Kouna Craft of Manipur

Origin: The word Kouna is derived from the word “Kou”. Manipuri name Kou spells craft items.   In Meitei culture, Kouna is closely associated with deity “Phakamgba”. Some members of this culture have a strong belief that Kouna is a reincarnation of their deity “Phakamgba”. Thus, the people of Manipur have a deep sense of emotional and religious connection with Kouna 

One of the most ancient traditions of the Manipuri society is Kouna craft.  Nature's gifts to Manipur, Kouna is a spongy water reed like bamboo. Every house of Manipur has a  minimum of two Kouna handicrafts items. Culturally, it been employed in the process of mat making. 

Kouna plants are eco-friendly, non-pollutant and bio degradable. 

Present Day: Khangadok cluster primarily dominates the Kouna handicraft. Khangabok is home to skilled artisans who are trained to weave around moulds. In the region of Langmeithet, everyone weaves mats and some of them have also taking training in weaving 3D products. However, in Shikong and Kuarok Maring village very few people weave mats for sale.  

Kouna handicraft is evolving, today many new crafts items such as baskets in different shapes and sizes, cushions and mattresses, boxes, trays, ladies purse are crafted out of Kouna. 

People have started comprehending de facto that once it is planted it lasts approximately 20 to 25 years and is harvested three to four times a year. This harvesting knowledge has resulted in a growth of people harvesting Kouna to their low -lying fields in Thoubal. 

Kouna cultivation calls for a smaller investment in comparison to paddy. Once planted, it helps in earning higher income and products for approximately 25-30 years. 

The tools employed in the crafting procedure are hammer, nails, needle and knife.  Firstly,   2 to 4 inches of steps above the stump are cut. This is followed by drying them in sunlight for one day and roasting it for 2 days. The resultant is a golden yellowish colour. Post this, the reeds are bundled and stored. For 10 to 15 minutes, they are wet.  Next step is to chop the reeds against the size of the moulds.  Sized reeds are woven around the mould.  Once all the reeds are folded, the extras are removed.

Bring home Kouna Craft: Kouna handicraft items can be picked from handicraft fairs. To buy, breathtakingly beautiful and environment friendly craft items log on to www.craffi.com 

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