Culture and agriculture have almost always been intrinsically linked. And showcasing this bond through skillfully handmade Indian arts and crafts is the annual event, Dastkari Haat Crafts Bazaar. In its thirty-sixth edition, the haat, which has as its theme Krishi aur Kala, presents a confluence of craftsmen and master craftsmen from all over the country.
Only 50% of the stands are operational, due to the Covid situation, but the organizers felt that it was important to move forward with the event, to be able to support the craftsmen who work all year to come present their know-how here. Jaya Jaitly, President of Dastkari Haat Samiti, says: “Before the start of industrial society, the craftsman and the farmer were always intrinsically linked. At the weekly or daily haat, the peasant brought his products, and the karigar brought knives, baskets, terracotta, terracotta, etc. The carpenter made the loom and the wooden plow … so there was independence. This is why so many festivals in India surround the harvest season. With this theme, we wanted to reiterate this interdependence.
Culinary handicrafts such as products made from leftover khajoor (date palm), wicker baskets, and ceramic and metal cooking and serving vessels are available in abundance. Ram Rati, a national award-winning ceramist from Delhi’s Kumhar Gram, says: “We brought terracotta and ceramic utensils to the bazaar. From the most basic clay mugs to high-end copper oxide glazed ceramics, we’ve got it all on display. We hope people will come to buy a lot from us as we again see uncertain times. “
The theme of haat also emphasizes the importance of sustaining both the livelihoods of artisans and farmers, in a world that is putting them at risk by the climate crisis. From crockery to table linens, baskets to brassware, there is a lot going on in this craft bazaar. “We are trying to create items for modern homes using natural materials,” says Sukanta Das, from an NGO participating in the event, adding: “We have basketry and tableware from artisan communities in the area. ‘Odisha, West Bengal, UP and Kashmir. People love our Sabaii grass weave placemats, created by rural women from Odisha. Wicker baskets, which can be used as kitchen bins, are also popular with visitors.
While learning about the terracotta and ceramic products, visitors can also interact with the karigars of Maharashtra, Delhi, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Gujarat. And don’t forget to explore the wide range of textiles including Ikat prints from Andhra Pradesh, Ajrakh prints from Gujarat and block print textiles from Rajasthan.
Catch it live
What: 36th Dastkari Haat Handicraft Bazaar
Or: Dilli Haat, INA
On Till: January 15th
Hourly: 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Nearest metro station : Dilli Haat INA on the yellow and pink lines
Author’s tweets @siddhijainn
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