Noa Dihing is a beautiful river of the eastern belt of North East India. I have crossed this river when I walked to the land of Lisus. It was not easy though very adventurous and showed me many survival skills that I never learnt. The locals were amused by my lack of skills and inability to pick them as naturally as them. In absence of roads, Lisus have used this river to send the logs down the upper banks to lower banks. They make rafts and steer their wood through this river down to the bank where these heavy wet logs are collected and put to sun for few weeks. Once seasoned, this wood is ready for use.
Noa Dihing has also helped bring prosperity to Tai Khampti tribe. Long winding tales of history sit next to the banks of this river. Next to Noa Dihing, in their homes and courtyards, Tai Khampti weavers wove this gentle Riha- check pattern using cotton brought from Salem, Tamil Nadu. Making checks and stripes in weaves is a matter of good warping skills. Warping is a matter of good concentration and keeping the flow of counting steady. New weavers can also makes checks if they can concentrate well.
These Riha weaves are made by untrained weavers, single mothers, and older women. They were brought livelihood through an initiative we carried out in Arunachal Pradesh, where about 500 kgs of cotton yarn was taken as an awareness drive to remote regions, in order to sensitise weavers towards using cotton over easily available synthetic yarns.
I felt the gentleness of this Riha’s drape would compliment the broad borders created with Kalamkari. I feel content with the results.
I call this Sari Noa Dihing, because I see this as a great opportunity to bring to attention the beautiful rivers of Arunachal Pradesh and the ecosystem they benefit. Any harm to the rivers is harm to the people near the rivers. Rivers across the world are like veins carrying elixir of life. Many beautiful people have committed themselves for the cause of rivers.
“Finally I was able to see that if I had a contribution I wanted to make, I must do it, despite what others said. That I was OK the way I was. That it was all right to be strong.”
― Wangari Maathai