Meghalayan Age, the store: A unique blend of culture, tradition, and style.
To encourage the promotion of art, culture, and lifestyle of the people of the hills while dedicated to combating the challenges of small artisans and emerging entrepreneurs, the Government of Meghalaya devised a concept of the Meghalayan Age, the store. The government's intention behind the launch of a physical store in New Delhi, the capital city, and consequently in other online platforms and the rest of the country is to have a one-stop market space for buyers, curators, and art enthusiasts, and to convert years and months of arduous labour that have been spent in looking for platforms to retain primitive traditions and cultures by artists alike by the important tribes in Meghalaya. The Meghalayan Age is not just a business-making venture that is driven by the demands and profits of the market. It is more than for the sake of convenience, as we empathetically view the practical challenges experienced by the dying and rare art forms. This need has acted as an inspiration behind the concept of the store. Thus, aiming to derive a sustainable far-sighted solution where even the future generations will be benefitted. Further, the digital presence of the store is meant to propagate and make the products more accessible, as an extended circle in the digital space can discover, consume, produce, and circulate these products, artworks, crafts, goods, and illustrative. The USP consequently, is that everything that we intend to launch, promote and sell is Homegrown, Handpicked, and Handcrafted.

This arrives as an opportunity to embrace forgotten, neglected, or underrepresented voices, correlating strongly with the importance and urgency of archival awareness and aesthetic sensibility with which we need to preserve our history, recent pasts, and also the contemporary. These efforts and endeavours including this current project, The Meghalayan Age explore the potentialities for the archive as well as the dynamic requirements for the archival mode of knowing and knowledge pass downs of the people of Meghalaya.

This brings us to a very immediate scenario: The need to revive the craftsmanship spirit and to protect the indigenous art. The protection and expanse of work belonging to these communities is unquestionably a need of the hour. This whole approach to inclusive artforms comes intending to incorporate high-value tourism promoting entrepreneurship to bolster artisans.

The Meghalayan Age - History

Meghalaya has become part of the earth’s geological history. The study of a stalagmite discovered in a Mawmluh cave, attributed to its claim to fame in the earth’s chronology; adding “The Meghalayan Age” to the geological timescale. The Mawmluh cave is located at an elevation of 1290 meters. It is one of the longest and deepest caves in India.

Geologically, in terms of rocks, Meghalaya is home to a variety of rocks. This ranges from the oldest, the Precambrian gneissic complex (basement gneiss) to the youngest type of rocks, the recent alluvium formations. These rocks are the storehouses of many valuable mineral deposits like limestone, coal, uranium, sillimanite, iron ore, etc.

Meghalaya - abode of clouds

Meghalaya meaning “abode of clouds” is one of the Seven Sister States of northeast India. The state of Meghalaya is mountainous, with stretches of valley and highland plateaus, and it is geologically rich. About 70% of the state is forested. The Meghalayan forests are considered to be among the richest botanical habitats of Asia. These forests receive abundant rainfall and support a vast variety of floral and faunal biodiversity.

The main tribes in Meghalaya are the Khasis, the Garos, and the Jaintias. Each tribe has its own culture, traditions, dress, and language. The majority of the population and the major tribal groups in Meghalaya follow a matrilineal system where lineage and inheritance are traced through women.

Why Delhi?

India, a land of diverse culture and rich heritage has been home to one of the rarest and oldest art forms to have ever existed. However, when it comes to the North-eastern part of the country, the age-old forms of art and craft continue to be underrated and unexplored. Meghalaya extends itself to its unique history, art, craft, food, music, and culture that has in recent years, gathered the attention of a national and intercontinental crowd. Sustainable tourism is, therefore, adapted for expansion, benefitting communities all across. The indigenous communities are home to many unique art forms. A few reports suggest that these art styles, forms, methods, structures, designs, and techniques are practiced nowhere else in the world.

Delhi is recognized and appreciated for its supreme indulgence in ancient realms dating back centuries ago. This has recaptured, evolved, and refined various forms and styles of art that have often manifested through cultural appeal and fascination throughout history with different empires controlling it. Today, the capital city continues to expand its palette and the very intention of inaugurating a Northeast-based store emanates with utter excitement. Needless to say, the trending, innovative, vis a vis experimental yet contemporary products that the indigenous artforms accommodate, assuredly, has the potential to spring an increased demand of the goods in the market, connecting Delhi to the Meghalaya, and in the long run, to cater to a pan India outlook.