Wild banana bracelets, necklaces draw tourist attraction
Kisama, Dec. 8 (EMN): At craftscape in Kisama, visitors will come across a young lady demonstrating and selling string bracelets and necklaces made of wild banana seeds among other ornaments.
Interestingly, forefathers believed that the wild banana seed is used as a talisman to ward off sickness and evil intentions on the self by malevolent spirits.
A 26-year-old Angon from Peren village, who engaged in the craft full time, told Eastern Mirror that it is a tedious process to make them. It takes around three days to make one single piece bracelets. For necklaces, it takes her five to six days to make one.
Explaining further on the process of making, she said seeds will be collected from wild banana fruits, dry it for one whole day and cook a bit. This was followed by cutting the seeds into pieces, making a hole in the middle for string to go in, and finally smoothened it with hand. The seeds are either cut by sharp knife or machete (dao) and only the middle part of the seed is taken.
“Since the seeds got sharp edges it needs to be smoothened to bring into shape. This is the most challenging part as we have to smoothen it manually with hands. Our skins get peeled off and it is painful. It requires hard work,” she shared.
She said to have learnt the craft from her aunt and has been making for five years now.
“Not everyone can do this craft even among Zeliang people and so they take order from us. Our forefathers believed that wearing this ornaments can ward off evil spirits and black magic. That is why a lot of us Zeliangs used this,” she said adding that she believed in the power of the seeds.
The practicing is still continuing at Peren village in particular, she said.
They used to receive orders from within and outside Nagaland especially from well-to-do people who gifted it to others, she said, and added that orders comes from Guwahati, Delhi and elsewhere.
She went on to add that the sale is good and used to earn around INR 1 lakh in a month before lockdown. The bracelets costs INR 600 and necklaces costs INR 1100.
For demonstration at Kisama this year, it took her two banana trees.
“Visitors would come by and expressed surprised to see such craft being made,” said Angon who has been displaying her craft at Hornbill festival for three times.
Besides that, she also makes earrings and hairpins.