Our August exhibition- A Journey

Hello all! Paramparik Karigar is getting ready for its next exciting event. Yes, all our regulars- that’s right, our August Exhibition at World Trade Centre.


August. Mumbai. The city struck by unrelenting slivery spindles of rain. The last cup of chai you had was one cup too many. You fear that if you don’t step out of your home now, you will succumb and eat that bhajjia you have been resisting for the last many weeks . You worry  about other seemingly random things, watching the rain- Ganapathy and Navratra are not too far off.


Trust us- what you need is to step over to our exhibition. A vibrant collection of traditional handicrafts, arts and textiles- saris and yardage from corners of the country, dying and famous arts and familiar and rare handicrafts that you can acquaint yourself with, learn about, talking to the craftspeople directly and take the one that caught your fancy home; buy all the troublesome gifts plaguing your mind, knowing you are buying a piece of your heritage or a slice of our collective history. Or just drop by to browse in the colourful, brilliant hall and breathe in the buzzing creativity. What else can be in the air in room full of artists? Different genres rubbing shoulders- an art lovers dream


Yes the dates- Dates going up very soon on our face book page. Here


We are getting ready to host this show for you. And how.

Today, the office was thick with name- calling. What? Yes, we did call out names of participating craftsmen, artisans and weavers. Heated debates and long pleading monologues. Well, we make no bones about it- we love all our crafts. Sometimes when we get on our soapboxes, we need a crane to prise us off. Today was one of those days. The beginnings often are. Names conjured up images and anecdotes that were shared over hot sweetened tea, that were more like shots than cups. And homemade muttiyas. Well, we refuse to work on empty stomachs- food for the body and food for the soul.


We wrestled, negotiated and argued and a list emerged. Many old favourites and some new rabbits out of the hat too. Patience. The curtain will be opened slowly over the next few posts and all will be revealed.


Slowly the group disbanded… er.. the meeting ended. We part to meet again.

With another instalment on this journey to our exhibition, august 2017

Watch this space- the story unfolds here

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Glad to announce Award received by Khushboo Pandit at Prafulla Dahanukar Art Foundation

Glad to announce Award received by Khushboo Pandit at Prafulla Dahanukar Art Foundation

We are Paramparik Karigar are extremely glad to announce that Khushboo Pandit has been awarded all India Platinum Artist Award

Khushboo Pandit awarded all india platinum artist award

Khushboo Pandit awarded all india platinum artist award paramparik karigar

Khushboo Pandit awarded all india platinum artist award paramparik karigar

Khushboo Pandit awarded all india platinum artist award paramparik karigar

Khushboo Pandit awarded all india platinum artist award paramparik karigar

Khushboo Pandit awarded all india platinum artist award paramparik karigar

Khushboo Pandit awarded all india platinum artist award paramparik karigar

Khushboo Pandit awarded all india platinum artist award paramparik karigar

Khushboo Pandit awarded all india platinum artist award paramparik karigar


We are extremely happy and glad to note the same.

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Invitation card and workshop poster for April 2017 exhibition

Invitation card and workshop poster for April 2017 exhibition

Dear Readers,

Here is our exhibition and workshop poster for April 2017

Mumbai art exhibition Paramparik Karigar

2) Upcoming Workshop:

DOWNLOAD Workshop details – April 2017


Join us on our FACEBOOK PAGE – Click here

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Know Your Handicrafts- Gond Painting II

Cont from part I 

Paramparik Dec2011

A Historical Perspective :

This eponymous painting style is a folk/ tribal art form practiced by The Gond Tribes, largely from Madhya Pradesh. The word, ‘Gond’ comes from the Dravidian expression, Kond which means ‘the green mountain’.

Painting in the region can probably be dated back to 1400 AD, the time when the history of the Gond people starts to appear. However, it is also possible, some experts say that it could be even more ancient than that- it could be a continuation of the cave paintings of their ancestors, a possibility suggested by the cave paintings in the region that go all the way back to the Stone Ages, Bhimbetka being an example.

The Gond people have a belief that viewing a good (auspicious) image begets good luck. This belief led the Gond people to decorate the walls as well as the floor of their houses with traditional tattoos and motifs. Digna and Bhittichitra (frescos) paintings are painted by the tribal people on floors and the walls of their houses Gond paintings have also been used by the Gond people as a way to record their history.

