Tshulowe Tshulowe

Thebvo, Kalamkari and natural dyed Eri silk Narrow shawl
Spoken for
This shawl has two complementing sides.

One side is Kalamkari with panels of Lac-Myrobalan Dyed Eri silk and fine Thebvo.

The other side is finest hand spun Thebvo as highlight in the centre with Lac-Myrobalan Dyed Eri silk as contrasting borders.

Tshulowe Tshulowe means Possible Possible!
Thebvo | Stinging nettle plant
Ra | shawl/ textile
Rado | weaving
Pake chi chi | very fine
Lo | yarn
(Kuzhale dialect of Kuzhami people, Nagaland who are the makers of indigenous textiles made using the stem of stinging nettle plants.)

The beginning of Thebvo Project comes from the trigger that the context of the community no more sustains Thebvo craft. In the olden times, it was essential for every Kuzhami household to engage in making these textiles. Thebvo being the strongest and long lasting fabric took care of most of their textile requirement like bedspread, shawl or baby-wrap and even as a sack to collect rice harvest. It is believed that Kuzhami people migrated to their present location with the knowledge of Thebvo fibre-making.

In the modern times, with available alternatives, the old context is slowly becoming redundant. Though, it is still intrinsic to Kuzhami identity and often finds mention in folktales and songs. For Thebvo to continue, the context needed to diversify and create livelihood opportunity for the artisans. So, we innovated a technique to make finest version of Thebvo yarn without altering the indigenous skill or adding additional tools. It was achieved purely by giving it the gift of time and attention.

Thebvo textiles have been there perhaps for thousands of years in their traditional substantial form. Now, we are making it the finest possible, "paake chichi lo” “size, small small, yarn” with our hands. Some of the community elders said, "oh you did it with machine, huh!? It is as fine as hair.” It has not been a spontaneous and easy journey to up-skill this Indigenous craft into art but a worthwhile one.

Thebvo project engages about 50 artisans. Each artisan has gone through extensive training to develop finer qualities of Thebvo yarn and are now confident in their skill. The youngest Thebvo artisan is about 30 years old while the oldest is 89 years.

Thebvo Project has been a journey from “not possible”‚ to “Tshulowe Tshulowe- possible possible”, to “Let us try”‚ to “oh yes, it’s possible”. Our artisan, Azou Akha-ü says, “we love Thebvo Project because its full of endless stories."
For voice of Thebvo makers and community please see blog. The proceeds from this textile are intended towards Thebvo project "artisans at ease".

Buyer Empowerments

Wearable textile made with ancient spinning, weaving and dyeing techniques, that are slowly being abandoned in modern context. Hope of rejuvenation that a textile that has lasted the test of thousand of years, can still enthral the makers and wearer’s senses.
One of a kind wearable heirloom that collages indigenous techniques of two natural textiles of North East India with Kalamkari of South India. The elegant drape of fine Thebvo compliments the story telling of Kalamkari on the other side. Indigo dyed Malkha bings the two ends.
Weather/ Mood
Pleasant-not warm not cold.
Sturdy, long-lasting- “lifelong” in their words, making it a generational heirloom. Texture will grow with time.
Dry clean recommended. “Made to not be fragile”. Care-free. Seasonal “Airing” in shadow, not direct sun. Do not wring.
Ready to wear
100% natural, organic, hand-made, from nature-back to nature. Something to grow old with and then pass it on to loved ones. The ruggedness will grow gentle with time.
Elegant, Subtle, Natural-appearance, Grounding
Thebvo Project is the community concern project funded and facilitated by Mora.
Made in rural household. Weaves made by artisan at home in available time- supporting farming lifestyle.
Direct connect with artisan.
Reverse pyramid model- Fair benefit to all makers and facilitators.
No bargaining with artisans. Mutual decision-making.
No deadline/ pressure based work environment made with need-greed, human-nature balance.
Made with intentional non-injury.
Slow production- slow movement product.
Made less, made ethically.
Has gone through no chemical processing.
Has gone through no machinery or mechanised processing units.
Well-being Properties
Thermal insulation, Moisture absorption, UV protective, completely bio-degradable, Climate conscious
This Thebvo is made by Indigenous Kuzhami community with assistance of Thebvo project est 2014, Nagaland.
Kalamkari by Subbarao, Sri Kalahasti, Andhra Pradesh.
Eri silk is made under the supervision of Narmohan Das, with creative guidelines from Mora, Assam.
Stitching by Gurmel Singh, Jalalabad, Punjab.
Tulsi beadwork by Param, Bathinda, Punjab.
Imperfections in the weaves reflect handmade
Irregularity in the dyes reflect natural process
Innocent spots in the textiles reflect being homemade
A work of nature cannot be sterile and error-free
A choice to still buy what we make is a step
Towards supporting original culture
Of people
Of nature
Of craft

A celebration of humanness.
Mora Collective 2024
designed by: MIDTOAN