The most heartening and welcoming trend in India now is that many entrepreneurs like classystreet.com are reverting to their roots and learning skills from tribal craftsmen to create new trends in the world of fashion.
Young Indian entrepreneurs are showing a keen interest in the handicrafts created by tribal folks. Whether it is handloom sarees or embroidery or appliqué work – they know that reviving the crafts of these tribes is a symbiotic relationship where both parties benefit.
Tribal jewellery lends a rustic earthy charm to the woman who wears it. Every tribe of India designs jewellery from the products that are available in their vicinity. Clay, shells, bone, wood and crude metal make up their raw material. Their culture, traditions and norms ignite their imagination. They have a unique natural flair for designing stunning pieces of tribal jewellery. Most leading jewellers around the globe imitate their patterns unhesitatingly.
The Banjaras of Rajasthan create chunky bold coloured tribal jewellery from shells, coins, beads and metal wires.
The tribal women of Bastar in Madhya Pradesh uses grass, cane, wood, glass, peacock feathers, copper, wild flowers and one rupee coins to design their tribal jewellery.
The women folk of Arunachal Pradesh craft their jewellery from cane, bamboo, brass, bone, ivory, silver and gold and stud them with semi-precious stones, beads, bird feathers, wings of beetles etc.
Sikkim is home to the Bhutia tribes which typically use coral, turquoise and zee stones with gold and silver to craft their tribal jewellery.
The artisans of Odisha however use a combination of brass/bell metal with silver. Though there are more than 50 tribes in Odisha. They are smart enough to realize that they need to create tribal jewellery that caters to the modern society. They are maestros at creating fusion designs that retain the authenticity of their culture and traditions and are trendy and eye catching enough to sustain the interest of urban women. Dhokra jewellery crafted using the lost wax technique is something that appeals to all urbanites because it complements all kinds of outfits. Tarkasi or silver filigree work is another form of tribal jewellery which is also available on various forum. Fine strands of silver are used to craft delicate yet sturdy designs.
E-com sites like Classystreet.com works in close association with them and helps them to understand the dynamics of the market. These tribal women also create other utility items like ash trays, candle/incense holders, trays, cups, bowls etc. with floral bird or animal motifs in them. When they create something, new and appealing every now and then, they sustain the interest of the women around the world. They now design tribal jewellery so that women can wear them with western and Indian outfits.
They realize that they need to be cost effective in their approach so that urban middle class women too can afford to buy tribal jewellery.
Entrepreneurs are starting self-help groups so that they can cater to the needs of the commercial markets. Quite a few NGO’s are making it their business to work closely with these tribal women too. Together they are able to create as many as a hundred different mangal sutra designs, over two hundred varieties of necklaces and a minimum of forty unique designs for ear rings. The arm bands made out of silver filigree work is a favorite in the online world because it is made of several chains with adjustable flowers in them.
Portals like classystreet.com display these earrings, bracelets, bangles, amulets, anklets and necklaces on their websites so that techno savvy urbanites can buy them at their convenience from the comfort of their homes.