In Nagaland, at the northern tip of India, hundreds of women scattered across miles of remote misty mountaintops weave their magic. They work on loin looms (also known as back strap looms), considered to be one of the oldest devices for weaving cloth in the world. A continuous warp is stretched between two parallel pieces of bamboo, one end tied to a post or door, and the other end held by a strap worn around the weaver’s lower back so that she can regulate the tension with her body. The woven cloth that is made is a true amalgamation of mind, body, and art form.
This colourful tradition perfected over centuries is being carried forward by Lovitoli Sumi and her company Lovi Twine. Sumi learnt the art of loin loom weaving from her mother and has turned it into her livelihood. In Nagaland the yarns are woven to produce thick and compact fabric with designs which are an amalgamation of the traditional and contemporary. Each strand of yarn is handpicked to form beautiful geometric motifs, using designs that are rooted in tradition, culture, and mythology.
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