Indigenous Handicrafts of Meghalaya

Besides being the "abode of clouds", Meghalaya is home to indigenous handicrafts. The art and craft of Meghalaya have evolved over the centuries. Among several local art forms, the most popular is the woodcarving of Meghalaya.

We have curated the ultimate list of the most popular crafts of Meghalaya!

Woodcarving of Meghalaya

Woodcarving is one of the state's cottage industries. Originated around Garo Hills by the tribal people, today woodcarving can be seen everywhere in the state. It is very common to find wooden sculptures in temples across Meghalaya. The artisans spend days carving toys primarily of people, animals, and birds. These incredible sculptures can be bought from the handicraft market in Shillong. The city's main shopping centres are Police Bazaar and Laitumkhrah. Additionally, Bara Bazaar is another famous market for soaking into the smell and beauty of Meghalaya’s handicrafts.

Woodcarving of Meghalaya
bamboo crafting in Meghalaya

The state's incredible bamboo craft

Bamboo and cane are found in abundance in Meghalaya. Khasis make a unique kind of sturdy cane mat called Tlieng. Over the years, Meghalaya bamboo craft has found recognition in the international market. The artworks are often shipped to shops around the globe. Among the items made by the artisans are mats, stools, umbrellas, and baskets. Some of the most famous bamboo crafts in the state are the Khasi trap, made out of cane meant for catching fish, the Khasi Pig basket, made out of bamboo sticks used to transport pigs, and the Khasi Fruit basket, made out of special types of cane to store fruits and often vegetables.

If you are someone who absolutely loves handmade items, the handicrafts of Meghalaya will not disappoint you. From combs to buckets, a variety of items are crafted by the local people. One of the prominent ones is the Khasi bamboo comb. The locals take pieces of bamboo together and assemble them to make the combs. Often, you will find intricate hand-carved designs on the comb. Among others are winnowing fans made from special strands of cane. Handmade mud shovels are also widely used across the state for building and constructing. These are mostly made in Shillong using three bamboo splints woven together to give them a shovel shape.

Khasi comb
Meghalaya selling handwoven shawls

Wrap yourself in beautiful handwoven textile

The handicrafts of Meghalaya remain incomplete without exploring the spectacular textile industry. The locals create unique patterns on shawls, clothing, and other household items made of cloth while preserving their cultural legacy. In Meghalaya, the Eri silk is prized for its durability and texture. Meghalaya's women typically wear a type of cloth called Jainsen made from mulberry silk. If you are in Shillong, do not forget to get yourself a colourful shawl as a relic. Meghalaya Angami shawls are made with colourful threads or wool and reminisce the glory of Meghalaya's past. Among the textile stitches, the most famous ones are Mikir, Taipchi and Pashni. Crafts of Meghalaya know no bounds and continue to evolve with time and technology.

As you explore the varied collection of art and craft in Meghalaya, treat yourself to an extravagant stay at Woodstock Resort, a rock-n-roll themed resort in Shillong. The boutique resort is beautifully decorated and inspired by rock and roll culture and the Woodstock Festival of 1969. So, pamper yourself with the best when you visit Shillong!

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