UNESCO’s list of iconic Indian textiles


    In News

    • Recently, UNESCO released a list of 50 exclusive and iconic heritage textile crafts of the country.
      • The report is titled Handmade for the 21st Century: Safeguarding Traditional Indian Textile. 

    About the report 

    • The report lists:
      • The histories and legends behind the textiles.
      • Describes the complicated and secret processes behind their making.
      • Mentions the causes for their dwindling popularity.
      • Provides strategies for their preservation. 
    • Some of the iconic handcrafted textiles
      • Ilkal and Lambadi or Banjara embroidery from Karnataka
      • Sikalnayakanpet Kalamkari from Thanjavur
      • Toda embroidery and Sungadi from Tamil Nadu
      • Himroo weaves from Hyderabad
      • Bandha tie and dye weaving from Sambalpur in Odisha 
      • Khes from Panipat
      • Chamba rumals from Himachal Pradesh
      • Thigma or wool tie and dye from Ladakh
      • Awadh Jamdani from Varanasi
      • Kunbi weaves from Goa
      • Mashru weaves and Patola from Gujarat
      • Garad-Koirial from West Bengal
    • Significance
      • Textile crafts represent a very significant share of the Indian cultural heritage and have dazzled the world for centuries.
      • It is essential that these iconic heritage crafts are taken stock of and promoted as contemporary treasures.
      • UNESCO publication also includes recommendations for the protection and revitalization of these textile crafts, that cover both the broad-spectrum of issues extending from policy to grass-root based micro-interventions. 
    • Challenges
      • According to UNESCO, one of the major challenges to the safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in South Asia is lack of proper inventory and documentation
      • UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage: No textile practices from India have been included in the list so far and an inscription in the list would be due recognition of the talent and diversity of the country’s extraordinary weaving traditions.