The district of Kutch in the West Indian region of Gujarat is famed for its signature mirror work and dense embroidery motifs with each of the regions tribes and sub-tribes maintaining their closely guarded signature styles. Central to all this activity is the distinct and well-respected Somaiya Kalavidya, an organisation who provide design education for Kutch’s traditional artisans while helping to preserve and protect the regions design traditions.
Famed for their artisan to artisan programmes, the school’s curricula, schedule and language of instruction are designed to accommodate the lifestyles of the artisan, their only requirement for admission being a prior knowledge of traditional crafts. During an extensive research trip in 2014, I met some of the school’s graduates and current students to find out more about the impact of the school’s work.
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