Tuesday 1 August 2023

Sambalpuri Din #SambalpuriDin

August 1st is celebrated as Sambalpuri Din.

As we cheer and wear Sambalpuri Bandha, time to ensure that we choose and promote original handlooms and support all our weavers.
Image Courtesy: Shri Papu Lenka, Facebook

In the above image, we can see some members of the Pahala Rasagola group- Pahala Rasagola Entrepreneurs and Manufacturers - wearing Sambalpuri Bandha shirts. It is a matter of great pride and happiness that they accepted this writer's suggestion and have been wearing handloom shirts for events.
August 7th is National Handloom Day.
Time to identify and name our handlooms correctly too.

What is Sambalpuri Bandha?
Odisha has a lot many varieties of weaves.
9 of our handlooms have earned the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
"Sambalpuri Bandha Saree and Fabrics" is one of the weaves.
It is a type of "Orissa Ikat" i.e. Bandha Kala (art of tie-and-dye weaving) of Odisha.

More about Sambalpuri Bandha in this post-

More about the other types of Odisha GI handlooms in this post-

Let's honestly answer-
  • Can we recognize Odisha handloom & correctly identify Sambalpuri Bandha and others?
  • Do we buy, wear, gift, share, and promote handlooms?
  • Do we ensure correct representation?
  • Are we "vocal for local" and "vocal for GI"?
The answer, I am afraid, is a BIG NO for most as we ourselves do not know.

There is a lot to learn. We are all learning everyday.
Only when we are aware, we can correctly & responsibly share.

Misrepresentation of Sambalpuri
There is a lot of misrepresentation and misinformation e.g. non-Sambalpuri fabrics and sarees are being sold as Sambalpuri.
What will the buyers learn? What they are informed.

Even different handlooms are being sold as "Sambalpuri". They cash on the popular name and misinform.

It is heart-breaking to see the different sarees like Khandua, Bomkai, Gopalpur Tussar etc being posted as Sambalpuri :(

What can we do when designers themselves make such mistakes e.g. presenting Khandua Saree as Sambalpuri-

Is it okay to call all Sarees as Sambalpuri?
Is it okay to call you or another person by another name apart from your/their own?
In case, we are called by another name, does our reality or origin change?

All Odisha handlooms are being called Sambalpuri now.
Plus, traditional motifs/designs of Sambalpuri Bandha (and other handlooms) are being copied by other states and passed off as their own weaves!
These are serious infringement issues that need to be addressed.
We are responsible for our culture and heritage.
We are responsible to ensure correct representation.

Choice is ours-
Whether we allow the wrong information to continue or to take steps to share the right information and make all aware?
More in my blog post-
Khandua or Sambalpuri? Sab Chalta Hai?

Above images-
Clicked at- Global Exhibition on Services, India 2019 - GI Exhibition held at Bengaluru Palace Ground, India.
I am wearing a blue, black and white "Sambalpuri Bandha Fabric" shirt with the traditional motifs.
It is type of Odisha Ikat and one of the GIs of Odisha.
In our Odisha stall, you can see the GI products- "Sambalpuri Bandha" & "Orissa Ikat" including beautiful dupattas and even the handwoven Shree Jagannatha wall-hanging.
Always grateful to the GI Registry, DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt of India, for warm invitation and this wonderful opportunity to showcase and represent our GIs of Odisha.🙏

For authentic local products and information you can check out the local brand- Utkalamrita.
The now famous Shri Ganeet - Maths Saree was sent by Amrita Sabat & Team Utkalamrita - Sabat Exports Pvt Ltd.- to Team Vidya Balan. Actress Vidya Balan had worn it for the Hindi movie, Shakuntala Devi, e-promotion.
Also, the Pahala Rasagola makers have selected fabrics from the Utkalamrita collection. The image given in the beginning of the post is one of their chosen Sambalpuri Bandha fabrics.

Sabat Exports Pvt Ltd is the first GI Authorised User of Orissa Ikat.
You can plan to visit Utkalamrita, Sabat Exports Private Limited's store that is the first Odisha Handloom GI store in the world.
Location- 650, Sahid Nagar, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India.
Website for online order- www.utkalamrita.com

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