Clay Relief Wall Decoration
Clay Relief Wall Decoration in the homes of Rabaris is also known as ‘Bhungas’. Clay Relief Wall Decoration is an antique art which is used for decorating home. It is also called “Lippan” in the general language. Clay Relief Wall Decoration is universal in the internal walls of this group of people. Rabaris are very famous in Clay Relief Wall Decoration as well as Harijan Meghwals. Complicated designs are produced on the spherical walls of ‘Bhungas’. The people of today also create frames of Clay Relief and keep them in their homes.
The procedure of Clay Wall Relief is reasonably simple but a great deal of talent is needed in creating very much complicated designs and making certain that the combination adheres to the wall properly. The clay mixture is made from dried and perforated horse, cow or camel dung and mud. The mixture is applied to the wall by burning in out between the fingers to shape edge increased by about one centimeter from the walls surface. The Muslims and Harijans be expected to use purely geometrical designs where as Rabaris include symbolic descriptions of Gods, animals and human forms. Small mirrors of different designs are regularly added to the patterns to make it more attractive. The wall is white washed after drying.
Many of the patterns and decorative designs used in Clay Relief have much in common with those used in the needlework. Each design has a name and each has a religious importance. For example, the symbolic patterns of camel, a woman carrying water pots and the peacock appear in many of the designs. Each of these has a particular meaning. As for camel, Rabaris are fundamentally camel herders and they believe that camels are ‘heavenly greater beings’ and they also represent love. A lot of worship is committed to rain as it is limited in this dry area of Kutch. The ‘Panihari’ is a representation of contributor of water. Peacocks are original to Kutch area and be a symbol of happiness, richness and knowledge.
The houses of Banni area are living museums of beautiful paintings. Rabari and Harijan women are traditionally experts in describing their dreams in paintings. They twist houses into homes.
Collected soil is mixed with camel dung and kept for a few days. Then, it is kneaded to achieve sufficient smoothness and designs are worked on the mud wall using these clay mixtures. Designs of mor (peacock), popat (parrot), anguli (fingers), vinjano (fan), hathi (elephant), ghoda (horse), unt (camel), zad (tree), fal (fruits), phool (flowers) and vel (climbers) are described. To increase the artistic value, tiny mirrors are position in between the designs. The wall is washed using white earth colour after the drying process. Bhujodi, Ghada, Ludia etc. are the main centres of the craft. These days, walls of hotels and museums are decorated with these sorts of beautiful paintings.
Mochis and Harijans dedicate themselves in leatherwork. This work is at first done on pure leather of cows, buffaloes, goats, sheep etc. but today, it is also done on regsin. Many different varieties of items like shoes, sandals, purses, bags, mirror frames, fans, belts, saddle bags for camels and horses etc are made by leatherwork. These accessories are embroidered with brilliant colours like red, orange, blue, green etc.
Before this community was engaged to embroiden the shoes of majestic family members. Today this craft is also seen in some places like Bhirandiyaro, Dumado, Dhobrana, Khavda, Hodko, Dhordo, Gorewali, Ratadiya, Sumarasar, Bibber, Dinona, Kuran, Ratnal, Sattapar, Galpadar and Bhuj etc.
Wood carving is one of the best imaginative skills of Kutch. The people of Harijan community live in Dumaro and Ludia and they are master craftsmen of wood carving. They make various tools like pastel roller, chapatti disc, bottles, small table and glasses etc. of wood doing attractive figure. Normally, they use the hard durable timber wood and available in ‘Babul’ wood to prepare the excellent artifacts.
Pen Knives, seed crackers, scissors and swords of Kutch are famous in India as well as in all over the world. The accurate derivation of this craft is not visible. The current Muslim blacksmiths are famous as ‘Luhars’ and they follow this technique. They were previously educating property. As agriculture did not offer them continuous employment, they remained without work for about 6 to 7 months in a year. To make them working all the time, their religious preceptor advised them to slot themselves in a side industry which could provide them income. According to another description, the industry seems to have been started long time ago by one of the associates of the present craftsmen who exclusively dedicated himself to the job of manufacturing state weapons. Today, there are nearby 100 craftsmen busy in this craft and spread over different places like Bhuj, Mandvi, Anjar, Reha etc.
The terra cotta collected from the ponds is hardened, beaten, powdered, filtered and wrapped up in water. When the terracotta gains smoothness, it is kneaded on a small effective potter’s wheel. Different sizes and shapes of pots are shaped. These pots are sun dried. On the dried pots painting is done by using earth colours of white red and black with the help of brushes made out of bamboo sticks or cotton.
The painting work is done by women. The common uses of the decorative designs are waves, straight lines and zigzag lines, peacocks in different postures, leaves, fishes and flowers. After being painted, the pots are made dried in traditional process. Items include pots, kunja, Batak, Gharba, Deeva, plates etc. and Jambudi, Lodai, Bhuj; Khavda etc. are the main centres.