Narasapur crochet lace craft gets a Geographical Indication tag

News Excerpt:

The famous Narasapur crochet lace craft of the Godavari region of Andhra Pradesh has got the Geographical Indication (GI) tag, giving a new lease of life to the dying craft.

Narasapur crochet lace craft:

  • Originating in Narsapur, West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, Crochets are beautifully crafted with cotton thread.
    • The lace work is done using thin threads and these are again woven with thin crochet needles of varying sizes. 
  • Narasapur and Palacole are the major trade points for lace products in West Godavari district.
    • There are easily over 100 crochet export houses in Narsapur that employ over 15000 women crafters, mainly from the Kapu community.
    • The craft is geographically limited to 19 mandals in West Godavari and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Konaseema districts in the Godavari region.
    • In 2004, the first-of-its-kind lace park in India was established in Narsapur where thousands of crochet lace makers could market their products. 

Origin of the Narasapur crochet lace craft:

  • The craft traces its origin In 1844 when a Scottish missionary couple taught the lace craft to the local women.
    • The couple sold the products through their friends in India and abroad, according to documents submitted by the applicants to the GI authorities.
  • The craft has survived the Indian famine (1899) and the Great Depression (1929)
    • By the early 1900s, over 2,000 women were involved in the craft in the Godavari region.
  • Orders are mostly seasonal, and when there is work, there is money, forcing people to look for options that sustain their daily lives.
  • Also, the involvement of middlemen, a fragmented market, and an inefficient Lace Park are other hurdles in the way.

Significance of GI Tag for the Craft:

  • The craft will earn global recognition with the GI tag. 
  • Women are the major stakeholders in practising and popularising the craft for generations. 
  • The GI Tag will help revive demand for the craft in the global market.
    • China’s machine-made lace has taken a toll on this handicraft industry. 
    • Adding to the woes, the pandemic caused a massive disruption, by freezing exports.

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