Gi tagged handicrafts of India- It is a storyteller, an art, and a tradition that has been passed down through the generations.
It can travel you to another time without actually taking you there, it is a craft that can only be created by a craftsman’s hands rather than by machines, and it is a part of the economy that employs millions of people – It is the handicraft.
India has a wide variety of handicrafts. Out of which many have received Gi-tag.
A Geographical Indication (GI) tag is a name or a sign given to products that belong to a specific location or origin and are authentic regarding the production process, quality, and reputation. It provides legal protection for the products and ensures their authenticity.
So, let’s see some of India’s most famous Gi-tagged handicrafts.
Blue Pottery, Jaipur
You may have seen many potteries, but this is different. A well-known traditional craft of Jaipur known for its vibrant and aesthetic appearance. Its eye-catching blue colour can make you fall in love with blue pottery.
What makes it different from other potteries?
Unlike other pottery, blue pottery doesn’t use clay, they are made from quartz, rock salt, and other hard materials that have low elasticity because of which they are more durable and valuable than clay pots.
If you want to give an aesthetic look to your home, then this is what you need. Blue pottery products can range from flower vases, cylindrical jars, plates, small bowls, ashtrays, lamp stands, coasters, mirror frames, glazed tiles or any other decorative wall hanging. You can easily buy them online as well.
Personally, I love blue pottery. Once you walk through the markets of Jaipur, there is no chance that you wouldn’t fall in love with it.
Madhubani paintings, Bihar
We all have heard of many Indian folk paintings such as Mysore paintings, Warli paintings, Rajput paintings, Tanjore art, Mandana art etc….
Similarly, there is Madhubani paintings of Bihar, also known as Mithila paintings because of it’s origination from Mithila region of Bihar and Nepal.
These paintings were discovered by British due to an Earthquake in 1930 which revealed broken houses with Madhubani paintings. You can identify these paintings with their bright colours, complex geometrical designs and the ritual content involving Hindu deities such as Krishna, Rama, Lakshmi, Shiva, Durga and Saraswati.
A double line is usually drawn as the border in these paintings and the colours are often drawn from natural sources such as turmeric, pigments, various flowers and so on. The colours, the design everything gives an eye-catching look to these paintings.
Sea shell craft, Andaman and Nicobar islands
All the islands are mostly rich in sea shells – sea shells are kind of a treasure for the communities who live near the shore.
Doesn’t sea shell jewellery attracts you? Is it possible that you travel to any island and leave that place without buying any handicraft souvenir? No, right…
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are ideal for those who enjoy collecting various handcraft things from various areas to adorn their interiors or to retain as a treasure.
The people behind these crafts are the locals or the tribals who artistically work on creating these exquisite craft items. Seashell jewelleries are the major source of livelihood for such people.
Do you know?
Tortoise shell is considered the best and most important resource for making jewelleries because it is highly decorated with silver. These shells are cleaned and then polished to make ashtrays, table lights, lamps and boxes.
Bastar dhokra, Chhattisgarh
We’ve all heard about the Indus Valley Civilization, right? …. An exceptional civilization that was ahead of its time.
But did you know that Bastar Dhokra is one of the great masterpieces of that era, and it can still be found today.
This art is over 4600 years old and was originally practised in the Northwestern part of India and present-day Pakistan, but the hub of Dhokra art today resides in the Bastar area of Chhattisgarh, where it is performed by 500 tribal clans.
Dhokra, also known as the dancing girl of Mohenjo-daro, is a bronze lost-wax casting sculpture that is the earliest known lost wax relic and the most famous creation of this art.
Dhokra Metal Craft is made of a bronze, brass, nickel, and zinc alloy and is manufactured using wax casting techniques that extend back 4000 years. Dhokra Products mostly portray tribal culture, people and their tools, instruments, animals, nature, and idols.
Any art lovers out there, you will definitely love this fascinating art just as much as I liked it.
Channapatna toys, Karnataka
Channapatna, a small town situated at a halfway distance from Bangalore to Mysore is well recognized for it’s wooden crafted toys.
In your childhood, you may have played with these toys or you might have seen them but you weren’t aware of them at that time, in that case you and me were too damm alike.
It is said that Tipu Sultan, former ruler of Mysore state played a huge role in promoting these toys. one theory say that he invited Persian artisans to train Channaptna artisans about this craft while other claims that he encouraged Persia traders to acquire the toys, so creating an export market for them.
Regardless of where this craft originated, it has a distinct and significant market today. It is amazing how small-scale industries handle such a vast export and import industry. These toys are created by skilled craftsmen in small spaces using ivory wood and natural dyes.
The entire toy-making process has no harmful impacts overall. The ivory tree that is used to produce these toys can be found in abundance in Channapatna, but it is prohibited to use it for anything other than to make toys since the people who make Channapatna toys view it as a gift from nature.
Once I was travelling from Bangalore to Mysore and I remember passing through a board which said “welcome to the land of Toys, Channapatna” but sadly I knew nothing about it at that time. Now I literally laugh while remembering it.
Enough for this, I hope you enjoyed reading it. You can check out my other blogs on Gi-tagged foods and fabrics of India.