Manipur, located in the north-eastern part of India, is known for its rich ceramic heritage. A single village of 400 houses in the district Ukhrul of North - East Manipur, with perhaps just 200 artisans selling the craft, is the nerve center of Longpi earthenware.
The technique of this art is said to be handed down from the Neolithic period. A unique feature of this craft is that it is crafted without a potter’s wheel. Clay and black rock are the two main ingredients used for this craft. Basically a male-oriented handicraft, that requires a high degree of skill and attention.
The process of making black pottery is laborious. The potters deftly mould an amazing range of earthenware in various shapes and sizes. The baked pots acquire a black colour and look almost like metal.
It is generally believed that cooking in this pottery enhances the taste of the food as compared to other pots and pans.
This pottery is made using a special rock known as Serpentinite stone along with the Weathered rock. They are mixed in a fixed ratio to get a clay-like consistency using water. The dull-brown mixture is kneaded the entire day and flattened on a wooden board for the initial slab work.
Each product of Longpi pottery uses nothing but natural materials and are completely handmade (all the way from moulding to firing), which makes each creation truly unique. Once the shaped clay has dried and is hard enough, it is taken to an open bonfire and heated for 5 to 7 hours at temperatures over 1200 degrees centigrade.
Serpentine assists the conscious direction of healing energy toward problem areas. It corrects mental and emotional imbalances, helping you to feel more in control of your life. Serpentine treats diabetes and hypoglycemia. It eliminates parasites within the body, and aids in the absorption of calcium and magnesium.
Care and Use
Longpi Hamlei pots and pans can be used for direct cooking over gas stoves or firewood, and are microwave-safe as well.
The contents of the pot continue to sizzle for a long time after it is taken off the heat, ensuring that the food continues to remain hot.
The raw materials used in the pottery are completely natural and no chemicals are used, ensuring that food prepared in them does not have any adverse health effects.
They are easy to clean with mild soap.