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  • Poompuhar - Reinventing artisanship to perfection

    Art is the perfect way of depicting the exchange of emotions within and across the frontiers of a nation. Our rich history has been promulgating the importance of ancient Indian handicrafts since ages. The essence of handicrafts is engineered by the artisans who create it with their innovation. It is this rich Indian heritage which connects India with the western world. Today, there are numerous such platforms which provide the desired opportunity to the local artisans. India is a hub for such platforms promoting the rural Indian handicrafts.

    A platform to connect the local rural artisans with the global population is today known by the name Poompuhar. Poompuhar represents the sophistication of Indian culture, customs and traditions through the handicraft products. Empowering the local rural artisans to exhibit their talent before the world was the aim behind the launch of Poompuhar platform. Realising the importance of bringing rural women ahead and engaging them in creating masterpieces is the motto behind Poompuhars Empowering women initiative.

    Poompuhar is a government of Tamil Nadu undertaking to exhibit Indian artefacts, cultures and tradition. The Poompuhar team believes in empowering rural India to facilitate the local artisans to earn a decent living. Art is the necessity of life, and so Poompuhar decided to move ahead with this section to exhibit the talent possessed by Indian artisans. Providing a right platform to these rural artisans was need of the hour.

    Poompuhar redefines the beauty of the creative genius of the local artisans. Timely, the training sessions are organised by Poompuhar team to train the rural artisans. The training sessions are meant to nourish the creativity possessed by the artisans. Each artisan is nurtured with the right skills to highlight their talent and earn a respectable living to support his family. The pieces of training are arranged to introduce the handicraft creation technique for the rural Indians and bring out the best in them. It is meant to boost the inner strength of such artisans to make them realise their worth towards the society. Poompuhar team ensures that each of their artisans is trained with personal attention.

    Also, to earn a living, Poompuhar thrives in hard to build a sense of trust in these rural artisans, so they shine at their best. Today, after years of massive efforts investment, Poompuhar has come ahead with the exhibits of applique work, garland, bronze, brass, brass lamps, wood and stone carvings. Besides, the handicraft product catalogue of Poompuhar exhibits the creative brilliance of Thanjavur paintings, coconut shells, papier machie, kondapalli toys, and other wood, jute and clay creativity.

    Now, Poompuhar is indulged in formulating and implementing the rural artisan welfare schemes. The efforts of Poompuhar receives the timely financial assistance from the State Governments. Central Government too appreciates the efforts of Poompuhar, the Tamil Nadu government undertaking and assists it financially to uplift the local creativity of Tamil Nadu.

    Moreover, Poompuhar directly connects the local artisans with the global buyers. The annual award competition is the unique felicitation of these local artisans by the Poompuhar team. The annual award competition involves felicitating the local talent with certificates, gold medals and cash prizes for their outstanding contribution.

  • Poompuhar Envisions to Secure the future of Indian Handicrafts

    Indian art, like the systems of Indian philosophy, was rooted in that truth, and so were Indian music and dance. Together they evolved as related expressions of man’s humanity, symbolized by a tree inverted, whose leaves and branches and fruits are spread upon earth, and its roots in the cosmic space.

    Indian handicraft has travelled a long journey to reach where it is today. It is one of the popular choices around the world even after experiencing so many ups and down in the past. The root of Indian handicraft is connected to its rich and diverse culture and traditions. Poompuhar is supporting this heritage by supporting the future of Indian artisans and Indian handicrafts.

    Poompuhar originated in 1973 due to the efforts of Tamil Nadu government and is also known as the Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation.

    The Corporation supports the various artists who have dedicated their lives to art and crafts and followed their forefathers’ professions. It offers them to earn while focussing on their creativity.  Most of the artisans work with stone, clay, brass, wood, silver, gold, cane,  ivory, bamboo, cotton, silk and bronze. The corporation is also known as Poompuhar based on an ancient and beautiful coastal city of Tamil Nadu. The Corporation has its presence in various districts of the Tamil Nadu such as Coimbatore, Thanjavur, Tiruchirappalli, Madurai, Salem, Tirunelveli, and Erode.

