Accepted Paper:

Sambalpuri textile: contribution of Bhulia - a weaving community  


Bandana Meher (Sambalpur University)
Shreyasi Bhattacharya (Sambalpur University)

Paper short abstract:

The cotton fabric made out of Ikkat work is popularly woven by the Bhuliya Community of the western part of Odisha. They are forgetting their occupational identity and members are into occupational mobility. The study investigates perception of the members involved at different levels of weaving.

Paper long abstract:

One of the reasons Odisha (state in India) is famous worldwide is due to its richness in textile. This textile is weaved in the western part of Odisha and named after its place of origin Sambalpur as; 'The Sambalpuri Textile'. Bhulias are skilled weavers and produce superior quality of cotton fabrics. Even the coarsest cloths are woven with dainty border. The particular about this caste is that, they are migrated, having a distinct culture, life style and methodology of weaving. They differ from other weaving castes of Odisha because of their unique methodology and designs. The paper explores the contribution of Bhulia caste and their endeavour to keep their identity in a multicultural setting. The study also tries to analyze the story behind their origin, their migration to Odisha, and their culture which is as much as beautiful and interesting as the textile they weave. Gradually in the era of globalization, Bhulias are forgetting their occupational identity and the new generation is mobilizing to different occupations. The paper tries to find out the present situation of this caste group and the dilemma regarding their identity. Due to such occupational mobility this unique way of weaving slowly but surely has forced to it extinction putting the cultural identity in danger. The paper also makes a humble attempt to understand the different perception of the member of this Indigenous weaving group involved at different levels of weaving.

Panel P049
Indigenous people and their culture: struggle for identity and survival?