Rogan art is a form of cloth painting that has been practised in Gujarat for the past several years. Originally from Persia, this art made its way to Gujarat centuries ago but it is now practised by a lone family in the Nirona village of Kutch in Gujarat.
Known as Khatris, this family of traditional artists has been keeping this intricate art alive for the past four centuries.
The Rogan art is done by using paint made from thick bright coloured castor seed oil on fabrics. Hence the name ‘rogan’ meaning ‘oil’ in Persian.
The Khatri family sources castor, a commonly grown crop in the Kutch region, from the local farmers to prepare the paint. The sticky elastic paste called ‘rogan’ is then mixed with vibrant natural colours and kept immersed in water.
Later, the artists use gummy paint with blunt needles to create elaborate paintings on fabrics without the needle coming in contact with the cloth, even once. Once dried, the Rogan painted clothes are used to make sarees, pillow covers, decorative wall hangings and even file folders.
Watch how the Khatris keep this centuries-old intricate art alive:
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