In the year 2008, NEN initiated a livelihood project ‘Chizami Weaves’ for women in Phek district in Nagaland. The project is dedicated to ensuring a sustainable livelihood for economically marginalised women for promoting and preserving the unique textile tradition of Nagaland. At present, Chizami weaves has a strong network of more than 300 women in Chizami and 10 other villages in Phek district.
‘Chizami Weaves’ has ambitious plans of not only marketing its products but also bring in new perceptions of gender justice to women. Our weavers, while supporting their families, through their weaving, are now articulating their voices around issues of health, livelihood, food security, environment, and making their presence felt within their homes and community’s public spaces.
The weaving centre at Chizami, Nagaland
‘Chizami Weaves’ promotes and develops textiles through the oldest loom adopted by humans- the loin-loom or the back-strap loom that is still traditionally used by the Chakhesang Nagas and other tribes of the North East India. The portable loom gets its name from the strap pulled around the weavers’ back that holds the whole structure of the loom with the required tension and enables a sturdy weave pattern. Weaving in Nagaland is exclusively dominated by women of all age-groups and tribes. Due to the nature of the loom, the width of a fabric is normally woven at one time and do not exceed more than 18-20 inches. Larger pieces of fabrics are made by stitching number of strips together.
Our products range from home furnishing, accessories to elaborately designed traditional shawls and other garments.