    • The Corporation is known to implement several schemes for the welfare and development of the deteriorating or forgotten groups of crafts
    • Some of the examples of the crafts that have benefitted are lacquer ware, papermache, mat weaving, and terracotta
    • They also established general facility units for artisans, also known as, ‘Urban Hatt’ for proper marketing of these crafts
    • These units are supported financially by the state as well as central government
    • Poompuhar organize an annual competition to motivate and promote the work of these artisans and offer awards such as a gold medal, certificates or cash prizes to top ten craftsmen
    • The handicrafts are promoted on the vast Poompuhar network of more than 18 stores
    • They also organize exhibitions across the nation to maintain a constant income source of these artists
    • In addition to the above marketing activities, the Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Corporation also owns six production units.
  • Indian Handicrafts in Global Markets

    Indian has earned a great respect worldwide whether it is in the field of science, technology, art or culture. Indian handicraft industry is one of the booming industries and is making its mark all over the world. Handicrafts are considered to be second-largest employment creating segment after agriculture in India. Many artisans all over India work with their craftsmanship to earn a livelihood. The industry offers work to more than 6 million artists mainly containing women and people from the weaker segments of the community.

    In current times, handicrafts have evolved as a perfect blend of traditional patterns and designs with modern technology. This has helped to meet the large demand for Indian handicrafts as gifts, souvenirs or decorative items worldwide.

    Shop for this Ashtrotra Deepam - Click Here Shop for this Ashtrotra Deepam - Click Here

    This formerly known cottage industry has now transformed it into a full-grown, large-scale ever-growing organized business with to US$ 1.9 billion in the last ten years. Only in 2005-2006, the exports of Indian handicrafts had shown an increase of US$ 298.87 million giving a fixed yearly growth of 15 per cent or above. Indian contribution to USD 100 billion international handicrafts market is more than 2%.

    Interesting facts about Indian handicrafts –

    • Across India, you can find various art forms in handicrafts. There are many famous places which are known for their speciality in handicrafts such as Saharanpur for wooden articles, North-West Rajasthan for Jaipuri quilts, Gujarat & Lucknow for embroidery, Nasarpur for Lace material, Punjab for Phulkari, and Jodhpur for wrought iron products and so on.
    • Various designs and arts display various cultures of India
    • Wide ranges of designs are available in Indian handicrafts products, which displays creative and artistic skills of craftsmen, and these marvellous crafts are in great demand worldwide.
    • This industry has vast experience in the export and has earned a lot in foreign exchange
    • Indian handicraft industry has proven its worth with constant growth rate of almost 20%

    In recent times, the customers have less interest in machine-made items and are more attracted to handicrafts as they offer a unique style and style statement. Today, the skills and artisans have a dynamic role to play in creating a modern way of life in India as a part of traditional as well as financial future.

  • Evolution of Indian Handicrafts

    Indian handicrafts represent the dignity, style and beauty of Indian culture. Indian handicrafts are as diverse and rich as Indian history. The crafts from each part of India are unique and have been admired since centuries all over the world and reflect the influence of different Indian empires and eras.

    The evolution of Indian handicrafts is rooted in the lap of Indian history and goes back to 5000 years ago where the tradition of hand made items used to whirl around religious values and they were designed to impress the rulers of the time. In 3000 BC, since Indus-valley civilization, several forms of arts and crafts have originated which can be found in museums today. Since then a significant development took place in crafts like textile, stone, metal, painting, pottery and wood. The art of making hand made items initially began as an expression of inner creativity and evolved for trade and commerce, royalty and common people, in the later course. The tradition of using hand made products flourished and evolved as per the needs of common people. Most of the handicraft and its technique have come from the land of art and craft-Iran. Different dynasties and empires witnessed different handicrafts and patronized the respective art to help it evolve and rise. One of the oldest (more than 4000 years) handicrafts of India that is still being used is Dhokra (a distinct style of metal casting).

    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    Domestic and foreign trade also played an important role in the evolution of Indian handicraft industry. Since time immemorial Indian artisans and their innovative ideas have left the people across the globe spell bound and amazed by the distinct and appealing pieces of art. Lets have a quick look over the various periods in history where the beautiful art of making hand made items survived and evolved over their machine made counterparts:

    Development of Indian Handicrafts

    Vedic Era 

    The Indus Valley civilization was followed by the Vedic age. In Rig Veda and in Upanishads, reference to a variety of crafts like pottery, wood and metals is found. Although there is no evidence of hand made item found during the time when Vedas were written.

    Harappan Era

    A rich tradition of craft and a high degree of technical excellence in the field of pottery, sculpture (metal, stone and terracotta) and wood can be seen during the Harappan period. It is the time where the craftsmen designed products according to the needs of local people and supplied them to other countries too via sea route.

