Unlocking India’s Cache of Traditional Art and Culture

Unlocking India’s Cache of Traditional Art and Culture
A sari embellished with zardozi embroidery, Photo Credit:

In collaboration with Google Arts and Culture, Dastkari Haat Samiti brings India’s traditional art and craft to a larger audience

OT Staff
July 27 , 2020
05 Min Read

Google Arts & Culture, one of the most popular digital platforms which allowed us to take a look into museums and art exhibitions worldwide, from the comfort of our homes during the pandemic-induced lock, continues with its journey to bridge the gap between the arts and the people.

Now, in collaboration with Delhi-based crafts organisation Dastkar Haat Samiti, the platform is taking viewers on a journey into the world of Indian traditional art and craft, many of which have been languishing in semi-anonymity.

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The humble charpai, the four legged bed/stool, has been a staple in most north Indian homes as a multifunctional piece of furniture. Used for naps, as a table for drying spices in the sun, as an outdoor furniture, as sitting arrangement for large crowds or a single person stool, this woven furniture is adapted in size and shape to suit any number of needs. Traditionally made using ropes made from locally grown Moonj grass, the craftsmen now use bright, colourful but synthetic ropes. Read more about this community of craftsmen from Haryana that continue to create these handwoven pieces of furniture and find new ways in which this craft can be adapted. Link in Bio. . . . .#art #craft #traditional #culture #folk #handmade #handwoven #handmade #india #charpai #haryana

A post shared by Dastkari Haat Samiti (@dastkarihaatsamiti) on Jul 2, 2020 at 5:00am PDT


The platform showcases the diverse range of Indian art and crafts, ranging from handwoven floor coverings of Mirzapur and Bhadohi in Uttar Pradesh to zari zardozi which came to India from Central Asia in the 12th century, from the stone crafts of Jaisalmer to the handcrafted kavad (a folk storytelling aid) of Bassi village, and much more. You can also take a peek inside spaces like Jaipur’s Gyan Museum where crafts people use the latest tech to create Rajasthan's classic range of jewellery. The presentations talk about the artists, and how traditional crafts are being given a fresh lease of life via contemporary projects like luxury hotels.

Lodarwaji Jain temple near Jaisalmer exhibit beautiful stone art

A not-for-profit organisation, Dastkari Haat Samiti has been working closely with rural artisans for more than two decades, bringing their art and craft to the larger audience through exhibitions and crafts bazars.

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Continuing our craft journey through northern India, we visit Nagina, a small town of Uttar Pradesh, making a big name in the world of wood craft. Nagina’s outstanding wood carving craft tradition dates back to the Mughal era. It is believed that some of the wood carvers moved from Iran to Uttar Pradesh and settled in Nagina and nearby villages, where Indian rosewood was readily available. Today, the talent and expertise of these craftspeople is sought after world over and the designs have easily evolved with the times. Read more about the community, the craft of woodwork in Nagina. Read more about our story on northern India's wood craft on Google Arts & Culture. Link in Bio. . . . . #art #craft #tradition #culture #wood #woodcraft #woodcarving #handmade #skill #nagina #delhi #india #mughalart #rosewood

A post shared by Dastkari Haat Samiti (@dastkarihaatsamiti) on Jul 14, 2020 at 5:00am PDT

Like many others they continue with their promotional work on their digital platforms where you can also find links to the various crafts being displayed on Google Arts & Culture.

Read: How Google Arts & Culture is Reinventing VR Travel


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