[stag_button url="https://milaap.org/fund/gujarat" style="green" size="small" type="normal" target="_self" icon="" icon_order="before"]Help Keep The Traditions Alive![/stag_button]
Over the past two weeks, I have been exposed to so much art that it has been over-whelming. I have met artisans and craftsmen from different districts and of some very unique art styles. I could not have thought of a better way to celebrate my birthday and begin another year in my life than meeting these wonderful people. It's probably impossible to talk about all the artisans I met with and the art that they represented, so I'm going to pick one that really moved me and is also significantly important in the Indian art and cultural heritage - the patola of patan in Gujarat. It is believed that patola is a holy silk cloth and wearing it contains religious and miraculous powers. Patola comes from very old history that goes back to the 11th century. Though across India, there are various patola artisans but the patola from Patan, especially from the Patola House, is the only place where original patola is still made. It's an art that has been protected by the Salvi family for over generations.Patola sarees are made out of a series of traditional silk threads that are woven on a harness loom that is made of teak-wood or bamboo. The threads are tied and dyed with natural dyes and over the threads itself a pattern is created. There are in all 12 patola designs that hold true of its origin. The caretaker at the Patola house showed me various pieces of patola designs, some of which had been protected for over 300 years.I eventually did also meet one of the senior members from the Salvi family, who took time out and showed some adjusting work, which was bringing the design on the saree in proper order and formation. I felt lucky to be in that house of such deep history and art. One of Mr. Salvi's sons who studied architecture has now given up his main career path to fully devote his time to patola. He also is the designer of the family's new museum, that will be ready in 2-3 months.There are several such artisans whom you can help accomplish their dreams by lending them a small loan. You can lend to the cause that you feel the most for.