    Mauryan Era

    Mauryan age witnessed the beautiful art of sculpturing in the 3rd century B.C. During this period a number of stupas, including the world famous Sanchi Stupa with beautiful stone carving was built. Making of contemporary jewelry was also one art that flourished well during this period. The iron pillars of Vaishali (Bihar) and Delhi created during the reign of Emperor Ashoka are the finest example of metallurgy.

    Post Mauryan Era 

    In the period between 1st century BC and 1st century AD the handicrafts of jewelry, sculpture, textile, leather products and metal working ushered reflecting more of British influence but later on changed as per the Indian craft scenario.

    Gupta Era 

    The Gupta (AD 320-647) age is referred to as the most classical period in the evolution of Indian handicrafts and includes the spectacular rock cut temples of Ellora and Ajanta. The craftsmen during Gupta period excelled in jewelry making, woodcarving, sculpting, stone carving and weaving.

    Medieval India 

    The Medieval period of Indian history in the context of handicrafts showed a marked shift from north India to Deccan and southern parts of the country. A high amount of royal treasure used to be spent in carving the walls of temples, and the sculptors too earned a handsome amount. The finest example of stone carving of medieval times can be seen in Khajuraho temple of Madhya Pradesh. Rich and ornate wood and stone carving can be found in Jagannath temple at Puri in Orissa.

    There are lots of different types of Indian handicrafts conveying their history and story of struggle. For example the beautiful art behind some famous Indian paintings like Madhubani, Thanjavur, Warli and Miniatures has evolved and adapted well with time. These paintings mainly portray Mughal style. Another good example is the appealing wooden handicraft items from our country which faced all highs and lows and evolved gracefully thereafter.

    Today Indian handicraft has an unsurpassable position in the global market, after suffering a lot of struggle. As a result, along with the Indian craft, Indian craftsmen are also in great demand all over the world. The products that are commonly admired by other countries and are exported from India are hand crafted jewelry, hand printed textiles and scarves, embroidered and crocheted garments, bags and purses, Mysore and Banarasi silk ,Kashmiri  shawls, leather belts, toys and an array of household and decorative items.

  • Himachal Pradesh: Preservation Centre of Indian Handicrafts

    Himachal Pradesh is known for its rich culture and beauty. The colorful dresses, the scenic beauty of place, the folk dance, and friendly nature of the people here is worth appreciating and to be talked about. This makes the place apparently beautiful and hence depicts rich cultural heritage. The most interesting thing about this place is that it is known for its Handicrafts since ages because of the versatile artisans here. For the same reason, it is known to be the Preservation Centre of Indian Handicrafts.

    Embroidery

    Embroidery is very much loved by all and is still the one of the topmost priorities of women when they come to buy. The designs of Himachal embroidery give the handicrafts a mesmerizing look. The designs here are mostly based on Kangra and Chamba School of Paintings. Chamba Rural embroidery is known to be the best and is done on both the sides of plain fine cotton.

    embroidery Image credit - Wikimedia

    Weaving

    Himachal Pradesh witnesses winters and it has brought the need of wool weaving. A well known weaving here is shown on a shawl with their striking patterns and vibrant rich colors. Kinnaur Shawls, Sarees, Trousers from here depicts that artistic weaving is still better than those done with the machine.

    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    Metal Craft

    Metal Craft is a well known handicraft of Himachal. They play with metals in such beautiful way that it comes out to be in the form of best utensils and jewelry. The casts and ornaments made out of copper and silver will keep you enchanted with their artistic beauty.

    Paintings

    Paintings are the best décor of a place and are much needed everywhere. There can be no place that looks good without a painting and Himachal Pradesh has best of them too. They have evolved in the states of Kangra, Kullu, Chamba and many more that portrays rich culture and romantic scenes.

    Carpets

    They are found in various sizes and colors and you can have the best and versatile collection of carpets made in Himachal Pradesh. Here, Goat hair and Sheep’s wool are utilized to give the carpets their best look and hence they are admired by all.

    Stone Craft

    Stones are easily available in the state and hence the artisans have made out their ways to try something mesmerizing with them also. Therefore, pots, milestones, mortar and traditional stoves are easily available here in the best of designs. It recreates the life in such small things that has brought the importance of handicrafts to all.

