The culture of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and tribes from across the country come alive through three stores here in Koramangala: Tribes India, Gurjari and Mrignayanee are three government emporiums in the Koramangala BDA Complex that sell traditional design-based textiles and crafts. Together, they provide Bangaloreans with a variety of designs, patterns and texture in clothing and other craft items.
Opened in 2008, Tribes India supplies hand-woven and embroidered clothes, metal craft items, jewellery, paintings, novelties, pottery items, and several organic products made by adivasis. “We provide the raw materials and designs to work on, but the talent comes from the tribal people,” explains Shrinivas Shanke, the manager of the store.
While people from the Agaria, Lohar, Ghadwa, Malar and Swarankar tribes produce the metal handicrafts, tribes from north-eastern states and Andhra Pradesh supply clothing such as shawls, bed and cushion covers, dupattas and sarees.
Tribes India and Mrignayanee get professionals from the National Institute of Fashion Technology to trains artisans in upcoming trends. “Most of these people wish to stick to their traditional way of crafting. We try to inspire them to adapt to new and challenging trends,” says K. Nandanan, store manager of Mrignayanee.
Mrignayanee sells exquisite Madhya Pradesh handicrafts such as Chanderi, Maheshwari and Tussar cotton and silk sarees, ‘bagh’ and ‘dabu’ printed bags, materials and kurtas, gift items made of bell metal, wrought iron and so on. Bagh prints are made of vegetable colours, while dabu uses a mud mixture to make the prints.
Exhibitions based on specific themes such as bagh or dabu prints and theva jewellery are organised every two or three months. “Artisans who are registered with the organisation can showcase their products, provided the rates are similar to the ones we provide,” explains Nandanan.
Gurjari, on the other hand, has stuck to products made with traditional Gujarat craftsmanship. Traditional dress forms of Gujarat, sarees, shawls, bed covers, wood and metal furniture, ceramics, bamboo and bead crafted gift items are a few of the products available here. “The basic tradition followed in these crafts has remained. Certain changes in colour and design patterns are made as the trend demands,” says Ravindra Nayak, manager of Gurjari.
Variety of options
Gurjari and Mrignayanee shifted to the BDA complex five years ago from their stores on Residency Road.
“In Delhi, a whole complex is provided for government emporiums so that people can have a variety of options at the same place. But it is far more difficult to find a government space here,” says Nandanan, who is glad to have all the three emporiums together.
The three stores have an equal share of loyal customers. “The principle behind these stores is not to gain profit but to create employment and awareness on different art forms and cultures. People who like our products and their quality will always come back, ” says Nandanan.