Mathew Sasa Craft, an outlet of Longpi Hampai Pottery is bringing the indigenous pottery work of Manipur to the international market. Mathew Sasa a resident of Longpi Kajui started the outlet and represented the Manipur pottery art at the annual International Trade Fair, National Handloom and Handicrafts Exposition organised in the capital.
Due to his efforts, Longpi Pottery has gained popularity not only in the country but also attained admirers from countries like Australia, Sweden, Germany and the US.
Longpi pottery is made from a mixed paste of ground black serpentine stone and special brown clay, which is found only in Longpi village. The pots are manually shaped, polished and sun-dried. Potters collect the products and heat it in a bonfire which takes a total of six days to be completed.
Sasa had acquired the skills of black pottery from his father Machihan Sasa who is himself a skilled craftsman and owns Sasa Hampai Pottery Training cum Production centre in Manipur. Sasa said to be engaged in the art of pottery since 25 years along with his father. He used to help his father Machihan Sasa after school and since then he got interested in making the pottery. Since then, he has been learning the art and has produced various pottery designs and art. He further informed that his father had received National Awards Certificate in 1988 and Shilp Awards in 2008 by Ministry of Textiles as a recognition and acknowledgement for his contribution towards art and craft.
Machihan was also nominated for Padma Awards 2018. Under the flagship of Mathew Sasa Craft, so far around 40 to 50 youth from the region have been trained on Longpi pottery and currently, the organization is providing employment opportunities to seven school drop-out youth from the community.