Sunita  Longpi, Manipur

Sunita Longpi, Manipur

Sunita belongs to the Tangkhul Naga tribe of the village of Longpi (or Loree) in Manipur. Longpi is well-known for its age-old stone pottery art – Longpi Hamlei.  Sunita is special, because she and 22 other women of the village together formed a community of potters twelve years ago who make and market this form of pottery. Longpi cookware has gained popularity all over India and is being supplied to niche craft stores across the country and even abroad.

Almost every family in Longpi knows how to make black stone pottery, an art that is unique to this village. Whether they sell it or not, they do make the pots for their own use. Presley herself learnt the craft of Longpi Hamlei from her grandfather; she has seen it made by her grandparents since she was a little girl. It is believed that large-sized black stone pots were the main pots used among the Tangkhuls before aluminum pots were invented. This pottery was also referred to as Royal Pottery at one time, since only the rich and noble families of Manipur could afford them.