The art of kutch : Rogan art

The art of kutch : Rogan art

Rogan art (Source - Gujrat Tourisam)

Our Art:- Rogan Art

Rogan art (source - The Hindu)

    Yes, from the title " Pajo Kaam:- Rogan Kaam", we get to know that it's related to us. Friends, Think of a thing which is so simple, plain, no color, no work, simple plain piece of cloth!!! If someone asks to buy that piece of cloth and ask you to design an attire for you to wear it in any of the functions, what would do?? You will reply " Really!!! Are you crazy?!" and we will refuse to wear such a simple plain white cloth. Friends, we are grateful to the textile industries, artisans, and to our ancient history and various arts that we have and we can make our clothes what maybe, to make it more attractive with different patterns, designs, works, colors and what not!!!! Art of embroidery, Rogan Art, and many other such arts which makes our things look more attractive and eye-catching.

                Introduction and Process

    Rogan is a form of textile painting which uses a rich, brightly colored paint made from castor oil and natural colors. The term Rogan means ‘Oil-based’ in Persian and refers to the thick substance formed by heating and then casting castor oil in cold water.

    The making of the Rogan paste is done in the jungle where the artisans mix oil and natural color. After it is mixed with natural colors, the paste is drawn out into a fine ‘thread’ with a metal stylus or ‘Kalam’. The artisans then place a small amount of this paint paste into their palm and at body temperature, the paint is carefully twisted across the cloth into motifs and patterns using the ‘Kalam’. Next, the artisan folds the fabric thereby printing its mirror image. The finer details are then added thus completing the Rogan painting. The designs include floral motifs, animals, and local folk art.


    I don't know why but I'm very excited to know the history of anything whether it may be an art, a festival, a monument, or anything or anyplace. Questions like " Pela kevu hase?" , " Kaise Hua Hoga?" "Kis ne banaya hoga?" and many more starts in my mind. Sometimes I do get some replies from my friends and colleagues and even my family that, "Su yaar, chodi de ne, Apde Su, Je hoy e.!!"" "Yaar, Tu Bhi Na, Itna mat Socha Kar, Jo he vo he, Apne ko kya!!!"" After with these types of replies and a lot of laughter, I find my answers by reading on the different sources. Same here, Let's see it's interesting history.

       The word Rogan comes from Persian, meaning varnish or oil. The process of applying this oil-based paint to fabric began among the Khatris, a Muslim community who came to India from Sindh, Pakistan. Although the name, Rogan (and some of the traditional designs) suggests an origin in Iran, there are no reliable historic records to prove this.


Rogan painting was initially practiced in several locations in the Kutch region. The painted fabric was mostly purchased by women of the lower castes who wanted to decorate clothing and bed coverings for their weddings. Therefore, it was a seasonal art, with most of the work taking place during the several months when most weddings take place. During the rest of the year, the artisans would switch to other forms of work, such as agriculture. With the rise of cheaper, machine-made textiles in the late 20th century, Rogan-painted products became relatively more expensive, and many artists turned to other occupations. Ultimately, only one family, the Khatris of Nirona, Gujarat, continued the craft.

              The resurgence of the art     

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, several factors came together to bring about a renewed interest in Rogan art, especially painting.

First, after the 2001 Gujarat earthquake, when much of the the region was devastated, the water and electricity infrastructure was improved, new roads were built, and the number of flights into the region was increased, all of which led to an increase in tourism.

Second, local cooperatives and non-profit groups helped local artisans, including Rogan artists, to increase their market by selling in urban settings and online.

Third, many members of the Khatri family won state and national awards for their art, thus increasing the prestige of their work. Finally, in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the U.S. White House and gave President Obama two Rogan paintings including a tree of life. They were painted by Abdul Gafur Khatri, a national award winner.

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The legacy of Kutch #Nirona #Village #RoganArt #painting #Textile #Art #handicrafts are an epitome of beauty, dignity, form and style. These art forms are a medium to preserve rich traditional art, heritage and culture, associated with people’s lifestyle and history. One such art form is #Kutch Rogan Art is an ancient skill that originated in Persia and travelled down to Kutch around 400 years ago. Rogan is form painting which uses a rich, brightly coloured paint made from castor oil and natural colours. Traditionally, Rogan art was pursued to beautify the bridal clothing of the regional tribes including Ghagras, and with beautiful borders and floral patterns. However, this exclusive art form is now one of the dying crafts of this region! Rogan Master Artist Abdul Gafur Khatri Padmashri Award and @sumarkhatri_rogan National Award winner and International Craft Award his family are the last ones to sustain this rare art form and save it from being extinct. (Originally Only Gafur Bhai family) Nirona Village #roganart #traditionalroganart #uniqueart #handpainting #heritageart #paintingoftextile #textileart #master #artist #originally #only #gafurbhai #khatri #padmashriaward2019 #@sumarkhatri_rogan #nationalawardwinner2003 #@jabbar_rogan #InternationalCraftAward #roganartartist #khatrifamily #roganpainting #rogantextile #rogan #art #village #nirona #kutch #gujarat #india on No.+919998788855

