Saneki Weaves, a livelihood initiative by North East Network in Assam has been undertaking various initiatives to enable rural women weavers gain economic and social empowerment through the use of traditional looms. The women weavers from 6 districts receive regular training to augment their skills in weaving and related matters like colour coordination, quality control etc. On 1st and 2nd March 2022, NEN organised a training for weavers from Assam at Chizami Weaves in NEN Resource Centre, Chizami. Chizami Weaves is also a similar livelihood initiative for women weavers by NEN in Nagaland. The weavers were accompanied by three community mobilisers and two NEN team members from Assam.
During the training, the Assam weavers witnessed how their Naga counterparts weaved intricate designs in their traditional backstrap looms. It was a great learning experience for weavers of both Assam and Nagaland as they shared their knowledge of weaving with each other, despite the language barrier. They also visited the Chizami Weaves Store and learned how to stitch purses using traditional handloom fabrics.
Atshole Thopi, Asssociate Project Lead NEN, Nagaland, trained the weavers through a session on Chizami weaves, how it functions, its vision and mission, how they deal with challenges, outcomes etc. The most interesting part was the measures they take for quality control. She also briefed the team on coordinating colours and different yarn.
The trainees also got the rare opportunity of visiting traditional jhum cultivation fields and the Community Seed Bank, at Chizami. Kezunyipe -U Tsuhah, Project Assistant for NEN Nagaland and the chairperson of Chizami Seed Bank walked the visitors through the history of seeds and Chizami Womens’ Society.