district of Bijapur and its centre, the ancient city of Vijayapura is inhabited
by a community known by locals as Lambani or Banjara and who have a unique
tradition of embroidery and jewelry making and other handicrafts, known as Banjara
Art. The community is historically nomadic and hence called ‘Banjara’s’ which
is derived from the Sanskrit word “Vana Chara”, meaning wanderers of the
jungle. Their tribe believed to have descended from Roma gypsies of Europe who traveled
across the rugged mountains of Afghanistan into the desert of Rajasthan in
north India thousands of years ago before migrating down into southern states
which includes Karnataka. Music, dance and storytelling remain central to their
culture, as do their fine textiles made from natural materials and dyes. Theirs
is a distinctive style of dressing characterized by vibrant colours, ornate
embroidery and a range of embellishments.
has been inherited from generation to generation, from mother to daughter. As
they lived in the forests, ready-made clothes were not available so they used
old clothes and created new ones through patchwork and quilt techniques. That
is when their craft originated. About 80 stitches and techniques are part of the embroidery. The traditional Lambani
embroideries are designed for a nomadic lifestyle, featuring geometric, floral
and animal motifs. The combinations of stitches and mirror work are worked out
extraordinarily with vibrant colour, making the design strikingly different.
Though the community is a treasure of rich
information, culture, tradition, Indian ethos but they have their own inherited
beleaguered problems in the society. They live mostly in the inaccessible or
remotely situated undulating terrain and have been far behind the mainstream of
economic development. This socioeconomically and educationally lagging
community, even today is lacking in basic infrastructure needs. Such is the
case in Karnataka, especially in the districts like Gulburga,
Shimoga, Bijapur, Chitradurga and Bellary, where the Lambani population is very high. Sabala, a
voluntary organization set up in 1986, is working with Lambanis in Bijapur and has succeeded in developing a sustainable
livelihoods model for around 350 ultra poor households by utilizing their
traditional skills while developing products for modern markets
Empowerment through skill training – since 1998 Sabala provides opportunities for over 200 women to learn skills and translate these skills into productive activities that generate income. The revival of the traditional Lambani and Kasuti crafts is a main concern of Sabala Handicrafts. Through organizing and educating the community Sabala has worked to bring structural changes and improve the situation of Lambani and other underprivileged communities in 60 villages of 3 talukas of Bijapur district. Sabala worked with a value chain approach wherein it looked at each component of the supply chain and developed standardized production process to ensure timeliness and high quality. The initiative has led to revival of a traditional craft in modern society, reduction of migration and settlement of the nomadic tribe in a respectable and dignified manner. Currently, the Craft based Livelihood Initiative is a full fledged business enterprise which has sustained in the market for more than twenty years without any convention funding support. Today the Lambani tribe is recognized as an artisan group due to our efforts. The program has thus shifted the community’s social identity and preserved its cultural identity. Through producing.
||Artisans working with Sabala Handicrafts.
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||Lambani Hand Embroidered, Mirror Embroidery, 100% cotton, Overlap closure
The products are made by Lambani artisans of Sabala Handicrafts in the Vijayapura district of Karnataka. The motif and colors are inspired by the traditional craft of Lambani tribe. The products guaranteed Fair Trade which means the artisans were fairly paid, no gender discrimation, no child labour, good working condition and no harm is done to environment in making this product.
♦ Imperfections and variations in the product cannot be termed as defects, as these are intrinsic to the handmade process. ♦ These might slightly differ from as seen on digital screen.
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