Assam’s Boro Eri Silk: A Heritage of Peace and Sustainability

Boro Eri Silk

Boro Eri Silk, a traditional silk variety originating from Assam, has recently been granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag, signifying its unique identity and quality. This recognition highlights the significance of this indigenous silk variety and its contribution to the cultural and economic heritage of the region.

The name “Eri” is derived from the Assamese word “Era,” which means “castor,” as the silkworm feeds on castor plants during its lifecycle. Locally among the Bodo community, Eri Silk is also known as “Indi.” This indigenous silk is distinct for its woolly white texture, giving it a unique appeal in the textile industry.

Eri Silk holds a special place in Assamese culture and is often referred to as the fabric of peace. One of its distinguishing features is its production process, which aligns with the principles of Ahimsa, or non-violence. Unlike other types of silk, Eri Silk is processed without killing the silkworm. This ethical approach has led to Eri Silk being commonly referred to as “Ahimsa Silk,” emphasizing its humane and sustainable production methods.

The production of Boro Eri Silk involves a series of traditional techniques passed down through generations. It begins with the cultivation of castor plants, which serve as the primary food source for the silkworms. Once the silkworms spin their cocoons, skilled artisans harvest the silk fibers without harming the pupae inside. These fibers are then processed and woven into exquisite fabrics known for their softness and durability.

Apart from its cultural significance, Boro Eri Silk also plays a vital role in supporting local livelihoods and promoting sustainable practices. The silk industry provides employment opportunities to numerous artisans and weavers, particularly in rural areas of Assam. Additionally, the cultivation of castor plants for Eri Silk production contributes to the ecological balance by promoting agroforestry practices and enhancing soil fertility.

The grant of the GI tag to Boro Eri Silk is expected to boost its market visibility and protect its authenticity from imitations. This recognition not only celebrates the rich heritage of Assamese silk craftsmanship but also opens up new avenues for economic growth and global recognition. As consumers increasingly value ethical and sustainable products, the demand for Boro Eri Silk is likely to grow, further enhancing its significance in the global textile industry.



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