Clean canvas for Kutch’s famed Rogan artists this Diwali

2020/11 05 02:11

Their artwork graces the partitions of the White Home within the US. However right now, the celebrated Rogan artists of Gujarat, whose cloth portray has travelled the world, concern their distinctive castor oil work could find yourself with not takers.

The order books of the artisans in Nirona village in Kutch, particularly the Rogan artwork painters and copper bell makers, are nearly clean.

About 40 kilometers from Bhuj, the Khatri household within the village, rue the dearth of vacationers to the realm. The one household on the earth practising conventional Rogan artwork – an historical textile artwork kind with origins in Persia some 300 years in the past — have termed this season an entire fail.

“Our consumers are largely vacationers and most of them are NRIs. Because of Covid-19 their go to shouldn’t be doable this yr. There isn’t a outlet for us to promote these artwork items. So, because the lockdown there was zero gross sales,” says Sumar Khatri.

On-line shouldn’t be a promising choice for this heritage artwork, they are saying. “Our merchandise are on Amazon. However a standard retail purchaser gained’t perceive their significance and are deterred seeing the worth. Usually, when a vacationer involves us, we give them a demo of the preparations. Solely then they perceive the worth of the product. In any other case, it may be mistaken for an odd embroidery work,” says Khatri.

A thick bright-coloured paste of paint/colors combined with castor oil is fastidiously twisted into motifs and patterns utilizing a metallic rod on one aspect of the material. As soon as completed on one aspect, the material is folded to create a mirror picture of the design.


The Khatris shot into limelight in 2014 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted a Rogan artwork piece known as “Tree of Life” (Kalp Vriksha) to then US President Barack Obama.

Desperately in search of consumers, the Khatris have requested the Gujarat authorities to accommodate their work within the State-sponsored emporiums. “However to this point, there isn’t a progress on this,” Khatri stated expressing concern concerning the unsure future for the following – eighth – technology of the household.

Khatri’s neighbours within the village — the Luhars – identified for his or her handmade copper bells are in the identical boat. Twenty three-year-old Farukh Luhar is from one of many three households who’re carrying ahead the legacy of this uncommon artwork to make “Pancha Dhatu” metallic bells – comprised of five-metal alloys of sacred significance.

“Our gross sales have been doing good until the time of lockdown as tourism was doing good. After lockdown I attempted to promote via WhatsApp to references from our contacts. However there are negligible orders,” stated Luhar, who’s a commerce graduate.

Chinese language imports

What’s spoiling their market is the Chinese language made bells, that are far cheaper. The Luhars’ handmade copper bells are thought-about auspicious for his or her sweet-sounding chimes – which is because of its combination of metallic alloys. “The worth distinction is appreciable, although. Our copper bell prices round ₹450-500, whereas the Made in China bell is obtainable at almost half the worth at round ₹200-250. We will’t compete in opposition to them,” he rues.

Will the announcement of the four-month lengthy desert competition of Rann Utsav by the Gujarat authorities change their fortunes? The competition is ready to take off on November 12 and can go on until February 28, 2021. All of it relies on the vacationers.

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