GI tags for over 17 products from Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal, and J&K

News Excerpt:

Recently, the traditional Lanjia Saura paintings, the exquisitely embroidered Dongaria Kondh shawl, the delicious Khajuri Guda from Odisha and the Handmade Carpets and Wancho Wooden Craft from Arunachal Pradesh were among the 17 products that bagged the Geographical Indications (GI) tag.

Lanjia Saura paintings (Odisha):

  • The Lanjia Saura paintings are a style of wall mural art. 
  • Those paintings are also called ‘ekons’ or the ‘idital,’ and have a significant spiritual importance for the tribe. 
  • The Lanjia Sauras are an indigent society today, and they labour to preserve their culture, the ‘iditals’ being an important part of it.

Dongaria Kondh shawl (Odisha):

  • The traditional knitted shawls of the hill tribe Dongaria Kondh are unique and ancient. 
  • Their culture, tradition, faith, and beliefs, as well as the biodiversity of their forests, are reflected in the shawls. 
    • Dharanipenu, the much-adored goddess of the Dongaria, has a home in every village. 
    • The art and drawings made in the Dharanipenu residence are reflected in their shawls. 

Khajuri Guda (Odisha):

  • Odisha’s Khajuri Guda (date palm jaggery) is a natural sweetener produced from the sweet juice of palm called neera
  • The tribal populations, including the Lanjia Saura of Gajapati, Boudh, Angul, and Dhenkanal districts in Odisha, prepare the jaggery.

Wancho Wooden Craft (Arunachal Pradesh):

  • The Wancho Wooden Craft intimately weaves into the socio-cultural fabric of the skillful Wancho of Longding and Changlong districts. 
  • Wancho tribes have practised this rare ethnic art for generations. 
  • It is used to decorate their drawing rooms and as a gift to beloved friends. 
  • In the past, the Wanchos would make wood carvings to decorate the posts and log drums in the paa or paang (boys‘ dormitory) or to decorate the village chief‘s house.
  • Wancho wooden craft items are unique, featuring tobacco pipes with head-shaped bowls and drinking mugs showing warriors carrying heads.

Apart from this, the Geographical Indications Registry in Chennai has also given GI tags from -

  • West Bengal: 
    • Tangail Saree of Bengal:
      • The tangail sarees are woven in the Nadia and Purba Bardhhaman districts.
      • It has a finer count and is decorated with extra warp designs using coloured yarn.
      • It simplifies the jamdani cotton saree but with minimal designs in the body portion.
    • Garad silk sarees:
      • Garad silk sarees are characterised by a plain white or off-white body, an unornamental coloured border, and a striped pallu. 
      • They were earlier worn for performing pujas.
    • Korial saree:
      • The korial sarees are lavish silk ones in either white or cream base and have the characteristic heavy gold and silver embellishments of Benarasi sarees in the border and pallu, which is the ornamental end of the sari normally worn thrown over the shoulder.
      • Korial and Garad are woven in Murshidabad and Birbhum.
    • Kalonunia Rice:
      • This is an indigenous variety of aromatic fine rice available in the state.
      • It is cultivated in the districts of Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar, Alipurduar and Darjeeling (plains regions of the district). 
      • It is a medium-sized blackish grain.
    • Sundarban Honey:
      • Sundarban honey is darker in colour and has better radical scavenging properties that imply anti-ageing benefits and help in cell protection, attributed to polyphenols and flavonoids.
      • It focuses on natural methods of honey collection in the Sundarban area, which does not harm the bees while collecting honey and is, hence, environmentally friendly.
  • Odisha:
    • Dhenkanal Magji: 
      • It is a famous and unique sweet of the Dhenkanal district. 
      • Its taste, flavour, and preparation method have made it unique.
      • The buffalo milk cheese gives it a unique flavour, and cardamom powder adds to its unique aroma.
    • Similipal Kai Chutney:
      • The ‘Kai’ is indigenous to Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar, abundant in the jungles of every block area of the districts. 
      • The Kai Chutney prepared from these Kai is the main source of protection for the health and safety measures of the local tribes. 
      • The tribes in the Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar Districts commonly use chutney as a delicious food and traditional medicine to treat different ailments in their daily life.
    • Kanteimundi Brinjal:
      • The Nayagarh Kanteimundi Brinjal is a vegetable crop with lots of prickly thorns on the flesh.
    • Koraput Kalajeera Rice:

      • Koraput Kalajeera Rice, known as the ‘Prince of Rice’, is an aromatic variety originating from the Koraput district of Odisha. 
      • Upholding the nutritional and cooking quality, the rice looks like coriander seeds. 
      • The ancestors of the present tribal communities of the Koraput district have domesticated the rice in the region for thousands of years, contributing to the conservation of the crop. 
      • It is popular among rice consumers for its black colour, good aroma, taste and texture.
  • Gujarat: 
    • Kachchhi Kharek:
      • This is a variety of dates grown in the Kutch region of Gujarat. 
      • Kutchi Kharek dates have a soft and chewy texture
      • They are known for their natural sweetness and rich, caramel-like flavour. 
      • The flesh is juicy and tender.
  • Jammu Kashmir: 
    • Ramban Anardana
      • Ramban Anardana, locally referred to as “Dhruni,‟ is an important fruit tree growing wild in hilly tracts and forests of Jammu and Kashmir State between 1000-2500 mean sea level. 
      • The Anardana (Punica granatum) is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing between 5 and 8 m (16–26 ft) tall. 
      • Ramban Anardana fruit grows in the wild. The fruit of Ramban Anardana ripens in the middle of October and are handpicked. 
  • Arunachal Pradesh:
    • Adi Kekir (Ginger):
      • It is a variety of ginger produced in East Siang, Siang and Upper Siang districts of Arunachal Pradesh
      • It is known for its taste and size.
    • Handmade Carpets:
      • The handmade carpets made by Tibetan refugees who live in various parts of the state are known for their typical designs, motifs and textures.

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