COLLECTION OF TOKOPAT (THATCHING LEAVES)



Locally known as Tokopat (the leaves of a Palm species) is widely used as thatching material among the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh especially the Galo, Adi and Nyishi tribes. Collection of Tokopat exhibit unique skill and knowledge and this traditional wisdom has been transferred from old generations to the new through a continuous practice. From felling of leaves, piling up and preparing bundles by folding the leaves, they proficiently use a single Dao (cutting tool) which protect them to collect the leaves efficiently from the throny stalks and spike like trunk. The bundle in itself is a unit consisting of 10 to 15 Toko leaves. One interesting aspect of the preparation of bundle is the effective use of binding elements, extracted from the Toko stalks. For a convinient transport, a strap like extra loop is raised from the knot of the binding element. The sustainable use of Tokopat greatly helped the people of this region to fulfill their domestic and economic needs from time immomerial. With the introduction of GI sheet in the region, the knowledge based on the traditional norms of collecting Tokopat appears to have been gradually declining.
The video was taken during field visit at Magigaon, Papumpare district of Arunachal Pradesh. The village is homogenously pocketed by the Galo tribe. This small clip taken from mobile can give some account of the importance of Tokopat collection among the Galo tribe of Arunachal Pradesh.

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