MSF 2015: Lady Artisan carves a niche in doll making at Stall No S-66

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Locally known as Laiphadibi, doll is a favourite item for children. Meitei community generally believes that ‘Laiphadibi’ (doll) in Manipur has a mystic power and it brings prosperity to the family. Making various replicas/dolls have been a thriving venture for many Artisans in the state now. Many local artisans in the state are eking out a living with adopting various handicrafts like artistic textile, woollen shoes, Kouna craft, cane and bamboo, sculpture works etc. Among these crafts, doll making has become a thriving and lucrative business.
34-year-old Sorokhaibam Sushilla, D/o Sorokhaibam Ibohal of Kakwa Nameirakpam Leikai has been in the doll making business since the past 10 years. With some financial supports from her father, she purchased materials like cotton, threads and needles, straw, colour sheets, ribbons, beads and other decorating items to start her doll making venture.
Sushilla is the second daughter among four siblings in the family. She learnt the skill of doll making from her father Sorokhaibam Ibohal, a sculpture and retired government teacher. Her interest in doll making started from a tender age when she used to keenly watch her father making various designs of sculptures at home after returning from school duty.
It greatly motivated the young girl that she began doll making with the knowledge she inherited from her father. She makes dolls which showcase Manipuri culture and tradition such as Khamba-Thoibi, Sandrembi-Chaishra, Radha-Krishna, Mother carrying her baby on the back, Bor-Keina, Ras-Lila, Ningol Chakkouba, Goddess Luxmi, Durga, Fishing, women selling vegetable and different ethnic groups.
Her products are unique and that is the reason why it is in high demand. She keeps incorporating new innovative ideas in creating these dolls. Life size doll of Irom Thambal, wife of Irom Chaoba who was forcibly married to King Pamheiba is one of her impressive arts of work. She makes dolls of varied size ranging from small size to life size. Bamboo, sponges, threads and different clothes are the raw materials required for making dolls.
Presently, she has set up her own doll making firm under the banner Evergreen Goodness Doll & Toy Making Industry. Expressing her determination and devotion to her profession, she claimed that she has been able to provide employment to around 10 people of her locality at her work place at Kakwa Nameirakpam Leikai on monthly salary basis.
Acknowledging her contribution in the field of doll making, Directorate of Commerce and Industries, Government of Manipur recently honoured the lady doll maker with State Award 2015.

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