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“When you visit a country, visit the forgotten artisans of the narrow streets because they are the ones who made that country! Do this, not to honor them but to honor yourself!” by Mehmat Murat Ildan.
India is home to several castes and tribes which gives it a vibrant touch of different cultures and traditions. Every state of our country has something unique to offer. So does our beautiful state of Uttarakhand. The mountain state which is popular as ‘heaven on earth’ has a variety of famous items which you would love to explore and add it to your shopping list. Especially the handlooms of Uttarakhand are gaining quite a name by the precise work being put in by the skilled craftsmen of the state. Promoting and encouraging these handmade items is very crucial to revive the lost arts as the livelihood of the artisans depends on it.
Every item crafted by the highly skilled artisans and handsmiths have a unique touch of nature to it. The Kumaoni and Garhwali tribes have preserved the handicrafts since ages. The wide ranged items include cotton handlooms, woollen handlooms, Ringaal and Pine Needle Craft, Jewellery and Utensils and much more. Let us acquaint ourselves with some of the very famous handicraft items of the state.
Ringaal is a high quality bamboo which is employed in making baskets and items of home decor. The bamboo is first soaked to make it pliable and then starts the process of weaving. The items made by the artisans are environment friendly and a perfect alternative for plastic containers. Not only this, they also have an ethnic touch to them which makes them so unique and attractive.
It is an age-old craft that has supported the livelihoods of the Pahadi people. The needles are the dry leaves obtained by the Pine tree. These needles are then woven into products of daily use by skilled craftsmen. Pine needle craft of Uttarakhand prevails in Chamba. The items so produced by this craft are attractive as well as inexpensive. Some of the most loved Pine needle craft items include baskets, coasters, and .
The uniqueness of these items lies in the fact that the people weave them out of jute and hemp which requires a lot of hard work and skill. The highly talented artisans create beautiful products like bags, purses, wall hangings and items of decor. Like Ringaal and Pine craft these items are also environment friendly and highly durable.
The wool is obtained by mountain goats local to the state of Uttarakhand. The fibre is of premium quality and offers the warmth that no fabric can match. The Pahari people make shawls out of this fabric with intricate design which is very pleasing to the eyes.
Created usually by women, this traditional art form is one one brick red coloured background with white paste made out of rice flour. Earlier it had only cultural and religious significance and were drawn on special occasions while performing rituals but now the artform is also employed by pahadi people to create items for sale. This folk art definitely deserves recognition.
The above mentioned handicraft styles are highly creative and showcase the talent and skills of the Himalayan people, whose livelihood depends on it. We take the responsibility to promote these artforms as their widespread popularity will not only help the Pahadi people but also uplift the State’s revenue. We spend so much for items produced outside our country, but we should definitely explore the well deserved creative products made by the local people of our native places. Lets be vocal for handmade!