Complete information about Jajam will be uploaded by May, 2018.
To stay updated about this page, please leave your email ID with us here.
Meanwhile, here is a brief about Jajam…
For centuries jajam printing flourished in many regions of Rajasthan. This alluring fabric was embedded deeply in the local culture and played a vital role of common place textile in social gatherings. Made from thick Reza handloom or mill-made cotton, this large decorative floor spread was naturally dyed and block printed for important social, family and cultural activities.
Panchayat village council members would sit on a jajam to make important communal and judicial decisions that was accepted by people without dispute. While sitting on jajam people would practice certain default set of manners and value system. Like, a person would always speak the truth on jajam. Generally, respected and elected persons would keep a jajam, who would then loan it to individual families for their personal life ceremonies. Jajam would also be offered in temples and as gift in wedding ceremonies. In rural households, it was a symbol of honor to host guests on jajam. It turned into a portable spread when visiting fairs, festivals, religious gatherings and wedding celebrations.
Jajam was made in large sizes to accommodate more people. However, it was customized as per the need and purpose. Traditionally, many designs of jajam were inspired from local architectural designs. Although, one or more rows of the elaborate borders would feature figures such as horseback warriors, elephants, seahorse or tigers. Printed in bold concentric layers of different geometric design across its field, at the very centre a choupad game board was frequently added for people to play while gathered on top.
Jajam demonstrated the best of a chhippa block printers’ skills and craftsmanship that only few possessed. To achieve the characteristics black and red of jajam textiles printers used syahi-begar processes. In Marwar region, reference of some printers dying the backgrounds with indigo has also been found. These printing communities located themselves alongside rivers as these natural dyes required freeflowing water and plenty of it to wash such large pieces of cloth! Over time, as the rivers dried out in these regions, it became increasingly difficult to make a large jajam.
Urbanisation has slowly chipped away at the social fabric of local communal life and, today, jajam has lost its patrons and appreciators. Since the mid-20th century demand has slowly diminished, with only a handful of printers retaining the skills, resources and resolve to continue. In an attempt to keep up with changing times, many chhippas printers crossed over to inexpensive chemical dyes. Some artisans moved away from using traditional motifs and, in an attempt to modernize, introduced new patterns and colors, traveling to large towns and cities to attend exhibitions in search of orders. Such trips were often unfruitful and, subsequently, many craftsmen turned to other occupation.