Saturday, March 14, 2009

Andra Pradesh Handicrafts Development Corporation, Ltd

The Corporation was set up in 1982 with share capital participation from the Government of Andhra Pradesh (Rs 150.36 lakhs) and from Government of India (Rs 50.00 lakhs) for promotion, development and marketing of handicrafts besides implementing schemes for the welfare of artisans.

Our Vision:

"An Empowered Artisan Community
Thriving in an 'Enabling' Envioronment"


  • Develop and promote handicrafts.
  • Undertake marketing of handicrafts.
  • Promote and establish showrooms, organize exhibitions, cause wide publicity of Handicrafts and
  • Undertake welfare activities for the benefit of the artisans.

Visit the site for traditional handicrafts from the region (textiles, metal work, wood carvings, etc)

Drawing inspiration from the mind,mythology and real-life experiences, the scuuptors of Durgi, Allagadda dn Tirupati have left behind an impression that cannot be ravaged even by time.. Theseimpressive sculptures on stone are mainly mythological in character. The focus of the theme was not merely on physical attrubutes, but on higher spiritual values of life. To give expression to such abstract conceptions, the sculp0tor consciously set for himself an idealm not based on the contemplation of the natural form, but upon meditation of the divine form, but upon meditation of the devine form, The distinctive power of suggestiveness is conspicuous in the sculpted forms.

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Surya's Garden: Working with Banjara Women in India

“Surya’s Garden” is a trust founded by Laxmi Naik, a Lambhani from Hampi in Karnataka. There, the Lambhani embroideresses mean to revive ancient skills and to produce meticulous work. Each piece is unique. The quality of embroidery demonstrates the vitality of the rediscovered motifs.

A part of the proceeds is being used to build a community workshop, a medical center for the embroideresses and a kinder garden. This will provide Lambhani women with financial freedom, a sense of solidarity as well as an assertion of their ancestral identity.


Visit their site for more information on the history and culture of the Banjara women.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Emboidery by the Kutchi in India

In a remote part of India, one woman has established a movement to revive a local form of artistic expression, hand embroidery, creating a sustainable means of income. The region of Kutch once had a long and rich tradition of embroidery which made a welcome contrast to the regions austere landscape. But, from the 1960s onwards, synthetic materials and machine work pushed this craft close to extinction.

"An idea at the intersection of conservation, education, enterprise and empowerment; an idea that could light a fire, especially in the hearts of the younger generation.

Acutely aware of its cultural, social and spiritual value, Chanda Shroff is preserving this unique heritage while promoting an exquisite art form and empowering women in highly conservative societies.

Demonstration of Kutch embroidery, an ancient form of Indian embroidery with its roots from the region of Kutch,Gujarat,India. Taught at Mridula's School of Embroidery

The women in a tiny village in Kutch augment their earning with the help of Judy by creating theri traditional embroidery with a certain gusto.

State of the Arts visits with Alpa Thakkar, an Indian skilled at traditional Gujarati Kutchi embroidery. Alpa is by profession a jeweler, however, in her off time, she enjoys making the colorful embroidered clothing worn by Indian women for Navrati and other festivals. (Excerpt from the State of the Arts special, Culture in Context).
Find out more about traditional artists in New Jersey at or visit the State of the Arts website:

Ccreener for Through The Eye of a Needle: Stories from an Indian Desert distributed by Contemporary Arts Media

The film is the story of a unique group of craftswomen. Follow their journey as they return to creating the world-class embroidery that made their ancestors famous. The incredible stories of the women from the Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan co-operative (KMVS) are recorded here through video, song, laughter, and stitch.

History here is worn as generations of knowledge are passed down through embroidered designs. Long a valuable item of trade, the embroideries also provide a common ground for women to meet and bring their stories to the world. Experience the amazing landscape of the Kutch desert on Indias western border, the remarkable diversity of the communities who live here, and the breathtaking colours of their textiles.

Born from a need to document the evanescent world of craft the film is part of a 4 film series of compelling and insightful documentaries.

Working mainly with India, but also with several other areas, the films document the production of embroidered, block printed, hand-woven, and naturally dyed textiles. Focusing on areas where excellence is still the tradition, these documentaries are deeply concerned with the viability of craft and the lives of the artisans.

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Banjara Videos from India

Dharma Boutique founder Adam Bauer shows where he gets his beautiful vintage textiles from the Banjara ladies on a side street in Delhi, India. Produced by Sara Karl

Gypsies of the Thar, sinuous amongst the sand dunes - a fantastically vibrant Gatlif

The Banjara, a group of traditional music, consisting of eight excellent musicians and dancers, all hail from the Thar desert. Heirs of ... Tout » an ancient culture, today, under the direction of Kamal Kant, himself a musician and a dancer who has been living in France for over a decade, they are the ambassadors of the great Banjara tradition which stands at the cross roads of classical North Indian music and the skilful art of Persia. The lively rhythms, bordering frenzy, which accompany the whirling dancers in their famous costumes of a thousand, scintillating mirrors, are an invitation to a journey rich in colour and emotion, following in the footsteps of the gypsies of Rajasthan.

Véritable road-movie, "Sur la route des miroirs" nous fait suivre les pérégrinations de Sara et de Kassa, deux femmes banjara parties vendre leurs plus beaux vêtements et bijoux au marché de Goa, en Inde.

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