Art & Craft

Tribal people are god-gifted with their art and craft skills. Each group has its own festivals, legends, customs, taboos, rituals, superstitions, institutions, dances, songs, music and past reminiscences of their particular clan that have left an indelible impact on the artistic impulses of the group. They believe that their skills are not for creating beautiful art objects but in fact, their skills are one the ways to earn a livelihood. They also think that art is the only medium through which they can transmit the traditional culture to the upcoming generations. Unfortunately, most of these tribal art and craft forms are on the verge of extension mainly due to the lack of interest among the young generation. Hence, the following activities were conducted under DST-Tribal Heritage Project to revamp the tribal art and craft skills and explored livelihood opportunities based on traditional skills.

The project team has documented the traditional art forms of tribal communities in the Idukki and Wayanad Districts. Kolkali, Kambukali, Kaineenjiyattam, Villadichanpaat, Mannan pattu, Urali Koothu are some of the tribal art forms of the Idukki District.

The project team has formed a troupe of Mannan pattu musicians and digitalised 4 Mannan songs with the support of modern art facilities.

The major art forms of the tribal communities of Wayanad District are Vattakali, Gadhika, Kolkali, Koodiyattam, Nellukuthupaat, Kurathi Nadakam etc.

Kurathi Nadakam is a traditional art form of the Paniya community and the current generation is not aware of the art form. Only the head of the community “Mooppan” knows the songs and stories of the Kurathi Nadakam. In order to recreate and revamp Kurathinadakam, a group of artists was trained under the leadership of Mooppan. Now the artist can perform the Kurathi nadakam on stage.

As part of the livelihood improvement using traditional skills, the following community enterprises were established /supported with common facility centres, Machinery and tools for drudgery reduction, training for skill improvement etc. Now the artisans are equipped for crafting Office stationery items such as Pen stands, File tray, File cover, Wastebaskets, and household utility items such as lampshades, fruit baskets, flower vases etc.

  1. Unarv Bamboo craft unit is a group of bamboo artisans from the Urali tribal community at Palaplav, Kanjikuzhi Grama Panchayath, Idukki District.
  2. Vanasree Mulagramam Unit at Kallikal Uru in Udumbanoor Grama Panchayath Idukki District is a group of bamboo artisans from Mala Arayan and Urali communities.
  3. Thrukaipatta Paithruka Gramam - Art and Craft SHG, Thrukaipatta in Meppadi Grama Panchayath Wayanad District were supported with 15 days training program for artisans from Paniya and Kuruma communities. They were trained in making contemporary relevant items and also to improved their skills in making bamboo items having market demand.
  4. RGCB has also established a Tribal Heritage Resource Centre at Uppukunnu, Idukki District in collaboration with Arackal Heritage Protection Trust. The centre exhibits various things associated with Kerala's tribal culture and traditions. Traditional kitchen utensils, agriculture tools, household items, music instruments and weapons are some of the major attractions of the Centre. The Centre also displays and sells the various products made by the tribal groups created under the Project.