Close-Up of Woven Hemp Textile

Avani Society

Avani Society
Berinag, India

For many, hemp cultivation held emotional, as well as economic, value for the community. One village woman, Lila Devi, shared fond memories of taking hemp products to fairs in nearby towns, where they could sell it or exchange it for other goods. For many in this isolated region, such trips offered a rare chance to see the outside world, while also generating valuable income. Thanks to its multitude of uses, hemp cultivation also served as a symbol of self-sufficiency of Bora communities, who took pride in being able to produce their own textiles and spices without interference or assistance from outsiders.


  • Title: Close-Up of Woven Hemp Textile
  • Location: Uttarakhand, India
  • Type: Textile
  • Medium: Hemp
  • Photography: Unknown
  • Community: One of the primary communities Avani works with are the Bora Kuthaliya, a small caste based in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, India. The Bora have a rich heritage and tradition of cultivating and weaving hemp to create bags, rugs, and mats. However, with the government's ban on hemp cultivation in the 1980s, this practice has all but disappeared. Today, with the help of Avani, Bora communities are reviving these traditional weaving skills through new art forms, enabling them to continue making a living in their Himalayan home.

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