The Beauty of Indian Crafts in Five Short Movies

From north to south, meet the makers and discover India through its crafts

Dastkari Haat Samiti

Sozni Embroidery: In process (2017-09)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Shabir Ali Beigh: Sozni embroiderer

Shabir Ali Beigh (1976-2017) was a National Award-winning Sozni embroider from Srinagar, in Jammu & Kashmir. The masters of this little known technique of heavy emboss-like embroidery can fit 500 stitches into a square centimetre of cloth, and may work for up to three years on a single piece.

Jammu & Kashmir's Sozni embroidery (2017)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Watch Shabir and family at work, as he details his inspirations in this short cinematic film.

Weaving community (2017)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Abdul Kalam and team: masters of carpet weaving

Abdul Kalam is an artisan who has combined the mastery of his craft along with a great entrepreneurial spirit. He works from two locations: Mirzapur town, where his family lives, and Khamaria village, 8 kms from Bhadohi. The nearest airport is Varanasi, which is 65 kms from Mirzapur. He, therefore, has easy access to reach out to wider markets. He learned his skill from his 80-year-old father, who still spends his time weaving at home. 

Mirzapur's Carpet weaving (2018)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Master craftsman Abdul Kalam shares his skill, passion and success to help create a community of kilim makers in Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh.

Banarasi Weaving: Artisan at his store (2018-02) by Maqbool HasanDastkari Haat Samiti

Maqbool Hasan and Bharat Shah: weaver and promoter of Banarasi Saris

Varanasi is well known for its different styles of weaving, created to obtain patterns termed as brocade. There is no marketplace for textiles, small or big, in India, that does not boast of the famous weaves of Varanasi. Varanasi brocades are sold from the smallest spaces in shops, not larger than a cupboard, to large high-end showrooms.

Banarasi Sari weaving (2018)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Watch master weaver Maqbool Hasan and textile revivalist Bharat Shah share insights on the Banarasi Sari.

Leather Puppet Making: Leather Puppets (2017)Dastkari Haat Samiti

DC Rao and Sindhe Sriramulu: master puppet-makers and puppeteers

The leather puppetry of Andhra Pradesh is amongst the oldest shadow puppet traditions. It is a medium of entertainment, of sharing and transmitting folklore, and of communicating information and knowledge. Most leather puppets were, and continue to be, influenced by the social context around the artists.

Andhra Pradesh's Leather puppet making (2017)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Watch D.C. Rao, Sindhe Sriramulu and family take you through this ancient craft and performance tradition.

Bell Metal Casting: Moulding process (2017)Dastkari Haat Samiti

PG Anthithiriyan and family: masters at bell metal casting

The famed bell metal craft of Payyanur is an example of how traditional crafts are sustained through local practices and demand. The Sri Subramanya Swami Temple in Payyanur, in Kannur, is one link and focal point for this art form. The craft has been practised in Payyanur for several generations. The processes are dramatic, involving a number of workers and require strenuous manual efforts. It is the devotion and demand that keeps this art form alive.

Kerala's Bell metal casting (2018)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Watch as PG Anthithiriyan and family work to transform dull mud into shining metal.

Credits: Story

Partner: Dastkari Haat Samiti
Cinematic Videos:
- Director: Jyoti Neggi
- Production: Studio Gola

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Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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