India is a Country unlike any other due to its vibrant combination of culture and ethnicities.India has different language and dialect of a language every 100 kms and different culture, festivals, traditions attached to it.
Every ethnicity is illustrated through its souvenirs and keepsakes thereby giving glimpse into the regions culture, history and heritage. The Ethnic Story brings these cultures its unique ethnicity on one platform by way of handicrafts, souvenirs and miniature products. We have listed down few souvenirs from different corners of India that definitely should be part of your souvenir collection.
Pattachitra Painting from Odisha
Odisha is known for its culture, temples and one famous art form Pattachitra. Derived from Sanskrit words for ‘cloth’ and ‘picture’, the Pattachitra form of cloth-based scroll painting.
Using pattachitra art the artisans have created various products like Bookmarks, envelopes, diaries and many other products that can be perfect souvenirs.
Madhubani paintings from Bihar
Madhubani or Mithila paintings Asserted to be one of the oldest painting traditions in India . This art reflects scenes from Hindu epics and Hindu deities. The paintings are created with twigs, branches, single hair brushes, and matchsticks, and are coloured with natural pigments.
Apart from paintings there are other products that can also be picked which is made using this art like Paper mache pen holders, bowls, wall hangings.
Channapatna Toys, Karnataka
The origin of Channaptna toys can be dated back to the days of Tipu Sultan who was the ruler of Mysore . According to historians Tipu Sultan was an ardent art lover and he had invited Persian artists to teach the art of toy making to the locals. It is also learnt that a man named Bavas Miyan took the responsibility to introduce Japanese doll making techniques to improve production and reduce the effort that went into making each piece of toy.
Over the years the popularity of Channapatna toys has grown immensely and the main revenue for this glorious toy industry come from exporting these products all over the globe.
The Ethnic Story has also partnered with artisans from Channapatna to revive this industry and promote these products to a larger audience via www.theethnicstory.com.
Kathputli ( Puppets) from Rajasthan
Puppetry is a traditional and an ancient art of story telling in India. The kathputli or puppets of Rajasthan are amongst the most popular souvenirs from the state as they are considered to truly represent the Rajasthani culture and tradition. These puppets are bright and colourful and can be a perfect souvenir.
Leather Puppetry- Andhra Pradesh
Leather puppets of Andhra Pradesh formely known as Charmakari or Tholu Bommalata. Tholu Bommalata literally means "the dance of leather puppets" (tholu – leather and bommalata – puppet dance. Dharmarao Cheruvupalli in Nellore district, Nammalakunta in Anantapur district and Narasaraopet in Guntur district are the main centres for the production of leather puppets.
Aranamula Kannadi (Mirror)- Kerala
Aranamula is a village in the Pathanamthitta distric of Kerala, which is home to the craft of metal-alloy mirrors aka Aranmula Kannadi. These unique metal mirrors are the result of Kerala's rich cultural and traditions and hence these kannadis make exquisite souvenirs.
Stone Cut Work Art- Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh also known as heartland of India has a rich traditional heritage that has been flourishing since ancient days.The stone crafts of Uttar Pradesh have shown their creative excellence through intricate architectural masterpieces.Thin marble slabs/stones are etched for hours to give them a meaningful shape and design. Intricate carvings are made by hour long chiseling. The stone craft of Uttar Pradesh include marble boxes, wall plates, table tops, coasters, and ashtrays.
Dhokra handicrafts –Chhattisgarh
Dhokra art is one of the oldest metal crafting techniques in the world but over the years the production has declined drastically globally, except India where this art is practiced by a niche group of artisans. This art is inspired from tribal lifestyle like animals, trees etc.
Over the years artisans have become even more creative and have started using dhokra art to create daily utility products like trays, platters and more and hence these products make a great souvenir option.
Clay Dolls - West Bengal
The craft of doll making is the specialty of the Krishnanagar in West Bengal.What started as an art practised by a few people has now become a community activity, including women and children involved in the craft today. These dolls are made out of clay and usually represent miniature replicas depicting various subjects and people like Snake Charmer, Carpenter, Mason etc. The exquisite craftsmanship of these artisans have earned them laurels and accolades from the British royalty like Queen Victoria.
Bidri work is a famous metal artform of Bidar region of Karnataka. This art originated about 500 years back. The metal used is a blackened alloy of zinc and copper inlaid with thin sheets of pure silver.
Black Stone Pottery- Manipur
Stone Pottery is a traditional craft from Manipur and is practiced by this tribe known as Thankul Naga tribe. The material used in making these products are a mixture of Black serpentite stone and weathered rock. Unlike most pottery, stone pottery does not resort to the potter's wheel. All shaping is done with the hand and with the help of moulds. Black pottery products like mugs and cups are definitely souvenirs worth collecting.
Warli Paintings- Maharashtra
A Warli painting would comprise of images of human, animal and scenes from the daily routines of people, the drawings are usually done with white colour, whereas the background remains red. One has the choice to buy Warli Paintings done on cloth and paper.