Since the colonial times in India, handloom weavers have been a part of a complex system of production organization moving them from being independent artisans to being dependent on merchants and others to sustain. All of the processes involved in weaving cloth in the pre-colonial times that were based on self-reliant methods have disappeared overtime in most parts of India. The political and economic transformations has reduced “independent weavers to different degrees of dependencies “causing a movement from custom to mass produced, “and a transition from household production to factory.” This is the case in Kodiyala, once thriving handloom-weaving center in Mandya district of Karnataka where the practice of handloom weaving has undergone several changes over time.
Hosa Arambha is the brainchild of Kshitija Mruthyunjaya. An architect by training, Kshitija initially began this project as a part of her MA Design thesis at NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Milan, Italy. Early last year, she was introduced to weavers from Kodiyala at The Registry of Sarees through the social welfare organisation Shrenis Trust. It became apparent through a series of discussions that Kodiyala- a once thriving weaving centre is now a village in need of gainful employment, basic infrastructure, community organisation, reclamation of identity and most of all the right to dignity.
Recognizing that traditional ways have not been practiced by the weaving community in Kodiyala for several decades, and that the old ways must give way to the new : Hosa Arambha, literally translates to New Beginnings.
The key objectives are:
1.Establishing dignity and pride from the weaver to the wearer by the creation of a distinct identity.
2.The creation of identity enables weaver and wearer to appreciate distinct qualities associated with the Kodiyala saree:
- a. Mindful design that includes the mythology and history of the weavers of Kodiyala.
- b. Responsible production that respects raw material and skillset of the weavers.
- c. Proximity to nature and a high regard to the environment in choosing to work with local raw materials such as cotton and dyes available within the region.
3. Creating a viable, sustainable long-term environmental and economic entity that contributes to the growth of the individual and community.