BANJARA EMBROIDERY

INDEX
Chapter Title Page No.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS INDEX LIST OF PLATES I II III IV V VI INTRODUCTION REVIEW OF LITERATURE SIGNIFICANCE METHODOLOGY RESULTS AND DISCUSSION CONCLUSION BIBLIOGRAPHY APPENDIX

i iii iv 1 4 8 10 22 31 34 35

List of Plates
Serial No Plate Name Page No.

1.1 1.2 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 3.1 3.2 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 5.1

Map of Andhra Pradesh Lady dressed in traditional banjara clothes Pulia and Gala Embroidered spices bag Lady dressed in typical banjara clothes and jewellery Banjara women with their embroidered veil Traditional Lehnga and Choli Yellamma Tanda Lady doing embroidery (step 1) Lady doing embroidery (step 2) Lady doing embroidery (step 3) Traditionally embroidered bag Tapestry Vele Dorannaki Kalchi Chakkaler Muggu Alli Nakra Champa Chaddar Muggu Maali Kanth Rela Gaddar Muggu Phool Training by Crafts Council Training by Crafts Council Embroidered patches Colourful Patch Commonly made tea coasters

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 11 12 12 13 13 13 14 14 14 15 15 15 16 16 16 17 19 19 20 21 22

5.2 Award winning table runner 24 .

Its capital and largest city is Hyderabad. Andhra Pradesh is bordered by Maharashtra. 1. Rayalaseema and Telangana. The range of handicrafts is absolutely fantastic. Historically. the Godavari and the Krishna run across the state. There is no dearth of exuberant culture and traditions in Andhra Pradesh. the Bay of Bengal in the East. More than 77% of its crop is rice. Tamil and Hindi. Andhra Plate No. Visakhapatnam. The state has 23 districts. Chattisgarh and Orissa in the north. The official language of the state is Telugu which is spoken by 88. is the largest city in the state. while other languages spoken here are Urdu. English. INTRODUCTION Andhra Pradesh is a state situated on the eastern coast of India. is the second largest city of the state and is home to the Indian Navy's Eastern Naval Command. Nizambad. Eluru. The state has the second largest coastline (972 km) among all the states in India. Hyderabad has been the city where distinct cultural and linguistic traditions of North India and South India meet.5 percent population of the state. . Andhra Pradesh is divided into three major regions namely Coastal Andhra. It is historically called the ³Rice Bowl of India´. have developed a distinctive culture which is a mixture of Hindu and Muslim traditions. along with the adjoining twin city Secunderabad. Nellore. They hold a special place in the culture and tradition of the state. The official language of Andhra Pradesh is Telugu. Tamil Nadu to the south and Karnataka to the west.1 Map of Andhra Pradesh Pradesh's main seaport. Other important cities are Machilipatnam. Tirupati. It is India¶s fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Hyderabad is the capital and.I. Hyderabadis. Tenali. Two major rivers. Vijayawada due to its location and proximity to major rail and road routes is a major trading center and the third largest city. as residents of the city are known.

After the toy is carved on the wood. prayer carpets for Mohammadans. Later. Eluru Carpets The Eluru in Andhra Pradesh is famous for its woolen pile carpet industry. they developed the carpet industry here. tent lining cloth. This art form is found at Machilipatnam. aesthetics. The Lacquer craft involves the application of lacquer on wood in pleasing shades to create a distinguishing appeal. These saris are specially worn on functions. plain borders without much contrast. which is very exquisite. Kondapalli Toys The famous Kondapalli toys are made of softwood. These verses were called dhyana. Kalamkari Fabrics The Kalamkari is a fabric famous all over the world for its beautiful vegetable colors used on the clothes. description of the deity. wood and sawdust is applied for giving further shapes and attaching limbs etc. known as Tella Poniki. They have simple. Lacquer Ware The Lacquer craft is widely found in Etikoppaka in Andhra Pradesh. It basically involves silver inlay on metal. a paste made of tamarind. where the yarn is randomly dyed in natural zigzag or geometric patterns. . This place is one of the major centers of this craft. table clothes and curtain clothes printed in attractive colors. This internationally acclaimed weaving form is now practiced mainly in Puttapaka. proportions. The Ikat weaving originated in Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh. to the toy.Ikat Weaving Handlooms This is a skill that requires a lot of intricacy. chintz. characteristics. This art from was brought to India by the Persians who migrated to Andhra Pradesh during the Muhammaddin regime. tamarind seed powder. Dharmavaram Saris The Dharmavaram in Andhra Pradesh is famous for silk saris all over the world. These fabrics include a range of special mythological designs for Hindus. Bidri Craft This craft belongs to the city of Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh. Bronze Castings The famous bronze idols were based on the verses from the Shilpashastra. The borders of these saris are commonly broad having brocaded gold patterns. These verses instruct the craftsmen about the physical measurements. enamel gums and watercolors. These toys are also made up of sawdust. There are many legends related to its entry and exit into the country and then to Andhra Pradesh. The borders also have butta and the pallus of the saris have exclusive designs.. symbolism and above all. This art form belongs to the Kondapalli district. It is a style of weaving. Pochampalli and Chautuppal.

