Crafts Council of India sponsored the article for International Natural Dye Symposium held in Hyderabad in November 2006. Most of the information presented here is based on a set of interviews and discussions carried out with various people who have been linked with ‘lac’ directly or indirectly in different parts of Kachchh, namely, traditional dyers and printers or the Khatris,
weavers of the woolen textiles the Meghwals,
the lac ware artisans of Nirona the Vadhas,
the Dhebaria, Wagadhia
and Kachchhi Rabari
subgroups who were the main consumers of lac dyed textiles in Kachchh
|The specific people Syamji bhai and I met to inquire about lac dyeing practices in Kachchh include: Mohammed Ismail Khatri fromAjrakpur, Umar Farooq fromBhadli, Soma Natha Rabari from Mamuara, Ali Mohammed from Chaubari, Abdul Sattar from Ajrakhpur, Yakub khatri from Kothada, Bhachaya bhai from Nirona, Pala Naga from Bhujodi. (Refer Map on the following page).The exercise of tracing the methods of lac dyeing, its applications, its availability and the communities involved, in different ways has lent greater insight and broadened the context for Shyamji bhai’s attempts towards its revival.