ISSN: (Online) 2321 -4155
ISSN: (Print) 2320 -7000

JOURNAL OF INDIAN RESEARCH
VOLUME : 2, ISSUE : 1, April-June, 2014 (ISSN No. : 2321-4155)
 
TEXTILE, TEXT, TERRACING,TERRITORIALITY WEAVING A PAN-HIMALAYAN IDENTITY
Niraj Kumar & Chingngaih Biak
 
ABSTRACT
There is veritable explosion of literature on the new area study of zomia. The concept of Zomia is not well-constructed. We offer to examine the entire Himalayan belt inhabited by Tibeto-Burman language speaking people (Trans-Himalayans) using the concept of Nomadia, derived from Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of Nomadology. We propose a Kang culture of Tibeto-Burman speakers with common belief in sacredness of mountains and the river streams. Asia can be seen as a box with four culture bands of Kanji, Kang, Karma and Koran, from east to west, respectively. Eastern half of Kang culture zone does not have written history or any memorial of civilization. The textiles can be read as texts and new Textile Tree can be created to discover the connectivity among various migrating communities in the region. Study of Naga textiles has been done, as Naga sub-culture is the cockpit of Kang culture. The terracing in the weaving technique has been juxtaposed vis-a-vis habitat sharing of hornbills, a totemic birds of many of these communities, rice-cultivation and nature of vegetation in altitudinal division. Near absence of circles in the patterns of women tubular skirts has been examined. Even though, communities in these region have developed a different ontology based upon striation, the society is egalitarian and they resist attempt by the state to impose order of the book (written law/Constitution) and bureaucratic hierarchy. We find interconnectedness between landscape, plants, birds and humans in Nomadia. The grids and bands, the stripes and the squares that are woven in women’s skirts are the narrative of their history. The grids share the neighbourhood in ‘mutuality of being’. One band moves on when another band follows them. There was never a major war for territory among these people before the outsiders with the book, began to impose order over them.
Studying these patterns of colour bands and striation over tubular women skirt, one can connect communities. Since, language- families have become redundant; it is proposed to prepare the textile trees among the communities of Nomadia. This effort can be augmented with comparative study of mitochondrial DNA haplotype. Ethnocostumology, rather than Ethnolinguistics is proposed as the better tool to write the missing history of the region.
 
KEYWORD
Beyul, Brahmaputra, Buddhism, Chin, Chindwin, costumicide, cyberzomia, ethnogenesis, ethnocostumology, habitat, Himalaya, Hornbill, Jingpo, Kailash, Kang, Kangla, Kangtui, Kuki, Lhasa, Linagshan, materiality, mithun, Naga, nomad, Shangri-la, skirt, striation, terrace-cultivation, text, textile, yak, Yunnan, zo.
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