Plate no. the Banjaras still continue to keep in touch with their age-old customs.The Banjara tribes of Andhra Pradesh. sofa backs. blouses. An off-shoot of Banjara needlework is the fantastic range of artistic pieces like bags. The nomadic tribes or the Banjaras were wandering groups. ingenious. The traditional craft has been handed from generation to generation and Banjara communities strive to preserve the artwork that they have inherited from their forefathers. Major features of Banjara tribal embroidery are the vivacious colours. belts. purses. self-assured and honourable.Introduction to Banjara Embroidery This marvelous art form emanated from one of the most colourful and vibrant tribes of the country . traditions and beliefs. powerful. bed spreads. 1. cushion covers and many more utility objects that meet the changing tastes and requirements of present day connoisseurs. This spirit of roaming from places to places reflected a sense of liberty. Despite their gradual absorption into the mainstream of life. They are also described by the same as hardworking.2 Lady dressed in traditional banjara clothes . ornate patterns and delicate mirror work. skirts. It was this limitlessness and freedom that is reflected through the Banjara embroidery designs. They did not limit themselves with the boundaries and binds of the urban life.

Plate no. A large number of them did have a fixed habitat in their peripatetic life. who ranged throughout the subcontinent negotiating and maintaining expensive contracts to supply goods to important customers as the Moghal armies and the British.II.1 Pulia and Gala are the traditionally embroidered articles used to carry water on the heads They retained their carefree. the Banjaras were bullock transport carriers and builders of great monuments. they efficiently moved their enormous caravans through vast roadless tracts of all India. For centuries. blended in with the Koilies. from Orissa to Gujarat. Pakistan. spilling over into Sind. They continued to service the agricultural communities by manufacturing and repairing agricultural implements. In many parts of India their main occupation was cattle trading and transportation of agricultural goods. and for the maintenance of a unique aesthetic in their embroidery. The Banjaras and Vagaries became transporters of armies and of traders and thus traveled and settled all over India. for song. salt and messages. colourful and their distinctive traditions as they refrained from mingling with other communities. and known for their lyricism. where they would return for ceremonies. With the advent of the mechanical transport system their flourishing trade declined and they were forced to change their modes of earning. The Banjaras/ Vanjaras/ Gaudolia Lohars/ Lambadas/ Vagaries have a common linked tradition. they were famed for their colorful dress and spectacular jewelry. . 2. Settling originally. it is likely that they were ironsmiths who were attached to large scale migrations which took place. poetry and dance. Since they wore all their wealth. centuries ago in the Jodhpur and Jaisalmer desert areas of Rajasthan. It is these groups which migrated to Central Asia. In the prehistoric time. guarantying safe conduct for grain. Koochis of that area and migrated all over the world and became known as Romani or Gypsies. the makers of the horse shoes and thus came into contact with the armies on the move and became a part of their transportation team. Iran and further west. They also worked as ferries. Doing so they spread from Kashmir to Tamil Nadu. REVIEW OF LITERATURE The Banjara tribe can be traced to the nomads who migrated from Central Asia.

The Crafts Council of Andhra Pradesh which was formed in February 1987 and began work on traditional crafts of the region. as the Banjaras are called in Andhra. coolies. which they imagined as not only unaesthetic but also non-remunerative. After the training period the Crafts Council started looking into the designing and marketing of products. It is also what made them frighteningly different to urban Indians and had earned them the categorization as a ³criminal´ tribe by the British and accusations of all manners of atrocities: thievery. and that of the region that they finally settled in. working mainly as casual labour. love of open spaces and unwillingness to be subordinated to the village hierarchy also separated them from the other communities. The Crafts Council identified Yellamma Tanda. Their independent spirit. called a Tanda. The Tanda dwellers here still maintained some of their traditions and were eager to supplement their earnings. The mode of life and clothing changed drastically to suit their new environment. that they may not have committed. it was not easy to locate skilled needlewomen. Many of them migrated to smaller towns and cities especially if they had no agricultural holdings. producing a range of embroidered objects. Initially. fragmented into several small groups and they lived in a cluster of huts. they kept their own language. They spread over several states of India and each of these states provided them with beneficial aid to alleviate their socio-economic conditions. This mysterious duality and intriguing separateness was the most integral part of their being.They became woodcutters. religion and ethical code. The instructor worked now as supervisor of production activity. identified Banjara embroidery as one of the crafts to be developed. There are also non-governmental organizations that provide assistance. Many groups of Lambadas settled into urban life. agriculturalists and cattle rearers. near Hyderabad to develop their programme for the Lambada women. 2. murder and witchcraft. They were therefore unwilling to work at embroidery. But they were also driven to the fringe of society.2 Embroidered spices bag . Plate no. The Lambadas. A group of fourteen women was formed and a training programme was conducted for a year (1990 to 1991). The dialect spoken by them is very similar to that of Western Rajasthan with a mixture of all languages assimilated along their nomadic route. At all times. kidnapping.

