Kusum is an initiative of Jharkhand State Co-operative Lac Marketing and Procurement Federation Ltd., to promote lac handicrafts, and handicraft artisans of Jharkhand. Kusum is dedicatedly providing a platform to showcase the handicraft artisans of Jharkhand since 2014. Being an initiative of a Lac Co-operative, it is not binding itself only to lac based handicrafts like lac bangles and jewelry, but also giving identity to various craft forms of Jharkhand, ranging from bamboo crafts to wooden artifacts, to terracotta, to handloom produce, to bell metal crafts to wrought iron, to jute etc. Jharkhand being a predominantly tribal state has a rich tradition and handicraft in this region is as old as civilization itself, and shows in all the handicrafts of the state. Brand Kusum has been successful in giving face to dying art forms of the state as well as to the unrecognized faces, that create wonderful art forms, that decorate homes and humans. Kusum has been undertaking creative workshops to promote handicrafts and forming clusters to meet ever rising market demand, thereby preserving dying art forms and generating sustainable livelihood of tribal artisans. The entire team at Kusum aims at empowering the tribal masses of Jharkhand through providing crucial inputs in the handicrafts sector.
Kusum in its iniative has taken a step forward by bringing its showroom online for wider reach, and overall welfare of artisans associated with handicrafts of Jharkhand.
The various categories of handicrafts showcased by Kusum are: Lac Handicrafts:- The time and place of origin of lac is not known, as very old excavations show lac coated materials, some of them may be dated as old as 1600 BC. It is a resin extracted from wild trees. The resin is accumulated by insects. The term lac is said to have originated from the English version of the number of insects(1 lac or 100 thousand) required to produce a pound of lac. Lac is found in most of the asian countries. Jharkhand in India is one of the largest producer of Lac in the world. The cultivation of lac has been going on in this region for ages. Though lac has many uses, but in handicraft industry it is predominantly used in crafting of jewelry. Various jewelry items made include necklaces, bangles, earrings and jewelry boxes. Other articles of lac include pen, pen stand, coasters, ashtrays, napkin holders, mirrors, key chain, photo frame etc.
Lac Bangles and Jewelry:–
A symbol personifying beauty of females since civilization itself. Lac bangles and jewelry can be attributed to as old as 1600 B.C. and have been referred to in the ancient scriptures of India – The Vedas. Lac bangles and jewelry have always been a part of Indian tradition and culture. Be it ceremonies or day to day life lac bangles have been adorned by females and an accessory essential celebrating for womanhood. Kusum presents a blend of traditional and trendy bangles and jewelry for the modern Indian woman for She is a professional, a doting mother, a loving wife and a girl at heart.
Wooden Handicrafts: –
Jharkhand has a rich forest cover, and a lot of wooden handicrafts from tribal craftsman are made which portray the heritage of Jharkhand.
Tribal needs and wants from the forest are well balanced and they have always understood the importance of environment conservation. These wooden articles are made from branches and not actually cutting down a tree thereby conserving the ecology.
The craftsman have evolved in designs keeping the current market needs, hence these crafts are beautiful as well as utilitarian. A plethora of attractive wooden handicrafts comprising of wall hangings, key hangers, fruit baskets, utensils, candle stands, flower vases, pen stands, toys etc., add to the splendor of office and home décor. The carvings and hand drawn paintings on articles represent, the rich tribal heritage of Jharkhand. The articles are polished using lac dyes and derivatives, which gives it an appealing shine and makes it weatherproof. Kusum showcases a wide range of appealing wooden handicrafts for both office and home décor. Terracotta :– The word terracotta has been derived from Latin implicating Baked Clay. This is amongst the oldest and most widespread form of handicrafts. Historical records of prehistoric era have been found in the remains of pottery. It is believed to have existed since 7000 BC in the Neolithic period. The clay for making terracotta handicrafts are obtained from the river beds of Swarnarekha the main river traversing Jharkhand, and its tributaries like Kharkai and Kanchi. The clay from these rivers have been used to make earthen cookware, pottery and utensils for centuries. Terracotta handicrafts in Kusum are painted by lac paints which give the crafts a unique shining look and stand apart from other terracotta handicrafts from other states in India. Kusum brings in a wide range of colorful terracotta wall hangings like masks, mantle pieces figurines and flower vases, table top articles like pen stands and utensils, to add to the grandeur of your home and office. They also make great gifting items.
Bell metal or dhokra art:-
BELL METAL or DHOKRA is one of the earliest known techniques of metal casting. This craft dates back to pre-historic time of Harrappa and Mohenjodaro period of Indus Civilization.
