The Government of Meghalaya through the Textiles Department has formally declared Umden –Diwon as the State’s first Eri Silk villages on Friday, with a view to develop the Umden –Diwon villages on the lines of Hai Aan Silk Village in Vietnam& Sualkuchi closer home in neighbouring Assam.
The Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Conrad Sangma announced that the village of Umden-Diwon was declared as the state’s first Eri Silk Village.
He further added that this came as recognition of the overall collective and unique achievements and initiative of the community, to inspire weavers & spinners & enable it to further develop into a vibrant “AtmaNirbhar village.”
The Chief Minister took to Twitter to make the announcement. He wrote,
“Today, Umden-Diwon village is declared as #Meghalaya’s 1st #EriSilkVillage, in recognition of the overall collective & unique achievements & initiative of the community, to inspire weavers & spinners & enable it to further develop into a vibrant #AtmaNirbhar village.”
Umden –Diwon village has emerged as the epi-centre of Eri Culture in the state, Sericulture and Handloom involves over 70% of full-time active weavers. It continues to draw researchers &visitors for its exceptional products which are ethically produced and organically sourced.
The official declaration is expected to meet the aspirations of the weavers. The declaration of Silk Villages is also expected to contribute to capacity building, design upscaling, financial assistance, promotion, selling & marketing & integrating the sector with the latest technology to enable the village to further develop as a self-reliant, vibrant village, adding strength to women empowerment. Efforts will be taken to propel Meghalaya’s maiden Eri Silk Village as a Centre producing world-class silk products, right from the farm to fibre, fibre to fabric & ultimately from Thread to trend. Collective efforts are underway to assure availability and visibility of Eri Products, while also elevating Meghalaya’s exclusive Eri product – Ryndia from a cottage Industry to a fashion and lifestyle concept, ensuring consistency and quality while further motivating neighbouring villages to pursue and promote Eri Culture.
A Design Resource Centre(DRC) in collaboration with NIFT is proposed set up for the collective benefit of all its stakeholders. The DRC will portray professional presentations of Eri Silk products and design research outcomes in specially designed display areas. DRC will provide unique branding and identity to the Eri Silk Village by depicting the specialty of the region, in terms of the colour, motif, usage and looms through appropriate visual merchandising, while also facilitating an interactive platform for the artisans, industry and design students through display areas, specialized labs, resource centre and design activities
An Eri corner on the lines of the one set up at MeghTex, Shillong will also be set up to showcase and establish market linkages between the village and the outside world, leveraging on the Dept of Textiles unique Ryndia Brand with the tagline “From Thread to Trend
It was a landmark occasion when all the Eri Producing villages under Raid Nongtluh,Ri Bhoi district coalesced to Inaugurate the Special Eri Village signage at the entrance of the Umden Diwon area to the accompanying beats of the Snap Paka Khasi percussionists in the presence of the Minister i/c Textiles, Shri Banteidor Lyngdoh, Local MLA Shri M. Syiem, Commissioner Secretary Textiles, F. R Kharkongor, Secretary Textiles, FM Dopth, DC Ri Bhoi, RM Kurbah, Director Textiles and other local dignitaries, & Weavers and spinners. The Minister I/c Textiles Department and the dignitaries inaugurated an exhibition showcasing various unique Eri products of the area, besides a demo Stall displaying the entire spinning, weaving and organic dyeing process which provided a fascinating glimpse to the visitors. Besides the Government notification inscribed on an Eri Stole with the official Declaration was also read. This was followed by the official release of the Ryndia logo of the Department, Special Brochures on Eri along with product catalog of the Department of Textiles, Special Stamp Cover on the occasion in collaboration with the Department of Posts, Government of India.
A special Audio Visual Archive composed and choreographed by Summersalt the folk-fusion band was released and presented, interspersed with cultural performances by the Weavers and spinners of the area elegantly and colourfully attired in their traditional costumes.
In his keynote address, the Minister I/c outlined and highlighted the efforts of the Department to promote and develop handloom and Sericulture activities in the state and expressed happiness on the maiden and historic declaration of Umden-Diwon as Meghalaya’s First Silk Village. He also expressed that this official recognition and declaration would further introduce capacity building, upscaling in design, technological interventions, market linkages for Eri and for the village besides attracting visitors, tourists and researchers.
The programme culminated with an interesting and fascinating costume display of Eri Fashion-From Thread to Trend-by 3 upcoming young Eri local designers-Ms Iba Mallai from Umden, Ms. Baphinda Rynjah from Nongpoh and Ms. Sakaru Kyndiah from Shillong. The evening drew a close with a Special Costume Display cum Fashion Show on Eri presented by the Fashion Society Shillong.