Some of them . Around 120 ladies here are engaged in Banjara embroidery. Only the elderly only have retained the traditional costumes. 2.Plate no. though nowadays only 5% to 10% of the ladies are dressed in the typical banjara costume. All men of the village are basically farmers.3 Lady dressed in typical banjara clothes and jewellery About the Banjara tribe These tribes are called Lambada as well as Banjara. All the people in the Yellamma tanda belong to the Lambada tribe. The rest have given it up in exchange of the saree. The village consists of 2000 people.

ghunghat.e. carries the pot on her head with the help of pulia gala which is richly embroidered and gives it to her mother-in-law to bathe.4 Banjara women with their embroidered veil. selling wood. . food grains. They also have a tradition in which the newly wed bride takes hot water from her maternal house. They have a tradition of decorating the cow with embroidered chandiya and singdi on which the newly wed bride first enters her new home. which is elaborately worked with mirrors. selling supplies from towns in the village. Plate no 2.however do engage in basic business activities along with agriculture ± i.

mode of transport and few personal belongings. work with widely differing techniques and technologies to create a rich variety of forms. living vibrant tradition of crafts. Arts and crafts trade fairs. While agriculture employs the largest number of people in India. SIGNIFICANCE India is the only country in the world with an unbroken. conferences.1 Traditional Lehnga and Choli . The trade fairs can serve as a good platform for national as well as international business of this embroidery. Crafts communities. trade events. arts and crafts are revered treasures that need to preserved and popularized. Exotic specimens of artistry. Banjara embroidery is a bright and colourful form of embroidery produced due to the wanderlust of the Lambada tribes. It is one of the craft which is on the way to extinction due to the modernization of other forms of embroidery and also due to the time consuming methods of this art. With these associations. using similar materials that range from clay to precious metals.III. Since they had no permanent homes their aesthetic sense was apparent in their clothes. Plate No 3. the crafts sector is next and sustains over 20 million practitioners. They also serve the main source of income for the rural folks in the country. the arts and crafts products are being familiarized to every part of the world. The wide geographic spread embraces all of India and covers a huge gamut of widely differing work structure and cultures. Special trade fairs are held to promote and sustain market for the arts and crafts of India. exhibitions and e-commerce are the newly evolved ways of reviving the arts and crafts sector and creating a stable market for the industry. aesthetics and creativity.

sustainable and attractive. To tailor the craft as per target market. To encourage and persuade the artisans and build their ability to face the challenges of the market competition. To initiate changes in the types and intricacy of the stitches and motifs to make the craft more durable. To develop products which use the craft effectively thereby generating a demand for it. Plate no 3. To recognize causes of extinction.2 Yellamma Tanda ± only village practicing Banjara embroidery . To create awareness about the dying craft of Banjara embroidery. To use the traditional techniques and modify them to make them commercially viable. To empower the artisans on technology in current market.Objectives y y y y y y y y y To acquire in depth information about Banjara embroidery ± the craft and the process which goes into creating it.