The Gonds traditionally painted on mud walls of their houses Gond wall decorations are made with a thick stick dipped in mud or clay mixed with chaff and water. When a house is under construction, the mud wall is kept damp for patterns to be imposed on it, which is then covered with cow dung or lime.

Mostly orally transmitted, Gond iconography has now, found representation in their colourful and vibrant art.

Gond Art Today

Starting in the early 1980s, certain talented Pardhan Gonds, who traditionally serve as professional bardic-priests, began transforming their ritual performing arts into a new tradition of figurative and narrative visual art: using a variety of modern media (including acrylic paintings on canvas, ink drawings on paper, silkscreen prints, and animated film) they have created unprecedented depictions of their natural and mythological worlds, traditional songs and oral histories

A rich visual narrative imagery thus evolved from juxtaposed forms from the folklore.


Some tales from their Charming folklore:


The story of Shiva and Mahua

Once while walking through a forest, Lord Shiva, the God of Destruction, was tempted by the shade of Mahua tree and longed to rest a while. As he settled himself under the tree, tired and thirsty as he was, he happened to see some water that had collected in one of the hollows of the tree. Now, the Mahua fruit is well known as an intoxicant. The hollow in the tree also contained some over-ripe mahua fruit and when Shiva drank it, he quickly became mildly and pleasantly inebriated. The ‘water’ tasted delicious – cool and sweet and scented by the mahua fruit, and soon Shiva was drinking from it again and again!


As his intoxication grew, Shiva went from babbling like a parrot (lost control over his tongue!), to becoming aggressive and intimidating, like a tiger, and then finally lost all control and rolled in the dirt like a boar, grunting and growling without a thought to his standing or position….It is an interesting tale, and not just at one level…it cautions one of the dangerous effects of over-imbibing alcohol, persuading you to consider that if Shiva himself was reduced to an animal, what chance have you, a mere mortal, to have dominion over yourself when under the influence of intoxicants.

This story is usually depicted with the God, the tree and the animals.

The Peacock and its Ugly Feet

Another Gondi folktale tells the story of how God resolved to create the universe in just fourteen days. Over the first seven days, he created the earth and the skies and then filled the space between them with all the plants and animals. God wanted, in that the universe, a piece of unsurpassable beauty and he had seven days to make it. After much thought, he came up with the creature we call the peacock.

Making this new creature was painstaking and time-consuming work – the body, the sharp eyes, the resplendent plumage took six and a half days. Now God had just half a day to make the creature’s feet. Pressed for time, God did a hasty job with the feet. The creature was completed just as the fourteenth day ended and the result was a little incongruous- a spectacularly beautiful creature with ungainly feet. However, the ugly feet serve a deeper purpose- of keeping the vanity of even the most beautiful creation of God in check.

Udata Hathi or the Flying Elephant

This Gond folktale tells the story of the winged elephant (Udata Hathi) that was used by Gods and Goddesses in heaven, to transport them from place to place. One day, when the Lord was resting he told the elephant to take a break. The elephant flew down to the earth. There he found fields of sugarcane and banana trees. He gave into temptation and started eating the sugarcane. The villagers became angry and alarmed. They tried to scare him away. But the elephant would not move. The villagers then called out to the Lord for help. The Lord appeared and was displeased with the Elephant. He ordered the Elephant to never to go to earth again. But the Elephant had now tasted the forbidden fruit and couldn’t stay away. He went back to Earth to eat the sugarcane. The villagers once again turned the Lord for help .This time  Lord was furious. He told the villagers to organize a feast and to invite the Elephant to it. The Elephant came to the feast . The delicious feast and the accompanying Mahua wine made the elephant fell asleep. Whilst he was asleep, the Lord cut off his wings .He gave one to the Banana tree and one to the Peacock. From that day the Peacock has a beautiful Plumage and the Banana tree has large leaves.

Some Interesting Facts for the Trivia Buff :

According to the Gond belief system, each and everything whether it is a hill, river, rock or a tree is inhabited by a spirit and, consequently, is sacred. So the Gond people paint them as a form of respect and reverence.  It can also showcase abstract concepts like emotions, dreams and imagination.

Gond paintings bear a remarkable likeness aboriginal art from Australia as both styles use dots to create the painting.

Gond Art on the left, Aboriginal art on the right

Paramparik Dec2011                         aborgine art

Sources :

Paramparik Karigar Archives




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Know Your Handicrafts – Gond Painting – I





Place of origin: Madhya Pradesh and its surrounding states.

