In the Indian state of Manipur, there is the Ukhrul district from where the name Longpi comes. Actually, Longpi is a general reference of two villages ( Longpi Kajui and Longpi khullen). It is pronounced as ”long-pee”. The name long means ‘group lodge’. Longpi is about 37 km north of Ukhrul, and it is connected by National highway. The overall population of two villages together over 8,000.
From ages, Longpi is famous for its old pottery making, locally called Longpi Ham. It is known that Longi Ham used to be the main cooking utensils among Tangkhuls before the aluminum pots.
Longpi pottery is one of the very unique types of art where potters do not use the potter’s wheel. In the village, pottery is the medium of income for the artisans, it is like their secondary occupation.
As, it is the primary occupation of the people 99% of the populations are Christians. Longpi has three high schools – Holy Spirit School, Raphie High School, and Worin School. Literacy rate of Longpi is 75%.
Interesting facts about Longpi Coiled Pottery of Manipur –
The Longpi Pottery of Manipur is unique in style and technique. The craft is practiced by both men and women. For making pits, the potters of this area used the coiled method, instead of using the wheel. The pots are basically black in colour which is basically found only in Longpi village and are functional. Thus, while firing smokes stains.
How Manipuri pottery is made –
The Manipuri pottery is made with a mixture of clay and powdered stone. Once kneading was done, a large slab is rolled out and shaped into a form of a cylinder. The cylinder is placed on a circular board, which in turn, is placed on a stool. Then potter moves around the clay by himself, shaped it and formed the pot. Thus, the pot is usually finished by rubbing the surface with the reddish-brown seed of a wild creeper and finally with beeswax.
Benefits of Longpi Pottery –
Longpi pottery is very much in demand. Utensils made from black stone have the benefits of health, taste retaining quality, hygiene natural and no side effects.
Another benefit is that the handmade pot can be used for cooking using gas stoves or firewood & microwave as well.
Longpi pottery, specially designed for specific purposes. It is used for both cooking and storing foodstuff.
1.No adverse health effects – – In the making of this pottery, there is no use of chemicals, machines or wheel. If a pregnant woman is suffering from the morning sickness it is best known to prevent.
2.100% Handmade – – The work of pottery is done by both male & female and it is 100% handmade work which helps them to generate revenue.
3. 100% Natural – – In this pottery, natural raw materials are used. Therefore, it is made of clay, stone, and cane.
Therefore, Manipuri pottery is unique in style and technique. Thus, it holds an elite status in Manipur and is used during major occasions like Marriage and Luira festival. It is an eco-friendly craft which is best known in Manipur.