always revealing a part of the artist who wove them. The textiles were fresh and honest creations. and so representing the whole universe in their embroidery. Numerous embroidery techniques can be observed in Banjara embroideries. cross-stitch. gradually working up to the top. Often up to 2 or 3 techniques can be seen on a single small tapestry.IV. chain stitch. This random creativity is one of the reasons that these weavings are becoming so collectable. 4. Human forms are rarely created which is another unique similarity with other textile societies either of Islamic origin and others as well. mirrors. couching. which is seen as an ancient coinage and/or fertility. These techniques include. Most of their embroidered pieces are adorned with cowry shells which are loaded with symbolism of wealth. stem stitch.1 Lady doing embroidery (step 1) . The agile fingers of the Banjara womenfolk move delicately tracing the intricate threadwork. as if working from the earth to the sky. but are not limited to. The choli. kashida and quit stitch. The embroidery method is to stitch from the bottom of a piece. The difference between Kutchi and Banjara embroidery is that the garments are different. On Banjara textiles most patterns are represented in either square or rectangular form. ghagra and dupatta are completely filled with Banjara embroidery whereas in Kutchi embroidery only certain design is embroidered on the entire attire. The stitches are also different. The Banjara were master weavers and created vibrant natural dyes from plants and minerals gathered from the lands through which they passed. METHODOLOGY Banjara embroidery has a distinctive embroidery style that is a sublime mix of many cultures. Part of the spontaneity in colour and design seen in these nomadic textiles was due to the fact that the artists were constantly moving and did not plan the designs also they had no regular supply of the same dyes. Banjaras are said to have spread the use of such shells in the whole of India through their nomadic wanderings. The intricacy is more in Banjara embroidery as compared to Kutchi embroidery. which probably explains why they are used in abundance by tribal peoples as far as the Nagas in the East and theTodas in the South. appliqué. Plate no.

then 2 to 3 women many sit and embroider it simultaneously. They have made drafts for various garment pieces. a woman is paid 30rs per day as wages. However they do not work in the night.e. If the garment to be embroidered is longer. They work throughout the year doing Banjara embroidery to create items of sale. But during the 4 months of monsoons they concentrate more on agriculture and give only 2 hours per day to embroider. 5 to 6 days. They trace the draft and the design before starting the embroidery on it.Plate no. they spend around 4 to 5 hours per day in embroidery. On an average. They require around 18 to 20 hours to make a blouse piece i. depending upon the amount of embroidery. Approximately. . They sell blouses pieces ranging from Rs 300 to Rs 500.2 Lady doing embroidery (step 2) Plate no.3 Lady doing embroidery (step 3) Time and Income The wages to the women are paid on a monthly basis depending upon the amount of work that they have done. 4. 4.

black and blue are the oldest and the most widely used colours. A base of multiple layers of hand-loomed cotton was sewn into a dense mass.4 Traditional embroidered bag Bags are usually made of loose weave linen like fabric. This is often seen on other nomadic textiles as well. Sometimes they use a little zari thread for filling up motifs. dyed with madder or indigo. buttons. They also outline all their motifs with a different colour.Materials and Colours The materials used were all hand-spun.5 Tapestry . Plate no 4. The embroidery was then created on this base. They purchase fabrics at discounted rates from Hyderabad. But they prefer to use only 1 to 3 strands of cotton threads. These attachments also serve as storage of wealth and a demarcation of tribal affiliation or identities. They buy all the materials from the cities of Hyderabad and Secundrabad. They mostly prefer to use Mangalgiri cotton (market price ± Rs 150/m and the discounted price ± Rs. hand-woven and then hand-embroidered with a needle. embellished with tassels. cotton and woolen tassels. Plate no 4. They also avoid using silk threads because it does not provide the intricacy. The purpose is to reflect the evil eye and make noise to frighten off evil spirits. lead and glass beads and mirrors. Tapestries are decorated with cowry shells. coins. yellow. mirrors and coins. Interlaced patterns on a running stitch base. The quality of embroidery threads is better in Secundrabad. and cowrie shells is a famous design. Besides shells. mirrors. green. they also use other new materials as per their popularity and availability in the market. The materials used were mostly cotton but also goat hair and occasionally silk. Red. 100/m) and Anchor threads.

Appliqué work is used in large size fabrics as it is easier for more women to work on a single piece thus completing it quickly. Then a thread is intertwined in the dots to form horizontal patterns.7 Doranaaki Kalchi: Doranaaki is first done. Plate no 4. They use thin and long needles. Parallel lines of chain stitch are done to fill spaces and completely cover the base cloth.6 Vele Doranaaki: Doranaaki running stitch which is evenly spaced to look like an elongated dot. They use a different needle for stitching beads. Plate no 4.Stitches There are around 30 to 40 different types of stitches and their variations.8 Kalchi . The pattern depends on the number of parallel lines made with the dots. Plate no 4. Stitches used in Banjara Embroidery and their colloquial names Vele: Vele is the name for chain stitch.

Plate no.11 Nakra .9 Chakkaler Muggu Alli: Doranaaki is made with the required number of dots and a diamond shaped motif is formed. Sometimes diagonals divide the nakra into four sections. Then motifs of geometric flower patterns are interwoven which are very similar to the rangoli or floor decorations made by the upper caste women in front of their home. Otherwise it is filled with a thread of alternate colour. A series nakras form various designs to make a line.10 Alli Nakra: A small diamond is formed using four straight lines called kannta. 4.Chukkaler Muggu: Doranaaki is done with a limited number of required dots. a flower or any other motif. Plate no 4. Plate no 4.