Earliest Recorded History – though no textual record exists, the origin of the art form can be traced back to Pre- Aryan era

Genre: Art, Tribal. Traditionally on walls and floors of homes. Now on a variety of modern media, including acrylic paintings on canvas, ink drawings on paper, silkscreen prints, and even animated film.

Geographical Spread :

The Gond territory extended from the Godavari in the south to the Vindhyas in the north. This art form is popular among most tribes in Madhya Pradesh and it is particularly well developed as an art among the Gond tribe of Mandala District.


The artist makes a rough paper outline on his/her chosen medium. Geometric patterns, animals, human figures and flowers patterns, local deities, cock fights, forest scenes, agriculture, weddings and scenes fro local folklore are common images in Gond Art. They are often formed of interesting circles and spirals. These are sometimes enhanced with alternate triangles. The artist makes sure to draw the inner as well as outer lines with as much care as possible so that the perfection of the lines has an immediate effect on the viewer. Lines are used in such a way that it conveys a sense of movement to the still images. Dots and dashes are added to impart a greater sense of movement and increase the amount of detail.

Bright colours, such as white, red, blue and yellow are first filled in. The paints are usually derived naturally from objects such as charcoal, coloured soil, plant sap, leaves and even cow dung. More specifically, yellow from Chui mitti which is a type of local sand, brown from Gheru mitti which is another type of sand, green is readily procured from leaves while the colour red is obtained from the Hibiscus flower.

Once the bright colours have been filled into the larger forms drawn on the canvas or paper, small ‘signature pattern’ motifs evocative of tattoos or elements of nature are drawn or ‘infilled’.

Rich in detail, colour, mystery and humour, these tribal artworks brilliantly employ modern means to evoke the pre-modern psyche.

Some Unique Characteristics of Gond Art:

1. The subject of these paintings are extends from myths and folklores to images of daily              life – not only from what exists but also much that is drawn from dreams, memory and imagination. Local deities, cockfights, forest scenes, agriculture, weddings and other visuals find a significant place in Gond tribal art.

  1. The traditional motifs usually carry a special significance. For example, a fish stands for fertility and the Tortoise for stability.
  2. These paintings have a basic simplicity. They appear without anatomical details, and move in silhouettes. A simple impression of a pair of wings turns gradually into a geometric figure. A fish is symbolized by bones and a tortoise by its flippers.
  3. Colours too have a symbolic significance. Designs in white or red wash on the floor ensure security of the house.
  4. These artists work with inherited conventions and so each artist brings something unique and individual to this expression of shared heritage.
  5. One of the distinctive elements is the use of ‘signature patterns’ that is used to ‘infill’ the larger forms on the canvas. These infill patterns are distinctive identifying marks used by the Gond artists and every Pardhan Gond painter has developed his or her own signature style.
  6. Numerous Gods and Goddesses, strange and exotic birds, flying snakes,tigers, dogs and cattle, breathtakingly beautiful trees and several other entities who inhabited the age old songs of the Pardhans – these are just some of the wonderful and fabulous subject matters of Gond art. What is amazing is that all of these originally existed as notes and lyrics and nuances of their story telling musical traditions, and have gradually evolved and manifested on the canvas in vibrant colors and in an inimitable, distinctive style.


More on Gond Art coming up on part II

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Know Your Handicrafts – Pottery



Place of Origin: Many parts of India. Earliest recorded history- Neolithic Period

Genre: Handicraft. Material- Clay.


The process of pottery involves modelling, shaping of clay, drying and firing. Clay can be categorised as primary clay, which includes china clay and bentonite and secondary clay, which includes common clay, red clay, ball clay and fire clay. The potter kneads the clay and then throws the kneaded clay on to the centre of the wheel, rounding it off. He then spinning the wheel around with a stick. As the whirling gathers momentum, he begins to shape the clay into the desired form. When finished, he lops off the shaped bit from the rest of the clay with a string.

For glazed pottery, the intricate glaze is made from a mixed composition, fired to form a vitreous material with glazed surface, and then coloured by different mineral substances. Biscuit coloured pottery with incised patterns.

Traditional Pottery Centres in India:

Maharashtra- Kanpur

Gujrat- Kutch

Himachal Pradesh- Kangra- Black Pottery and Anderta

Punjab, the areas around Ludhiana, Faridkot and Bhatinda

Rajasthan – Pokharan

Uttar Pradesh –Meerut and Harpur

Haryana- Jajjar

West Bengal- Birhum

Glazed Pottery :

Delhi Kurja and Jaipur- blue potery Rampur

For the Trivia Buff:

Pottery was being made in India the Mehrgarh Period, in present-day northwest India and Pakistan.

