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Sanjha Bazaar

‘Sanjha Bazaar’ – a shared commons for marketing pastoral crafts – as part of the Living Lightly event. This bazaar will celebrate the natural skins, fibers and produce from pastoral animals and showcase handcrafted processes and products from several regions and organizations working with pastoralist communities and crafts

Kutch Crafts


For generations, Kharad rugs were woven from camel, goat, and sheep wool on traditional nomadic looms, which could be easily set up and moved throughout the desert. The geometric designs on the rugs replicate regional patterns and motifs. Tang, woven from goat wool, is an embellishment traditionally used to decorate camels.

Weaving - Kutch

Over 600 years ago, the Meghwal community from Rajasthan migrated to Kachchh, bringing with them the art of handloom weaving. Traditionally, weavers used hand spun yarn provided by Rabaris, a nomadic community of sheep and goat herders. Weaving was a local art which provided Kachchh communities with cloth and traditional dress. Traditional shawls, stoles, textiles, and carpets are hand woven with traditional motifs on pit and shuttle looms in local wool, cotton and silks. Kachchh weaving is known for distinct traditional motifs and colours.

Kharki ( Metal Bell)

Kachchh’s Muslim Lohar community continues the generations-old tradition of metal bell making that originated in Sindh. Men shape recycled metal into bells, after which women coat the bells with burnished brass and copper. After firing the bells in a kiln, the tone is precisely set. The sound that emanates from each bell depends on the artisan’s skill and three factors: the size and shape of the bell’s body; the size and shape of the wooden strip hanging within the bell and the shape and curve of the bell’s bottom rim.

Ajarkh Block Print

The Khatri community, whose ancestors have been printing with wooden ajrakh blocks for centuries, migrated to Kachchh from Sindh. Ajrakh has two meanings: “keep it for today” and “like the blue sky with stars sparkling in the darkness.” Wooden and metal blocaks carved with traditional designs are coated in dye and printed on cloth. Stunning results are achieved through a process of hand printing, rinsing and sun drying. The different patterns of each block fit together into colourful designs.


The Marwada Meghwal community brought weaving and leather craft traditions from Rajasthan to Kachchh. These leather craftsmen have worked closely with Maldhari cattle herders who traditionally supplied them with hides. The communities’ relationships have resulted in a fusion of cultural traits and the shared embroidery traditions that decorate Kachchh leather goods. Leather craft products include fans, footwear, mirror frames, and lanterns. Most Kachchh leather artisans reside in villages that border the Great Rann and the Banni grasslands.


Lac has been used in Indian craft for centuries. It is derived from resin secreted by an insect indigenous to Kachchh and other Indian regions. This resin is heated and mixed with groundnut oil to form a thick, opaque, decorative wood coating known as lacquer. Coloured lacquer is applied to wood in layers and chiselled to create designs and effects. Eight traditional lacquer artisan families continue the craft in Kachchh, designing and creating colourful kitchen and household accessories


The appliqués of Kutch are generally large canopies and friezes used for celebrations. Appliqué work is less time consuming and requires lesser dexterity than embroidery work does, and the articles are harder wearing. Appliqué in Kutch is known as “katab” and usually takes the form of pieces of colored fabric stitched on a cotton base. Designs of highly stylized figures of birds and elephants were balanced by large areas of geometric appliqué work, where squares of colored cloth were cut and folded back to reveal a pattern on the background cloth of flowers, birds, or elephants set within foliage. Meghwaads and other farming and herding communities did appliqué work using chaklas, torans, chandarvo, and dharaniyo. Some of the most interesting and practical appliqué textiles are jhul (ox covers) and maffa (ox-cart tents).


Traditionally, potters shared a very close relationship with different communities in the villages, because the communities depended on the potters to supply earthenware for use in not only the kitchens but also various rituals associated with festivals, birth, marriage, and death. In Kutch, the Kumbhar community moulds local clay into countless forms of earthenware. Women decorate pottery items with community-specific paintings. According to Indian tradition, porous earthenware should be replaced during festivals and significant occasions. This belief ensured the local market demand sustained the craft for centuries.


Namda artisans create felted wool works by pressing and hand weaving local desi sheep wool into motifs and designs. Artisans traditionally produced namda khongir, padchi, and jeen, to cover the backs of horses and camels. Namda is also used to make floor coverings and prayer mats. Though a market remains for these traditional products and contemporary interpretations, only four namda artisan families continue the craft. Kachchh namda artisans are from the Mansuri community living in Gagodar and Mundra.

Other Pastoral Crafts across India:

1.) Lambani Embroidery:  Nomadic embroidery from Telangana

2.) Macramé

3.) Camel dung paper stationery

4.) Bead-vangujjars (Himalayan)

5.) Himalayan Hand knitting


LLDC Craft Museum

At & Post : Ajarakhpur, Tal. Bhuj-Kutch (Guj.)

Contact :  +91 8980329090 / 02832-229090

Email :  [email protected]

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