GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION (GI) TAGS OF PONDICHERRY

Pondicherry, officially known as Puducherry, is a Union Territory town of India bounded by the south-eastern Tamil Nadu. Having served as a French colonial settlement until 1954, it still preserves its French legacy in its French Quarter, with tree-lined streets, mustard-coloured colonial villas and chic boutiques. Pondicherry, till now, has been awarded two GI Tags namely Villianur Terracotta Works and Thirukannur Papier Mache Craft.   

Villianur Terracotta Works is a handicraft product whose application for GI Tag was filed by the Pondicherry Crafts Foundation on 22nd March 2010 and the product was certified on 18th August 2011. The Application Details of “Villianur Terracotta Works” are mentioned below-

Application Details

Application Number201
Geographical IndicationsVillianur Terracotta Works
StatusRegistered
Applicant NamePondicherry Crafts Foundation
Applicant AddressNo: 4, 4th Street, Pudhungarl, Kanuvapet, Villianur, Pondicherry-605 110, India, Facilitated by National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai, India
Date of Filing22-03-2010
Class21
GoodsHandicraft
Geographical AreaPondicherry
Priority CountryIndia
Journal Number39
Availability Date25-03-2011
Certificate Number154
Certificate Date18-08-2011
Registration Valid Upto21-03-2030

Villianur Terracotta Works is famous craftwork in which locally available appropriate refined clay is partially dried and cast, moulded, or hand worked into the desired shape and is always excellent in workmanship and design such as figures and figurines, lampshades, dolls & idols of Gods and Goddess, plant pots, vases, tea and coffee sets, jewellery, golden ware, sculpture or decorative items and various other products that are common among production. Made from three different materials, namely, Green Clay, Thennal and Nice Sand (Savadu), the Villianur Terracotta products are intricately decorated and eruditely detailed and are available in various shapes, designs for different end uses, especially, the tableware and interior decoration which are fast gaining popularity among the clay craft of Puducherry. The Terracotta jewellery made in Puducherry is popular among people, not only in India but also around the world.

Although the origin of Terracotta productions in Puducherry still remains a mystery, the regional speciality of both glazed and unglazed pottery is famous in the whole country and over time, the clay craft has also grown more advanced with the use of new designs keeping in mind the utilitarian factor. Produced by the community called ‘Kulalar’ which is predominantly found in and around Villianur commune Panchayat of Puducherry, the art of making clay craft has persisted within their ancestry and they continue to make more innovative products. The tallest product which the artisans have made is a horse which is 6 feet tall, and it possesses a tail, ear, head and four legs which can be removed separately. The smallest product they make is the idol of Lord Ganesha which is 1 inch in height and can be completed within two minutes.

Thus, the combination of the availability of raw materials and infrastructure becomes the main reason for the establishment of this industry. The making of Villianur Terracotta Work requires great human skill and experience to attain perfection because they are the ones who make the correct choices of design and intricacy of the work based upon the consumers and the market requirements. Sometimes, the customer, as per his taste and preference, show artisans some sketches and ask them to design the product accordingly. Lastly, several types of tools, made by bamboo, are used for line curvings, eye shaping & other forms of detailing and polishing. Only natural colours are used to provide these popular terracotta products with a finishing touch.

Thirukannur Papier Mache Craft is also a handicraft product, whose application for GI Tag was filed by the Pondicherry Crafts Foundation on 22nd March 2010 and the product was certified on 18th August 2011. The Application Details of “Thirukannur Papier Mache Craft” are mentioned below-

Application Details

Application Number202
Geographical IndicationsThirukannur Papier Mache Craft
StatusRegistered
Applicant NamePondicherry Crafts Foundation
Applicant AddressNo: 4, 4th Street, Pudhungarl, Kanuvapet, Villianur, Pondicherry-605 110, India, Facilitated by National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai, India
Date of Filing22-03-2010
Class16
GoodsHandicraft
Geographical AreaPondicherry
Priority CountryIndia
Journal Number39
Availability Date25-03-2011
Certificate Number155
Certificate Date18-08-2011
Registration Valid Upto21-03-2030

Thirukannur Papier Mache Craft is known craftwork that is made up of paper pulp coarsely mashed and mixed with copper sulphate and rice flour moulded into the desired shape and is always excellent in workmanship or design. It is elaborately decorated and profoundly detailed and is made available in various shapes, designs for different end uses, especially for the toys of Paper Mache made in Puducherry which are a favourite buy of people, not only in India but across the world. The artisans and designers sketch the designs convolutedly and lacquer and polish the products in bright colours (only natural colours). Owing to its roots in the Persian design, a touch of golden colour is always found on the papier-mache products.     

Several raw materials are used to make Thirukannur Papier Mache Products, namely, Paper Powder, Chalk Powder, Limestone Powder, Zinc Sulphate and Starch Powder. Lastly, raw materials, the conception of design, great human skill and experience are the main reasons for the establishment of this industry.

Pondicherry Crafts Foundation, located at No: 4, 4th Street, Pudhungarl, Kanuvapet, Villianur, Pondicherry, India, is a renowned organization that is not only famous for its fascinating handmade crafts but is also known for its social activities, namely, imparting training programmes to Tsunami victims, physically, and mentally challenged and leprosy cured people in order to provide them with secure and gainful employment. The organization has also made a remarkable contribution to Kargil Fund, Tsunami Relief Fund and Uttarakhand Relief Fund. V.K. Munusamy also known as V.K. Munusamy Krishnapakthar, a master terracotta craftsman is the President of the Pondicherry Crafts Foundation and has also won Padma Shri Award in 2020 for his outstanding work and dedication in the field of Terracotta Artistry.

GI Tags of Pondicherry are-

Handicraft Products:

  • Villianur Terracotta Works [here]
  • Thirukannur Papier Mache Craft [here]
About Tanya Sharma 29 Articles
Good day everyone!!! I am a student at the School of Law, UPES, Dehradun, pursuing B.A.,LL.B. (honors) specialization in Energy Law. Passionate about gaining knowledge in Legal field, I like to write articles and research papers in the field of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). Apart from academics, I like to travel, dance and read novels.

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