Adi Mahotsav ‘Celebrating the spirit of Tribal Craft, Culture, Cuisine & Commerce’
As the name suggests the event revolves around the Adivasi and celebrating the spirit of their craft, culture, cuisine and commerce. The festival is an exhibition-cum-sale of tribal handicrafts, paintings, handloom, fabric, show pieces and jewellery with an attempt to familiarise the people with rich and diverse art and craft of tribal communities across the country. Over hundreds of tribal artisans participate from around the nation to showcase their craftsmanship and enrich the festival.
The tribes constitute over 8% of the country’s population. This is a very significant number. In real terms it corresponds to over 10 crore Indians. The national object of inclusive development (sabka vikas) includes the development of tribes as an important component. Our constitution enjoins upon the Government the responsibility of addressing the special needs of the tribals.
The tribes of India have a wide range of handicrafts. These include handwoven cotton, wool and silk fabrics, woodcrafts, metal craft, terracotta, bead-work, masks, and other objects. They also produce compelling paintings. Though the tribes did not produce these artworks for the market but for their own captive use. The requirement of cash for sundry purposes drove the tribes to market these goods. It is therefore important that their natural skills must be channeled to promote their sources of income. To facilitate this, the Government seeks to promote interaction between the tribal artisans and the mainstream designers from reputed design organizations. The idea is to expand the product range and designs. The synergy between these two can generate marketable products of art and handicraft for the top-end global market. Single items of bell- metal produced by the late Jaideo Baghel of Kondagaon in Bastar sold for as much as five lacs of rupees. This only points to the fact that on the one hand there are skills in the tribal pockets of India, and on the other hand there is high-end demand in our cities and in the international market.
The need is to put two and two together for a win-win result. Events such as Aadi Mahotsav are very important in this regard. The Government has formed the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) for achieving this. TRIFED is doing significant work in this direction and has now embraced e-commerce and digital platforms by the name of Tribes India to take the business forward.
The Adivasi way of life is guided by primal truths, eternal values, and natural simplicity. The greatness of the tribes lies in the fact that they have managed to retain the primal skills. Their creations issue from the depths of time. This quality gives their arts and crafts a timeless appeal. The crudest tribal handicraft instantly touches a primal instinct in all of us.