(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Rural Crafts through Ritualistic and Indigenous Traditions

(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Rural Crafts through Ritualistic and Indigenous Traditions


Rural Crafts through Ritualistic and Indigenous Traditions


  • Rural crafts have a strong cultural and religious significance and are rooted in the traditions of communities.
  • They have a long and rich history dating back thousands of years. For instance, the earliest evidence of rural crafts is from the Indus Valley civilization, where products associated with pottery, weaving, and metalworking were found.
  • In Mauryan Empire, textiles were promoted with specialized workshops for weaving and dyeing fabrics.

Shadow Puppetry

  • Tholpavakoothu and Tholu Bommalata are traditional forms of shadow puppetry that originated in South India.
  • They use leather puppets that are intricately carved and painted.
  • Puppetry is also an integral part of traditions in other parts of India like Kathputli in Rajasthan.


  • Kondapalli toys are believed to have originated in the Vijaynagar empire.
  • The Aryakshatriya community known for their wood carving skills created Kondapalli dolls.
  • During the festival of Sankranti, Kondapalli dolls are used to create a display called Bommala Kovulu.

Rituals and Traditions in Art and Craft

  • Many communities observe certain preparatory rituals before beginning any craftwork. For instance, Kutchi artisans in Gujarat follow the ‘Gadhvi’ tradition and light a lamp in their workshop singing folk songs and praying for protection and blessings.
  • Madhubani painters in Bihar paint only during the waxing phase of the moon.
  • Before beginning the Kalamkari art of Andhra Pradesh, the artisans fast and purify themselves through ritual bathing.
  • Rural crafts also hold importance in places of worship.
  • In Sikhism, making the Chauri is an important craft. It is used to fan the Guru Granth Sahib as a sign of respect and devotion.
  • In Jainism, intricate rangolis are highly valued.


  • The evolution of crafts reflects the cultural, social and economic changes that have occurred over time. However, many crafts face challenges like a lack of recognition, declining demands, and competition from mass-produced goods. Several organizations along with the government are trying to preserve and promote crafts in India.



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Courtesy: Kurukshetra