May 8, 2018
Six rural crafts from Bengal get GI Tag
After Banglar Rosogolla and Joynagarer Moya, now six rural crafts have received the coveted Geographical Indicator (or GI) tag. The crafts include – terracotta of Panchmura, Dokra, Chhau masks of Charida, wooden masks of Kushmandi, Banglar Patachitra and Madur.
Although terracotta and Dokra arts are famous all over the world, the GI tag will definitely be a huge impetus for the rural crafts of Bengal.
More than 425 families in Panchmura are involved with the terracotta art. From horses to elephants – the terracotta artifacts are world famous. The GI tag will help in better marketing of these products.
There was a time when the makers of Chhau masks in Purulia would not get their due recognition. But under Mamata Banerjee, the State Government has teamed up with UNESCO to set up a Shilpa Gram. More than 450 artistes are involved in this art. Same is the story with Kushmandi masks. More than 350 artistes are connected to this art.
Patachitras of Pingla are also well known. The modern patachitras, made with organic colours are popular among the people as a home décor item. The GI tag will add to the recognition of the artistes.
Dokra jewellery is also popular among people. The GI tag will only enhance its market reach. As will the four and a half thousand artistes involved in Madur making.
Already Bengal’s handicrafts are sold at Bishwa Bangla retail outlets. The GI tag will help in their global branding, thus leading to the economic prosperity of the artistes.
In 2013, the State Government teamed up with UNESCO to set up rural craft hubs in different districts for the promotion of handicrafts. That hugely benefitted the artistes and led to their economic well-being. The GI tag will only help their prospects even more.