Japi or Jhapi
These are the bamboo caps worn originally by farmers while going to cultivate their lands as a protection from the rays of the sun. However, the delicate hand crafting techniques of the assamese people made these Jhapi even a piece of art and nowadays people hang it on the walls of their houses as a beautiful piece of decoration. They come in various sizes, starting from 15 cms (6 inches) diameters to 1.5 meter diameters. They are also found in many gift stores across the city and at the airport.
assam is famous for its wooden and bamboo curvings. Small and miniature gift items are found in many gift stores across the city and even at the airport. In the picture is an idol of Ganesha curved in wood that I got for myself from a shop inside Gauhati airport. all other items there were also eyecatching.
What to pay: It cost me only Rs. 25.
Fancy Bazar area: Assam silk sarees
Assam is a well known producer of silk. The Assam silk sarees are the prized possesion of any woman fancying wearing a saree. The sarees are made in beautifully coloured silk clothes with complex, dense, intricate and beautiful figural or geometrical decorations in silk thread that make the sarees unique and quite different from any other variety of Indian saree. The heavy threadwork of the sarees make them a bit heavy and are therefore right to be worn only in parties. However, Assamese women are so crazy about their own famous handicraft, they wear such expensive silk sarees on every occasion, even while going for shopping or picking up the child from school. A view of the road with beautiful women wearing beautiful sarees, makes the city even more beautiful. The prices of assam silk sarees start from rs. 2500 and may be upto rs. 20,000 depending upon the quality and amount of work. The pictures show my personal collection of Assam silk sarees. The yellow one cost rs. 2500 while the red one cost rs. 4000. Both these are of very good qualities and I'm wearing them for almost five years now. Unlike any other Indian community, the assamese women wear white sarees on their wedding day, and without fail, that has to be an assam silk saree with golden embroidery.
What to pay: Rs. 2500 to Rs. 20,000 depending upon quality. Normally the sarees displayed in shops are within the range Rs. 2500 to Rs. 5000.
State Emporium: Handicrafts
State Emporium and the Women's Craft Coop have the highly unusual work of the various ethnic groups found in the 'Seven Sisters'.
What to buy: Silk, costume items, bamboo articles