Indian Crafts and Rakhi: An Unbreakable Tie

Indian Crafts and Rakhi: An Unbreakable Tie

Between childhood memories and grown-up dreams, you know that your siblings and partners-in-crime will always have your back! Raksha Bandhan is one such wonderful occasion that celebrates these beautiful bonds and cherishes them for a lifetime with the symbolic and auspicious thread of ‘Rakhi’. It is thought to bring abundance, joy, and protection to the wearer.  

The history of Raksha Bandhan in India dates back centuries but came under the spotlight during the struggle for independence. It was then that the Nobel-winning poet Rabindranath Tagore started a mass drive of Raksha Bandhan to unify men and women through an unbreakable string of love. Although the tradition remains the same, Rakhis have changed their humble appearance to a more vibgyor-ish existence. The latter has been possible due to the incorporation of local crafts and cultures into this amazing tradition. At TICP, we want to carry this beautiful legacy forward with our amazing range of handcrafted Rakhis. It is needless to say that this colorful thread is one of the crowning examples of how arts and crafts can create experiences. In this article, you’ll delve into three major craft forms of India that have been successfully incorporated into Rakhis.

Pattachitra Rakhi

This craft is popular in West Bengal and Odisha. Dating back to the 5th century BC, it is one of the oldest crafts in the nation. The word ‘Pattachitra’ has Sanskrit roots with ‘Patta’ meaning cloth and ‘Chitra’ meaning painting. It has various names according to the medium used to like, ‘Bhitti Chitra’ is used for paintings on walls, and ‘Tala Patra Chitra’ is for the ones that are painted on ‘Talapatra’ or Palm leaf. The Talapatra Pattachitra Rakhis by TICP have vibrant earthy hues of ochre that will connect you back to your roots in the most pleasant way.

The commonly seen themes of these Rakhis include deities like Lord Jagannatha (Lord of the Universe), Lord Ganesha, and other characters from sacred scriptures of Vaishnava sects. Natural elements also opt as an inspiration, for instance, peacocks. The color scheme used, generally revolves around red, yellow, white, and black. Deities are revered and induced as parts of the daily lives of the local inhabitants. Therefore, gifting a Pattachitra Rakhi is often thought to bring a surge of abundance, happiness, and luck to the wearer. 

Tholu Bommalata Rakhi

Tholu Bommalata has been a highly popular genre of art in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The art form dates back to the rise of Vijaynagar empire and literally means ‘Dance of the leather puppets’. Earlier, the craft was limited to puppetry but nowadays, it has expanded its reach to many objects like wall hangings, decorative pieces, Rakhis and many more. The paintings are done using translucent leather as a medium and uses bright colors to depict its subjects. Ornaments are made by piercing minute holes in the processed medium. In local dialect, a collection of Tholu puppets are termed ‘Ganiyam’. These puppets are considered to be a part of the manifestation of divine will. The way an otherwise lifeless material creates ‘life’ on the stage is wondrous. Therefore, puppeteers consider them to have souls of their own, which can only expire with a symbolic ‘death’. As long as the puppets entertain and serve, they are revered just like other members of the family and treated with respect and care.  

Traditionally, the Tholu Bommalata genre is popular due to its beautiful and vibrant portrayal of characters from the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. In the present times.  Tholu Bommalata Rakhis are one of the added feathers to its crown. The material is symbolic of the eternal durability of the ever-existing bonds between siblings. Be it a fish Rakhi or a Sun god, we, at TICP, have everything you wish for this Rakhi season! To get your Tholu Bommalata Rakhis, click here.

Blue Pottery Rakhi

Unlike any other forms of pottery, Blue Pottery of Rajasthan is the only one of its kind to not use clay as raw material. The name of this craft is obtained from the royal blue hue that is a characteristic. The tint is obtained by mixing Copper Oxide with salt or sugar. Other than this, Fuller’s earth (Multani mitti), glaze, and Sodium Sulfate make up its major raw materials. As the word ‘pottery’ is associated with the craft, one can easily mingle it up with any other fragile artifacts of its kind. Despite these notions, you will be astonished to know that the biggest advantage of the Blue Pottery artifacts is that they do not develop cracks or break as easily as a clay object does. 

The blue hue is used to draw several motifs which are usually inspired by Mughal patterns. Starting from vases, dishes, and tiles, to Rakhis, Blue Pottery deals with a huge range of products. 

The TICP Blue Pottery Rakhis from Rajasthan has been a bestseller the yesteryear. They are back in stock again; this time in evergreen colors like light blue, dark blue, and a fun summer yellow, to create an exquisite Rakhi for you!

All-in-all, it is needless to say that Raksha Bandhan is one of the most sacred occasions that celebrates love. Perhaps, this is why it becomes more important to tell your partners-in-crime how much you love them. A Rakhi always carries the symbolism of an eternal bond. Just imagine how great things can turn out when this symbolism becomes miscible with the aesthetic and earthy crafts of India! Yes, quite special indeed and a perfect choice as the highest token of lovely emotions. So, grab your intricately crafted rakhis, now and send a message along! 

Written By Chandrajita Chakraborty, The India Craft Project

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