This craft originated in Kutch through the Harijan Marwari Meghwals weavers community who migrated to the land of Kutch from Rajasthan. The Meghwals were dexterous in wool weaving and leather work and because of this skill they came in close contact with the Maldhari Muslim cattle herders.
The Maldharis would provide the Meghwals with the hide of dead animals which the latter converted into leather. By the process of recycling the dead cattle the Meghwals utilized waste to create a product of utility.
The men would take to the construction of leather objects while the women would embellish these objects with mirrors and embroidery using multi-colored threads. Most of these ornamented objects would be created on goat hide backing the leather surface with various shapes of hand-held punches against colored fabrics.
Nowadays cheaper raw materials of leather and factory-made products are causing the local value chain to take a beating. Now converting raw hides into products is reduced due to social stigmas. Artisans are becoming dependent on external markets for raw materials and trade. The price of raw leather has risen 20 times since 2000, but the selling price of finished goods has only risen 3 times.
Artisans without much exposure and training find it difficult to reach the right market segment and are refraining from craft making and searching for factory jobs.
- To revive these local crafts which are so essential to maintain, not only for the lively hoods of the artisans but also to celebrate the spirit of craftsmanship which binds people and cultures together for elongated times.
- Work is worship! And so it was for these artisans and also something they enjoyed doing and were proud of. We are trying to maintain and recreate this thought for artisans to make them a part of today and to keep up with changing times.
- They create magic and we @ GingerBandar want to help showcase this to the entire world and support them.