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Khamir is a not-for-profit organisation promoting the artisan crafts of the Kachchh region of north-west India. Training, capacity building, livelihood support and exhibitions help support and raise awareness of this exceptional body of know-how, encouraging young people to discover new artisan vocations.
Launched in 2005, Khamir (Kachchh Heritage, Arts, Music, Information and Resources) is a not-for-profit platform aimed at consolidating and promoting the multicultural artisan traditions of India’s Kachchh region. Kachchh Heritage, Art, Music, Information and Resources spells ‘Khamir’ or ‘pride in oneself’ in the local Kachchhi language, which is a trait associated with Kachchhi people who fight back and reconstructed their lives after many disasters like earthquake, cyclones etc. that struck the region in past.
At the crossroads of multiple cultures, the Kachchh region is a crucible of artisan expertise, assimilating a number of different traditions. Khamir supports artisan workshops in Handloom weaving, textile printing, artistic pottery, dyeing, and craftwork in wool, leather, silver and lac-turn-wood craft. The organisation has contributed to the establishment of a thriving, quality, eco-friendly, internationally acclaimed artisan sector. Along with promoting artisan products and linking them with new markets, Khamir also working to ensure judicious use of natural resources and creating innovative value chains to link artisans with other traditional groups like farmers, animal herders etc. Over three thousand artisans have enjoyed the organisation’s support to date.
Transmission of traditional skills is vital if these trades are to survive. Khamir encourages young community members to keep these deeply rooted, traditional practices alive, and become entrepreneurs in their own right. The organisation promotes artisan know-how through public workshops, festivals and a major annual exhibition showcasing a specific skill. Supported by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, the event highlights the cultural importance of locally-produced craft wares and helps perpetuate their associated skills and techniques by attracting young people to take up traditional trades.
The project was selected for support by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès as part of the H³ programme : Head – heart – hand.