KUD Department of Folk Studies to offer diploma, certificate courses

Like folk arts, folk costumes and designing too will make an entry into academics shortly.

For the first time in India, the Department of Folk Studies of Karnatak University Dharwad (KUD) has come forward with the innovative idea of launching diploma and certificate courses in Folk Fashion Designing. The KUD academic council meeting on Friday approved the proposal submitted in this regard.

The course is expected to be launched in an year’s time after completing the statutory formalities.

The department chairman V.L. Patil told The Hindu that the department had thought of introducing this innovative course with the broader intention of safeguarding the rich folk costume and designing tradition and prevent the techniques of the villages from slipping into the hands of outsiders.

In recent times the fashion and interior designing industry had developed tremendously and those engaged in this industry have begun exploring innovative ideas from Indian folklore. The very concept of fashion designing has changed over the years and the Indian folk tradition was being accommodated in this sector.

Rich folk culture

Karnataka and especially the northern districts have a rich folk culture. One can see various communities and tribes in this region mastering the art of costume designing. Moreover, the people here are expert in manufacturing fabric materials using minimal raw materials and also waste materials. One can hardly match the costumes of the Lambani tribe in matters of their colour combination and designing skills.

Similarly, Kaudi (quilt) is another special material of north Karnataka. The women make patchwork quilts for their families with old sarees and scraps of cloth to stitch Kaudi. It is the glorious tradition of recycling and reusing. These days the Kaudis are being exported also.

To begin with, the university will start certificate and diploma courses in folk fashion designing. The minimum qualification for the certificate course is PUC while it is degree for the diploma course.

Most of the girls in villages and small towns discontinue education after PUC here. Hence, the certificate course will help them to learn fashion designing using technology.

The main intention is to help them explore self-employment opportunities rather than hunt for jobs. The diploma holders will have the choice of joining fashion designing firms as folk designers or go for self-employment, Prof. Patil said.