Mapping India’s Arts and Crafts Heritage through G.I. Tags (2024)

Table of Contents
Arunachal Pradesh Handmade Carpet Wancho Wooden Craft Assam Majuli Manuscript Painting Jharkhand Odisha Kapdaganda Shawls Odisha Ikat Lanjia Saura Painting Rajasthan Udaipur Koftgari Metal Craft Bikaner Kashidakari Craft Jodhpur Bandhej Tamil Nadu Thanjavur Painting Thanjavur Doll MahabalipuramStoneSculpture Toda Embroidery Uttar Pradesh Lucknow Chikan Craft Varanasi Soft Stone Jali Work Banaras Metal Repoussé Craft Handmade Carpets of Bhadohi Hanpicked Product Recommendations View All KALIGHAT MASTERCLASS (ON DEMAND, PRE-RECORDED, SELF PACED) KANTHA MASTERCLASS (ON DEMAND, PRE-RECORDED, SELF PACED) BENGAL PATTACHITRA MASTERCLASS (ON DEMAND, PRE-RECORDED, SELF PACED) TALAPATRA MASTERCLASS (ON DEMAND, PRE-RECORDED, SELF PACED) THOLUBOMMALATA MASTERCLASS (ON DEMAND, PRE-RECORDED, SELF PACED) PATTACHITRA MASTERCLASS (ON DEMAND, PRE-RECORDED, SELF PACED) KALAMKARI MASTERCLASS (ON DEMAND, PRE-RECORDED, SELF PACED) TANJORE ART MASTERCLASS (ON-DEMAND, PRE-RECORDED, SELF PACED) SANJHI MASTERCLASS (ON-DEMAND, PRE-RECORDED, SELF PACED) BHIL MASTERCLASS (ON-DEMAND, PRE-RECORDED, SELF PACED) Related Reads View All Exploring Pichwai Art : A Traditional Artistic Legacy of Rajasthan Indian Tribal Art Forms: Exploring Indigenous Legacies How Bengali Modernist Painter Gobardhan Ash Challenged Traditional Artistic Expression The Tree of Life in Traditional Indian Arts From Persia To India: The Enduring Legacy Of Ganjifa, India's Oldest Card Game Mapping India’s Arts and Crafts Heritage through G.I. Tags Chaurapanchasika paintings: Literary emotions coming alive in the visuals Terracotta Temples of Bengal Arts and Crafts of Tamil Nadu Original Handpainted Traditional Artworks View All Tree of Life : Kalamkari painting by Harinath.N Dancing Krishna With Cows : Kalamkari painting by Harinath.N Ferocious Fauna: Gond painting by Venkat Shyam Tree of Life Kalamkari Painting by Siva Reddy Divine Jubilation: Shehzaad Ali’s tapestry of celebration Tree of Life: Kalamkari painting by Harinath.N Tree of Life: Kalamkari painting by Harinath.N Tree of Life: Kalamkari Painting by Harinath.N Ganesha: Kalamkari painting by Harinath.N Tree of Life: Kalamkari painting by Harinath.N

Updated on

By Arushi Mishra

  • Art
  • Craft

India is a country bestowed with abundant culture, tradition and heritage. The enormous diversity seen in India is a testimony to its rich history. It is the fusion of traditional pasts and customs that today the country enjoys numerous arts, crafts and handicraft traditions. These aspects are significant in understanding the core principles and beliefs a country adheres to. Given the expansive culture of India, it would turn out to be an arduous task to recount every arts and crafts tradition of the country. However, we strive here to list some of the few important arts and crafts products awarded with the Geographical Indication (G.I.) tag by the Government of India.

G.I. tags are an important mark of the authentic traditional arts and crafts products made in various regions of India. All handicraft products of India have their roots in certain areas and traditions. The process of granting certain products a G.I. tag helps protect the Indian crafts, helps the region and its people get the recognition they deserve. It also aids in growing the visibility of those products in the global market.

Here we have listed a few of many such products:

Arunachal Pradesh

Handmade Carpet

These carpets are handmade by the Tibetan refugees residing in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. The carpets are made in a special way using the knot-technique, while organic colours are used to dye the carpets in elegant colours. The designs on the carpets are symbolic of the nature and biodiversity of the region and the flower motifs are a usual occurrence.

Mapping India’s Arts and Crafts Heritage through G.I. Tags (2)

Hand Knotted Carpet of Arunachal Pradesh

Wancho Wooden Craft

The Wancho wooden craft is a technique of making human and animal sculptures from wood. It is primarily done by the Wancho tribe (also known as Wancho Naga) of Arunachal Pradesh. One of the central motifs of this wood carving tradition is the head-hunting scenes. This craft is deeply rooted in the socio-ethnic culture of the Wancho tribe. The carvings made from this technique are primarily used as decorative pieces for houses and also as special gifts.

