Kachchh Heritage Arts Music Information Resources (KHAMIR)
Kukma, Taluka Bhuj, Gujurat, India
Kachchh Heritage Arts Music Information Resources (KHAMIR) is a joint initiative of Kachchh Nav Nirman Abhiyan, the Nehru Foundation for Development, and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). It was set up in 2005 as an education, training, demonstration and interpretation facility for craft, environment and heritage conservation under a programme of the State Government of Gujarat in the west of India.
KHAMIR has a campus in Kukma, a half-hour south-east of Bhuj. It includes offices, workshops, a craft shop, dormitories, a kitchen, and a dining area. Kachchh lies in the realm of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, so many of the crafts promoted by KHAMIR descend from this vibrant tradition and its successors. The intermingling of cultural styles is dazzling.
KHAMIR has developed a strong relationship with local artisans and facilitates a full range of handcraft activities, ranging from provision of raw materials to promotion of crafts in the market, through a variety of outreach methods. KHAMIR considers it essential to use approaches that address issues of all Kachchh-based crafts with appropriate strategies to help the handcraft sector. Presently, KHAMIR works with hundreds of regional artisans, including wool spinners and weavers; potters; leather-workers; bell-founders; silver jewellery-makers; rogan, block, bandhni, and batik textile-printers; lacquer-workers, and reha knife-makers. The numbers of cooperating crafts are growing.
The objectives of KHAMIR are to:
- Promote conservation of the environment, natural and cultural heritage, traditional arts and crafts, music, knowledge and skill sets, as well as preservation of sustainable livelihoods by setting up educational, training, demonstration, interpretation, and other facilities in Kachchh.
- Revitalize, reposition and promote local and traditional crafts of Kachchh in order to generate a viable and sustainable income for artisans.
- Bring under a common roof collective and individual excellence in art, craft and culture, so as to foster conditions to ensure the best creations.
- Disseminate information on regional traditional arts, crafts and knowledge, as well as to organise discussions on issues related to Kachchh.
Photographs from Barry Rodrigue, spring and summer 2018.