In a boost to the promotion and sustainability of traditional Indian craft, the Geographical Indications Registry in Chennai has bestowed the prestigious Geographical Indication (GI) tag upon seven distinct products from various regions across the country. The products that received the GI tags are Jalesar Dhatu Shilp (a metal craft) from Uttar Pradesh, Goa Mankurad Mango, Goan Bebinca, Udaipur Koftgari Metal Craft, Bikaner Kashidakari Craft, Jodhpur Bandhej Craft and Bikaner Usta Kala Craft.
The GI tag is a testament to the unique geographical origins and traditional methods of production that make these products truly exceptional and culturally significant. It also ensures protection against unauthorised imitation and counterfeit practices.
One of the remarkable crafts from Rajasthan to receive the GI tag is the ‘Udaipur Koftgari Metal Craft.’ According to the documents submitted to the GI Registry, this craft involves a complex and meticulous process of etching intricate designs, heating, cooling, and embedding gold and silver wire into metal. The final touch involves pressing, flattening, and polishing to perfection, resulting in exquisitely ornamented weapons.
Another celebrated craft to be honoured is the ‘Bikaner Kashidakari Craft,’ characterised by its intricate stitching and mirror-work on cotton, silk or velvet fabrics. Traditionally practiced by the Meghwal community in Bikaner and neighbouring districts, this art form is primarily used for wedding and gift items. The mirrors are believed to ward off the ‘evil eye’ due to their reflective properties.
The ‘Jodhpur Bandhej Craft’ also secured a well-deserved spot among the GI tag recipients. This esteemed Rajasthani art form involves tying and dyeing fabrics to create unique and captivating patterns. Bandhej is renowned as one of the most famous textile art forms in Rajasthan, with muslin, silk, voile and cotton thread being commonly used for its creation.
The ‘Bikaner Usta Kala Craft,’ also known as gold nakashi or gold manauti work, earned its rightful place among the GI tagged crafts. This craft, skillfully practiced by the Dapgar community of leather craftspeople, showcases the distinctive feature of long-lasting golden colour. The raw camel hide undergoes processing and molding to meet the exacting requirements of the Usta craft.
The GI tag granted to these crafts not only recognises their exceptional craftsmanship but also provides official acknowledgment and protection to their geographical origins and traditional production methods. It secures their continued cultural significance and authenticity, ensuring that these age-old crafts will be cherished and preserved for generations to come.