Traditional craftsmanship is perhaps the most tangible manifestation of intangible cultural heritage. A cultural craft tells a story - the story of the culture and heritage of the place where it came from. It can also express the thoughts and feelings of a point in history. A cultural craft has an authentic relationship with the particular people and the place. It preserves traditional knowledge and talent.
Havyaka traditional crafts are learned person to person, passed from generation to generation, and influenced by surrounding environment. Our crafts cover a wide range - from mud work to knitting, basket making, embroidery, wood carving, and more. Handicrafts are made from various types of natural ingredients which are environmentally friendly and are certainly better.
Making Tulasi katte (Tulasi pot) has been a tradition for many long years in almost every Havyaka household. Fine red soil or red clay soil is used in making of Tulasi katte (Tulasi pot). Before giving a shape, soil is mixed with water and crushed finely by hand or by feet. Tulasi katte is given a shape manually by hand. After it takes a desired shape, Tulasi katte is kneaded very well using fine stone for several days to stop any cracks that may show up. Making Tulasi katte from start to finish can take several weeks or more. But it is a great way to relax, and get creative.
Bamboo is another natural element used in variety of handicraft products like baskets, shades, mats etc. We use shades and mats (collectively we call Kadike) interchangeably as required; there is no difference between the both. We use Kadike as a mat to dry boiled areca nut, coconut, and many other crops. And, an interim Kanaja (storeroom) is built using Kadike to store unfinished grains. Kadike is also used to build provisional shelter or tent during family occasions. Baskets are mainly used for storing, and carrying agricultural products and supplements in fields or farms.
Weaving of basket, shades or mats is done manually by experts. Bamboo poles are cut into of different sizes and dried partially. Partially dried bamboo poles are further spilt into flat thin strips by peeling top layer. These strips are soaked in water to gain moisture and make it flexible to weave. Alternatively strips are exposed to mist during night and weaved in the morning. The strips are arranged on the floor in different shapes - circular, square, rectangle etc. - as needed for the product. Bamboo strips are weaved alternatively and run through the arranged strips. Bamboo strips are continuously added and weaved until it takes desired shape and size.
Knitting and embroidery
For ages, crafters have continuously found ways to turn everyday articles into works of art. While this interest has culminated in a myriad of decorative art forms, none has resonated quite as strongly as knitting and embroidery. Knitting and embroidery have been around forever, in some form, across the cultures - and has evolved throughout human history. Prevalent in cultures across the globe, these crafts have developed into one of our most beloved crafts.
We are engaged in hand knitting and embroidery craft work for centuries as a relaxing and useful hobby. We hand knit cute sweaters, warm scarves, and shawls. Wool yarn is used in knitting. Hand Embroidery is done using needle and thread to apply designs onto cloth like table cloth, pillow covers, etc. In general, our knitting and embroidery work is for domestic use.
Living in forested zones, where wood is (was?!) plentiful, the tree and its wood have played a prominent role in our life. Wood runs like a vein throughout our life. It is one of the principle materials for many creatives due to its unique combination of strength and softness. It is integral to everything from fuel to building materials, furniture, tools, and more. Our relationship to this resource has remained relatively unchanged over time.
For as long as one can remember, we have been using wood to create useful objects to meet a varying array of farming and household needs. Not all of us are crafters but most of us know the basic wood work that is essential for our everyday routine, like tools. And, a few are skilled in wood work of making furniture, doors, idols, and other artifacts.
Artifacts from areca nut tree
We use areca nut tree for several different purpose. Tree trunk is used in making cots, tables, and chairs that are generally used in Kana (a place where the crops are kept during harvest season and a temporary shelter is built). Areca nut tree trunk is also used in making ladder and foot bridges manually.
With leaf stalk part (this is called Haale) provisional bags are created by hand to collect areca nuts. Leaf stalk part is also used in making plates, cups, bowls, tumblers, caps, and more. These artifacts are made by hand in smaller quantity and for domestic use. However, a machine is used to make these in larger quantity and for commercial purpose.