Concerted efforts have been made to accelerate the growth of industries in Mizoram. Crafts of Mizoram have got their own identity. One has to see them to believe the Intricate traditional designs woven by the Mizo women, born weavers who produce what can only be described as art on their looms.
The Mizos have held on to certain patterns that have come down through the ages. These designs have become deeply rooted in their tribal consciousness and have become part of the heritage of the Mizos. The traditional craft of
Mizos can also be seen in their exquisite cane and bamboo work - where both
utifitarian and decorative pieces find pride of place.
Agriculture is the main occupation with more than 80% of the population depending upon agriculture and allied sector. To do away with wasteful and soil-detrimental practice of
Jhumming, Contour Farming-System has been introduced in the hill areas.
The main foodgrain crops are rice and maize. Cash crops such as ginger, coffee, arecanut, pepper and tea are being undertaken on a large scale. The local markets are now flooded with home-grown vegetables throughout the year.
The main horticultural produce are Orange, Banana, Pineapple, Passion Fruit, Assam Lemon,
Hatkora, which grows abundantly in all parts of the state. Oranges, Pineapples and Bananas are supplied to
neighbouring states. Other fruits such as pear, plum, guavas, are also grown.
Handloom and Handicrafts are the most important and popular industrial activities in Mizoram.
Basketry among the tribes is a delicate work. They are experts in making etches and notches from the soft fibres of cane. Baskets with lids and without lids, smoothly surfaced, strongly floored, gently fenced from mouth to base and modelled into oval, square, flat structures, revealing a considerable skill in sliting, folding and inserting are seen. They serve various purposes such as cages, containers, baskets of different articles, etc. Some forms of baskets made in Mizoram are dawrawn, empai, emping, tlamen, paikawng, hnam, paiem, fawng, thul, etc.
The bamboo pop-gun is an interesting toy made for children by local craftsmen. A length of small diameter bamboo is used as the barrel. When the splint is pulled back in the slot and released, it can propel a small pellet placed inside the tube. An indigenous trigger mechanism is provided to regulate the release of the pellet. These devices seem to have evolved from the countless bird and animal traps that are used locally. Most of these traps uses the elastic property of bamboo splints in order to spring the trap when the prey touches the trigger.
There are a number of craftsman and skilled artisans among the Mizos. Weaving is an internal part of the Mizo culture and the women learn how to weave at an early age. Puans in numerous designs are produced by them on traditional lion looms. These are somewhat like lungis, usually about 45 to 48 in width and about 36 in length, worn by the women, and are their native dress. Puans are noted for their beautiful design and intricate embroidery which is invariably worked out along with the weave. Mizos have a wealth of motifs. The patterns of traditional puans are now being adopted with many fresh combinations. Mizo women also turn out shawl and their shoulder bags, which are quite attractive, and not too expensive considering their quality.
The Hmars weave many designs and some of the important ones are thangsuo
puon meaning famous cloth, puon laisen meaning cloth with middle in red
colour, hmarm - the loin cloth worn by women and zakuolaisen - the blouse piece used mainly by the unmarried girls.
Paiteis do not weave many indigenous designs in their cloth but whatever little designs are woven seems to be indigenous and seems they attach distinctive value to those. The important cloth of the Paiteis include
thangou puon, puon dum, jawl puon and