Aizawl: Five Mizo traditional puans (shawls) have received Geographical Identification (GI) tag, Mizoram art and culture director Hmingthanzuala said on Saturday.
Hmingthanzuala said that the Centre has on Friday allotted GIs to five Mizo traditional shawls or wraparounds — Hmaram, Ngotekherh, Tawlhlohpuan, Pawndum and Mizo Puanchei. However, an official statement issued by the Central government indicated only two Mizo puan being patented.
The statement said that the department of promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT) has registered GIs for Tawlhlohpuan and Mizo Puanchei from Mizoram, Palani Panchamirtham in Palani Town, Tamil Nadu and Tirur Betel leaf from Kerala.
Hmingthanzuala said that the state art and culture department has applied for the GI tag for various Mizo traditional shawls since 2015. He said that they consulted officials of the state since and technology department for the purposes and the applications were rejected several times by the Centre.
According to the director, many Mizo traditional shawls have been modified leaving behind the originality by some weavers and traders in and outside Mizoram. The traditional shawls originally belonged to the Mizos and the GI tag is necessary to retain ownership and originality of the traditional shawls, he said.
He further said that the government would soon issue official notice to inform the public to maintain originality of the traditional shawls and restriction on their usage.
GI is an indication used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess the qualities or reputation that are due to that origin.
Tawlhlohpuan has a very cultural significance among the Mizo puan. It is worn only by a very courageous warrior among the Mizo men as a symbol of their bravery. Mizo Puanchei is the most colourful and popular among the Mizo shawls. It is wrapped around the waist.
Pawndum is a traditional shawl worn at funeral to indicate lamentation or mourning.
Hmaram and Ngotekherh are among the most popular Mizo traditional shawls worn on special occasions. The Hmar tribe, one of the major Mizo tribes, claimed that the two shawls originally belong to them.