Overview for Crafts Atlas of India
Mapping India’s crafts was a mammoth task that took eleven years. During this period, many new crafts were born, skills rejuvenated and some may have languished and faded away. The nature of crafts production in India is both ephemeral and resilient. India’s crafts journey resembles the progress of a river from the mountains to the ocean, picking up material, depositing some, changes course, disappearing underground to surface somewhere else. Yet, the tradition continues forever.
The Dastkari Haat Samiti, a national association of craftspeople, undertook the enormous task of documenting whatever skills and crafts it could find and created artistic crafts maps of each state of India. Three new states were born during the process. A traditional art form of each state provides the backdrop for information meticulously gathered from first and second hand sources. The maps provide resource material to people working in different disciplines and a source of aesthetic joy to anyone who uses them as wall posters.
The vibrant illustrations and academically rich content are recreated as an atlas of India’s crafts, handmade textiles and traditional arts, covering India’s cultural history. Crafts Atlas of India is therefore a unique documentation and a rare visual treat.
Jaya Jaitly (Author)
Jaya Jaitly is a social and political activist and a prolific writer on crafts. She is the founder and president of the Dastkari Haat Samiti, and has worked with India craftspeople for more than three decades in the design and marketing of crafts and handmade textiles. She has initiated many innovative programmes to promote awareness and respect for craftspersons and help them towards self-reliance and dignity. Her publications on crafts include The Crafts of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh (1990), The Craft Traditions of India (1991) and Visvakarmas Children (2001). Bhramara Nayak is an accomplished painter in the traditional patachitra style of Orissa. He received the Orissa State Award in 1985, and the National Award for Master Craftsperson in 1984. He is the chairman of Orupa, an NGO producing and marketing crafts. He teaches patachitra painting at the Jawahar Nabodaya Vidyalaya in Bhubaneshwar, Orissa.