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Goa Handicrafts

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The local craftsmen in Goa, design articles from coconut husks, palm leaves, brass and wood, and colour them with vibrant coloured paints to make them eye-catchy. These hand-made articles or handicrafts are amongst the prime attractions of Goa. These handicrafts not only contribute to the livelihood of the local people, but also play a vital role in Goa tourism. The Goa Handicrafts, Rural & Small Scale Industries Development Corporation (GHRSSIDC), initiated in 1980, is the organisation that encourages and promotes the handicrafts of Goa and makes them available in various outlets.

Coir Products Do not forget to buy the specially knotted mats, hand-made hats, masks and tough ropes made from cocnut husk. These coir products are considered one of the oldest handicrafts in Goa. The locals are expert in extracting husk from coconut shells. This natural substance is also used in making ashtrays, lamp shades, coasters, chandeliers, curtains, pot hangers, table mats, mirror frames, shopping bags, ladies purses and other traditional items.

Jute Macrame Craft Jute, a cheap natural fibre composed of cellulose (plant fibre) and lignin (wood fibre), is often used by the craftsmen of Goa to design decorative bags, belts, wall hanging, lamp shades, flower pots, hangers, shopping bags, ladies purses etc. Jute materials form the most unique crafts of India as jute is considered the best fibre in terms of strength.

Brass WorkWhile on a trip to Goa, you may see several artisans moulding brass into various designs and shapes. These items may include hanging oil lamps, statues, candle stands, ash-trays and the most famous handicraft of Goa, the lamp Samai (a tree-like oil lamp with flower motifs).  These artisans are considered geniuses at the art of moulding brass by hands, with such simplicity and tremendous beauty, which even modern techniques fail to achieve.

Bamboo CraftThis art springs from the extreme rural areas of Goa by the Mahar community and is believed to be one of the oldest arts. Bamboo and Crane crafts can be used as decorative items in houses. Earlier, this art was limited to bamboo carriers and baskets which were specially designed for the farmers and fishermen. These baskets were used to carry coconut, rice, paddy, fish, flowers.

As Goa turned into a major tourist hub, this art introduced several decorative items like flower pots, baskets, pen stands, lightweight furniture and letter holders.

Once you explore Goan beaches or the interiors, you find a majority of tribes indulging in the activity of making beautiful handicrafts. These crafts also include:

  • Wooden Lacquer–ware (various toys, corner stands, baby carts, cradles- made of wood).
  • Papier-mache (wall hangings, flower vases, jewellery boxes, pen stands etc made from waste paper)
  • Terracotta Pottery (flower pots, ash-trays, floral designs and idols of gods made from mud)
  • Woodcarving (photo frames, idols, mirror frames, book shelves and boxes carved from wood)
  • Sea-shell and coconut craft
  • Crochet and Embroidery (hand-made tablecloths, children and ladies garments, pillow and cushion covers, linen, curtains etc. from thin cotton or silk threads)

The attractiveness and stunning beauty of these hand-made items compel the visitors to buy them. All these items collectively contribute towards employment for the villagers and tribes of Goa.


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