Varanasi's Wooden Lacquerware and Toys Secure Prestigious GI Tag

The city of Varanasi is well known for its exquisite handicrafts and rich cultural legacy. The city's toys and wooden lacquerware have been recognized with the esteemed Geographical Indication (GI) label. This acknowledgment is a part of a larger initiative to preserve and promote Varanasi's distinctive cultural products, which are currently proud to have 30 GI-tagged products, including Banarasi Paan and Banarasi Langda Mango.

About Varanasi wooden lacquerware

Varanasi's traditional lacquerware has significant cultural and historical value. This craft has been passed down through the generations by the artisans who are members of the Kunder Kharadi Samaj. The toys are vibrant in colour and have very intricate and detailed designs. The wooden toys are made without joints, which makes them safe for kids 

Varanasi wooden lacquerware

The method used to make these toys is a labour intensive process called "turning," or "Kharad," wood. Using knives and other sharp tools, artisans cut, peel, and shape wood to create toys that are spherical, cylindrical, and diametrical. Pen stands, vermillion cases, religious artefacts, and boxes are also created using this craft. This labour-intensive craft requires not only mastery but also a keen eye for detail and expert artistry. 

The toys and wooden lacquerware from Varanasi are very special to the craftsmen. As part of the customs of the area, the birth of a child is marked by the addition of a new lathe to the family's collection, and when a couple decides to mend their marriage, the groom's family makes sure the prospective bride is comfortable operating the lathe. This strong bond with the craft emphasises how important it is to the community's overall cultural fabric.

Varanasi wooden lacquerware

The sector is important to the economy as well. It makes a significant economic contribution to the area by supporting thousands of artisans. With toys frequently made to order for exporters and retailers, the industry is valued at about 300 million Indian rupees, or roughly $4.1 million in the United States. Varanasi's artisans are becoming well-known across the country; several have even won awards for their exceptional work.

Preserving Heritage Through GI Tag

More than just a label of origin, a Geographical Indication (GI) tag identifies a product as having special attributes, being manufactured using age-old techniques, and having a particular reputation because of its location. Securing the GI tag for its toys and wooden lacquerware represents a major accomplishment for Varanasi in maintaining its rich history and showcasing its distinctive crafts to the world.

 Varanasi wooden lacquerware

Overall, it is anticipated that the GI tag will strengthen the regional economy by expanding the market and raising the demand for these distinctive goods. Additionally, it draws fresh attention to the abilities of the artisans and the cultural legacy they uphold. The GI tag acts as a safeguard and a marketing tool, guaranteeing that Varanasi's ageless crafts are maintained for upcoming generations as the city continues to be recognized for its handicrafts.

Ⓒ Copyright 2024. All Rights Reserved Powered by Vygr Media.