Woodcarving Traditions of Nagaland

in Module
Published on: 31 January 2018

Ritu Varuni

Trained as an architect, and with many years of experience behind her, Ritu Varuni runs her own design studio E'thaan in New Delhi and Himachal Pradesh which specializes in wood and bamboo crafts and hand skills.

Nagaland has a rich tradition of wood craft that has its roots in an animistic past. Woodcarving is an art form that is largely related to architecture and ritual practices, and has been the forte of most of the 17 major Naga tribes in both eastern and western parts of the state. Besides architecture, wood craft finds a place in the daily life of the Nagas; it forms a huge part of traditional kitchen and tableware as well as furniture. The wood craft of Nagaland is replete with symbolic motifs and designs. This module introduces Nagaland's woodcarving traditions and the symbols and motifs they carry.