Sustaining Indigenous Textile Artisans and Their Art in the North Eastern Region of India

  • Bharath Ramkumar
  • Rebecca Dias (Radford University)


Studying indigenous textile artisans and their art forms can provide insights into a side of the global textile industry which is still relatively untouched by commercialization. This paper presents an ethnographic study conducted on the lived experiences of indigenous women textile artisans in the North Eastern Region of India (NERI). The results of an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) uncovered a profound connection that the artisans shared with their traditional textile art forms, such as silk rearing, spinning, dyeing and weaving. Furthermore, recent government support, artisans’ personal intention to revive the traditional art form, and ingenuity employed in every step of the production process, drove the sustenance of the artisans’ livelihood and their art form. An interpretive explanation of how the connection between, and the sustenance of, the artisan and their art coexisted is provided. The significance of these artisans’ sustainable approach to their livelihood and textile art is discussed.

Keywords: India, Culture, Weaving, Handloom, Silk, Artisan

How to Cite:

Ramkumar, B. & Dias, R., (2019) “Sustaining Indigenous Textile Artisans and Their Art in the North Eastern Region of India”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 76(1). doi:

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Published on
15 Dec 2019