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        In Nirona, the Khatris introduced more contemporary products to appeal to tourists, such as bags, cushion covers, table cloths, wall hangings, and pillow covers. The tree of life continued to be a major motif.  The number of tourists to the Khatri workshop increased steadily in the The 2010s to as many as 400 people per day, causing traffic jams in the village.  In an attempt to keep up with increased demand, in 2010 the Khatris began to train women for the first time. Previously, it was feared that women would spread the secrets of the craft when they married out of the family.  In 2015, twenty women were working with the family in Nirona.

     Till September 2014, the Khatri family in Nirona, had no inkling that they're extremely rare Rogan style artwork would win admiration from US president Barack Obama.

     After Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted Obama 'Tree of Life' - a Rogan masterpiece, the dusty village has suddenly seen a deluge of tourists from the world over. The family, which his solely responsible for preserving this 400-year-old Rogan art, now wants to convert Nirona into a tourist hub. They have started identifying land on the village's outskirts to set up a sprawling hub equipped with an art studio, a tourist center, a gallery where the rare collection can be displayed, and a waiting room for the tourists. Instead of modern buildings, the family wants to give a rural touch to this center, for which around 600 square yard land is required. After winning an award, our Award Winner, Abdulgafur Khatri, in his interview with Times Of India, said:-


"We will purchase land with our own funds and approach Gujarat government and tourism department to help set up the necessary infrastructure," said Abdulgafur Khatri, head of the family and the National award winner. 


"We are getting at least 400 visitors including foreign tourists, and delegates on daily basis apart from scores of college students who come to watch the freehand painting on silk and cotton cloth live," he said. 

    The family's home in Nirona also acts as a school that teaches Rogan art to children from different families of the village, especially girls."There are at least 20 girls in my village who have learned the Rogan art form and are earning Rs 8,000 to Rs 20,000 per month by working for five hours. The art is helping 20 families earn a livelihood and a proper tourist center will create more jobs here," said Gafurbhai.

 The success story

Success story of Rogan art 

    The lack of awareness took the craft to the brink of extinction and entire villages that practiced it switched to other trades. A young Abdul Gafur followed suit and went to Ahmedabad and even Mumbai to find work. He says, “At that time, there were no tourists (visiting Gujarat) and our art was not selling. It was only later that the government gave us a project to start helping us and that is when my grandfather and my father asked me to return.” In 1983, Abdul Gafur became so engrossed and attached with Rogan that he promised his father to take it to the international level. 


“I fulfilled my promise when Rogan art was presented to Barack Obama (the then President of the United States of America) by Narendra Modi during his visit to the US in 2014,”

    says Abdul Gafur Khatri, the recipient of a Padma Shri Award (2019) and 1 International Designer award, 5 National Awards, 8 State award, 3 National Merit certificates Abdul Gafur Family.

    “We have been practicing Rogan for 46 years. If we don’t do this, no one else will and the art will be lost forever. I never dreamt of doing anything else. It is our responsibility to take our age-old tradition forward, make changes and improve the designs as much as we can”, 

    adds Abdul Gafur Khatri. He is now teaching Rogan to women in collaboration with a non-profit organization. But as far as tradition goes, only the family members can preserve the purity of the Rogan bloodline.

               " “The ‘Tree of Life’ design is the most famous design in Rogan painting. It is inspired by traditional Persian designs.”

This skill is being practiced by the Originally One Abdul Gafur Khatri family since 300 years and now the 8th generation has embarked on its journey with perseverance.

Friends, You all might know how much an artist struggles and works hard to make an eye-catching art, what we just have to do is, just appreciate it, share it and if we like it, we can pay for it too. Otherwise, many of the artists and arts will be on the edge of extinction. And will extinct soon.

By the way friends, Any of among you, like to collect any type of art pieces ?? Which are they? Do share your views in the comment section.

We"ll be back with some new interesting arts and you all can comment in the comment section about it. So till then, Stay Safe !!! Stay Tuned for the next blog. Bye! Take Care!!!


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