The Ants store generates positive stories about North East India

The Ants store in Bangalore is one of Women on Wings’ clients. Every little urn, every piece of cloth in the Ants store tells the tale of a colourful culture and a people often forgotten as a part of India.

To many Indians elsewhere, North East India is a huge blur – the people there are “Nepalis”, insurgents or tribals; they migrate to metros to work in beauty parlours or as gurkhas. The Ants store in Bangalore, gently chides one not to make such pat judgements.

An oasis of cream, bamboo-brown, and black, located off the commercially bustling 100-ft Road in Indiranagar, The Ants, at first glance simply looks like a store with pleasant aesthetics. It has Eri silk shawls, kauna reed mats, black pottery from the Tangkhul Naga tribes of Manipur, baskets, trinkets and jewellery. And then you notice the boards which highlight the different kinds of weaves from each part of the North East- the extra warp in the weaves of the Bodos, the red, yellow, green, and black colours of the Mishing textiles of Assam, the leaf tips curling in a loop motif of the Mizo textiles. Bright photos of people from the 7 sisters adorn the walls. Little tidbits of the process and the people behind the products are displayed around the shop.