Thatta Kedona

Culture is a Basic Need

Project in Gross Behnitz

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posted by Thatta Kedona @ 10:00 AM, ,

Giants Wheel

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posted by Thatta Kedona @ 7:00 AM, ,

Dolls of the World - Flair Markt 2015

The lives of the residents of this village Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka changed 25 years ago, when a German art teacher took up her student Amjad's invite and visited his village. These dolls are famous all around the world.

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posted by Thatta Kedona @ 12:08 PM, ,

Cultural toys

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posted by Thatta Kedona @ 10:00 AM, ,

The first impression

One of the first places I came to know after settling down is a village Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka near Okara. The unique claim of the village to international fame is the dolls and toys made by village women that are collectors delight all over the world. Dolls made in the village have travelled to International Dolls Museum in Amsterdam and also have been put on display in the "Themepark" at EXPO 2000 in Hannover (Germany) as one of the 767 worldwide projects - an example of thinking for 21st century. Earlier, the dolls participated in International Toy Fair in Nuremberg. These dolls show how culture goes beyond simple work of art and becomes collaboration among applied and natural sciences as well as other forces that affect our lives.

The murals are painted on the parameter mud walls in the village where doll collectors and people interested in sustainable development and rural heritage from different initiative groups come and stay as paying guests. The village folks still consider cooing crows as symbol of the arrival of the guests. Architectural competitions are held annually when best mud house is selected. The Chief Harappan Explorer Dr. Mark Kenoyer had the place on the jury in competition held last July. Two full time German volunteers, Dr Norbert Pintsch and Dr Senta Siller, and village people are working together to change the life and out look in this peaceful hamlet. Whenever I visited the village, I saw something new, something different, which the villagers do to make difference in a place where they belong.


posted by Thatta Kedona @ 10:02 AM, ,

Best mud hut in Dolls Village


posted by Thatta Kedona @ 10:09 AM, ,

Preservation of the craft

Young Aslam displays his art work (bedspreads sheets, table cloth, wall hangings, a melee of colour and an extravaganza of design) in Thatta Kedona show room at Lahore under the approving gaze of Dr. Senta Siller. Aslam needs no coaxing to display the finished pieces. As quickly as he spreads his art pieces, he rattles off the names. Persian 1, Persian 11, Masjid Wazir Khan, the palm tree, peacock palm, dancing parrots, the elephant tram and six peacocks, also naming the prestigious places where these designs are in use at the moment.

Aslam represents fourth generation of the family carrying forward the art of block printing that is at the verge on extinction. Block printing represents an age when mastery over art was the struggle of a life time of hard labour and Aslam does not seem to forget this philosophy even thought he has ambitious to innovate and diversify the art of his forefathers in a big way.

Jhando, the master craftsman exported hand painted and printed cottons and silks and velvets to agencies in London and New York. An international nomenclature some seventy years ago and now Calico Prints in Lahore is representing the family name and craft which once enjoyed international repute. Aslam is carrying the tradition further.

Indeed today Aslam with his skill of colour and stroke work, epitomizes an art technique which Jhando had carried to the pinnacle of perfection. Jhando -- the legendary great grandfather of Aslam -- was of course a figure of epic stature so to say. It was he who left to the family a collection of over twenty two thousand blocks drawn from diverse cultures like Muslim, Mughal and Punjabi cultures and Hindu mythology. The grandfather was illustrious too to be sure with his collection of awards and accolades kept zealously safe even today in velveteen cases.

Block printing is a very fine art that has matured over time. So intricate are the patterns that a single motif may need anything from two to twelve blocks to complete the details. Different block motifs cater to different colours in the same pattern. All this requires dexterity of hand to prevent them from running the other. The grand finale of course is the intricate brush work. Fashioned from local needs these indigenous brushes with all their quaintness high light of the motifs.

It goes without saying that Aslam’s exotic collection that I saw at Thatta Kedona is a treat for eye. Ironically, block printing is a cultural heritage reduced to penury under the influence of a mechanized industrial society and bulk production phenomenon. Yet one has to see it to believe the richness of this art from which even in its quaintness excels the grandeur of modern printing.

Preservation of the craft is a very noble passion but there is a difference in the preservation methodologies and objectives. “It is different to preserve the ancient cultural heritage for the sack of its perpetuation as an art and to do it for commercial purposes,” says Dr. Norbert Pintsch. Thatta Kedona is trying to patronize in order to preserve this (and many more) arts for the sack of those arts in their own original contexts.

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