Cord-marked Pottery in Oinam
An extant craft in the Naga Hills, India
Oinam village in the state of Manipur in India, is known for its enduring tradition of pottery, defined by the cord-marked design on the pots. Cord-marked pottery is also found in various archaeological sites in Northeast India. Scholars have argued that pottery remains with cord-marked designs could be traced back to the Neolithic period. However, while these hand-made, earthen pots were once in high demand, they have been replaced by durable plastic and metallic vessels in recent times. Further, once considered a viable source of income, especially for women, today this tradition is seen as labor-intensive and monetarily unrewarding. As such, this tradition is preserved only by a few women of the older generation, as an act of preservation, rather than for income generation. The fifteen recent photographs in this essay document and preserve the surviving pottery-making tradition in Oinam.
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