Ethnic Textile Tour
If the cultural heritage of a country is revealed by its arts and crafts then India is for sure very rich. In the Indian sub content itself the formidable maritime empire of Orissa with its ethnic past is enchanting. The talented craftsmen are versatile as well as varied. The diversity of the skills men has been carrying of with the age-old tradition of different forms of art and craft. With the passage of time the artists have successfully retained the indigenousness of their skills and at the same time have refined them. The fusion of the carrying on with the legacy as with as developing their art forms makes them as the perfect example of amalgamation of trend and tradition.
Orissa is home to the Kondhs, Koyas, Bondas, Santals, Gadabas, Juangas, well the list comprises of sixty-two tribes. Each tribe unique in its own way but all the tribes simultaneously happen to be close to nature.
The various art forms of Orissa like weaving of handloom, saris, basket, stone carving, painting, metal work are popular the world over. The stone carving on the walls of the Jagannath, Konark and the Lingaraja temples reveal the excellence of the artists. Each stone has been brought to life with the effort and art of the artists.
Ever wondered where your beautiful trousseau silk sari came from? Amongst the huge collection of the elegant saris and handlooms probably some are from the weavers of Orissa are renowned for their skills. One of the earliest traditional weaving villages of Orissa is Nuapatna. The villagers weave home furnishings using the locally grown silk. It is the tussar or the tussah variety of silk that is made use of in the production of the fabric.
Intensive labor is required for the production of silk. The villagers put in all the effort to get the lightweight, strong and lustrous threads that may absorb the rich dyes. The cocoons of the silkworms are collected by the children in the village and placed in hot water for killing the worms. The loosened filaments are spooled together to form a single thread. Locally i.e. in the Oriya language this unhygienic process is termed as 'Janga'.
Since silk is locally produced in the area, weaving is richly wrapped around the age-old local traditions. At the same time the silk textiles are a symbol of the social status too. There are different techniques for the weaving of textiles like the supplementary thread patterning, Ikat and Tapestry weave.
Orissa is famous for the time taking technique of Ikat. Natural dyes like the Indigo are used extensively since the prehistoric times. Though now a days the chemical dyes are gaining priority over the vegetable and mineral dyes. Before weaving the threads are horizontally dyed. For dyeing the threads are arranged on frame with tape tied on the parts where the color is not required. Then the silk thread is removed from the frame and dipped into the dye. The tape is removed and tied again for protecting the area against the second colored dye. This traditional technique of tie and dye (Ikat) is several thousand years old.
In Orissa certain tribes like the 'Bondos' and the 'Gadabas' weave clothes for themselves while the other tribes purchase their clothes from them. The internationally famous Ikat textiles can be bought by the tourists from the main bazaars a swell as the government co-operative shops at the capital city of Bhubaneshwar. As souvenirs you may pick any of the ikat handloom, the Bomaki or the samablpuri saris. The beautiful pieces of appliquè work and embroidery are also easily available. The gift options go further with the filigree work on silver, hand woven toya and baskets and lacquered boxes. The painting and engraving on the leaves feature amongst the other works of art.
The beauty reflected in arts and crafts is combined with that of nature. The flora and fauna are fantastic. Most of the places command a panoramic view of nature. The calm serenity can be experienced along with the majesty of nature. The picturesque waterfalls at the Pradhanpat hills are worth a visit. The nature lovers can enjoy the wildlife at the Ushakothi sanctuary besides the famous brackish water lake at Chilka.
The combination of the simplicity and serenity of nature is parallel by the beauty of the inimitable and incomparable arts and crafts of the land. You are welcome to enjoy both! We have bended together the best of tourism in India with Indian arts and crafts and the association is fantastic. Come and enjoy it!