HANDMADE POTTERY Majuli Assam

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1. Had read about handmade pottery at village Salmora but how to go. Guide Hazarika took me. It was the day after Ras Mahotsav so all were taking it easy. We saw this house close to the Brahmaputra. Guide requested ladies to show how they made. Note house at a height. Every house ka lower area has a boat.

2. Mithi or mud is brought from river. It is collected in a pond. Feet used to crush it, water and sand is added. Note they do not use potter’s wheel.

3. It becomes a paste, then make it into a dough like do when make chapatis.

4. Uses hands to give shape and then hand inside to make it bigger.

5. Next increases size. It is the Kolita community that does pot making. It is a huge village as we discovered later, all make pots.

6. Till earlier pic pot was up to one level. Now to make it bigger one more level is added.

7. Giving the rim shape and design with what I think is called Buliya. Extreme left mace type is called Khundona. What looks like a cricket bat is called Pitun, made of bamboo. Container in which pot is kept as seen is called Athali. Any errors please write back.

8. She now uses her hands to give it shape.

9. Uses Khundona to give it final shape.

10. Used a Pitun bamboo to hit it and give it shape.

11. Pots kept for drying for 2-3 days. Wood logs that you see behind. Locals said wood flows down from Arunachal Pradesh. Men stop wood logs in river and bring them ashore. All this during monsoons wonder how they manage.

12. U see oven called Pigali. Below wood above pot. It is cover with mud and fire lit.

13. This is what pots look like after they come out from oven. You have seen that potters in Salmora do not use potter’s wheel but hand-made pottery. They use fingers and palms to shape the clay into different earthen pots and idols.

14. Members of the Kolita community places orders for pots. Sometimes pots loaded on to a boat, as you see, and locals sell them village to village or agents downstream. Right of pic can see how land is giving away to water.

15. Extreme right boat is what you saw in previous picture. To prevent soil erosion government has started an Rs 160 cr project. As part of project stones as you see are placed in the water so as stop the water current or reduce its speed.

16. These looms part of every home. When women get time they do weaving. Government must encourage locals to make pots with designs, minor paintings and open an outlet in the main market. Abdul Pottery in village Khavada Kutch makes designer stuff, attracts lots of tourists. To see his work https://www.esamskriti.com/a/Gujarat/Abdul-Pottery-Kutch.aspx

17. Majuli has numerous rivulets, streams, vegetation and biodiversity. That is what makes it special.

18. U see a Naamghar in the village enroute to Salmora village.

19. Next guide Hazarika said let us go to a nearby forest. Adventurous because he did not seem have ventured there before. I was game. We crossed a small rivulet and kept driving till we saw this beautiful field. Locals advised against entering the forest due to presence of wild animals.

20. We drove on & on till we touched the Brahmaputra again this time the end of village Salmora. Bags of sand placed on river banks to prevent erosion. Guide Hazarika was too good. His nos is 91 91018 029796, 91 94356056888. Charged me Rs 1200/ for the day including bike & fuel. He also runs a home stay. Visited nice. His wife Ruari manages that.