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Porgai

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Progai Website

ATI Team’s Recent Visit

Their Work and Achievements

Porgai Artisans Association is a society of Lambadi women Artisans, who hand process unique traditional embroidery designs. Porgai, as the name translates to “PRIDE” in Lambadi dialect empowers women with their magical learning. Based in Sittlingi Valley in Dharmapuri district of Tamilnadu, Porgai, with artisans at its centre, is providing a livelihood to 60 women of the valley. We make sure that our artisans are respected and are given fair wages for the intricate embroidery that they do. This, in turn, has limited the migration of these women and their families to towns and cities in search of work.

Several hundred years ago, the Lambadi tribals migrated from North Western India to down south for a living. They were a nomadic tribe but ended in settling down in Madhaya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu. Sittilingi Valley is the second southernmost settlement of Lambadis in India. The women of the community had a rich tradition of hand embroidery which their ancestors did on the clothing and other day-to-day articles. In the course of time, when they stopped wearing the traditional dress, the craft was lost for more than 2 generations. Since 2006, with the facilitation of Tribal Health Initiative, they have revived the craft.

From Neela & Gammi who had learned the craft from their grandmothers, but had no need to practice it, a few of us learned it. And thus was formed the PORGAI Artisans Association. “Porgai” in lambadi dialect means “Pride”.

They are now a registered society of 60 Lambadi women.

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