04-02-2018 09:00 AM | Shilpika Bajpai | My Indian Dream
Tamil Nadu based tribal women bring back the dying old tradition of Lambadi embroidery.
The Lambadi tribe were a nomadic tribe from various parts of the country. Belonging to northwestern India, currently in parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan borders. With the Mughal army, these tribes migrated down and settled in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Sittilingi is an abode to the 2nd southernmost settlement of Lambadi community.
Even though the tribe is still living in various parts but it had lost the age-old tradition of Lambadi embroidery. Lambadi embroidery refers exquisite embroidery on the traditional dress of the tribe. The tribe lost its pride after the women stopped wearing the traditional dress and the craft slowly died.
In 1993 Tribal Health Initiative was started, taking help from the facilitation two women Neela and Gammi started the Porgai Artisans Association in 2006. The two women had learnt the same craft in their childhood and started training other young women to revive the dying, age-old tradition.
With 60 Lambadi women, Porgai Artisans Association started off. Porgai means "pride" in the Lambadi language. The word signifies the true value of the unique embroidery which has been carried through the generations in the tribe.
Dr Lalitha Regi who was a part of Porgai since 2006 said, "By giving you our products we are sharing our pride with you."
The association faced a lot of difficulties in the beginning as finding a market where they appreciate the craft and the tradition. Slowly the craft gained popularity and is loved in South India. Chennai has become their best market so far. They constantly appreciate and admire the products of Porgai. The Porgai Artisans are loved in Chennai and have loyal customers supporting them.