Banjara women work hand in hand to preserve traditional embroidery style in Telangana – The New Indian Express

Express press service

HYDERABAD: The specialized embroidery work found on traditional Lambadi skirts, dupattas and cholis is unique to the Lambada community, whose women have preserved the intricate style for centuries. Although it may seem only a matter of time before their traditional embroidery perishes, with those of the previous generation aging and contemporary style taking over the tastes and interests of young people, an effort that has started in the 90s has proven useful. preserve rare works by diversifying products. It has also helped maintain the livelihoods of women who depend on this profession.

Kethavath Laxmi Bai, a resident of Yellamma thanda in the Manchal mandal of Rangareddy district, is one such designer of traditional banjara embroidery. She was empowered by Satyavathi, daughter of the late actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao in 1990, who helped her diversify products to meet changing trends, when Satyavathi was working as a senior official at the Crafts Council of India.

Training was given to Laxmi Bai and other women from her community to apply their art to embroidering various garments for daily use. Marketing support has been provided by the Crafts Council to support these women. They also traveled to Iran, the United States and the United Kingdom to attend exhibitions and spread their style of hand embroidery.

After three decades of adapting to the changing times, Banjara women led by Laxmi embroider blouses, cushion covers, cell phone covers, dupattas and sarees in their traditional style, applying it to trends and contemporary needs. “Embroidery work is always in demand because it is sewn by hand,” says Laxmi Bai.

Kethavath Laxmi Bai currently provides employment for around 200 women from her Banjara community. They are all engaged in this “Lambani Kuttu”. Laxmi Bai makes a profit of around Rs 6 lakh per year. These women have been marketing the products themselves through Trifed, since
the last five years.