Indigenous weaves from Nagaland
Ao naga textile: Hand-spun, back-strap loom woven organic cotton that is dyed with local Indigo dye called Osak. Three narrow individual panels are hand-stitched together using ancient Naga stitching techniques. This is part of Mora’s ongoing research on Ao indigenous indigo dye.
Kuzhami-naga textile: Hand-spun using ancient fibre-making technique of extracting yarn from Stinging nettle (Thebvo) plant. This is a product of Thebvo Project, established 2014 in Zuketsa region, Nagaland
Both textiles involve traditional back-strap loom weaving of Nagaland. The yarn is hand-spun using spindle only. No charkha
Osak is home grown Indigo plant of Ao nagas. This textile involves their traditional method of indigo extraction involving seven broad steps:
Harvesting at the time of appropriate maturity
Pounding & pulping
Fermentation over 30-40 days depending upon weather conditions
Upon metallic hints on dye vat, turn pulp to dye cakes
Dye cakes are then offered appropriate alkalinity to extract Indigo dye. Combined with wood ash and other ingredients.
Fabric is then dip dyed into this vat
This is the only textile with Osak Dye in Mora 2021.
The maker of Osak aspect of shawl is an Ao lady, who has carried forward the ancient indigo dyeing techniques of her ancestors. She has not only mastered the art of making dye out of indigo plants, but also grows 15000 plants in her own home garden, tending to each plant on her own. She also hand-stitched the three panels of the shawl.