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Jawaja

The traditional leather craft of Rajasthan

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Jawaja craftsperson

Jawaja craftsperson

leather stitching Jawaja styled leather products

leather stitching Jawaja styled leather products

Jawaja leather shoes (Jooti)

Jawaja leather shoes (Jooti)

Leather is possibly the oldest most useful invention by humans. In the earliest scriptures of Hindus, the Vedas, use of animal skin like that of deer, and tigers is depicted. The sages were even said to wear animal skin, and use it as an underlay while performing meditation. All these well-known facts ensure that the use of animal skin, or the art of making leather, is not new for India, or for that matter Rajasthan.

In fact, when it comes to Rajasthan a unique art of leather products making- Jawaja is quite famous. Jawaja is said to be more than three centuries old, and includes no automation techniques. From the processing of leather from raw hides to the finishing of the final product, each and every task is accomplished with hands using bare tools that are traditionally been in use since the very inception of the art.

Another important feature of Jawaja leather art is that its products are even stitched using leather strips. Two layers of pure leather are put together, in which holes are created using awls. Those holes are leather stitched together using long needles. All these processes strengthen the product to a level where its durability increases to ages, with no depreciation in the quality.

The community that has traditionally been associated with the art is Regar. Though Regar people of Rajasthan were also occupied with agriculture and cattle farming, their expertise with leather crafting and hide tanning had made the art synonymous with them. Now, the art originated by the Regar community has become famous world-wide. Many multinational companies have adopted the art to increase the quality of their leather merchandise.

Utilitarian products like bags, jackets, wallets, belts, and shoes made in Jawaja style have now been enlisted among the major export items. Traditional products like Mojari (a kind of footwear), pouches, kupi (a water container), etc. becoming classy classy souvenirs. Other new articles like laptop bags too are being manufactured in Jawaja style, bring a new wave of freshness to this time-honored craft.

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