Tiala grew up weaving among the women of her own Ao tribal group in Nagaland. She left for school in Europe, married Harry from Philadelphia, and stayed West, working on jewelry many designers - including Donna Karan and Ralph Lauren - and raising, with Harry, their son.
But Tiala never forgot Nagaland where her family still lives in gorgeous mountainside villages but also among striking poverty. She wanted to return and rekindle in the women there the love of weaving that she had never lost.
But did I hear you ask: where, exactly, is Nagaland? Somewhere in Africa?
Think again. Think India, and how it stretches a hand far to the East. There, in the palm of India’s hand, is Nagaland, cradled by Myanmar.
Tiala returned to India to put together a group of weavers for ibu’s new line: Naga Now. She flew to West India to buy cotton thread because only acrylic could be found in her home state. Flew almost to Pakistan to find this beautiful green dye, almost emerald, to get our wraps just right. Stayed in Nagaland and oversaw the hand-weaving and personal hand-stitching that finished each ibu piece, re-interpreting the old pieces she had kept since childhood.
In the end, the wraps are breath-taking. Strong as Tiala’s history and resolve. Elegant as her own handwork. Rich as her long tribal tradition. Utterly unique. Look for these new 'Naga Now Wraps' at ibumovement.com.
Tiala is an ibu of great stature. She is accomplishing, with us, our shared vision: keeping these remarkable languages of cloth alive, making them fresh and exciting, and
encouraging women to find their self- sufficiency and freedom in this creative remembering.
My headdress is off to Tiala. We love this amazing woman!! We love the beauty that she has made. And we love the passion of her path, leading her home.