Kohima: Homegrown jewellery artisans from across the state came together to exhibit their creativity on Friday during the second edition of Nagaland handmade jewellery exhibition organized by Thungchibemo Ezung, a 20-year-old certified jeweller and owner of jewellery brand ‘PIPO’ in Kohima.

The exhibition began with a formal ceremony graced by Abu Metha, adviser to Nagaland chief minister, as the event’s guest of honour. “This is a wonderful and fantastic show of Naga creativity,” Metha told the gathering.

Saying that jewellery and ornaments are an intrinsic part of human culture, he pointed out how the symbols and expressions through jewellery which continues in the modern era dates back to the ancient times. Likewise, he said that Naga jewellery and ornaments symbolize the rich heritage and culture of the race.

“Our jewellery designers and creators are the ones who have preserved the rich heritage and promote our culture beyond our state. They are indeed the new breed of cultural ambassadors that we send out to the world,” Metha said.

He highlighted that the jewellery industry is worth 500 million US dollars and is the biggest industry in the world, of which India and China comprise 30%. He encouraged the handmade artisans to continue pursuing their passion and tell their stories.

With the digital acceleration following the COVID-19 pandemic, Metha advised the entrepreneurs to adapt to the new normal by utilizing the “power of the internet” to tell stories and share their imaginations.

Most importantly, Metha said, that while the jewellery industry has the potential to drive the local economy, one can only succeed with innovation and creativity. Adding that the Nagas are second to none, Metha encouraged the craftsmen to be brave and courageous to know that any limit and height can be reached.

He also assured that the state government is making efforts to support creative and innovative people through initiatives like the Nagaland Start-up Policy 2019. Further saying that the state connects the Indian subcontinent and the ASEAN market, he challenged the entrepreneurs to seize every opportunity.

Metha also announced that the state government’s Task Force for Music and Arts (TaFMA) will collaborate with the jewellery industry and a separate section to promote Naga jewellers will be created during the Hornbill festival if it happens this year.

Event organizer Thungchibemo Ezung shared that the one-day event was held with the hope to provide a platform and create opportunities by supporting small businesses. A total of 12 local brands— 9 jewellery brands and 3 handmade hubs, were part of the exhibition.

The jewellery brands include PIPO, Münye Handmade, Gifted Creations, The Khriezos, Humtsoe crafts, Menyie silver jewellery, Abeila casket, Berem jewellery, and Mixpick enterprise. The three handmade hubs are Nr studio, Made in Nagaland, and Wulo Akami artworks.

Powered by TaFMA, the event also focused on three goals of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which includes No poverty (goal 1), gender equality (goal 3), and decent work and economic growth (goal 8).

In alliance with the state government and the private sector, the event hoped to help eliminate poverty in the state by creating an opportunity for homegrown brands while also focusing on balancing growth of entrepreneurs without any gender barriers. It also aimed to expand access to marketing services and ensure that local artisans directly get the benefit of entrepreneurship and innovation.

As EastMojo reported earlier, Ezung’s ‘PIPO’ is a homegrown jewellery brand, which was established in 2016, catering to clients as far as the United Kingdom and Bangkok. Ezung became a Certified Bench Jeweler Technician (CBJT) specializing in silversmith and diamond stone setting in March this year.

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