Singpho, Staples, Textile, Basketry, Festivals, Dress, Accessories, Ornaments

Lifestyle of Singphos

Food, attire and Crafts of Singpho

They have an elaborate cuisine with locally stored ingredients, where food includes pork, fish and chicken cooked in various styles with indegenous herbs that are served with steamed rice. Bamboo shoots in both wet and dry form are a staple component in their dishes. “Pa-Sa” , a fish soup containing wild herbs and traditional spices, is a special delicacy to the community. Rice beer brewed at home is both a social and commercial drink. They have a special ritual to serve special guests or special relatives.

The Singphos wear multicoloured Wrap arounds with a top or shirt. The wrap-around skirts are known as “Bathang '' mostly worn by older women, but during festivals it is worn by all age groups. “Sinket” is the stole that they wrap around their waist and is worn with bathang by older women on a daily basis. The younger ones wear similar wrap-around skirts called “babu”. The wrap around the upper body is known as “Sinwat” which is worn by women regularly.
The Singpho men wear white shirt with colorful handwoven Lungis. They also cover their head with simple cloth turbans.
During festivals and performances the women wear a black jacket with silver decorations on it, making it look immensely gorgeous. During dance performance while the younger women wear black tops, the older women wear white. They also wear colourful head gears and a round bamboo ring around their waist. Their traditional ornaments with which they adorn themselves are made of silver and rare/ expensive stones which the women have been inheriting for generations, without any memory of where they came from. It is believed that their forefathers brought these with them from Burma when they travelled for trade. Among these ornaments are necklaces made of coral-like orange stones and white stones, silver bangles, and earrings. The carry sling bags which are also decorated with metal.

Spiritual signs of Singpho

Singphos use various types of coloured cotton threads to weave

Inside Singpho house

Backstrap looms of Singphos

Traditional foods of Singphos

The singpho’s have a rich tradition in basket weaving. Nowadays. “Madang” a particular species of bamboo and simple hand built tools are used to make complete designs. It is used in making various types and sizes of baskets, fish catcher etc.
The Singpho women are expert weavers and use simple back strap looms to make their own clothes and accessories such as bags. Women outfits have wide multicoloured motifs which consist of various floral and geometric patterns.

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