The art & craft of Manipur is as rich as its natural abundance. Each ethnic group in this Northeast India state has its distinct culture and tradition which can be seen embedded in its art & crafts as well. In fact, Manipur ’s handloom and handicraft products are so deftly done that have become famous across the globe for their designs, colourfulness, and usefulness. The state is also one of the largest producers of bamboo crafts in India. Wood Carving, textile weaving, stone carving, block printing and hand-embroidery, Papier mache, decorative ivory, collectible dance dolls, bamboo, and cane work are some of the many crafts of this state. The pottery skill is worth seeing in Manipur, the locals are skilled in making black as well as ceramic pottery. On the other hand, the tribes of Andro, Thongjao, and Nungbi have mastered the skill of pottery over the centuries and that too without the use of a potters’ wheel. Wood carving is one of the top products you can find in Manipur. The craftsmen depend on local wood to make products like a wooden tray, spoon, and drum, etc.
The women in Manipur are engaged in loin loom weaving also known as Laichamphi in which cotton or woolen yarn is used. Toys are also made of cloth, cotton clay, wood and bamboo which make for pretty decor items as well. In the Bishnupur District of the state, stone-carving is popular; items of utility like bowls, candle-stands, grinders, flower-vases, and plates are made use this skill. Hand block printing is yet another important art & craft in Manipur. Earlier hand block-printed towels called Khamen Chatpa were made for the warriors and village chiefs but today, we can see the use of this skill in making pillow-covers and bedsheets. Hand embroidery is also a common art seen in Manipur which is practiced both by local men and women. Tablecloth bed-cover, handkerchief, and T.V. covers are some of the common items. Kauna (Water Reed) Mat is a special craft to see in Manipur. Kauna is a type of reed usually grown in the wetlands and marshes which is used by the craftsmen to make mats and cushions.