Ours is a story of stories. Stories of indigenous communities, stories of tribal wisdom, stories of intricate craft, stories of our planet and most importantly stories of human spirit, courage, kindness, hope and overwhelming love.
Rarely does the universe conspire to manifest this collection of stories through the wefts and warps of yarn woven by women who never had a voice before. The Mauna Dhwani foundation is humbled, honoured and immensely proud to present a collection of weaves woven by first time women weavers of Mayurbhanj. Each one of these weaves inspired by the heritage, traditions, customs, and stories of the vibrant tribal communities of Odisha.
Every motif, every fabric, every saree, and every piece of apparel has been created by establishing deep connectionswhilst living amongst the villagers of Chuliaposi, Sunapal, Astia and Atanati. We arrived at these villages in early 2018 realizing that we would be working with a community of tribal weavers who had abandoned their craft 30 years ago. The move from manual labour to weaving intricate motifs was a journey of three years. These three years not only involved long hours of weaving training coupled but also required an intense focus on raising self-esteem and handling the harsh realities of severe malnutrition and associated health issues.
Therefore, the journey was slow. However, it happened, and the women of the village moved from being first time weavers to skillful artisans.
In every way Tanta Gatha was not planned as a retail store. It was always meant to be a place to rediscover the purity andvibrancy of ethnic weaves. A place to look at how our traditional sustainable practices of natural dyeing and eco-friendly fabric can be combined together to create contemporary wear that is embedded in tradition. Through our ‘tribute’ collection we pay homage to some of the finest weavers of Odisha some who are no more, some who struggled hard to keep the legacy of traditional tribal weaves alive. Through our‘flower’ motif collections we attempt to depict the diversity of the flora and fauna of Odisha that was an essential part of all tribal weaves. Our ‘life’ motif collections bring out the relevance of nature, forest and animal life that still is an integral part of rural and tribal communities. Our ‘chitra’ collection draws inspiration from the ‘pattachitra’ art of painting on palm leaves, as well as ‘jhoti chita’ which is the decorative wall and floor art that continue to be an essential part of all tribal festivals and prayers. Our ‘prakriti’ collection of natural dyed apparel is our attempt at letting the world know that nature and its colours have the amazing power to connect each one of us to our rich history and tradition.
The Tanta Gatha story has been one of exploration. An exploration of people, their craft and culture. It has also been a story of conversations with craftsmen and master weavers to take a glimpse into their textile vocabulary and comprehend the tradition behind the craft. From these guardians of intangible human heritage have emerged our collection of designs. Designs that are born out of a need to cherish, revive and preserve. Every moment of this journey has been long but one that has touched our hearts and minds in indelible ways. In staying true to our mission of revival we have tried our best to remain unimpacted by any modern-day fashion trends or dictates.
TantaGatha is a celebration. A celebration of the rural and tribal cultures of India through celebrating its fabric, right from its inception in the yarn to its final crafted form. Every product gently unveiling the identity and story of the soil it rises from.
Tanta Gatha: The story of weaves.
When fragmented pieces of hand spun yarn
Merge together to create a saga of hope
When a slender fragile hand
Reclaims a power that was always her own
When a reticent fearful being of yore
Looks up to meet destiny in the eye
When the war is with the demons of the mind
A condemned chapter is now hers to rewrite
When the world opens out in a welcome anew
Resounding echoes now reach her ears
When kindred souls hold out their hands
From now there is no more fear
When life awakens and dusts itself
Re-emerging to herald a dawn unexplored
The timeless melody of forgotten looms
Setting the stage for Tanta Gatha …. the story of weaves untold