Khaojep Khaseba

Khaojep Khaseb is basically a bamboo or cane made ornament casket, made and used by Dimasa people.

Khaojep Khaseba is a type of Khaojep ( Bamboo Basket ) that is small and round in shape. It also has a lid made of very fine bamboo strips. This Khaojep is mainly used for keeping ornaments and other valuable items by Dimasa people. It is mainly crafted by highly skilled and experienced Dimasa menfolk and may take a week or more to complete a single Khaojep khaseba. where as, to make a Khaojep of larger size it requires more time and effort. The color of Khaojep is some how light brown in color when it is newly completed but the color usually turns darker with the time.  

Cultural Narrative: 

The art of making bamboo handcrafts is an old traditional art and practice of Dimasa people. Just like in any other communities of Northeast India the uses of bamboo in making different variety of baskets, agricultural tools, fishing tools etc. can also be found in Dimasa community till today. In Dimasa community where womenfolk are mainly engaged in weaving job which is considered as one of their good quality and obligatory duty, for men it is a craftsmanship of bamboo products. The making of Dimasa traditional 'Khaojep' is not an easy job for any Dimasa men, highly learned and skilled Dimasa men apply their traditional knowledge and technique for crafting such a masterpiece. Khaojeps were very commonly crafted and use in olden days by Dimasa people, this particular type of Khaojep is especially used as an ornament casket by Dimasa women. They store any type of their traditional ornaments and valuable items in it, however at present time Khaojep like this can rarely be crafted or seen using. Only a few Dimasa artisans are left who still know how to make it, the information given in a video by the informant - Pintu Barman Phonglo this 'Khaojep khaseba is owned by his mother Jaya Barman Johra at present, according to his mother it was gifted in her wedding by her mother and to her by her Mother. this Khaojep will be around 200 years old. This particular kaojep is passing down from generation to generation through a matrilineal line, as according to the customary law of inheritance of the Dimasa, the maternal property like ornaments, clothes, looms and accessories used by the mother are always inherited by the daughters.        

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