Telangana’s own Gongadi exhibition is back

Telangana’s own Gongadi exhibition is back
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Telangana’s Own Gongadi Exhibition is Back. The annual Gongadi exhibition is back with a variety of blankets on sale. Gongadi is ubiquitous to the shepherd community in Telangana and is said to be a multipurpose garment.

The annual Gongadi exhibition is back with a variety of blankets on sale. Gongadi is ubiquitous to the shepherd community in Telangana and is said to be a multipurpose garment. To encourage the shepherd community and to protect the vanishing wool craft, activists are showcasing the Gongadi crafts and materials at Daram - The Handloom Store, Begumpet, till Sunday.

This is the third edition of the Gongadi exhibition, which is being organised in association with the Deccani Gorrela Mekala Pempakadarla Sangham and the Unni Vedika.

The exhibition has various types of Gongadi made by traditional weavers. The specialty of these rugs is that they are not dyed. It is the natural colour of the wool from Deccani sheep, which becomes darker as time passes. The traditional Gongadis can be used as décor in urban homes.

“In urban homes the Gongadis can be used as traditional carpets and wall hangings. Many people are enthusiastic about these traditional blankets,” says Shruthi Tharayil of Anthra.

Gongadi is the traditional woolen blanket of Telangana. The rug is woven from the wool of the unique Black Wool Deccani Sheep breed. The sheep are locally called as Nalla-Gorre. The breed is known to adapt to ecological and climatic conditions, thus providing livelihood to farmers, shepherds and craftsmen. The Kuruma community is said to be the original custodian of this breed.

The Gongadi is also known as Kambali. The blanket is woven from handspun wool. Traditionally women handspin the wool to yarn and men weave the yarn to make Gongadi by hand.

Most Gongadis are woven using the black wool. The black wool is dominant colour in this sheep. The blankets have very simple designs.

The Gongadis are widely used by people in villages. It continues to be an integral part of the Kuruma community’s culture and is a significant symbol of the Telangana region.

Yaddamma, a weaver from Peddagokula, Narsapur, says that she learned the craft of making Gongadis from her parents. As a child she used to observe her parents weave and at the age of 16 started making Gongadis on her own. Now, she and her family undertake the seasonal business.

The exhibition has a unique collection of Gongadi designs in different sizes (traditional 8x4 and new 6x 4 and small 2x4 prayer and yoga mats), along with traditional weaves. Oggu Katha, a traditional folk form, is one of the attractions at the exhibition.

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