This pottery was aceramic or unglazed..

Types of pottery of the Neolithic age in India

Red ceramic, area of the Rajasthan Banas (Hematite).

Grey pottery from the basin of the Ganges.

Polished black pottery found in the area of Jariana and Delhi.

Glazed ceramics began in India in the 12th century, brought by the Muslim rulers.

Examples of fine glazed ceramics of Persian models with Indian designs have a great beauty and detail in the finish. This technique adopted since them by Indian potters was and still is very popular and very well commercially appreciated.


Sources :

Paramparik Karigar Archives




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Know Your Handicrafts – Dhurries



Hand Woven Dhurrie


Place of Origin: Many parts of India. Earliest recorded hist0ry- 5th Century

Genre: Handloom, Material – Cotton and wool.


A Dhurrie is a flat woven pile-less cotton or woolen area rug made in a variety of designs and colours.  Dhurries are made manually by skilled artisans on a traditional horizontal loom or vertical loom. They are woven by interlacing the vertical threads- the warp with the horizontal threads – the weft. Dhurries in India are produced in a wide range of complex geometrical, floral, figurative patterns as well as traditional designs, ethnic motifs combined with contemporary tastes and colours. Traditionally , vegetable dyes -which use indigo, harad, mangeetha, pomegranate peel are used to dye the Dhurrie.

 Typical Features

Dhurries are always weft-faced, which means that the warps are never visible except at the fringes because they are completely covered by the wefts.

Though usually made of cotton, sometimes other fibres such as wool, jute, coir, wool, camel hair, silk, sisal, plant-fibre and recycled fabrics are also used.

The design, size and structure of the dhurries varies according to use-bedside durries, prayer dhurries, room dhurries, festival or palace dhurries. Dhurries are typically in eye-catching shades , often with contrasting borders.They can have figurative elements such as mosque, minarets, Hindu shrines, oil lamps or non figurative geometric, floral or even tribal motifs and patterns.

Geographical Spread:

Dhurries are made in these places :

Warangal, Telengana;

Madhya Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh,

Punjab, the areas around Ludhiana, Faridkot and Bhatinda

Rajasthan at Salawas

Uttar Pradesh –in Khairabad

Karnataka- Navalgund taluk


For the Trivia Buff:


Historical Record of the Dhurrie-

Aurel Stein, on one of his expeditions across Central Asia, China and India, attributed several fragments unearthed at the Niya site in Turkestan to be flat weaves from India, dating them at 200-400 AD.  Evidence of the Dhurri tradition exists in manuscripts, paintings and fragments from the Mughal period and after.

The Difference between Carpet and Dhurrie

A dhurri is a flat, woven, light rug, usually reversible, whereas a carpet is usually heavier, with one display side. A dhurri is lighter because

it is mainly made of cotton, while a carpet uses wool and is thicker as well.

The process of dhurri making is different from that of carpet making. Normally, the main tool in dhurri making is a vertical frame composed of two horizontal beams on which the warp is fitted, unlike the big looms carpet making involves.

A curious fact :

Panja weaving is mostly used for making durries. The craft gets its name from a metallic claw-like tool called panja in the local dialect, used to beat and set the treads in the warp.


Sources :

Paramparik Karigar Archives














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Know Your Handicrafts : Phad Painting




Place of Origin: RAJASTHAN, 14th century

Genre: Painting, Vegetable Dye on Cloth


Usually done on khadi /canvas / cotton cloth. The material is first stiffened with starch made of boiled flour and glue and then tempered with a special stone device called ‘mohra’  to smoothen the surface. The artist makes his own pigments using locally available plants and minerals, mixing them with glue and water. Once the outline is drawn in light yellow or black, the artist applies the traditional colours – red, white, green, blue, orange and brown.

The Joshi families of Bhilwara, Shahapura are known as the traditional artists of this folk art form

Typical features :

The entire canvas is covered with images. The pictorial space is usually flat, without perspective. The  artists use scales when drawing the figures to indicate their relative social status or importance within the story. The figures are painted in profile. These paintings have a strong narrative element; they traditionally tell the stories of local Pabuji, Devnarayan, Krishna, Ramdal (Ramayana) and Ramdevji. Of these, the most legendary and popular is that of Pabuji, who is considered a demi god in Marwar even today. A common icon found in these paintings is that of Pabuji astride the Kesar Kalimi, a beautiful black mare. The complex nature of the stories represented in the paintings is perhaps the reason for the large width of the traditional Phads.

