Crafts of Haryana

 

 

Making handicrafts have never been the mainstream occupation of the people in Haryana. Most crafts have not evolved into art forms and have remained rooted to their original use and simplicity. Perhaps people were always too involved in the hardships of agricultural life to spare time for crafts. Even when the Green Revolution made agriculture easier, people preferred to continue with agriculture, which was a familiar area, rather than venture into the unknown world of crafts. Historically speaking, Haryana's craft traditions also never received any royal patronage, as did crafts in Rajasthan or Avadh.

Despite all these problems, Haryana has some interesting handicrafts on offer including pottery making, handloom, woven furniture, artistic pottery, and woodcarving.

Handloom

Haryana boasts of a robust handloom tradition, especially in Panipat and an equally vibrant handicraft tradition. Panipat is a major textile town of India famous for its rugs and upholstery fabric. Traditionally women would weave durries (rugs) and khes (thick coverlets) for household use whenever they would be free from agricultural and household work.

However, today theses rugs, especially the panja durries (named after a weaving method) are marketed all over the world. Thick fabrics are a speciality of Haryana, as climatic conditions do not allow the use of fine threads in normal looms. The weavers have also developed their skills using thick threads and can weave many beautiful and complicated designs. The thread used by most weavers is thick cotton thread called sooth in the local language.

Pottery

Pottery in Haryana ranges from simple pots meant for daily use to highly artistic decorative pieces. In Jhajjar, in Rohtak district, pitchers made with clay are greatly valued as the clay imparts sweet taste to the water stored in the pitcher.

Other Crafts

Village women usually start the craft activity after the harvest is over. Baskets, woven for daily use, are the excellent examples of their craft. One such basket is sundhra, a traditional hot case woven with sarkanda reeds and used to keep the rotis warm. Women also make cloth endis that are used to balance pots on their heads or on the ground. The endis are decorated with sequins and coloured fabric.

The village is a bustling centre for localised crafts. Agricultural implements hand crafted by the lohars (blacksmiths), pots for daily use and many other handicraft items are sold at the bazaars. The large melas (fairs) held annually in different parts of the State are also important markets for crafts.

Other craft products include the tilla juttis of Rewari and the educational toys made in Gurgaon.


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