Tawang Carpet making Cluster, Arunachal Pradesh
Located on the extreme North West of Arunachal Pradesh, Tawang is often called the Switzerland of India. The Tawang district is roughly located around latitude 27 45' N and longitude 90 15' E at the northwest extremity of South Tibet. Elevations range between 6,000 to 20,000 feet, and inhabitant are found at lower altitude, where they enjoy a cool temperate climate. Bhutan borders Tawang to the West whereas Tibet is to the north of the district. The district occupies an area of 2,085 square Kilometers and has a population of 49,977 (as of 2011 census) and most of the people are considered "Tribal", i.e. belong to the native Monpa, Bhotia, Adi, etc.
Tawang being very cold throughout the year, people took to carpet weaving, a warm cloth in traditional ways. The influence basically came down from Tibet. At least one member of a family was associated with weaving of carpets and singhas. Thus, carpet weaving, handloom weaving, wood curving were some of the crafts the Monpas have traditionally inherited from their past. Tibetan influence and religious impact of Buddhism is prominently reflected in these craft activities. What they were lacking is the basic infrastructural facilities and training. Given these, the Monpas have the dexterity in their hands to weave dream carpet.
The Tawang Carpet Making cluster is spread across 25 Kms of Tawang Town almost encircling the entire district. The product of this cluster include Carpets of different size, Floor carpets with traditional dragon, Cushion carpet, Carpets for wall decoration, Small wall table mats, Telephone cushions, and woolen door mats, etc. This cluster consists of 119 household units and 117 skilled artisans and most of the artisans are female.