Uttarakhand: Bhuli Art

Unveiling Uttarakhand, one Bhuli sketch at a time

Uttarakhand: Bhuli Art

Two childhood friends from Uttarakhand are on a mission to revive its cultural tradition, arts and cuisine. Tanya Kotnala- a fashion designer who worked with the Ministry of Minority Affairs in Assam, Meghalaya & Sikkim founded Bhuli Art. She was soon joined by Tanya Singh- a freelance nutritionist who recently undertook a project in Bihar with UNICEF. Bhuli means little sister in Garhwali dialect. In an interview with Garima Pura, they walk us through their inspiration behind each of the featured art works.

Weavers of Bhotiya

Bhotiyas are a community of shephards and farmers found in the Garhwali regions of Uttarakhand. They weave shawls, blankets, carpets and occasionally adorn them with embroidery. It’s a skill passed on over generations. “Chiya’s mother used to hum a tune as she drew thread after thread”, recalls Tanya Kotnala. “It was my first encounter with a frame on which yarn is woven. Her mother had arranged each thread of wool with meticulous precision”. The meditative tune allowed her to concentrate on her design. She took her time and carefully chose the colour of the next yarn thread that would go on the frame.


The Promised Pichaura

Women, who dwell in the kamauni region of Uttarakhand, hold the Pichaura dupatta in great regard. “Pichaura is part of each and every pahadi girl’s traditional wedding”, confides Tanya Kotnala. “A variety of motifs feature on a saffron-mustard background in deep red. It is traditionally coloured in vegetable dye.” Even though a quintessential Pichaura simply dons red dots, the motifs range from swastikas to regular scenes from a village. It is considered auspicious for the bride. Pichaura is known to symbolize prosperity, fertility and a successful married life for married women.


Is Magenta edible?

“We were on our way to Nagthat (Jaunsar region of Garhwal) and noticed magenta fields on either side. To know that anything edible could be magenta in colour was amusement enough for us children then”, shares Tanya Singh. Amarnath seeds, locally known as chulai are grown by Jaunsari tribe and preserved from September onwards for the forthcoming winter. “As children, we did all we could to escape eating vegetables but this pink dish served to us got us excited, and well, hungry. The next morning, its seeds were served to us as breakfast cereals with milk. I am still quite astonished at the value of this one plant”, she says. Amarnath, one of world’s oldest crops is recommended by World Health Organisation. It has been categorized as a superfood too.

2. Amaranth Seeds (Chaulai) . National Nutrition Week is celebrated each year from 1st September to the 7th September to educate and inform the people about food choices, sound eating and physical activity habits. Bhuli celebrates this week by sharing with you the local cuisines of Uttarakhand. We strongly encourage people to eat produce which is locally grown because of many reasons, – benefits the local economy – promotes food safety – more variety to choose from – local seasonal which means no artificial ripening. We will be sharing a series of 7 locally grown crops with a recipe. So get ready to enjoy the taste of eating right!! . . . . . #illustration #illustrator #drawing #draw #sketch #sketchaday #bhuli.art #bhuli #food #sketchpens #travel #organic #healthyfood #NationalNutritionWeek #art #arte #artist #artistsofinstagram #sketching #sketchbook #instagood #instamood #instadaily #traditional #culture #women #nutrition #india #rural #desserts

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Grandma’s Mango Chutney

 “Grandma’s hand moved in a rhythm on the sil-batta (pestle and mortar) as she ground mint leaves that would eventually go into the preparation of mango chutney”, reminisces Tanya Singh.  She woke up with the rising sun and collected all the ingredients near her sil-batta. She patiently plucked the garlic cloves and peeled their skin off. She had a katori (vessel) by her side. It was her standard tool of measurement. “The grounding of masalas in the sil-batta woke us up! We rushed to the court-yard, fully aware of what was cooking. She greeted us with a warm smile, dug her finger into the chutney and placed it in our mouths. She was always up for a genuine feedback”! With time, the sil-batta got replaced by the electric mixer-grinder and she grew too old to make the chutney for us”.

Mango chutney #foodjournal . Ingredients Raw mango- 1 Green chilies- 2 (can be altered as per taste) Coriander leaves- 100g Mint leaves- 100g Garlic cloves- 2 to 3 Salt- To taste Sugar- a pinch Method: 1. Wash and peel the raw mango and dice it to pieces. 2. Wash the coriander leaves, mint leaves and green chillies. Chop them coarsely. 3. Peel off the garlic cloves and all the ingredients together in a blender. 4. Blend it to make a smooth paste. Add some water if required. 5. Enjoy as a dip with snacks or an accompaniment with your food. *If you have a Sil Batta, use it, as it makes the chutney more delicious. . . . . .. #art #arte #artistsofinstagram #illustrator #bhuli #sketchpens #travel #illustration #doodle #instaartwork #instaartoftheday #sketching #draw #drawing #illustrators #artistoninstagram #artist #india #instadaily #bhuli #womenrights #food #foodporn #yummy #indiankitchen #mango #health #chutney #food #yummy

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This compilation of textiles, crafts and foods of Uttarakhand should come handy; for when you next visit the state, be a traveller, not a tourist

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