Discover The Craft Heritage Of Kutch At This Exhibition In Mumbai

The arid landscape of Kutch serves as a backdrop for some of India's most vibrant and bright crafts. An exhibition in Mumbai is showcasing the works of craftspeople from the region who are fusing the old with the new
Kutch has some of the most vibrant handicraft communities in India
Kutch has some of the most vibrant handicraft communities in India

The Kutch region in Gujarat is home to more than 40 tribes, each with a distinct style of attire and embroidery. Their work is more than just a decorative item for the home it is a crucial form of personal, societal, and spiritual expression. As a sign of individual and group identification, the ladies embroider, employing distinct threads and motifs. Each community has its own needlework style (the region is claimed to have more than 17 distinct types of embroidery). The Ahir community's work is dense and bold, as are the Jats' Jat-Garaasiya and Jat-Fakiraani styles, the Sodhas' Soof and Khaarek, the Meghwad-Maarus' Soof and Khaarek, and the Rabaaris' Rabaari. Travel around villages, and you will find women engaged in embroidery and weaving, making clothes for themselves and their families, or creating pieces for a bridal trousseau or for a festival. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by 47-A (

To remain relevant in a changing market, craftspeople must modernise while also keeping their skills alive. The exhibition 'Kachchh Born Again' in Mumbai showcases the skills of Kutch artisans. The show, curated by Satish Reddy, who founded the Sanchari project in Kutch, features twelve craftspeople who have received ongoing mentoring in infusing contemporary designs into their traditional work in the areas of metal crafts, brass cutlery, and rogan art. Reddy&nbsphad started a virtual design school to help Kutch artisans overcome barriers to design and innovation. 

At the show, you may meet copper bell makers who have kept the traditional trade alive.&nbspOriginating in the Sindh region about a thousand years ago, the tradecraft of making metal bells, or ghantadi, by the lohars, or blacksmiths, came about as a necessity for pastoral communities such as the Maldhari, Bharvad, and Rabari. Their herds of far-roaming cattle needed to be accounted for like clockwork, so they were collared with iron, or copper-coated bells, which gave away their locations. It is said that the cattle owners would discuss with the blacksmith, in detail, the sounds that they wanted for the bells. Each type of livestock had a bell with a different chime. The exhibition will showcase their contemporary takes on the craft. You will also get to see different interpretations of rogan art,&nbspa method of cloth painting exclusively practised in the Kutch region of Gujarat, rogan art gets its name from castor oil&ndashthe main ingredient of the paint it requires. 

The Information

What Kachchh Born Again&nbspStories from old craft and new design

When From June 10 till&nbspJune 9 (11 am to 7 pm), daily, except Mondays

Where 47-A, Khotachi Wadi, Mumbai

Related Stories

No stories found.
Outlook Traveller