Entries by cci

Marble boxes with mother of pearl lids, Agra

The great Mughals brought marble carving, sculpting, fretwork and inlay with precious stones to Agra. The most glorious example of these skills is of course the Taj Mahal. Descendants of artisans originally trained by Persian marble-craft experts carry on the tradition. The inlay work is so smooth that it is indistinguishable from the marble to the touch.

‘Pattu pai’, mats made with extra-fine reeds, Tamil Nadu

Fine ‘korai’ grass grown on the banks of Tamarabarani river, is cut, drenched in water, split and woven into fine quality mats as smooth as ‘pattu’ or silk. They are created by Muslim women in Pattamadai who originally made them, against orders, as ritual mats for high caste Hindu bridal couples. An exquisitely woven ‘pattu pai’ was India’s wedding gift to Queen Elizabeth in 1952.

From a range of wooden toys, Varanasi

Unique to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh are tiny wooden birds, animals and toys. Originally working with ivory, the craftsman now uses fine-grained Kahema wood which allows him to carve with equal intricacy. Notice the details on the truck, including the driver in his seat.

Gift boxes featuring folk painting – Madhubani, Kalamkari, Gond, palm leaf

Curving floral motifs of Kalamkari, noted for its laborious, many-stages process, from Kalahasti in Andhra Pradesh, brightly coloured Madhubani painted designs done by women of the Mithila region of Bihar, palm leaf sewing, etching and engraving from Odisha and brightly coloured birds typical of the Gond art of Madhya Pradesh speak of the richness of tribal art in India.

EtoS – realising a dream

What is our hope when we say we EducatetoSustain? We hope that the students of the artisan communities that CCI supports in the EtoS programme complete high school, even graduate from college and return to the village to practise the craft of their forefathers. In reality, this is a very high hope. For one thing, […]


R Mahalakshmi, a ninth grade student from Veeravanallur Handloom Weaver’s cluster in Tirunelveli district when asked to write a small note on what she enjoyed most at the ten day Children’s camp at the little known Kodaganallur village on the banks of the Tambrabarani said, “ We played lots of games like chess, Chinese checkers, […]

Veeravanallur Mat Weaver’s Society

This is one of the Educate to Sustain clusters that CCI is working with near Thirunelvelli-TN. The women weavers here take orders from the Society. Once a flourishing craft with a good market the situation has changed over the last 10 years and the Society barely has money to pay wages. The Society has been very receptive to […]