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Ghadai: by the Potters of Kutch

Photos by Ilana Millner, Media Fellow


After months of hard work, weeks of construction, days of set up, and hours (7 hours to be exact) of painting, Ghadai by the Potters of Kutch opened on January 19th, 2015.  The event was inaugurated by Shri Mahendra Patel, District Collector of the Kutch district in the presence of Ms. Deepali Khanna, Member Secretary of IGNCA, New Delhi, artisans and their families, and staff and friends of Khamir.


(A District Collector is someone who is responsible to implement all the government programs in the interest of the common public of the district)




Painting done by the fabulous fellows who came to see the exhibition: Ilana Milner, Laura Van Voorhees, and Ranu Nath




The word Ghadai refers to the unique skilled technique used by traditional potters to create large objects of pottery- a distinct technique of Kutch kumbhars.   The exhibition traces the history of Kutch kumbhars, highlights each of the pottery clusters in the area, stresses the difficulties kumbhars face today, and questions the future of the potter’s livelihood tomorrow.

A father admires his sons work
Me and all my friends!


Gayatri, film maker extraordinaire, and the kumbhars




Artisans from the pottery clusters of Kutch created the pieces for this exhibition. These pieces are recreations of traditional pottery objects that had once been used in Kutch, but have since been lost to time.  Because the craft is traditionally passed down from generation to generation orally and there is a lack of formalized curation and documentation of traditional crafts, some of the pieces in Ghadai are not even found in museums.  It was through dedicated efforts of the amazing Khamir pottery team that potters with historic family know-how were identified to help make these pieces.

Meera, the director of Khamir, leads the first group through the exhibition




The exhibition is a beautiful story of the kumbhars of Kutch.  The inauguration was enjoyed by all who attended.  After the main events, the Khamir team gathered for congratulations, celebrations, and of course, a photo shoot.

Meera thanks everyone for their contributions to Ghadai
My lovely Khamir family
The Pottery Team

Now that you have seen a glimpse of the exhibition, I am sure you are looking at your calendar to figure out when you can come to Bhuj and see this masterpiece.  The exhibition will be open until March 31st- so hurry and book your tickets now!


Photos by © Ilana Millner for the American India Foundation

Highlights: Virginia recently graduated from Tulane University where she completed degrees in Public Health, International Development, and Gender & Sexuality Studies. For the past four years, Virginia has been very passionate about work with New Orleans public health involving sex education, reproductive health, and proper nutrition. She was a sex education teacher, a youth mentor, and a global justice intern with a free health clinic where she helped start a farmer's market and led a weekly women's wellness class. She spent her junior year abroad in India living in Delhi and Dharamsala conducting fieldwork on the reproductive health care status of Tibetan refugees.

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