the right ecosystem, Mongken was created to patent traditional motifs and weave patterns.
It would also help to promote and preserve the traditional knowledge through documentation and events, while also up-skilling the local weavers and youths and to create opportunities as skilled weavers in the apparel industry, she said.
Assistance in marketing through creation of the Mongken Brand would be the window for local designers to showcase their works, she added.
Dr Anungla Imdong Phom maintained that Mongken will function as a node through which the local products can be marketed by participating in festivals, trade expos organized by TRIFED and similar agencies.
Therefore, Mongken is a rare insight into the poetry and tribal stories reflected in the weave patterns of the tribes of Nagaland, she said.
She said that Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Ltd (TRIFED) under MoTA has shown keen interest in Mongken Brand and have agreed to promote it as a collaborative venture while the apparel and clothing line of Mongken will be promoted through the Tribes India outlets across the country.
Minister Chang lauded the efforts of DUDA for the initiative and hoped that it will help in preserving the traditional motifs of the Nagas, especially from Eastern Nagaland.
Designer Atsu Sekhose described it as the right move saying that a lot of time the Naga textiles are not feasible for the market but Mongken’s initiative to make the motifs into a more wearable clothes and expanding the horizon thereby taking it to new level.
On marketable, Sekhose said the world is looking into handloom and textiles so “we can definitely do more”.
Advisor for SCERT and IPR, Toshi Wungtung described it a very successful initiative towards promoting the textile culture and the traditional motifs of the Nagas in general.
It will create opportunities for the young entrepreneurs, he said adding that it will also open avenues for joint venture and collaborative investment while also upholding our culture and identity.
The garments designed by Kim, Tarep, Asen and Seyie Zecho inspired by the six Eastern tribes of Nagaland – Konyak, Chang, Phom, Yimchunger, Sangtam and Khiamniungan were showcased on the occasion. (Page News Service)

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