A line in couching stitch called dora kencharo divides two or more consecutive lines of nakras. Champa: Madee along the edge of a garment with a narrow strip of material folded into a series of triangles. evenly spaced. Plate no 4. Dots are evenly spaced and a line is sewed around them in vele. or a rela border has little vertical extensions of maaki.14 Muggu .13 Chaddar Muggu: In all Indian homes decorative motifs are drawn in front of the threshold. It forms an extension to another stitch like lines of maaki sometimes surrounded a nakra. Plate no 4.Maaki: This is a narrow vertical loop that looks like a single line. a flower or nakra is placed intermittently above the border.12 Champa Chaddar: A series of nakras form a line. Sometimes. Plate no 4. For auspicious occasions they are of elaborate design and otherwise simple. The Lambadas use these motifs in their embroidery.

Plate no 4.16 Rela Kaliya: Two or more bands of rela worked vertically to look like horizontal bands. Plate no 4.Maali Kanth: This is what is generally called herringbone stitch. Gaddar: Small rectangular blocks of satin stitch done in one or two colours to form triangular patterns. It is done in single or multiple lines.15 Malli Kanth Rela: A series of vertical loops are closely interlocked so that the intricacy of the stitch is barely visible. Plate no 4.17 Gaddar .

Kalani: Made like the nakra but smaller and done in a series to form a border. Bakhiya: This is the name for back stitch. The centre of each link is filled with a different coloured thread. Poso Teko: Running stitch done to form several lines and geometric patterns. Teka: Small stitches which cross each other at the end of each stitch. Kodiya Potte: Chain stitch is done in two undulating.Saadri Gaddar: Rectangular blocks of gaddar are made alternating with blank spaces and generally made in single colour. It is used for edging whenever necessary. Jaalir Bati: Forms close arches to give the appearance of a net. Plate no 4. Khilad: This is the buttonhole stitch. Most often filled with a different colour. Sassia Danth: This literally means rabbit¶s teeth. intersecting lines to form a link-chain. Jhinijhini: Vele done to form triangles and a base line.18 Muggu Phool . Mugga Phool: A flower of eight petals outlined with vele and filled sometimes in alternate colours. It is done to form dividing lines between patterns. It is made of small stitches to form a triangular edge to the line.

non-profit organization works to fulfill its aims and objectives for the upliftment of crafts and craftsperson. Training by Crafts Council Laxmi was a teacher in a school when an educational officer saw her in a Banjara embroidered kurta. Now. Encouraging results have prompted other govt. of India¶s funding programmes. Delhi. USA with the help of Crafts Council. they go to Mumbai. . Kamala Devi Chattopadhyaya. They have even gone abroad i. A training scheme with 15 Banjara tribal women was successfully conducted for a year. The exquisite quality of our crafts through the length and breadth of this vast and beautiful country has been kept alive by thousands of rural craftsmen who have struck to their craft/art even in the face of great adversity. only the women in Yellamma Tanda have continued this embroidery art. Even before Crafts Council identified this village¶s talent. especially those pertaining to our own state of Andhra Pradesh. She is the only woman who speaks Hindi comfortably. agencies to request CCAP to conduct similar programmes. This voluntary. who have had to sacrifice a great deal in order to continue their craft. The doyen of handicrafts. late Mrs. By working with Crafts Council. brought into being the CCI in 1965 with the idea of improving the lot of craftsmen. with 150 women. Laxmi is the leader of the group and acts as their coordinator. Kolkata. Their noteworthy achievements have been giving marketing and design help to craftsmen. She is also the one who allocates the work to the other ladies. Chennai and Hyderabad to sell their products. however. They then decided to train these ladies further so as to enhance their art.e. Now. He liked it a lot and informed Crafts Council about this art. They employed a lady named Mehrulisa who acted as a coordinator between the village ladies and Crafts Council. easier methods and also connected with the people by speaking the local dialect. Most of CCAP¶s projects have been partially or completely financed by the Govt. In 1987 when CCAP was born out of necessity ± there was a need for awareness among the educated urban class about the wealth of our heritage. This helped commercialize it as she taught them new stitches. Crafts Council of Andhra Pradesh is a people to people programme.About Crafts Council of Andhra Pradesh Crafts Council of Andhra Pradesh is a member of the Crafts Council of India which in turn is affiliated to the World Crafts Council located in Amsterdam. the ladies here used to embroider products for their local use. Crafts Council came and inspected the village ± its facilities and its talent. In 1990. instructs them about the design and divides the remuneration received from Crafts Council as per their work. this time. Crafts Council had conducted a workshop for a year to train the ladies in Yellamma Tanda and the neighboring villages and commercialize the art a bit.

