Cord-marked Pottery in Oinam

An extant craft in the Naga Hills, India

  • Oinam Premchand Singh PhD Student, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110067
Keywords: Ethnography, Naga Hills, pottery, cord-marked, hand-made


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 However, while these hand-made, earthen pots were once in high demand, they have been replaced by durable plastic and metallic vessels in recent times.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.

How to Cite
Singh, O. (2023). Cord-marked Pottery in Oinam. HIMALAYA - The Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies, 42(1), 141-157.
Photo Essays