Rajasthan is the heartland of traditional crafts. Each district has a distinct textile tradition that is community based. Embroidery, patchwork, beadwork, wool – spinning and weaving can be seen in most areas of western Rajasthan. However, crafts in Western Rajasthan region are on the verge of extinction. In addition local livestock such as Camel is on the verge of extinction too because families have no use for it and upkeep is expensive.
The past 7 years has seen a steady erosion of skill and livelihoods for women. Unable to make a living through craft, women have turned away from skill based work. These women are desperately looking to break out of the circle of poverty. Widowed women are especially in desperate need as craft, which could be done at home barely generates any income and no one else is willing to give them a job.
Traditional craft, skill and livestock have always been a part of the rural economy of Rajasthan. Can we utilize these unique natural resources to both save the ecosystem and empower women? This is the focus of Ilse’s work in Rajasthan.
The project aims to revive lost crafts and help women in need while utilizing unique materials such as camel wool.