19 Training by Crafts Council Plate no 4. Plate no 4.Banjara items sell more in Delhi and Kolkata. they supply to Craft Council as per their orders.20 Training by Crafts Council . But now they go for exhibitions on their own as well to Delhi. Delhi people give orders for large metres of fabric to be embroidered. Just recently they have also formed a group of their own named Yellamma Tanda Jiyo Group. Ahmedabad if they get invitations for showcasing their work there. Since past 20 years they have been working through and with the help of Crafts Council. So as of now.

The cost of the articles that they had embroidered was also high. these ladies trace those motifs but they have simplified the work. their motifs continue to be in the form of geometric shapes. they encourage their daughters to study rather than embroider. . The women here know this art since childhood as this art of embroidery has been passed down from generations. This shows the stagnation in this craft. Though they trace the designs out before embroidering. The ghagra . Plate no 4.21 Embroidered patches Another problem that we noticed was that Banjara articles were heavily embroidered. They used to design and embroider a wide variety of motifs without sketching beforehand. Also their work is now less intricate from that of their grandmothers. The use of large amounts of mirrors in each article also reduces the commercial viability of the article. The colour schemes used by the Banjaran ladies were very traditional and loud. Though they have tried other fabrics as well. The fabric that is mostly used for this embroidery is mostly cotton. The most important element needed for the survival of this craft is the artisans as they play a very crucial role. Only 120 ladies now are engaged in Banjara embroidery as supplementary income and the number is continuously decreasing. choli and dupatta. This was mainly due to the heavy embroidery work on them. Nowadays. Their primary income now comes from agriculture. they continue to stitch on cottons alone as they are used to it. though they have passed the art to their daughters as well. especially Mangalgiri cotton.choli ± dupatta set that they had made. They have also recently started earning income by helping the Government dig mountains and construct dams. they do not use embroidery frames which increases the time required to embroider. However. So they are forced to take up other jobs to support their income.LIMITATIONS Banjara embroidery has been a difficult art to keep alive as there are limitations faced at every level. Also. but it is still more intricate than Kutchi embroidery. The artisan ladies are not provided enough wages for the intricacy of their work. had a wide variety of stitches with no connecting link between the stitches used in the ghagra. Their grandmothers were very creative.

Plate no 4. Banjara embroidery is on its way to extinction. With modernization. the hand embroidery skilled artisans refuse to perfect and use this technique.22 Colourful patch . Another major problem is that this embroidery is similar to Kutch embroidery. the demands have changed. The local consumers do not appreciate the darker tones of Banjara embroidered articles. Though the Government has taught them machine embroidery. Due to the popularity of kutchi embroidery and the comparatively low prices of those articles. Moreover. zarzodi attracts more consumers due to the bling.A developing nation is constantly changing and this has certainly affected the craft. The age of machine embroidery have left little hope for hand embroidery.

Language barrier was also a reason for the artisan ladies not being able to sell their work directly. the main reasons for this were the time consuming nature of Banjara embroidery and also the low wages that they received due to the middlemen involved.V. Learning these stitches opened up new avenues for our creativity.1 Commonly made tea coasters There were a lot of artisan ladies we meet in Hyderabad who used to do Banjara embroidery but have switched to zarzodi due to the low income coming from Banjara embroidery. RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS From the very first step we took in our research of Banjara embroidery. we found out that the government and other organizations have put in a lot of time and money to facilitate the revival of this craft. . At the end of our documentation we realized that its important to recognize Indian handicrafts such as Banjara embroidery which are on the brink of extinction. This knowledge helped us while we were making samples for commercializing the craft. A little hesitant at first. 5. Plate no. The reason these crafts aren¶t given importance is because they are not seen as designs which can be successfully used in contemporary fashion. All our queries were answered with all thoroughness. were introduced to whole wide range of stitches that were traditional to them but not popular with this craft. We on the other hand. We were all humbled by the skills possessed by the artisan ladies who not only mananged the house but also palyed a role in contributing to the family income. This trip has been a very inspiring experience for all of us. they welcomed and shared knowledge about their craft with us once we informed them that we were there to promote their craft. They were receptive towards our suggestions and were willing to experiment with different mediums of thread and different materials.

