Learning About Traditional Kutchi Mud Artwork and Wood Craft

Learning About Traditional Kutchi Mud Artwork and Wood Craft
Traditional house in the Rann of Kutch desert , Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Invoke the Goddess of Wealth this Diwali by helping a local community in Kutch to preserve their traditional craft

Uttara Gangopadhyay
October 10 , 2021
03 Min Read

Are you interested in spending Diwali a little differently this year? Spending it with a community living in the distant Hodko village in Gujarat’s Rann of Kutch? And in the process supporting them to persevere with a vernacular craft which is on the verge of being abandoned?

Practised by women of certain communities living in the Rann of Kutch, the ‘Lippan Ka Kaam’ is a traditional decoration used to beautify homes. They combine local clay with fibrous horse manure to form a paste which is then rolled into long cylindrical shapes, moulded by hand and attached to the walls into geometric shapes. The patterns are then inlaid with tiny mirrors. This three dimensional mirror inlaid mud work, which has been in practice for centuries, is now on the verge of being lost because modern families tend to plaster their homes with cement. Although there have been several efforts to contemporise the art form with modern creative interpretations, it is necessary to ensure the original art form is preserved too.

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A Himachal Pradesh based ‘social business’, Indi Architecture, which aims to promote and conserve ‘traditional knowledge and skills related to vernacular architectural traditions’, is holding a workshop for those interested in learning about the Kutchi mud work.

Participants will stay at a homestay with a local family and attend the six-day hands-on workshop which will be conducted by one of the master artisans, Bharmabehn, whose home still preserves a splendid display of this artwork.  

At the workshop, participants will be taught how the women harvest natural clay, prepare it for the painting and sculptural work, how to create symmetrical designs using the body as a guide, etc.

Participants will also get an opportunity to learn about the hand-made wood craft practised here under master artisan Namori Bhima whose family has been hand-crafting them for famous havelis of the region.

The workshop will conclude with Diwali celebrations with the host family and the master artisans.

To know more about the Kutchi Mud Work & Wood Carving Workshop being organised between October 30 and November 4, this year, check here.

Separately, before or after the workshop, you can also plan a tour of the Rann of Kutch, known for its salt marshes, white sand and wildlife. The famous Rann Utsav organised by Gujarat Tourism begins on November 1 this year.


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