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Carrying generations in a pouch

Explaining the history behind the potli, Laksmibai says that according to Lambadi tradition, a couple of months after a wedding, the groom goes to the bride’s house.

Published: 03rd August 2021 10:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd August 2021 10:14 AM   |  A+A-

Kethavath Laksmibai.

(C) Kethavath Laksmibai. (Photo | Express)

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Though the Banjara, or Lambadi, community has been residing in Hyderabad for many years, the city is largely oblivious to the community’s tradition. But thanks to Kethavath Laksmibai, an entrepreneur and member of the Lambadi community, Banjaras are slowly getting recognition through their handicraft work. She has launched the sale of traditional potlis, which can be used as the perfect accessory to complete a traditional outfit or can be used as gift. 

Explaining the history behind the potli, Laksmibai says that according to Lambadi tradition, a couple of months after a wedding, the groom goes to the bride’s house. While the groom is on his way to the house, his relatives sing songs, place a traditional cloth on his head and hand him a stick along with the gift pouch or potli. “These gift pouches are used to keep things for the bride. Nowadays, we use it as a gift pouch,” says Laksmibai. 

In Lambadi language, this gift bag is known as Kochera. “This has no other name in any other language. This was only used by our community and now we want to pass this traditional accessory to others as well and that is the reason I have started making these pouches,” says Laksmibai.

The pouch is made with a 5x5-inch Mangalagiri cloth, which is embroidered. A plain cloth is placed at the bottom of the bag. “We put shells and a dori in the same cloth. Then we put a topli on the top of it and attach a ring. All of this is handmade,” says Laksmibai.  It takes two days to complete one bag and the artist sits on it with a lot of concentration to make it look beautiful. “The production cost is Rs 60 and we sell it for about Rs 300. We are taking forward the tradition and I want this to reach most people.”



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