Garo fashion with recycled material by 72-year-old Meghalaya woman
In the West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya, a 72-year-old woman from the hilly town of Tura named Cryspil K. Sangma is getting waste material recycled to make traditional accessories that belong to the Garo tribe of Meghalaya.
At 50 years of age, Sangma began her endeavour; she aimed to revive the rich culture of the A’chik, which means ‘people of hills’ in the Garo language.
She designed and made sustainable clothes such as the ‘Ganding-Chinding’ (traditional Garo attire), the ambeng top (traditional top-wear) and lengti (bottom wear).
She said, “It’s never too late to start something that you are passionate about because it always brings you joy and satisfaction in life,”
Later on, she founded Cryspil’s Creations, which is an online store. In this e-commerce platform, she sells her handcrafted, eco-friendly accessories along with the other products which she designs.
In 2000, Sangma started to make accessories such as the Garo rigitok (necklace), kadesil (earring), kakam (necklace), sengki (waist belt), kotip (headgear), konal (earring), kok (a Garo basket) out of waste materials, that included old calendars, whiskey boxes, and wires to make beautiful traditional accessories.
In 2007 Independence Day celebrations, New Delhi, Sangma made the kadesil and kakam (Garo traditional attires) required for the Wangala dance.
Sangma said, “If you are in pursuit of your dreams and happiness but are having a tough time, don’t give up on your dreams,”
She has received several appreciation and awards, including the Award of Excellence for Waste Management and Innovation in 2018 in Meghalaya and the 2019 top 25 start-up entrepreneurship award in the state for her commendable work.