Mapping India’s crafts was a mammoth task that took eleven years. During this period, many new crafts were born, skills rejuvenated and some may have languished and faded away. The nature of crafts production in India is both ephemeral and resilient. India’s crafts journey resembles the progress of a river from the mountains to the ocean, picking up material, depositing some, changes course, disappearing underground to surface somewhere else. Yet, the tradition continues forever.
The Dastkari Haat Samiti, a national association of craftspeople, undertook the enormous task of documenting whatever skills and crafts it could find and created artistic crafts maps of each state of India. Three new states were born during the process. A traditional art form of each state provides the backdrop for information meticulously gathered from first and second hand sources. The maps provide resource material to people working in different disciplines and a source of aesthetic joy to anyone who uses them as wall posters. The vibrant illustrations and academically rich content are recreated as an atlas of India’s crafts, handmade textiles and traditional arts, covering India’s cultural history. Crafts Atlas of India is therefore a unique documentation and a rare visual treat.