Longpi Coiled Pottery of Manipur

Manipuri pottery is unique in style and technique. Unlike in other parts of India, the craft is practised both by men and women. The potters of this area do not use a wheel and, instead, use the coiled method of making pots. The pots are functional and, more often than not, black in colour, a result of the process followed and of the smoke stains while firing. Manipuri pottery is made with a mixture of clay and powdered stone. After a thorough kneading, a large slab is rolled out and shaped into a cylinder. The cylinder is placed on a circular board, which, in turn, is placed on a stool. The potter then actually moves around the clay himself, shaping and forming the pot. The pot is supported from the inside with a rounded stone and beaten to the desired shape and thickness. Great dexterity is required as the internal pressure and external movement must be well co-ordinated to produce a perfect pot. The pot is usually finished by rubbing the surface with the reddish-brown seed of a wild creeper and finally with bees wax.

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