Organization - Kumbham

Basic Information
English Kumbham
Local language
Country India
Category Informal Initiative
Domain Traditional Craftsmanship
Function Research
Established year 1993

Kumbham initiative

Kumbham is an Initiative among the potters community of Aruvacode, Nilambur, Kerala to revive the dying tradition of pottery to meet the needs of contemporary life style.The initiative started in 1993 is being led by Jinan. K.B, designer from NID, and has successfully introduced several new products and applications.

Over the years we have developed numerous aesthetically pleasing and extremely useful products especially for architectural/house hold products, kitchen and table wares, work table accessories, landscaping products etc. Architecture has been one of the much focused targets and has undertaken several murals, eco tourism, interior and landscaping projects for various government institutions, corporate clients and individuals all over India.


Kumbham – initial years

What began as a quest for identity or authenticity or even redemption of the self, led to the crystallization of Kumbham an initiative with a two-fold concern. On the one hand, the search for the lost cultural roots of people like myself, who have been systematically stripped off our innate sensibilities through a process of formal education while on the other hand, simultaneously engaging a community of potters in a continuing experiment to give the traditional pottery to the new and varied needs of an urban market, grown from within their traditional repositories of knowledge.

Located in Aruvacode, a tiny hamlet near Nilambur in Malapuram District of Kerala, India, Kumbham has attracted some 80 odd potters to affiliate with it to varying degrees, since its beginnings in 1993. In a long and arduous voyage of discovery commencing then, the community as a whole has witnessed a dramatic turn-around: from being on the verge of dissolution as an impoverished artisan community to a resurgent group of potters whose craft was once again wanted.The kumbham iniative is being hailed as a rare instance of a traditional artisan community rehabilitating itself through the very craft they had been alienated from.

Major Activities

Today, Kumbham can rightfully claim to have facilitated a product range of over 1000 designs, including kitchen and household ware; garden furniture and landscaping products and murals and architectural accessories. Terracotta to Kumbham is state of the art material, not the relic of an age past. Be it landscaping or interior decor, some of the best houses, corporate offices, guest houses, hotels, resorts and gardens in the country have relied on Kumbham to give themselves a refreshingly new aesthetic look.

There are unresolved problems however, especially those originating from the dichotomy prevailing between the cultures of the producers and consumers of Kumbham-ware. Indeed the long-term prospects of the Kumbham project will depend to a large extent on the degree to which consumer cultures are replaced by more humane ones that are keenly aware of the inter-dependent nature of the survival and evolutionary needs of the species.

Contact Information (Organization)
Address Layam, Aruvacode, Nilambur, 679329 KERALA INDIA
Tel 9447121544

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