INDIA     Master Artisans & Activities   

I n d i a . T h e  L i v i n g  A r t s

M A S T E R S   A R T I S A N S


   Previous     Next   


Gurruppa Chetty is a master kalamkari painter from the state of Andhra Pradesh. He has won the National Award of India for the excellence of his work.

The word kalamkari is derived from the word kalam which means pen, the tool used in this craft. The painter prepares his own pens by sharpening a bamboo stick and tying a piece of thick cloth around it. The entire pen is dipped in the dye and the flow of dye is regulated by pressing on the cloth, which acts as a reservoir.

The kalamkari is a cloth handpainted with vegetable dyes. Only four basic colors are used: black, red, yellow and blue. In the Hindu tradition, kalamkari depict great epic narratives such as the Mahabarata and the Ramayana, as well as representations of various divinities. These richly-designed cloths are used as wall-hangings to decorate temples and homes.