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Photographer's Note

Bhujodi is a small town just 8 km southeast of Bhuj. In fact Bhujodi was the first village which exposed to us mud relief work, which is one forte of village dwellers, used to decorate their houses. In the great Rann of Kutch, Gujarat, many hamlets have Mud relief walls with the motifs that usually represent their feelings and beliefs.

Mud Relief Work in Kachchh :
The mud is prepared with clay easily found in the Great Rann of Kachchh. It is pounded and sifted through a sieve to get a smooth powder and other ingredients are added for anti cracking properties. These are thin fibers obtained from sieving donkey dung, which are then mixed with the mud and kneaded with water as per the requirement of the desired patterns. It is rolled on a plain surface by the palms, to get a string like form and then this string is fixed with pressure on water-wetted wall or wooden plaques to get the desired forms.The beauty of these artistic hands lies in the fact that they can make any motifs without any visual markings or drawings to facilitate mud relief work.

Mud relief work is done by different communities in Kachchh, and they have their own distinct styles. What you see in the photograph here in the house of Dharmeeben, is Harijan Mud Relief Work.

Marvada Harijan of Banni area in the Great Rann of Kutch had played a vital role to popularize this art and had made efforts to establish this art in metro cities, as part of interior decoration on walls of drawing rooms and five stars Hotels. This art has been used to decorate stages for musical programmes and also to garnish song-settings in Hindi films. Hamlets in this area are full of this art, in every house one can see walls that are embellished with mud-relief work. Most of the designs and motifs are derived from their own embroidery and stitching designs & geometrical forms.

For a wider view which shows more of the art & mirror work on clay on the house walls, please check the Workshop

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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