These cloth dolls are representations of different tribes in their traditional attire. These would be crafted out of scrap cloth and these dolls represent tools which represent occupation of tribes which they represent. These cloth dolls come in various shapes, sizes or pairs. Vivid cultures and attire behind beautiful crafts led the skilled artisans of Jhabua to take up this opportunity to show the world.

These would act as souvenirs.  These dolls are gifted to bride in different parts of country. These uses are decorative and also depict reliable sources of income for all craftsmen all year around.

Dolls resemble across tribal living features all across the subcontinent. They identify themselves through this craft.  This also acts as an informative object for people living in urban areas who have never experienced tribal culture. These dolls act as a tool to educate the youth about heritage across indian subcontinent. Ancient tribes are relocating themselves to urban areas and tribes will become extinct if proper steps are not taken as this will not preserve the unique heritage of India.

Significance –

  • Dolls form a significant part of human lives who be ones a companion and souvenir once we grow old.
  • These dolls give an insight to rural lives of tribes.
  • Dolls are depicted in ethnic attire.
  • Dolls are exported and sold in handicraft bazaars or emporium.
  • Women undergo training of 6months to master the craft
  • Material used for making doll is recycled cloth hence process of craft is sustainable process.

History –

  • Cloth dolls were made in ancient Egypt
  • The early existence and survival depend on scrap cloth which is easiest of all materials to source.
  • Tools are easy to work on clothes. For children, cloth dolls would feel soft in their hands as compared to other materials.
  • Dolls are cultural ambassadors reflecting 5000-year-old civilisation
  • Dolls are part of Indian tradition since many years
  • Dolls were given as wedding guests to child bride where child marriages were prevalent.
  • Craft has been revived during early 60’s.
  • Villages like Bani, Meghnagar, Ranapur are becoming blossoming centers for doll making
  • Dolls made of fabric scrap and are expensive materials.

Design –

  • Made in many sizes and life size dolls are made on order.
  • Sizes range from 2ft to 5ft.
  • Body is made of stuffed cloth and skin colour is painted in brown shade.
  • Expression and feature are painted in dolls.

Challenges –

  • Number of people joining the work has increases but demand has decreased.
  • Fewcrafts are sole source of income to these tribes and deplete in demand has affected their livelihood.
  • Crafts seeks new innovations to suit customised uses.
  • Dolls are used in education and culture should also be promoted.

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