Mapping India’s Arts and Crafts Heritage through G.I. Tags (3)

Wancho Wooden Craft

Assam

Majuli Manuscript Painting

Dating back to the sixteenth century, this art form is named after the largest river island in the state of Assam called Majuli. The art form flourished under the patronage of the Ahom-Koch kings, and was widely used to decorate their courts. Today, it is still practised in the monasteries of Majuli. These paintings are generally done on the barks of agarwood trees (also called sanchi pat). Scenes from Hindu epics such as Mahabharata, Ramayana and Bhagavat Purana were illustrated in these paintings.

Majuli Paintings, Assam

Jharkhand

Sohrai Khovar Painting

This unique style of mural painting, made by the local tribal women of Barkagaon block in the Hazaribagh district. It is generally associated with harvest season and marriage rituals. These murals are made with using indigenous ingredients like natural soils of varying colours such as yellow, black, white and red.

Sohrai, Jharkhand

Odisha

Kapdaganda Shawls

Made by the women of the Dongria Kondh tribe hailing from the Niyamgiri hills of Odisha’s Rayagada and Kalahandi districts, Kapdaganda shawls have recently been granted the GI tag. These shawls are usually made from a coarse off-white fabric with diagonal satin stitches of red, yellow and green threads. Adorned with beautiful geometrical patterns of lines and triangles, these designs are symbolic of the trees and mountains in the area and the importance that nature holds for the tribe.

Mapping India’s Arts and Crafts Heritage through G.I. Tags (6)

Kapdaganda, Odisha

Odisha Ikat

A tie-and-dye technique of handloom weaving, Ikat is also known as ‘Bandha’ in the traditional Odia language. This technique involves the dying of yarn in a zig-zag manner made of cotton or silk fabric. The blurry and colourful patterns that are woven within the fabric make for unique designs for sarees.

Mapping India’s Arts and Crafts Heritage through G.I. Tags (7)

kat, Odisha

Lanjia Saura Painting

A distinctive style of mural painting, this art form comes from the Lanjia Saura tribe in the Rayagada district of Odisha. Also known as ‘Idital’, these paintings are made on the mud walls of people’s homes. These paintings generally include figures of gods, spirits, animals, humans and nature. They are painted with stark white paint over crimson backgrounds.

Mapping India’s Arts and Crafts Heritage through G.I. Tags (8)

Lanjia Saura Painting, Odisha

Rajasthan

Udaipur Koftgari Metal Craft

The age-old craft of Koftgari has been practised for years and is mainly utilised to adorn the weaponry of the Rajasthani warrior clans, Rajputs. Koftgari essentially means to encrust one type of metal over the other. Originating from the city of Udaipur in Rajasthan, this craft is usually practised by the Gadi-Lohar community, a group of generational traditional armourers.

Mapping India’s Arts and Crafts Heritage through G.I. Tags (9)

Koftgari, Rajasthan

Bikaner Kashidakari Craft

Made by the Meghwal community of Rajasthan, Kashidakari craft is well known for its attractive and colourful mirror work as well as stitching. Native to the city of Bikaner in Rajasthan, the craft boasts of traditional designs made on cloth. This craft is seen on various merchandise related to special occasions such as marriages and other gift items.

Kashidakari, Rajasthan

Jodhpur Bandhej

It is a unique form of tie-dye that incorporates an ethnic twist to it. Considered a popular cultural heritage originating from Jodhpur in Rajasthan, this craft produces an alluring array of patterns on cloth. From dots to various patterns of swirls, this labour-intensive technique requires the manipulation of cotton threads on cloth to develop unique designs. This style is used to create numerous traditional clothes, such as kurtas, dupattas, sarees etc.

Mapping India’s Arts and Crafts Heritage through G.I. Tags (11)

Tie and Dye, Rajasthan

Tamil Nadu

Thanjavur Painting

Thanjavur paintings, also known as Tanjore paintings, are generally used to create portraits of Hindu deities, such as Lord Krishna, Goddess Saraswati, Lord Ganesha etc. Done on wooden boards, it requires the use of beaten gold leaves to highlight certain aspects of the deities, for instance, their ornaments or their attire. Semi-precious stones are used to adorn the images.

Tanjore, Tamil Nadu

Thanjavur Doll

Native to the region of Thanjavur, these are traditional Indian dolls made from tapioca flour, papier-mâché and Plaster of Paris. A nineteenth-century craft, it was brought to Thanjavur during the reign of King Sarafoji. These dolls come in two variations: the bobblehead dolls and the tilting dolls. Highly skilled artisans are required to make their intricate garments and jewellery.

