Despite hard times, they have a reason to cheer


Demand for earthenware during Onam keeps clayware makers going

A serious shortage of good quality clay, now costing around Rs.40 a kg, has not hardened the hearts of the people of Kolathuruthu island near Muvattupuzha. The clayware makers are known for churning out large numbers of ‘Onathappan’ or ‘Thrikkakarayappan’, pieces that are kept at the centre of the traditional Onam floral decorations.

K.K. Mohanan from Kolathuruthu said good quality clay was being brought from Thrissur, and the cost was prohibitive. However, the demand for products like Onathappan and other earthenware during the Onam season has been a great consolation, he added.

The products from Kolathuruthu families are sold at markets in and around Ernakulam and Thripunithura ahead of Thiruvonam.

Licence fee for work too high

The present system does not allow the traditional clay product makers to mine for clay, as the licence fee for the work is too high. Besides, there is no clay mining anywhere in Muvattupuzha, he said.

There are around 35 families on the island, and they depend mostly on clay product making for a living. The people of the island are hopeful that the newly-formed corporation for the welfare of the community of clay product makers will help them tide over the present crisis-like situation.

Besides the cost of clay, earthenware-makers have to fight the influx of products which are cheaper though not environment-friendly like clay.

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Printable version | Dec 11, 2019 4:22:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/Despite-hard-times-they-have-a-reason-to-cheer/article14630648.ece

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