Made by the indigenous Mising community of Assam also known as the Mishing or the Miri, this gadu is a thick fluffy blanket used during the winter season. Traditionally woven on a mini handloom, the process of weaving a gadu is intensive and can take up to a month. The warp of a gadu consists of thick, coarse cotton yarn, while the weft is formed by inserting three-inch pieces of soft, spun cotton one by one using a tool called the sumpa. As a result, one side of the blanket is fluffy while the other is coarse. An average gadu is 3 x 2.5 metres in size and is often formed by stitching two separate pieces together. The gadu is traditionally washed by soaking it for several days in an alkaline solution made of banana leaf ash mixed with water.
The gadu is culturally significant in the Mising community. It is one of the gifts given to a bride by her mother, and the presence of a gadu in a household is considered to be a marker of social standing.
Our website is currently undergoing maintenance and re-design, due to which we have had to take down some of our bibliographies. While these will be re-published shortly, you can request references for specific articles by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.