GI Tags to Karuppur Kalamkari Paintings & Kallakurichi Wood Carvings


  • Tamil Nadu’s Karuppur kalamkari paintings and the Kallakurichi wood carvings are the latest artistic creation to have earned the distinction of geographical indication (GI) tags.

About Karuppur kalamkari paintings and the Kallakurichi wood carvings

  • Both of these art forms are traditional in nature.
  • While the paintings are intricately made on a cotton cloth using pens or brushes made out of bamboo tree and coconut tree stems, the wood carving is essentially one wherein the craftsmen are specialised in carving temple-related items and also furniture, using traditional designs. 
  • Kalamkari (Mostly popular in Andhra Pradesh) means creating something with a ‘kalam’, or a brush. Traditionally, only three colours are used — black, red and yellow. But lately, ‘pale blue’ has also started being used.
    • Kalamkari paintings are done in Karuppur and its surrounding villages in the Udayarpalayam taluk in Ariyalur district, and in and around Sickhanayakanpatti and Thirupanandal in Thiruvidaimaruthur taluk, Thanjavur district.
    • Documentary evidence shows that kalamkari paintings evolved under the patronage of Nayaka rulers in the early 17th century, whereas the woodcarving skill evolved as an indigenous art when Madurai was an important town under different monarchical regimes in the ancient times.
    • First, they treat the cotton cloth (canvas) by dipping it in milk and other things. It needs a lot of expertise.
    • The naturally-made pen used to draw upon the surface in kalamkari painting is traditionally soaked in a mixture of jaggery and water. These are applied one after the other and then vegetable dyes are added.
    • Dyes for the cloth are always extracted from naturally colour producing agents such as roots, leaves, and mineral salts of iron, tin, copper, and alum. The usage of cow dung, seeds of various kinds, plants and crushed flowers are also used to get effects in the paintings.
    • Originally the kalamkari art specifically depicted Hindu epics tales of Ramayana and Mahabharata but in recent times the Kalamkari technique is also used to depict Buddha and Buddhist art forms.
  • Kallakurichi wood carvings

    • Mainly practised in Kallakurichi, Chinnaselam and Thirukkovilur taluks in Kallakurichi district.
    • application of ornamentation and designs, derived from traditional styles by the craftsmen.
    • woodcarving skill evolved as an indigenous art when Madurai was an important town under different monarchical regimes in ancient times.
    • Done using pens, palm stems, date trees, brushes made of bamboo sticks and coconut tree stems.
  • Note: Kanyakumari cloves, Dindigul locks, Mahabalipuram stone sculpture, Nilgiri (orthodox) tea, Virupakshi hill banana, Thanjavur doll, Thanjavur paintings, Coimbatore wet grinder, Kancheepuram silk and saree are other coveted GI Tags of Tamilnadu.
  • The Thanjavur thalaiyatti bommai (doll), Thanjavur veenai, Thanjavur thattu (art plate), Tanjore paintings, netti carvings (pith works), Thirubhuvanam silk sari, Swamimalai vengala silai (bronze idols) and Nachiyarkovil kuththuvilakku (traditional lamps).

GI Tags to Karuppur Kalamkari Paintings & Kallakurichi Wood Carvings

Other GI Tags in News

Chinnaur Rice

  • A short-grain variety identified with Balaghat district in eastern Madhya Pradesh—received a GI (geographical indication) tag
  • 1st food grain in the state to receive this accreditation.
  • Before this, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra had received GI tags for Nagpur oranges
  • 1st agricultural product in MP to receive a GI tag was the all-black Kadaknath chicken.
  • The rice has a sharp tip and is notably more oily than other varieties of rice the grains contain 20-21 per cent oil, compared with the average of 18-19 per cent.
  • 🔺 Note: Tamil Nadu and Karnataka share the top position with 43 GI products each.

Recent GI Tags during October 2021

  • A record 51 new Geographical Indications (GI) tag issued by the registry in Chennai.
  • There are 12 foreign products, filed by four Western nations, among the 51 new members of the GI-club.
  • With this list, 421 products ranging from handicraft to agriculture items have been given GI tag in India.
  • 09 products including Banaras hand block print, Mirzapur Pital Bartan and Manu sari are from Uttar Pradesh.
  • The hill-state of Uttarakhand has 06 products, including Kumaon Chyura Oil, Ringal craft and Thulma
  • Tamil Nadu has earned GI tag for five products – Kanyakumari clove, Thanjavur Netti works, Karuppur Kalamkari paintings and wood carvings of Arumbavur and Kallakurichi.
  • Kerala’s Kuttiattoor Mango and Edayur chilli
  • Tamenglong orange and Hathei chilli of Manipur.
  • Himachal Pradesh has got GI tag for Lahauli Knitted Socks and Gloves, and Chamba chappal.
  • Telia Rumal of Telangana, Sojar Mehndi of Rajasthan, Manjusha Art of Bihar, Sohrai-Khovar painting of Jharkhand, Mizo Ginger of Mizoram, Dalle Khursani of Sikkim, Naga Cucumber of Nagaland, Harmal Chilli of Goa, Judima and Joha Rice of Assam and Pithora of Gujarat are the new entrants.

Back to Basics

What are the benefits of GI tags and how are they awarded?

  • A geographical indication or GI is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
  • Geographical Indications are part of the intellectual property rights that comes under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
  • In India, Geographical Indications registration is administered by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act of 1999.
  • India, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 has come into force with effect from 15 September 2003.
  • GIs have been defined under Article 22 (1) of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement as: “Indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a member, or a region or a locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographic origin.
  • Geographical indications are typically used for agricultural products, foodstuffs, wine and spirit drinks, handicrafts, and industrial products.
  • Darjeeling tea became the first GI tagged product in India, in 2004–2005.

Lisbon Agreement

  • The Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration, signed on 31 October 1958, ensures that in member countries, appellations of origin receive protection when are protected in their country of origin.
  • It lays down provisions for what qualifies as an appellation of origin, protection measures and establishes an International Register of Appellations of Origin, run by the World Intellectual Property Organization.
  • The agreement came into force in 1966, and was revised at Stockholm (1967) and amended in 1979 and 2015.
  • As of May 2015, 30 states are party to the convention and 1000 appellations of origin has been registered.
  • The agreements establishes a Special Union under Article 19 of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883).
  • Some aspects of the agreement have been superseded by the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.

Source: Indian Express

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