THe Arts Of The Kharak
The Kharaks are a peasent community living in the coastal belt of Bhavnagar district in Saurashtra (gujarat state) . I have grown up in this region and am familiar with the villages and towns where the kharaks live ; I notices quite early a certain distinctiveness in the cultural artifacts made and used by the peasant and herding communities of the region . In fact , if one speaks of the ethnic arts of Gujarat state , Saurashtra will be found to be one of the richest repositories . While many peasant and herding communities practise these arts, some who have been exposed to urban contacts or have been influenced by the new education and though these changed their ways of life, have give up the use of these artifacts in spite of their cultural and aesthetic interest . Therefore , there should be thorough documentation and research on traditional arts and crafts of the region before they disappear. For this reason the Kharak peasant community had been selected for a research project as their art activities have inherent sensibility and structural simplicity. The Kharaks practice wall painting ,embroidery,making earthen storage jars and cord making . They also patronise crafts like costumes ,fabrics , wraps , jewellery , tattooing , carpentry , iron - mongery , basket making ,bullock - cart and wooden chest-making . The book presents the art activities and crafts mentioned above their products , their special virtues , their functional background , method of fabrication and the circumstances that seemingly sustain them or work against them . It describes how arts of the Kharaks are related to their life-style , their houses , household art- objects dresses ,ornaments , seasonal calendar of activities , social customs and value system . Therefore , the study of the Kharak community has also covered their social , economical and religious aspects to present a complete picture of a village community .