GUWAHATI, Jan 8 � Muga, the celebrated golden yarn of Assam, and also its famed eri silk, preceded China�s mulberry-based silk by 2,000 years. This and many pieces of interesting information find mention in Indian Ways of Silk: Precious Threads Bridging India�s Past, Present and Future � a first-of-its-kind book on the country�s indigenous silk industry which was formally released in the city on Saturday.
Authored by Ole Zethner, Rie Koustrup � both from Denmark � and Dilip Barooah, the well-illustrated book gives detailed descriptions of Indian mulberry and wild silk moths and their products. It covers biological, technological, commercial, cultural and historical aspects of sericulture and silk production in India.
Releasing the book, Assam Assembly Speaker Pranab Gogoi said that the book would serve a long-standing need of the State�s silk industry and contribute immensely towards showcasing it before a global audience.
�It attempts to give more insights into Indian silk with special emphasis on eri and muga silk of Assam and the North-east. It might be a surprise to many to note that eri, muga and tassar silks existed in India some 2,000 years before Chinese mulberry silk, which we use as paat silk,� Barooah, one of the authors and a textile technocrat, said.
Stating that the book would project India in a global context, Barooah said that at the same time, it was the first comprehensive book on muga and eri cultures and silks in Assam and the North-east. �This will certainly help popularise eri and muga silk across the globe,� he added.
Writer and critic Lakshminath Tamuly and filmmaker Sanjiv Sabhapandit were the other distinguished guests at the book release function.
The book is the third of a trilogy written by the first two authors. Their first book, Ways of Silk (2007) in the Danish language covers Europe, and the second book, African Ways of Silk (2008) was co-written with Sunesh Kunar Raina, Icipe, Kenya.
Indian Ways of Silk has been published by Bhabani Print and Publications.