Again, I am harking back to North-Eastern state of India: Assam. Still the land of mystery. I was going through imperial gazetteer of India and reading about Sibsagar, now bearing the moniker of “Sivasagar”. It was once the capital of Ahoms. They came from China to India through Eastern corridor and settled here for good. Over the time they adopted the Hindu religion.
This district is very rich in natural resources. It is famous for oil fields, tea and silk sarees. There are many shops is the town selling the exquisite sarees. These shops are mostly owned by Marwari people who are traders and settled here centuries ago. People from outside of Assam, who are posted there, especially in oil industry, buy silk sarees and take them to their hometowns for their womenfolk.
According to gazetteer, silk is obtained from three kinds of silk worms namely Eri (attacus recini), Muga (antheraea assama) and Pat (bambyx textor). Each worm is fed specific leaves. The Eri worm is fed on Castor oil plant leaves. Muga is fed on Sum tree and Pat worm on Mulberry tree leaves.
A fine white thread, which is much valued, is produced by feeding Muga on Chappa Tree leaves and Mezankuri. Muga silk is produced in large quantities. Pat is the costliest and rare. The worms are raised in North Eastern states like Assam and Manipur.