Gundiyali is a village in Mandvi Taluka in Kutch district of Gujarat State, India. It is located 60 KM towards South from district head quarters Bhuj, 6 KM from rural Mandvi and is located close to the Arabian Sea. Mandvi was once a major port of the region and has a 400 year old ship building industry, which was practiced by the Kharva community that still builds small wooden ships. The proximity of Gundiyali to the shore and a major trade route enabled export of the clay products in earlier times. They use the basic tool, a chakda(wheel) and the skill of their hands to create various products from smaller scale like toys to larger ones like pots. The Jain community of Gujarat is seen as the potential clientele by the craftsmen of this region.
About craftspeople of Gundiyali
There are about 72 Muslim potter families in all, of which 25 families are engaged in the craft at presently in the town of Gundiyali. Every artisan in the family practices the craft independently. The potters in Gundiyali belong to the Brar Muslim community and are believed to be direct descendents of Mohammad Paigamber’s foster mother who have migrated from Arab countries to Sindh and further to Kutch. The Kumbhar community moulds local clay into countless forms of decorative earthenware. They craft a wide variety of vessels such as matka for water storage, ketli to hold tea, and kulada to keep buttermilk. The variety of pottery and ornamental design is as diverse as the numerous communities around the villages. Kumbhar women use red, black, and white clay paints to decorate each piece of pottery with distinct community-specific designs. Animal figurines in terracotta are ritualistically offered to gods and warriors and the same clay yields toys for toddlers.
Tools and Equipments