    Shop for this Red Stone Carving Elephant - Click Here Shop for this Red Stone Carving Elephant - Click Here

    Wood Work

    Woodwork is also much appreciated here and you will see beautifully carved windows, doors, ceilings and panels here that look appealing. It is also shown in utensils like bowls and jars.

    There are many things that are much appreciated about the culture from Himachal Pradesh like the beautiful caps, shawls and many more that keeps the art of handicrafts alive in India. The state has the best of skilled people who make us proud by showing the cultural diversity we have in India.

  • Revival of Our Handicrafts Industry: A Boon for Indian Artisans

    The handicraft sector is the second largest employment generator in villages, the first being agriculture. This is the largest decentralised and unorganized sector of the Indian economy. It is the craft of the people symbolising the inner desire and fulfilment of that particular community. These artisans form the backbone of the nonfarm rural economy.

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    India is a country that is by tradition very rich in art and craft. About seven million artisans in the country are engaged in some kind of handicraft. These handicrafts include pottery, mats, metal ware, weaving woodwork, etc. Most artisans have learned their skills from their parents and grandparents since cultural and family associations have a greater influence in India than market requirement or training. The handicraft industry is a home based one which requires very little expenditure, training or infrastructure to set up. The locally available materials and the individual skill is what is needed to make handicrafts.

    There were times when Indian handicraft received royal and aristocratic patronage, which is why Indian handicrafts are quite in demand the world over. Every piece of handicraft holds secrets, myths, and faiths that have transferred through generations both by the artisans and through people associated with it.

    poompuhar

    The agricultural community depends on the handicraft as a secondary source of income in case of drought, flood famine, or lean harvest.

    In the recent years, there has been a decrease in the number of artisans engaged in the handicraft industry. These artisans are engaged in manual labour work or are unemployed, giving up their high skills. One of the major reasons for this change is the commercially and machine-made cheaper alternatives available in the market. The limited exposure of the artisans to the market, loss of urban consumer interest, competition has also added to the decline of the handicraft industry. Today India adds only 2% to the global handicrafts market. Thus, you find that many of these artisans are living in abject poverty and economic conditions.

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    The government, the private, and the non-profit organizations have played a major role in trying to revive the handicraft industry. However, the impact has been isolated and limited. Much effort is required to completely revamp the handicraft industry using rural resources. Various organizations are helping by setting up exhibitions both domestically and globally to showcase the crafts produced by these artisans. These organizations are creating marketing opportunities for craftsmen to sell their products at a better price to a wider consumer base. They are using unique business models to create these market linkages from artisan to consumer, thus being profitable to all involved, especially the artisan.

    With the advancement of communication networks all across the country, it can be used positively to the artisan’s advantage. New designs, ideas, orders, and markets can be within the reach of the artisan with the right training. Educating customers too is an important part of revitalizing the handicraft industry. Today online marketing is a buzzword to buy and sell products. Some organizations are already connecting buyers and sellers directly online.

    The handicraft industry is very important for the country as it is the second largest employment generator in the rural sector. Efforts must be made to revitalize and develop it to its full potential. It is also an industry that helps to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the country. The new initiatives can help boost the lives of millions of artisans in the country.

  • Key Facts About Indian Handicrafts

    India is very famous for its handicrafts. It’s an important industry in the country and the government takes various measures to protect the industry and the artisans involved in it as India is one of the major suppliers of handicrafts to the world. Indian handicrafts are recognized worldwide and have great historical, cultural and religious significance.5

    Thanks to the government’s measures to protect and promote the handicraft industry, it has been showing a continuous growth of 20% growth every year. Recently even the private sector has shown interest in protecting and promoting it. This will only promote this growth further. India’s contribution to the world economy through this industry is 1.2%.

    Indian handicraft industry is a $100 billion industry worldwide. This is mainly due to the uniqueness of each product and how well it reflects the history, culture, heritage and religion of our country. This helps people who live abroad set their identity within their home or in their workplace by placing such handicraft products.

    While there is great demand and promotion for Indian handicrafts in the international market, the promotion of this industry in the national market is very low. Local people still prefer machine produced items as they are cheap which tends to affect the livelihoods of the artisans. It’s our duty to promote the Indian handicraft industry to prevent this art and talent from dying out.

    Handicrafts are comparatively more expensive than mass machine produced products as all handicraft items, similar as they might seem, are unique in their own way. This makes each product, small or big, very special as someone has sat with it and put their heart and soul into it.

