Thursday, May 8, 2008

Navalgund Game Board Dhurry

Navalgund is a small town 40 kms from Hubballi (Hubli) in Dharwad district of Karnataka. The highly decorative and intricate designs of the colourful Navalgund dhurry is its individual signature.

The main designs are geometrical in juxtaposition, the outlines are in delicate tracery with floral motifs with a bird or animal incorporated. The weaving is done on pitlooms with 'punja', a metallic countrivane almost like an extension of the outstretched palm used to pull back firmly and fix in place the weft yarn, while weaving. The dyed yarn is shuttled by hand up to the point where the coloured weft is required; the design is prepared by interlacing of weft with warp yarns, different effects are produced by using threads of varying thickness, thin for warp and thick for weft.

Excerpts from Handicrafts of India
by Kamala Devi chattopadhyaya

Once upon a time Navilu-gunda meaning 'the peacock grove' was home of the flamboyant national bird of India - Peacock (Navilu is peacock in Kannada); the 'char-mor jamkhana' with four stylized peacocks woven around the pachisi game board is a tribute to the exotic bird.
Although the end users are predominantly Hindus these works of art are created by women weavers from the Muslim community. Till not very long ago a jamkhana (dhurry) with a pagade aata was a part of the bridal trousseau and also pledged to secure loans.
The team of designers from RKP have incorporated traditional patterns of saada phool - geometrical floral form, pagade aata - the central pachisi board, char mor - four small peacocks and bada mor - a single large peacock in various permutations and combinations to create these traditional floor coverings.

Designers : R.G. Singh & H.S. Dharmendra, RKP
Crafts person : Farzana Begum, Navalgund

1. Deccan Herald article
2. Blog post

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