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Digitalizing Cooperatives

Bikaner Usta Kala Craft

Usta kala (art), a craft that exudes royalty, is created by deft artisans in Bikaner (Rajasthan) who work their magic using gold meenakari on camel leather. Today, this has expanded to wood, mirrors, and marble. This art form highlights the unique quality of enduring golden colour.

The artform

Usta kala is a broader term that encompasses a combination of different art forms and techniques. In recent times, sunehri munawwati nakkashi work meaning gold embossing work has gained prominence. The making of this art form requires great skills and patience. The designs are first made on paper, which is traced on the surface using indigo or black coal powder. Sand from a ground earthen pot which is sometimes mixed with glue and jaggery is then used to create required paste for embossing.

GI Tag

Given the laborious technique and unattractive returns, youths of the community were mostly dissuaded from preserving and pursuing the art. To infuse a fresh vigour and create profitable avenues for this art, NABARD support in its GI registration. The art was recognised under GI tag in 2023 and its application number is 753.

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