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Your home is full of nooks and corners that reflect your personality, there’s a story behind that vase, or why you chose to keep that cane chair near the door or a joke behind why your curtains are floral. These tiny details are what make a house a home.
The universe of the Indian arts and crafts and tribal heritage is much the same. No one piece of handicraft or the process is an accident. There’s a lot of thought, legend, heritage and the passing on of wisdom from generations that goes into the creation of every small handicraft. But what makes the Indian tribal heritage so unique are the feelings it has evoked over many moons.
Created from scratch from master craftsmen who have hand-picked their raw material from dense Indian jungles, these artistic objects represent the unique legacy of finer nuances that have passed the test of time.
Let us learn something about the material our craftsmen use.
Dhokra, or Dokra - is a special process being used from the time of the Bronze Age when man had just begun inventing tools. The famous sculpture of the “Dancing Girl” that we all read about was actually a Dhokra art form that came from Mohenjo-Daro - the ancient city from the Indus Valley Civilization.
The technique used for making the Dhokra art is believed to have originated from there and preserved from generations for more than 4,000 years. Dhokra art eventually came to be recognized in the modern world for its primitive simplicity, enchanting folk motifs and artistic charm.
Our search for such skilled craftsmanship ended in the Bastar region of the state of Chhattisgarh, India. The tribal folk here are famed for following the ancient process of creating Dhokra crafts using wax technique that involves 12 stages of forming, shaping and solidifying the handicrafts through the touch of human hands at every level. The artisans call this process “Gadhwa” comparing it with the time of nine months of an infant’s growth in the mother’s womb.
The much acclaimed “Wrought Iron Craft of Bastar” comes from the Bastar region - the place that’s known for its craftsmanship and original wrought iron process around the world. In fact, this specific process has been protected under the Geographical Indication (GI) of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
Bastar is a hub of skilled ironsmiths who have made a living from following this traditional wrought iron techniques from their ancestral origins. Our artisans belong to Gondi and Maria - the two communities that are particularly well-versed with iron-crafting.
Every unique piece that you bring home adds to the overall personality of the house. While it is tempting to pick up factory-made mass-produced items, it takes a lot of taste to choose handmade objects for your decor. This is probably why a lot of people refrain from buying or gifting handicrafts. But those who are willing to take the more conscious path find treasure from ancient times, stories that continue to live on at tiny corners of their personal spaces.
Aesthetic spaces do not come coincidentally, they are a result of a lot of thought and intention. Roomantique aims at being the champion of timeless pieces and gifts that illustrate the vibrant Indian arts and crafts through the stories they tell. We have personally curated a collection of bespoke crafts that are more than just ancient antique pieces - they are immortal tales of an era gone by - a charm that instantly finds a place in your hearts and homes.
We hope you stay curious about Indian heritage and culture!
Roomantique is a purpose-driven business with consumer experience at the heart of its vision. In introducing this digital art and gifting store in the UK, we were driven by one great purpose: allow tribal art to tell its story in each buyer’s home. Every tribal art piece has a unique story - a legend, a history or a certain thought. Unlike other gifts or art products, our curated pieces were not created in large volumes with little thought. We specifically looked for tribal communities that were keeping ancient traditions alive and were conscious of the environment.
Roomantique is the brainchild of Sagarika, though she quickly shifts the credit to his father-in-law Harishchandra Damahe for giving him a great vision for a unique business. One conversation with her father-in-law one fine summer evening made Sagarika realise the irony in India: we have arguably the richest craft heritage yet the most deprived craftsmen. Was there a way to bring recognition to these craftsmen through right pricing and support? Sagarika, who was working a stable job in the UK at the time, decided to build a business that would bring joy into the lives of buyers, while spreading the same joy into the lives of the makers: the craftsmen.
# Fairness to the tribal artisans One of our purposes is to ensure that tribal artisan communities get a fair share of profits. #Joyful homes Our end-goal is to bring warmth and joy to our buyers. We want our handicrafts to light up each home they are bought in. #Community support We have partnered with like-minded folk - non-profit organizations, self-help groups and craft-centric enterprises who support similar causes.
Sourcing material and handicrafts from the tribal folk alone is not enough for ensuring we protect the environment. We are involved in the entire process and have picked up communities that feel the same way. Tribal craftsmen are perhaps the greatest conservationists, but we also make sure that this consciousness is followed through the entire process- from the making packaging and delivering.