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Rann of Kutch

"Meeting and experiencing this culture that's intrinsically linked to traditional Indian handicrafts and the manner in which they still practice these ancient art forms was truly enlightening."

- photographer Vikas Munipalle

"Meeting and experiencing this culture that's intrinsically linked to traditional Indian handicrafts and the manner in which they still practice these ancient art forms was truly enlightening."

- photographer Vikas Munipalle

SHOWCASE

  • BUILDING A TRADITION

    Sidik Khatri – The head of the last few practitioners of Rogan Art. The weight of history and tradition on his shoulders comes through during conversations.

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      Rose Window
  • DYEING IT RIGHT

    Making the dye for use is an exercise in precision. Natural pigments mixed with oil; stain the threads with the bright mixture.

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      Blue Chase
  • FOR GENERATIONS TO COME

    Rolling Pins, Spatulas and other mundane daily objects get a new lease of colour in the hands of Popat Bhai – an artisan belonging to the 7th generation of his family into the profession

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      Copper leaf
  • THE COLOUR OF INSPIRATION

    Popat Bhai displayed the wooden samples that he keeps for his reference. The colour references and combinations, although intuitive for him, is based on solid scientific colour theories. Tucked away in the lesser known corners of Kutch, it’s truly an art to discover.

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      Hot Shot
  • THE ART OF WEAVING

    Artistic weaving is one of the traditional handicrafts of Kutch. Weavers make products out of both wool and cotton bring a multitude of colours to life. Over here, a weaver operates a hathsal or a pit loom to make a woolen shawl.

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      Pink Silk
  • LEGACY OF A HUNDRED YEARS

    This form of weaving is known as Kharad. The art form is over 100 years old and passed on from generation to generation. The thick threads are made from goat or camel wool and dyed using vegetable dyes. The weaver doesn’t sketch any of the patterns beforehand. He directly weaves the patterns he has in his mind.

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      Classic Blue
  • THE WAY OF LIFE

    Fishing, goat and sheep rearing is what people of this small, little beach town in the Rann of Kutch look forward to every day. In fact, boats used for fishing are also handcrafted by the people living here itself. Mandvi must be small but is certainly self-sufficient.

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      Beige Accent
  • HOME OR GODOWN?

    For traders, their own homes serve as go-downs. Thistrader uses the front room of his home to sell grains. He makes his income selling grain from this tinyestablishment.

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      Prairie Green
  • CARTING AROUND

    Beasts of burden are important to the local economy.This powerful beast pulls carts around when traders are visiting the farmer’s mandi or selling goods towholesalers.

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      Divine Wine
  • AS THE COLOURS UNFOLD

    In the evenings, the beach at Mandvi comes to life. An array of colours unfold out on the sands. Camel herders offer rides to both tourists and locals. The beach offers a whole list of fun and adventurous activities for those who visit it. It should certainly be on your list too!

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      Divine Wine
  • UNITED WE STAND

    This historic way of printing- Ajrakh is about 400 years old in Kutch. However, in 2001, when a tragic earthquake hit Bhuj, it found a newbeginning. The Khatris practicing Ajrakh were brought together in the wake of rehabilitation.Originally settled in a village called Dhamadka, they came together to constitute a new village called‘Ajrakhpur’.

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      Royal Wave
  • THE ART, THE MAKING AND THE OUTCOME.

    Ajrakh,the traditional block-printing art, requires extremely skilled artisans whohave years of practice. A typical piece of Ajrakh has blocks of similar patterns along the borders or theentire length of cloth. Earlier, the Khatris used to design the wooden blocks on their own. As thebusiness grew, they started sending their designs on paper to people in Pethapur who carve out thewooden blocks for them.

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      Teal Dream
  • A TALE OF A REFUGEE

    Raniben Ratilal Bhanani (Old lady in white)came to India from Pakistan in 1972 as a refugee. After living in arefugee camp for 8 years, she received Indian citizenship. Her husband began aschool for their community while she earned as a artisan. A founder member ofKala Raksha, she pioneered thedesign committee and patchwork products created by older women. She taughttraditional embroidery to the women in her village including herdaughter-in-law Miraben (seen sitting in agreen and purple saree).

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      Chrome Green
  • A PURE MIX OF ART AND COLOURS

    A visit to Kutch and you’ll be embraced by different forms of clothrelated work of art. Vikassaw Rogan Art on Day 1, Kharad on Day 2 and today,he saw Ajrakh along with Rajai Embroidery. Seenhere are two sisters working on beautifying a bright Rajai while their youngersibling plays away.

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      Ochre Shadow
  • THE TIMES HAVE CHANGED

    Where there is real art, there’s real demand.Traditional block-printing seems to have undergone major advancements due torise in market demands. Block-printing seems to have become screen-printing.Modern, quicker methods of designing seem to be taking over Ajrakhpur.

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      Glowing Rust
  • A DUSKISH END

    Aday in Kutch is incomplete without witnessing its sunset that takes over theblues of the sky in the evening. It creates a canvas of orange, yellow, goldand grey hitting the horizon against the white sand. This scenic landscapesurely must have caught photographer Vikas Munipalle’s eye. Has it caughtyour fancy over these 3 days too?

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      Mid Buff

    PALLETTE

    Rann of Kutch
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      Classic Blue
    • X118
      Red Red
    • 526
      Sunrise
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      Golden Prairie
    • 336
      Buttercup-N

    PROFILE

    VIKAS M
    Photographer

    Vikas Munipalle graduated from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai with a Bachelors degree in Mass Media. He worked for Time Out magazine as a staff photographer before freelancing and venturing out on his own. He is a versatile photographer who has dabbled with several genres of photography including food and beverages, travel, interiors, portraits and products. His work has been published in magazines like Rolling Stone, Mint Lounge, Lonely Planet magazine and Vogue among others.

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