1. Description of Our Community
India, with its glorious history, diverse ethnicity, and dynamic culture has always drawn the eyes of travelers from around the globe. Each state of India uniquely contributes to its vast cultural heritage. Culture shapes its local and national identities. Odisha- a coastal state located in the southeastern part of India is a testament to this. It comprises many diverse groups with myriad spoken languages, traditions, and regional diversities. Often referred to as the soul of Incredible India, it is one of the most culturally rich states of India. Odisha’s rich cultural tradition is a harmonious blend of religion, art, and philosophy. Traditional arts, sculptures, music, dance, and festivals are beautifully interwoven into the fabric of Odisha’s way of life and thought. Odisha is home to a wide variety of beautiful handicrafts that depict its age-old history and traditions. The artistic beauty of this place is indeed an unexplored paradise. We hail from Jaykaypur, a small town in the tribal district of Rayagada located to the southwest of this state. Our local community is a perfect blend of tribal societies and sophisticated industries. Its food, festival, art, music, dance, and other elements are the signs that even in this era of modernization we have not forgotten our roots. We are proud to be a part of this wonderful community.
2. Summary of Our Project
Glorious archaeological monuments with their beautiful architecture and exquisite sculptures are the biggest example of the rich artistic culture of Odisha. The artistic creativity of the craftsmen is reflected in the paintings, textiles, metal images, jewellery, and other items of finery and aesthetic sensibilities. The handicrafts of Odisha are popularly known and admired worldwide for their quality, dexterity, precision, royalty in designing, and the unique creativity behind every art. These handicrafts primarily originated in the rural countryside areas of Odisha. There are almost more than one hundred crafts available in Odisha but only a dozen of them are of global importance. Some of them are KAPDA GANDA, IDTHAL, LAU TUMBA, SAND ART, PATTACHITRA, TALAPATRACHITRA, HORN WORK, IKAT WORK, CHANDUA [appliqué work], LACQUERED WORK, SANTHAL PAINTINGS, BRASS AND METAL WORK, DHOKRA CASTING, and SILVER FILIGREE. Along with these handicrafts, other items of coir, jute, grass, carpets, cane, and wooden furniture are also produced. This project briefly describes the importance, process of making, problems faced in recent times, and commercialization of the most prominent handicrafts of Odisha.
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%
B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:4-6
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6
E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):
“A good internet connection provided by the school helped us to collaborate with various community members while working on this project. With the help of a computer, we were able to collect various relevant information which helped us to accomplish our project on time.”
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
It was a challenging task for us to work on this topic as it demands in-depth knowledge of the subject matter, planning, and hard work. We had to put our complete dedication to presenting the overall beauty of the spectacular artworks. It was very tough for us to portray the creativity of artworks as the number of craftworks is large. The collection of such a vast amount of data and sources to intake relevant information was very time-consuming. We initially lacked proper communication with our teammates and teachers. The pandemic led to significant social disruption, adversely affecting the progress of our work. Restrictions were imposed in the cities and as a result, we were forced to work from our homes. We had to collaborate through online meetings. Moreover, it was challenging to remain inclined towards this project during our examinations. We tackled all these challenges with a sense of optimism which led to the success of our project. This would never have been possible without the guidance of our teachers.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
The quest for modernization has led to the erosion of our culture. Our main motive through the project is to make people aware of this alarming threat. Handicrafts are the identity of Odisha's culture. But eventually, they have lost their value and significance to some extent. It is high time that people understand how to preserve their culture as it reflects on their values. Though urbanization has its own merits, it is one of the main reasons why people forget their roots. Preserving and protecting the skills and knowledge of traditional crafts is becoming more challenging with time. Our aim is to revive the artistic heritage and spread awareness about them among the urban youth, initiating a step towards creating a world where traditional art forms are given due respect and the artisans get the recognition they deserve for their skills.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Art Education and heritage education are integral components of the Indian school curriculum. This has been emphasised repeatedly by various policy documents such as the National Curriculum Framework of 2005 and the new National Education Policy of 2019. Interdisciplinary art integrated projects focusing on various states of India are mandatory for students across all grades. The Central Board of Secondary Education conducts the Heritage India quiz to promote and spread awareness about the local heritage among students. Our project perfectly fits into these aspects of our curriculum. Many students are not interested in art and craft and believe that art integrated projects are unnecessary. However, education is not all about learning facts by rote. Education is supposed to be holistic- and art plays a crucial role in it. This project helped us know how fascinating the theme of art can be and how everyone can participate in art-related activities without directly creating art. Through this project, we realised the importance of teamwork and collaboration. We understood why these skills are essential in today's job market. Compilation of the data followed by extensive editing and review sharpened our language skills to a reasonable extent. Designing the website enhanced our knowledge of various software technologies. We also learnt that proper work distribution and prioritisation are the keys to any project's success.