CRAFT TECHNIQUE: Leather Work (in Kutch Gujarat) + Kutch Embroidery (Jat)
LEATHER WORK IN KUTCH (Gujarat, India) was earlier on a partnership between the Maldharis (nomadic pastoralist) experts in tanning, and the Dalit Meghwals (leather, stitching and embroidery craftsmen) migrants from Rajasthan. This craft was traditionally used to make harnesses for camels and horses, musical instruments, storage containers and footwear, once the local leather was very good, durable and even resistant to water. In our days, Kutch Leather Work is a means of business and livelihood for many villages in the region.
JAT EMBROIDERY is unique to Garasia Jats: a group of Islamic pastoralists. The origins of these people as of their embroidery remain a mystery. It is believed that they may have migrated to Kutch (Gujarat, India) from north and west of the subcontinent. Minute and precise, Jat work uses an array of geometric patterns in counted work based on the cross-stitch, often studded with mirrors.
KALA RAKSHA is a grassroots social enterprise committed to documenting and promoting existing traditions of art and craft of Kutch region in north Gujarat, India. The Trust maintains a collection of heirloom textiles that functions as a resource base for artisans to study and create exquisite contemporary work.
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