[ Karyir Riba ]
ROING, 2 Feb: A center to market Geographical Indicator (GI)-tagged Idu Mishmi traditional textile and handloom products, named IMCLS GI Enterprise Center, was launched at the main market area here in Lower Dibang Valley district on Monday.
The center – an initiative of a five-member woman SHG, IMCLS GI Enterprise SHG was inaugurated by Idu Mishmi Cultural and Literary Society (IMCLS) president Ginko Linggi.
“The main intention behind launching this center, other than to preserve and promote our traditional textile, is to generate employment and to uplift our local weavers economically,” SHG president Athupi Aprawe said and added: “This is a very small step but we are proud to be a part of preservation of this beautiful textile”.
Aprawe informed that the IMCLS is the authorised seller of the textile and the products are being marketed under the brand name ‘Idu Mishmi.’
Under the guidance of the IMCLS, the SHG had started working on the project a little after the Idu Mishmi textile had obtained the GI tagging in the later part of 2019. They approached local weavers from all over LDV and Dibang Valley to obtain the loin loom to make their products. To maintain their product quality, they also supplied cotton yarn to weavers.
Speaking of the difference in quality, Aprawe informed that there are now two types of looms – the loin and the shuttle. “The loin loom is the original loom which is hand-woven by our weavers. The process of weaving a single item is time taking, strenuous and back breaking because of the intricate design of our textile. Whereas, the shuttle loom is made using machines. The shuttle loom looks alright but lacks in quality and authenticity,” she said.
She also expressed concern over the designs being replicated by weavers of neighbouring states/regions. “This process is not only deteriorating the originality and quality of our textile, but is also gravely affecting our local authentic weavers,” she said.
It is important to mention here that copying or replicating a patented/GI tagged item is a punishable offence under the law.
The ‘Idu Mishmi’ brand is currently selling bags, purses, cushion covers, kids’ products, headbands, stalls, traditional skirts, coats and earrings.
The SHG said that in order to not waste any loin, they are making use of the smallest bit by incorporating it in their designs. “We plan on including more products in the coming days. We also have plans to expand the center to different parts of the state, all over the country and eventually outside too. Our next target will be airports,” they said.