The terracotta craft community of Gundiyali is an enterprising community open to collaboration and growth. Over the journey of six years, various collaborative engagements through diverse projects, activities and events have taken place with the community starting in 2014. These include introducing innovation through design and technology, and the approach of experiential tourism among others.
Kutch is the largest district in Gujarat, India. It is widely popular for handmade skills, largely, but the major focus has been on textiles. There are other craft clusters in the area which were yet to be discovered for a wider audience. In 2014, DICRC was studying terracotta crafts for conducting Craft Innovation Training programme, and after studying the clusters of Botad, Wakaner, Ahmedabad and Gundiyali, the one in Gundiyali was chosen based on the scope of intervention at Design, Social, Cultural, Technological and Entrepreneurial levels.
Project: Documenting Gundiyali Village
The village of Gundiyali was documented with a focus on the terracotta crafts community by mapping the craft spaces, documenting craftspeople, craft practices and the various traditional outcomes they produce.
The terracotta craftspeople of Gundiyali were documented through a digital mapping procedure developed by DICRC. The community belongs to the Brar Muslim sect, who migrated from Arab countries to Sindh and Kutch.
Documenting craft process
An extensive documentation of the craft was done, which included the raw materials, tools, equipment and the craft process from sourcing raw material, kneading and preparing clay, making the objects, drying, painting to the firing process.
A diversity of traditional products like matkas (to store water), ketli (to hold tea) and Kulhad (for buttermilk) made by Kumbhar men and ornamented with natural paints from red, black and white clay and stones by Kumbhar women were documented. This also included the distinct community-specific motifs and patterns.