Prospering Rural Pottery Artisans through Socialization - A Comparative Study on Pottery Artisan in Madurai and Manamadurai

S. V. Akilandeeswari, Dr. C. Pitchai


Gandhijis wrote in Harijan (27-28 January, 1940) regarding his vision on rural industrialization, “I do visualize electricity, ship building, iron works, machine-making and likes are existing side by side with village handicraft, but the order of dependence will be reversed. Hitherto industrialization has been so planned as to destroy the villages and their crafts… Nothing will be allowed to be produced by the cities that can be equally well produced by the villages. The proper function of the cities is to serve as cleaning house for village products”. Further, the teaching of “Unto this Last” Mahatma said “I understood to be… That a life of labor i.e. the life of the tiller of the soil and the handicraftsman is the worth living” (Gandhi, 1964).

The art of handling of clay is called Pottery. It was one of the earliest skills inherited by Indians. Lumps of clay that was moulded by hands for making pots, home utilities, toys and deities of worship are potteries. Pottery and earthenware are used for home utilitarian and decorative product. The artisans produce craft by themselves, they sell what they produce. These artisans have not developed as well as their community or the culture and tradition. In Madurai, the artisans are not in-group to help each other though they have local and export opportunity. The artisans do not think pottery as a business or it is only for their daily living. But in Manamadurai, the artisans have cooperative society, marketing activities were taken care by the society, though these artisans avail certain benefits from the cooperatives still they are in pathetic in socio economic condition. In Manamadurai, the pottery craft are in dying condition, artisans have left their traditional occupation. What are the problems faced by these artisans and what are their economic condition with cooperative society and without society and how to prosper them  were taken for study. So, that they can develop themselves as well as their community in economic growth, create job opportunity and business enhancement and a source of livelihood for people who are under poverty line.

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