LONGPI BLACK POTTERY IS 100% ECOFRIENDLY
- Since Longpi pottery is made from grounded and powdered rocks especially Serpentine and weathered rocks, they are made of all natural raw materials. The cane finish on some of the items is also natural and 100% ecofriendly
- No machines were used in making of the potteries since the mixture is pounded, kneaded and moulded tediously by hand tools. All the Longpi products are handmade where the artisans mould the products with hands, no machines or electrical supplies are used
- The raw materials used in making of the potteries are completely natural since no chemicals or artificial products are used
- Longpi pottery items are naturally biodegradable due to the raw materials used in making these fine pottery items
- By purchasing a Longpi Black Pottery product, you not only contribute to the environment but also towards a sustainable means of living for the impoverished countless families in the villages who make these wonderful works of art
GENERAL USAGE INSTRUCTIONS:
- DO wash Longpi pottery items in the dishwasher
- DO wash by sponge scrubber when hand washing
- DO put a rubber nozzle on your sink tap, to prevent chipping when hand washing
- DO put a paper tissue between when stacking items on top of each other
- DO be careful with fine rims and handles - they are most vulnerable
- DO microwave Longpi pottery items if cane or bamboo is not used. Certain items like Casseroles come with cane weaving and such items should not be used in a microwave
- Longpi pots and pans can be used for cooking over gas stoves or firewood
- DON'T put lots of dishes in the sink when hand washing
- DON'T use any stainless steel or any kind of metal scrubber while washing
- DON’T use metal spatulas or ladles. Try to stick to wooden ones with Longpi pottery items
THE MAKING PROCESS OF LONGPI BLACK POTTERY
Weathered rock and Serpentinite rock are two main raw materials used in this pottery, unique to Longpi alone. How the process begins is with two of the rocks being powdered and mixed with water in ratio of 5:3 to form clay-like consistency.
The mixture is kneaded for one long day, and is flattened on a wooden board for the slab work. The highlight of the Longpi is that it is not made on potter’s wheel. Each and every item is molded by hands and tools. Dried and hard clay will be put to the kiln at high temperatures, in the next step. The pot is also usually finished by rubbing the surface with bees wax giving it a nice shine. Cane strips are then woven through incisions made by skilled basketry artists. They are very earthy, still so contemporary.
Longpi pots and pans can be used for cooking over gas stoves or firewood, and are even microwave-safe. They come handy for almost all uses and renders elegance to your interiors.
The pots are good for simmering or slow cooking for hours over a low flame, condensing meat and lentils. They have special features that retain the heat and freshness of cooked food for a long period. The raw materials used in the pottery are completely natural and no chemicals are used. Ideal companions in cooking, storing food and decorating your house, Longpi stands for a great tradition and culture. By buying Longpi, you bring into your home, a rich culture, maintained with great care.
NUNGBI KHULLEN & NUNGBI KACHUI – THE BIRTHPLACE OF EXQUISITE BLACK POTTERY
Royal, traditional and natural are just few of the characteristics that are associated with Longpi black pottery, from villages in the district of Ukhrul, Manipur. Ukhrul is also home to the Siroi Lily, exotic lily species just found here and nowhere else in the world.
In the far eastern land of the Indian sub-continent rests a small and quiet village, which goes by the name of Nungbi Khullen in the Ukhrul district of Manipur. The distance between Imphal, capital of Manipur and Ukhrul town is 85 kms and a tedious 3 hours journey by local buses. With a distance of about 35 kms, only a small mud road connects Ukhrul town to Nungbi Khullen. The only means of public transport through this hilly terrain between Ukhrul and Nungbi Khullen is a ‘Mahindra’ Jeep which runs only once daily and takes about 2 hours. Due to lack of proper roads and very scarce availability of modes of transportation, commuting from one place to another becomes a daily struggle for the villagers of Nungbi Khullen.
There are about 250 houses and around 1,500 people dwell in this village, an average household income being a meagre Rs 10,000 a month. The tradition of making of black potteries have been preserved by every family since time immemorial in this village, however there are only a handful of master craftsmen left today – Homi, Somi, Tuishem, Ishak and Warshang to name a few who can create these beautiful piece of artifact with relentless dedication and detail. The rest of the villagers engage in related secondary tasks like carrying raw materials and pounding of the rock. Nungbi Kachui is another nearby village that has more than 50 pottery makers but they specialize in making only cooking pots.
A very significant part of making black pottery is to assemble and prepare the rocks that make up the raw material for the product. These serpentine rocks are collected from the mountainous regions and carried downhill on foot for about 5-6 kms. They are then pounded and broken in a wooden & bamboo pounding vessel known as “Sumban”. What is amazing and in some sorts a little emotive, is that the transporting and pounding of the rocks are mostly done by women folks of the village. To preserve from mass commercialization the trek is reserved and prohibited from use of any kind of commercial vehicles.
Because of the challenging and sometimes harsh weather conditions in these mountainous regions, very limited agricultural activities can be carried out, whether for personal consumption or commercial purpose. Therefore, an alternative means of living are extremely limited except for earning daily wages in small farmlands around the village. When an order for a pottery is placed, the village folk stay back and work on the potteries with complete dedication because it means food for a day for one household.
By placing an order for one of these exquisite items, you are not only helping to preserve and continue this ancient, centuries old tradition of pottery alive, but most importantly contributing and helping provide a sustainable means of living for the artisans.
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