The attractive bridal collections of Banjara embroidery imparted a pristine look to the bride and the bridegroom. innovative and new deigns have widened the spectrum of products. however. we used this embroidery as a patch or trim or in a small portion. Andhra Pradesh used to earn a large chunk of its revenue from this local industry of the Banjara embroidery. Of course. An experienced and proficient craftswoman among them can earn up to Rs. The designing is done maintaining the authenticity of their embroidery and transferring it onto items of market viability. The state Government has extended a helping hand to the stalwarts of this traditional art and craft by organizing ³Self help´ groups that will cater to the urgent needs of the industry. A variety of designs were created using all stitches. The government of Andhra Pradesh has framed several significant policies to save this lucrative traditional industry from its imminent natural death. cushion and bed covers have been made. The exquisite patterns of mirrors on the dresses called for a great deal of patience on the part of the artistry. spectacle cases. these very items had been executed with simpler and less expensive embroidery also. The exclusive and rare products of Banjara embroidery had a great demand during marriage seasons. They have conducted training workshops of Banjara embroidery not only in the villages but also in the lower income earning population of Hyderabad and Securandrabad cities so as to help them earn alternate supplementary income. Now. Of course there are those lazy ones who do not make an effort to improve the quality of their work. jewellery bags. kalchis and pouches of several sizes were embellished with Banjara stitches and were well received. Support from Crafts Council and Government The sub-committee of the Crafts Council of Andhra Pradesh working in tandem with the women at Yellamma Tanda has been producing a combination of traditional and utility items. sarees. 1. Over the past ten years the Banjara Needlacraft Centre has grown. Unlike the traditional methods. Beads have always been used predominantly to make accessories. small topes. The tourists were attracted by the beautiful designs of mirrors on the cotton and silk pieces of cloth. These earn far less.We developed a line of products using Banjara embroidery which were designed to cater to the needs of the urban class. When orders were placed by individuals there was a possibility of doing more elaborate work.000 per month depending on their work input. Blouses were the most popular. . New products like pachees. Kurtas and dupattas were worked on accentuating their styles. Also the bright and loud colours were replaced by a combination of bright and light shades in varying proportions. Beautifully and intricately worked lehngas.

2 Award Winning Table Runner .Plate no 5.

tradition and the heritage of a country. provide easy accessibility of good raw material. But it would require a lot of effort and dedication from a determined group of individuals on whom the artisan ladies are willing to trust. The government should also help in the promotion of this craft. product and fashion designers and architects so that the craft can be exploited at a greater scale. They can use a combination of bright colours and pastel shades which can make them more attractive. The process of betterment is a slow process which requires a lot of patience from both the artisans. we explained to them the needs of the urban class. The arts and crafts play a significant role for the economic development in India and provide ample opportunities for employment. Recommendations to the artisans One of the major problems faced by the Banjaran ladies is that the articles made are too colourful and loud for the urban taste. . Once the ladies overcome the language barrier. The artisan ladies should make most of the help and support provided to them by the government and organizations. enough wages for their existence and direct marketing channels. and bring out the cultural diversity of each state.VI. They should keep the Banjaran ladies informed about the upcoming trade fairs and exhibitions so that the ladies can make appropriate articles for sale. We suggested that they use pastel shades as well instead of the traditional red. The government can also encourage this craft at international platform by sponsoring the artisans to attend such art conventions. With the pictorial help. CONCLUSION Crafts are unique expressions that represent a culture. The government should also initiate an interaction of the artisan ladies with interior designers. Hand-embroidered articles are a result of the Indian tradition and culture. The most important assistance that the government can provide the Banjaran ladies. The need of the hour is assisting the craftsmen to improve their techniques. This will also help them to market their products better. blue. black and green. Recommendations to the government There is a large scope for the development and promotion of this craft. they will be able to not only understand the market needs and demands but also modify their articles accordingly. is to provide education to them at an economical rate.

