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NID works towards saving handicrafts from extinction

22
Aug '09
The National Institute of Design (NID) is taking efforts to protect Indian handicrafts, particularly Gujarat handicrafts that are going into oblivion. NID has identified three endangered handicrafts from the country, following a proposal from the Ministry of Culture.

The institute is documenting these handicrafts and will submit them to the UNESCO to include them in the list of endangered intangible cultural heritages of the world. Two of the three identified handicrafts are from Gujarat.

The Patola double ikat silk textiles of Patan and the turn-wood lacquer-ware furniture of Sankheda are the endangered handicrafts, which NID has identified from Gujarat and the third handicraft is the votive terracotta painted plaques of Molela from Rajasthan.

All the three selected handicrafts have one common issue which is that, they are going through challenging trends in respect of their traditional symbiotic relationship between the craftsmen and the community, said Ms. Tanishka Kachru, Faculty of Exhibition Design, NID.

Ms. Kachru, who is heading the project, said that the traditional relationship between craftsmen and the community is getting lost and needs preservation.

The selected handicrafts were deeply valued by the community, and the institute's frequent acquaintances with them as well as their proximity are the factors behind the selection of these handicrafts, said Ms. Aditi Ranjan, Faculty Head of Textile & Apparel Design, NID.

While talking about the contemporary issues of these handicrafts, Ms. Kachru informed that the techniques of producing the turn-wood lacquer-ware furniture has been changing as the craftsmen have started using synthetic materials instead of traditional wood.

In respect of patola silk textiles, at present there are just 4 families left behind, who are continuing the tradition of weaving the patola silk textiles in Gujarat, she added.

These handicrafts are being documented by the NID in a 10-min long film, photographs and written documents, which will be submitted to the Ministry by the end of this month, which in turn will hand it over to UNESCO. The students of the institute and other faculties are the working members of this project.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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