dazzling creations by tribal artisans
The colourful attire replete with exquisite embroidery embellished with mirror work worn by Lambada women folk have never ceased to amaze even the most fastidious fashion conscious world. It is not just the traditional lambada wear, but also the aesthetically designed trinkets, bangles and assorted ornaments complementing the finery which has often caught the fancy of the designers.
Nizamabad: The colourful attire replete with exquisite embroidery embellished with mirror work worn by Lambada women folk have never ceased to amaze even the most fastidious fashion conscious world. It is not just the traditional lambada wear, but also the aesthetically designed trinkets, bangles and assorted ornaments complementing the finery which has often caught the fancy of the designers.
Ousula thanda in Nizamabad has become a hub and a source for these ornate costumes and accessories. In fact, the name of the thanda – earlier known as Bhibhipur- was derived from the work tribals do to produce Ousulu - ornaments worn by the Lambadas. The creations crafted here are so popular that many TV producers converge to this thanda to procure costumes and other adornments for the characters in their serials. It reflects the immense popularity of their designs.
Forty families living in Ousula Thanda are involved in this activity. Interestingly, all the inhabitants of the tribal hamlet are descendents of one ancestor- Roop Singh. The tribals here do not own even a cent of land and designing clothes and ornaments was the only occupation which ensured them a source of livelihood. Apart from selling their wares in weekly shandies (markets) frequented by the Lambadas, they also export their creations to other places. The jewellery worn by the Lambadas in the district are those made by the tribals of the Thanda.
According to the tribals who are involved in this activity, they have designed ornaments and costumes for Hindi serial actors and also for Jordaar Mangli, an anchor with the HMTV. The tribals never use machinery in making the clothes or the ornaments. They craft them skillfully with their hands. Their inventory includes taklis, gugris, amulets, anklets, waist belts and so on. A lot of patience and skill go into their designing.
It takes at least one week to design the ornaments. Everyone in the household is involved in this craft. Some of the ornaments used in films are crafted here. The craftsmen are supplying the costumes and ornaments within a week in accordance with design chosen by the customer from a catalogue. Despite exhibiting a lot of creativity in designing the ornaments, the artisans of the thanda are of the view that the consideration they get for the work done is not commensurate with their talent.
Meanwhile, their business is suffering for want of capital and suitable markets. Designing the jewellery has become their mainstay since they do not own any land to practice agriculture. The tribals say that they are continuing in the trade as there is no alternative for them. They have appealed to the government to provide exclusive marketing facility and also loans to ensure the survival of the tribal jewellery.
By Srikanth Panchareddy