Marumalarchi, an attempt to revive lost glory of Tamil Nadus ancient crafts :

Posted by-Kalki Team

An ongoing exhibition, Marumalarchi, hopes to revive the once widely celebrated traditional crafts of Tamil Nadu, that have over time, witnessed a rapid decline.

Over the years, the Crafts Council of India (CCI) has worked with artisans across the country to address the issue of decline faced by traditional crafts. It has also met with a fair measure of success. “However, in the case of Tamil Nadu, that is witnessing a rapid decline, and in some instances, even disappearance of its craft culture, we felt that there werent enough initiatives being taken. We felt that the time had come to embark on a revisit and redefine programme. Thats why Marumalarchi was conceptualised,” says Jayasri Samyukta, executive committee member of CCI.

The aim is to preserve the crafts while also giving them a new relevance in sync with changing tastes. “A few languishing crafts such as terracotta, Vadaseri temple jewellery, kalchatti or stoneware, Toda embroidery, sungudi, Sikalnayakanpet saris, pathamadai mats, and kottans and naar baskets have been selected. CCI has worked closely with artisans to examine traditional designs and develop new products and usages – without endangering the purity of the ancient aesthetics,” adds Jayasri. Terracotta shaped into animals, birds and urlis for the garden, or a statement in tableware, an elegant

conversation-piece like kalchatti kitchenware, Toda table linen and accessories, affordable Vadaseri temple jewellery, smart pathamadai grass mats and tie-dyed runners, sungudi sarees with a new elegance, and dramatic Sikalnayakanpet sarees with their signature colours, have all been designed to meet contemporary tastes, without any loss in heritage value.

Apart from being durable, sustainable and eco-friendly, each of them also tells a unique story — of its origin, the labour involved and its creator. “Members of our committee will be there to explain the significance of the works on sale. By doing so, the buyers will also be encouraged to propagate the idea of revival further,” explains Jayasri.

Theexhibition is being held at Kamala, Co-optex Grounds, Pantheon Road

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