    Handicrafts industry comprises a diversified product portfolio and there is large variety available in market including Metal ware, Wood ware, Hand printed textiles, Embroidered and crocheted goods, Shawls, Carpets, Bamboo products, Zari goods, Imitation jewellery, Paintings, Earthenware, Jute products, Marble Sculpture, Bronze Sculpture, Leather Products etc.

    Poompuhar Lamps

    The Indian handicrafts industry is highly labor intensive, cottage based and decentralized. The industry is spread all over the country mainly in rural and urban areas. Most of the manufacturing units are located in rural and small towns, and there is huge market potential in all Indian cities and abroad. Handicraft industry is a major source of income for rural communities employing over six million artisans including a large number of women and people belonging to the weaker sections of the society.

    Low capital investment, cheap and skilled labor, diversified product portfolio, flexible production are few important features of Indian Handicraft Industry. However, lack of infrastructure & technological support, lack of awareness of international and new trends and poor promotional campaigns are a few obstructions in the path of its full-fledged development. The Indian Handicraft Industry enjoys a unique place among all other industries because it represents the rich culture, tradition and heritage of India. India’s rich cultural diversity and heritage provides a unique and huge resource for developing craft products. It is one of the most important segments of decentralized sector in India. Now it is in our hands to pick handicrafts over machine produced products to help our artisans and the handicraft industry grow and prosper.

  • What We Sell at Poompuhar

    When people think of Poompuhar, what immediately comes to their mind are the beautifully made Indian handicrafts that are loved by both Indians and foreigners alike. By Indians, because these handicrafts are small pieces of India’s rich cultural and religious heritage; and by foreigners because they are so intrigued by the intricacy and richness of these artistic products. Poompuhar is one of the few organizations that work with a genuine, bifocal aim - to promote the Indian culture and the work of artisans.

    With this aim in mind, we train and nurture our artisans to produce a variety of creative products to suit the tastes of different kinds of audience.Our products are manufactured in production centers owned by the Tamil Nadu Development Corporation. Here’s a look at what we sell:

    • Bronze items

    Our bronze items come in two finishes, i.e. antique and polish. Both are mostly statues of different gods and goddesses which make for high quality attractive gifting items.

    Bronze items

    Shop for this Kalingakrishna Antique Finish online at http://tnpoompuhar.org/tamil-nadu/bronze/antique-finish/kalingakrishna-antique-finish.html

    • Wood Carvings

    Our exquisite range of woodcarvings are good to add that ethnic feel to your living room. From wooden panels to brackets and statues, these wooden items come in very innovative and intricate designs mostly with gods and goddesses as themes.

    Wood Carvings

    Shop for this Woodcarving Panel 3  at http://tnpoompuhar.org/tamil-nadu/wood-carvings/woodcarving-panels/woodcarving-panel3.html

    • Thanjavur paintings

    This ancient art from south India, which originated in Thanjavur is one of the best gifting ideas, as well as for decorating your own house. Most of these paintings have a central god or goddess as a figure which is embellished with gems, glittering gold foils etc.

    Thanjavur paintings

    Shop for this Thanjavur Painting Karpaga Ganesh at http://tnpoompuhar.org/tamil-nadu/thanjavur-paintings/ganesh/thanjavur-painting-karpaga-ganesh.html

    • Brass items

    Our extensive variety makes brass lamps as one of our most loved products. Besides lamps such asdeepam, hanging lamps and agal, other products such as cows, nataraja, peacock, ganesha, etc exude class in brass.

    Brass Cow

    Shop for this Cow With Calf Antique Finish at http://tnpoompuhar.org/tamil-nadu/brass/brass-cow/cow-with-calf-antique-finish.html

    • Stone work and Woodwork

    Stone work is usually done in granite, soap or red stone with embellishments in white colour. Wooden handicraft items include lions, horses, elephants, Ashoka pillar and Buddha.

    elephants

    Shop for this Granite Stone Elephant at http://tnpoompuhar.org/tamil-nadu/stone/granite-stone/granite-stone-elephant.html

    Woodwork

    Shop for this Wooden Ashoka pillar online at http://tnpoompuhar.org/tamil-nadu/wood/ashoka-pillar/wooden-ashoka-pillar.html

    • Pithwork

    Made from glass and stuck to a wooden base,this handicraft product usually has monuments and chariots as designs.Our pithwork products are miniatures showcasing popular facets of the Indian culture. These include the TajMahal, Kerala boats, Perumal temple, Thanjavur Temple and many others.

    Pithwork

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