Incredible Orissa

GI tag for hand-woven ethnic shawls by Dongria Kondh women

The Odisha government is planning to apply for a geographical identification (GI) certificate for the hand-woven ethnic shawls made by Dongria Kondh women.

Rayagada district administration will seek help of the Handloom, Science and Technology departments to get geographical indication (GI) tag for Kapdaganda, the prestigious shawl of Dongria Kondh tribe.

“Keeping in mind the unique process employed to weave the shawls, the authorities are planning to file an application for the GI tag on this rare tribal handicraft,” said Rayagada district collector Guha Poonam Tapas Kumar.

A GI tag is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical location and possess qualities or a reputation that correspond mainly to that origin. Crafted by women for their own use and to present to guests, the embroidered shawls are entirely handmade.

“We want to create a national market for the product with the assistance of the handloom department. The product’s originality will be maintained and no machines will be used in preparing it,” Kumar said. Efforts are also on to popularise the Dongria Kondh art by replicating the embroidery designs on bags, mobile phone covers and conference pads, she said.

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