Kuni Kaimugga is an art of weaving Kambal, sitting in a pit underground & weaving with handloom using Small sheep wools for hours is being done since centuries by the Nekar Samaj.
Speaking to Kiran Y Nippanikar about the last 2 Skilled Kuni Kaimugga (weavers) of their generations.
Shri Maligari Fakira Bhendigeri (Awardee of Rajya Prashasthi Award for weaving the Vidhan Soudha on the Kambli which took him almost 3months) and the other Shri Rayappa Kallappa Bekkinkeri who have been weaving for almost more than 50 yrs.
Unfortunately, they are the last two Skilled Handloom Weavers of their kind doing these Kambli & Dhwaja’s used for traditional functions. These Kambli’s cost somewhere around 3500-8000 Rs & mostly made against orders depending on the quality of Sheep ? Wool.
The specialty of these handwoven Kambal is mostly used for ShubhaSamarambha’s in Hindu Traditional functions especially marriages like Haldi & Dev Karya’s.
The lesser-known facts of these weavers of our Belagavi is they do get pre-orders from the famous Hindu Mandir’s of Shree Mahalaxmi, Shree Yalamma, Shri Balu Mama & many more famous temples during the major Pooja’s of the year.
This is the last generation that would be doing this artistic work of Kambal & Dhwaja’s (flags) on the Handloom as it takes a lot precision,hard work,uniqueness & skill fo do it which the coming generation in their tribe has lack of interest in doing so. As majorly been attracted to the city jobs & urban lifestyle.
Also the population moving away from these traditional rituals which involves these fine art Kambals could be a reason too.
“On the occasion of National Handlooms day, Sevakart organized an event to encourage the handloom industries.
A state-level handloom competition was conducted on 3 august 2021, 15 handloom weavers participated from various parts of Karnataka. “Handloom Award 2021” and prize money will be given to all the participants. Sevakart aims to give a new platform for small-scale industries, household industries and encourage them to continue rebuilding their livelihood, and also ensures that their artistic and entrepreneurial legacy continues” said Chaitanya Kulkarni (Sevakart)
So next time whenever you visit any Global ? Handloom market be proud to locate our very own Hand Wooven Kambal & Dhwaja’s which are uniquely made in Belagavi.
Wishing all our hard-working weavers a Very Happy National Handloom Day …..