Dhokra metal casting is perhaps the only living tradition of metal image making in Eastern India. The technique has managed to survive many centuries and change of dynasties owing to its modesty of application in everyday lives of traditional tribal people of Jharkhand.
The ancient art of lost wax thread technique of metal casting is still is done with hand, without any advancement of technology. This technique has been in use by the tribal artisans (Malhore tribe) of Khunti, Hazaribagh, Gumla, Simdega districts of Jharkhand for more than 200 years.
The unique 13 stage process of DHOKRA/BELL METAL making is the original creative impulse of the artisans, which is a stunning union of art and science. They do not attempt to dominate or outwit the natural forces. But have learnt to live in harmony with them. All available natural resources are utilized to their optimum potential. The DHOKRA/BELL METAL castings of figurines and different animals with their antique look, fits in with interior decor. DHOKRA/BELL METAL is an alloy of brass, nickel and zinc that gives an antique effects of the castings. The entire collection of Dhokra at Kusum is on this site designed by experienced designers, having a good sense of arts, style and trends, and encompasses traditional pieces as well as modern designs and has more than 1500 designs to suit individual taste and aesthetics. Innovative utility items like door handles, lamp shades, hangers, boxes and caskets of different shapes and sizes. Decorative products like Jali Work Wall Hangings, Nandi, Horse, Elephant, Ganesha, Candle holder, Candle stand and many more ethnic and modern to choose from. Handloom Crafts:-
Jharkhand takes pride in being the largest producer of Tasar Silk, in India, with 43% share of total national production. This is primarily to the vast forest cover in the state, and one of the prime cash crop for the tribal population of Jharkhand. As a result handloom weaving is an occupation for many males and females of the state.
The handloom weavers of Jharkhand are adept not only in weaving silk, but also other fabrics like, khadi, cotton, linen and jute.
Incorporating the traditional weaving art of fabric, dyeing and coloring, countless striking products are being produced by handloom craftsman of Jharkhand.
Kusum is prominently promoting a dying art form owing to the induction of power looms and cheap Chinese imports. Kusum has enthused a new life in this sector by developing clusters that are engaged in weaving as well as further value addition to the woven cloth and fabric. From the fruit of the loom, Kusum, brings an exotic range of hand woven fabric, colored with attractive lac based organic dyes, and designs to suit everyone’s liking. The garment segment comprises of garments for both men and women, accessories like handkerchiefs, towels, shawls, blankets and bags. The décor section includes attractive carpets, wall hangings and curtains.
Bamboo and Cane Handicrafts:-
Most of the forests of Jharkhand are richly stocked with bamboos and canes of various species. Bamboo is a raw material of great versatility and forms an integral part of the lifestyle and economy of Jharkhand.
Bamboo and Cane has great commercial importance and used in pulping, constructional, fencing, mat and basket industry. The making of bamboo and cane products is perhaps the most universal of all the crafts practiced by a
large number of artisans scattered throughout the State. It is practiced as a cottage industry and no mechanical device is used. Cane and bamboo products are used for a wide range of purposes and extensively used in every household. This industry has carved for itself an important place among the handicrafts of the State. It provides part time employment to the cultivators in their spare time, and full time employment to the few highly skilled artisans who produce only fine decorative baskets, furniture and mats on a commercial basis. Kusum showcases some of the finest crafts from bamboo and cane, combining beauty and utility at the same time. A wide variety of trays, baskets, boxes, lampshades, flower vases, utensils, furniture and many more products to choose from that add beauty to your lifestyle. Jute Handicrafts:-
Jharkhand is in close proximity with West Bengal and 24 Parganas, sharing a common boundary. Though jute is primarily grown and processed in West Bengal, but a lot of braiding of the jute is done by many households in the border region of the states. With traditional weaves and coloring, a lot of Jute items are showcased at Kusum.
Trendy bags with traditional worli and picli art makes these bags stand apart. Not only bags but, folders, wallets, pot hangers and not to forget carpets, to choose from, makes Kusum a preferred destination for jute handicrafts.
Individual Arts and Crafts:-
Kusum is successfully promoting independent artisans and their work, through exhibiting it through their showroom. A lot of Artists are able to showcases their creations through Kusum. Individual Arts and Crafts at Kusum showcase various arts and crafts like, paintings both traditional and contemporary, paper jewelry, paper flowers, bamboo flowers, designer bags, designer apparels and garments, embroidery, wall hangings, plaster of paris articles, photographs depicting the state and its rich culture, and many more.