Karuppur kalamkari paintings, Kallakurichi wood carvings get GI tags

Application for paintings was moved by Handicrafts Development Corpn.

The traditional dye-painted figurative and patterned cloth called Karuppur kalamkari paintings and the wood carvings of Kallakurichi have received geographical indication (GI) tags.

While the application for registering Karuppur kalamkari paintings for the tag was moved by the Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation (Poompuhar), the Corporation filed the application for Kallakurichi wood carvings jointly with the Kallakurichi Wood Carving Handicrafts Industrial Cooperative Limited Society, No. 2, and the Chinnaselam and Vriksha Association of Wood Carving Artisans self-help group, Anna Nagar, Kallakuruchi.

According to P. Sanjai Gandhi, advocate and nodal officer, GI registration, Tamil Nadu, kalamkari paintings are done on pure cotton cloth, predominantly used in temples for umbrella covers, cylindrical hangings, chariot covers and asmanagiri (false ceiling cloth pieces), whereas Kallakurichi wood carvings are a unique form of wood carving entailng the application of ornamentation and designs, derived from traditional styles by the craftsmen.

Kalamkari paintings are done in Karuppur and its surrounding villages in the Udayarpalayam taluk in Ariyalur district, and in and around Sickhanayakanpatti and Thirupanandal in Thiruvidaimaruthur taluk, Thanjavur district, while Kallakurichi wood carvings are mainly practised in Kallakurichi, Chinnaselam and Thirukkovilur taluks in Kallakurichi district.

Documentary evidence shows that kalamkari paintings evolved under the patronage of Nayaka rulers in the early 17th century, whereas the woodcarving skill evolved as an indigenous art when Madurai was an important town under different monarchical regimes in the ancient times. In the course of time, woodcarving craftsmen migrated to other towns and places, and each of them evolved their own style like the Kallakurichi woodcarving, Mr. Gandhi said.

Collector Dinesh Ponraj Oliver recently unveiled a showcase, displaying eight products, having their historical roots in Thanjavur district, registered under the GI of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002, at the Collectorate.

The Thanjavur thalaiyatti bommai (doll), Thanjavur veenai, Thanjavur thattu (art plate), Tanjore paintings, netti carvings (pith works), Thirubhuvanam silk sari, Swamimalai vengala silai (bronze idols) and Nachiyarkovil kuththuvilakku (traditional lamps) are on display at the showcase, set up at the reception area of the Collector’s Office.

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