thus reviving it as well as profiting from it. This will also enable them to take smaller orders. We encouraged them to use different types of stitches rather than just to stick to the mirror work. They should set up a middleman or an outlet through which they can be reached easily. Recommendations to the art students Such hand-embroidered crafts are rare in the world and we are lucky to have such a wide variety to choose from. The importance of most of the arts and crafts is diminishing as the younger generation opts for higher paying desk jobs. more articles can be made in the same time. We are going to continue to remain in touch with the artisan ladies and keep them informed about different art exhibitions where they can showcase their art. the threads that are used are only cotton and they were unwilling to try out silk or zari threads for embroidery. What we have to realize is that once these arts slip into oblivion it will be that much harder to revive it in the future. We gifted them these fabrics so that they could try out the stitches on these as well and produce remarkable results. We also suggested that they should learn to embroider using machines as it would save time.e. more sales. to deliver or courier them is a problem for them. As creative students. Again. . they were a little reluctant to try on different fabrics as they were so used to cotton. Using this craft of embroidery with a fresher perspective will lend the products an exceptional quality that is difficult to imitate. silk. Again. khadi. They are looking forward to participate in Paramparik. higher income. We must work towards making the craft more commercial to give the artist and their future enough incentive to continue their legacy. they did not like the feel. We had carried different types of fabrics i. Moreover. if revival is possible at all. Also the dark coloured base fabric should be replaced with lighter colours. fall and hand of some of them. This forces them to take only large orders. it is essential to develop products keeping these traditional arts in mind. Though they take orders for making articles.We also informed them that lightly embroidered articles with a sober colour scheme were the preference of the majority of the population in major cities. Art students should find out ways in which handicrafts can be made to look contemporary and at the same time retain their authencity. the lightly embroidered pieces would reduce the cost price of the articles and thus would enable higher sales. denim. To reach out to these artisan ladies is a little difficult as they stay in remote villages. We explained the benefits that they would get if they made lightly embroidered pieces ± less time required. be less tedious and also lower their costs. But they refused to try it. georgette. linen.

If they are hesitant. spend time in understanding them and spend time in their revival. it will add to our design philosophy and aesthetic sense.We should all try to search for more art and craft form. . It is necessary to be patient with the artisan ladies and to understand the art and craft and to follow the artisan¶s direction and only to make suggestions. motifs and a wealth of knowledge concerning textiles and dyes. gently persuade them as most artisans are not ready to compromise on authencity. Learned with patience and respect. Learning such craft forms is very beneficial as it introduces new mediums. techniques.

indianetzone.php&usg=__Nmk9jQdyT8NpZMw3DHDKMhqNkPE=&h=243&w=250&sz=18&hl=en &start=13&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=h2UgrMEEE6x0YM:&tbnh=108&tbnw=111&prev=/images %3Fq%3Dbanjara%2Bembroidery%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DX%26rlz%3D1R2AD FA_enIN360%26tbs%3Disch:1 http://www.html http://sourcing.htm http://www.com/industry-article/14/1376/fashionable-indian-embroiderystyles1.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.kosmix.net/images/TXBA002_dtl.com/topic/banjara http://sansdollhousediaries.com/main/main.htm http://www.html http://www. 2. Asian Embroidery ± Jasleen Dhamija Banjara Embroidery ± Nivedita Krishna Rao Pages 159 ± 172 4.suryasgarden.in/imgres?imgurl=http://antiquarius.com/1/andhra_pradesh.com/2010/03/banjara-embroidery.photoflex.com/1/andhra_pradesh.com/2010/05/day-154-selecting-banjara-tapestry.in/ie_banjara. 3.com/apparel/apparel-industry/embroidery-market/banjara-embroidery/ http://tiggyrawling.antiquariusimports.asp http://www. Drishya ± Crafts Council of Andhra Pradesh catalogue WEBLIOGRAPHY http://textiles. All the information received from Laxmi.co.creativetrendz. All the information received from Minakshi ma¶am and Crafts Council of Andhra Pradesh.fibre2fashion.com/lectures-banjaratextiles.asp?page=about&ga=Banjara http://textiles.mapsofindia.org/History.html http://www.blogspot.html http://www.com/andhra-pradesh/tourism/banjara-mirror-work.google.BIBLIOGRAPHY 1.indiamart.adikala.html .blogspot.indianetzone.

motifs.APPENDIX y From when are you doing this art? Who taught it to you? y Does your whole family do it? (only male/female members) y Do you do it as a full time job or as a supplementary job? y Do you migrate like your ancestors or are settled? y From where are your ancestors originated? y Do you buy the materials or make them or pick them up from somewhere or source it? y What fabrics. colours do you use? y Which stitches are used for this embroidery? y Which decorative material do you use? Why these particular decoration? y y In what percentage do you use the embroidery on the fabric? Is there a particular tradition or superstition restricting the use of certain colours. threads. fabrics. motifs and stitches? .

y What articles do you generally make? y How many hours/days does it take to make one article? y Is there a particular season when it is in demand? y What is the average cost of each article? y What is the selling price? What is your profit margin? y Do you sell it on your own or do you have a middleman? y How did you get in touch with Craft Council? y Do you make pieces on order or for retail? y Has the Government been helpful in reviving this art? y Since when has the demand for this craft declined? Why has it happened? This analysis was carried out while conversing with Laxmi and Minakshi Ma¶am of Crafts Council of Andhra Pradesh. .

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