For the Trivia Buff:

This art form could have got its name from the word, ‘Phad’ , which means folds in a Rajasthani dialect

Historically, these paintings were used as narrative aids by wandering story tellers, the Bhopas. The Bhopas perform all the year round, except in rainy season when the deities are supposed to be in slumber. The musical instruments the Bhopas used were the Ravanahatha.

Another type of phad, that has now been abandoned was that of the Goddess Kali. Painted for a particular caste of the untouchable Bhopa, it was distinctively different from the rest, as it was done in the batik style, using wax.


Sources :

Paramparik Karigar Archives




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Our August Exhibition – an account

Culture is the identity of a people, traditional arts and crafts its manifestation. Those arts and crafts are our heritage. We display them, wear them and through it, express ourselves. We are often searching for them to fulfil this desire for self-expression. For those on such a search for traditional handicrafts, there was no better place than the Paramparik Karigar Exhibition at the WTC, on from 19th to 21st of august. More than a 100 craftsmen under one roof. Pashminas from Kashmir to Kanjeevarams from Kanchi. Tribal Weaves from Assam to Lehariyas from Rajasthan. Panted leather lampshades, metal figurines, woodcarvings, papier-mache sculptures –all these and much more. There was something for every palette and every budget.

Some moments from the event




Looking to complete a wedding trousseau? How about a vibrant Paithani or a classically elegant Kota Doria? Looking for an heirloom piece, something you want to leave behind for the grandkids? You could consider the intricately woven double-sided Patolas from Gujarat. Looking for the more casual everyday wear? Chanderi, Maheshwari, Tussor, Uppada- a day could be spent making up your mind. They make lovely gifting choices too. Are you a pure cotton-lover? Ikkat from Orissa, Ikkat from Seemandhra and Telengana, Kanchi cottons from Tamil Nadu, Khadi saris from Kutch and Maheshwar, to name a few Handlooms- a peek 20160821_164914-220160821_17353520160821_164508

You are not looking for textiles but scouting for Handicrafts? There are enough choices there too. Want to acquire a masterpiece for your wall? How about a Phad paining, or a Miniature? By award-winning master craftsmen, no less. Working with a smaller budget? Kalamkari, Pipli patchwork tapestry, Patua art – take your pick.

From our handicrafts section 20160821_16521420160821_16513920160821_165228

Housewarming? How about some brass tableware? Or black metal figures or frames? Or brass statuettes? Searching for low-end gifts? Leather puppets? Nakash painted plates? Hand made paper? These are but just a few that were on offer.   You are looking not for handlooms or handicrafts but just something special to set off your outfit? You would be spoilt for choice; for Kolapuris, Jootis, mirror-work bags, stoles, scarves, dupattas, jewellery were all showcased here.

Not here to shop but just a lover of traditional crafts? Simply walk through the exhibition, talk to the craftsmen and your soul would be satisfied.

For that is what Paramparik Karigar is truly about. To be a place to nurture the crafts, provide a safe place for the next-generation craftsmen to learn and practice the craft, to eliminate the burden of the middlemen, to provide platform for the native crafts and to seek out and showcase lesser known but deserving traditional craft processes. Paramparik Karigar (not to be confused with PARAMPARIK) distinguishes itself from other similar organisation by being an association formed and run by the craftsmen themselves. A Paramparik Karigar exhibition is not a just a shopping experience, it’s an expression of philosophy, an ethos, a way of live. We welcome you to come and embrace it


Follow us on facebook. To subscribe to our mailing list to get information on our future exhibition and workshops or to get in touch with us, go here.

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Selected to be put up at residence of Prime minister Shri Narendra Modi

A black and white Phad painting, made by Paramparik Karigar craft member Kalyan Joshi from Bhilwara has been selected to be put up at the Prime minister Shri Narendra Modi’s residence at 7, Racecourse Road.

Kalyan Joshi from Bhilwara has been selected to be put up at the Prime minister Shri Narendra Modi's residence


Kalyan Joshi from Bhilwara has been selected to be put up at the Prime minister Shri Narendra Modi's residence


Kalyan Joshi from Bhilwara has been selected to be put up at the Prime minister Shri Narendra Modi's residence


Let’s Connect: Paramparik Karigar on Facebook - Website

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