Mapping India’s Arts and Crafts Heritage through G.I. Tags (13)

Thanjavur Dolls, Tamil Nadu

MahabalipuramStoneSculpture

It is a type of stone carving that originated during the Pallava era in the Mahabalipuram region of Tamil Nadu. Certain characteristics typical to this form of stone-carving are slender male and female sculptures with curvaceous bodies and sharp noses, long eyes, wide foreheads, oval faces and long hanging ears. The sculptures generally carve the images of deities and scenes from Tamil literature.

Mapping India’s Arts and Crafts Heritage through G.I. Tags (14)

Mahabalipuram Stone Sculptures, Tamil Nadu

Toda Embroidery

Toda embroidery, or Pohor, as it is called in traditional Toda language, is done on garments by women of the Toda tribe residing in the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu. It is considered a garment that is worn only on special occasions. The embroidery is characterised by geometrical shapes woven into an unbleached white cotton fabric. It has distinctive patterns in red, black and occasionally blue colours. What seems like simple lines and figures to us, have a special meaning to those belonging to the tribe.

Mapping India’s Arts and Crafts Heritage through G.I. Tags (15)

Toda embroidery, Tamil Nadu

Uttar Pradesh

Lucknow Chikan Craft

Chikankari is an exceptional type of embroidery, generally done on white fabric using white thread. Lucknow is known for producing some of the most exquisite Chikankari embroideries. The designs mostly constitute intricate and gentle floral patterns. Owing its origin to Noor Jahan, chief consort of Jahangir, today the embroidery is done on daily wear apparel such as kurtas, sarees, and many more.

Mapping India’s Arts and Crafts Heritage through G.I. Tags (16)

Chikankari, Uttar Pradesh

Varanasi Soft Stone Jali Work

Originating from the Ramnagar fort area of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, this Jali or fretwork constitutes a detailed and intricate carving on soft stone done by highly skilled craftsmen. These carefully chiselled stone-craftings adorned with fine inlay work are included in various small objects of utility and decoration such as table tops, boxes, coasters, trays, etc. It is also used in making sculptures of birds, animals and other statues.

Mapping India’s Arts and Crafts Heritage through G.I. Tags (17)

Varanasi Soft Stone Jali Work, Uttar Pradesh

Banaras Metal Repoussé Craft

Originating from old Varanasi (Banaras), the craft is a product of generational legacy. Primarily done by the Kasera community of Varanasi, Metal Repousse is principally the art of embossing on metals. This art is mostly seen in Indian temples and is also used to make decorated kettles, utensils, boxes, jugs and sculptures of various gods and goddesses.

Mapping India’s Arts and Crafts Heritage through G.I. Tags (18)

Repousse Craft, Uttar Pradesh

Handmade Carpets of Bhadohi

These hand-knotted carpets from Bhadohi in Uttar Pradesh, are made out of wool and cotton yarns. The making of these carpets includes a quintessential technique of using knots and an iron punja (a comb-like object to tighten the knots). The designs of the carpets are intricate and symmetrical with flowers, trees, depictions of gardens, animals and trelliswork.

Mapping India’s Arts and Crafts Heritage through G.I. Tags (19)

Handmade Carpets, Uttar Pradesh

India is home to more than 3000 arts and crafts traditions and awarding them with Geographical Identification tags helps in their documentation, promotion and preservation. This list is not exhaustive and will continue to grow as more arts and crafts are awarded with the G.I. tags.

Hanpicked Product Recommendations View All

KALIGHAT MASTERCLASS (ON DEMAND, PRE-RECORDED, SELF PACED)

KANTHA MASTERCLASS (ON DEMAND, PRE-RECORDED, SELF PACED)

BENGAL PATTACHITRA MASTERCLASS (ON DEMAND, PRE-RECORDED, SELF PACED)

TALAPATRA MASTERCLASS (ON DEMAND, PRE-RECORDED, SELF PACED)

THOLUBOMMALATA MASTERCLASS (ON DEMAND, PRE-RECORDED, SELF PACED)

PATTACHITRA MASTERCLASS (ON DEMAND, PRE-RECORDED, SELF PACED)

KALAMKARI MASTERCLASS (ON DEMAND, PRE-RECORDED, SELF PACED)

TANJORE ART MASTERCLASS (ON-DEMAND, PRE-RECORDED, SELF PACED)

SANJHI MASTERCLASS (ON-DEMAND, PRE-RECORDED, SELF PACED)

BHIL MASTERCLASS (ON-DEMAND, PRE-RECORDED, SELF PACED)

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