Adilabad Dokra, an ancient bell metal craft popular in the tribal regions of Adilabad district in Telangana, and Warangal Durries, which has brought much acclaim to the weaver community of Warangal region, have been issued the Geographical Indication (GI) Registration Certificate by the GI Registry, Chennai. The GI certification of these crafts will help the authentic producers to earn a premium on their products, thereby helping in improving their livelihood. In addition, GI tag can be used as a marketing tool to promote the products in India and abroad. The Technology Centre of CII has facilitated State Handicrafts Development Corporation towards the registrations of Adilabad Dokra and Warangal Durries as Geographical Indications. Since inception, the centre has facilitated in registration of 24 products under GI, out of which nine are now registered from Telangana.
GI Protection benefits both producers and consumers. While the latter have access to a genuine product, the former have opportunity to build brands and will be protected against a loss of their business against individuals involved in fake/counterfeit production. The Dokra craftsmen belong to the Woj community, called Wojaris and also called as Otaris in Telangana. The uniqueness of Adilabad Dokra is that no two pieces are alike in shape as well as in size and hence replica of the antique is nearly not possible, which is the add-on speciality. The craftsmen make brass objects by an ancient casting technique called cire perdue (lost wax technique in French), wherein a clay model is made as the core over which wax threads are wrapped around to form a layer, bake the clay mould, allow the wax to flow-out and then pour the molten metal into the mould. Adilabad Dokra metal casting products mainly includes idols of local deities, bells, dancing figures, jewellery, statues and many other decorative items.
Apart from all this, the craftsman also makes figures of animals and birds, santhal jewels like twinkly saltation bells and measuring chitties. This art boasts of the literal folk essence and is also cultural. There is so much demand of this craft in the foreign and domestic markets, because of the simplicity and different designs used by the craftsmen. There are more than 100 families involved in this hereditary craft in five villages of Adilabad district. Another product to get registered as GI is from Warangal; which has long been an important durrie-weaving centre with a strong local flavour. The Warangal durrie weavers made their mark felt across the world owing to their fine craftsmanship. The main geographical factor that made Warangal famous as Durrie weaving centre is availability of cotton.
Cotton is abundantly produced in Warangal for many decades and has a major pie in the cotton production in Telangana. The then spinning mills like Azam Jahi Mills helped create an ecosystem for cotton based weaving industry especially durries to prosper. Accumulations of skilled weavers, who have taken this profession hereditarily, are significant for the growth of this art of weaving. There are more than 2,000 weaving community members present in Kothawada, Warangal in Durrie making with exports mainly to the UK, Germany along with few other European and African countries.
A team from Technology Centre of CII with the support of State Handicrafts Development Corporation started working on the project in January 2015. A study was carried out to document the craft details, and interact with community members on importance of GI registration and protection. The GI applications for Adilabad Dokra and Warangal Durries were filed in the GI registry on March 6, 2015 with an application number of 521 and 523, respectively.